The aim of this diploma thesis is to ascertain the geographical structures and processes which dominate within the new district Südoststeiermark as well as to detect which measures are adopted to promote the regional development of the district.The first part of the thesis deals not only with the new district, which was established in 2013 and which encompasses the former districts Feldbach and Bad Radkersburg, but also with the new municipal structure, which has arisen from the structural reform in 2015. Then, a structural analysis is undertaken whereby the physiographical prerequisites are considered first, before analysing parameters such as population, education, economy, infrastructure and tourism at the levels of district and municipality. By displaying the findings in tables and charts, it becomes clear that the southern municipalities of the district are to be considered as structurally weak whereas the majority of the municipalities in the northern and northwestern areas are structurally strong.In the second part of this diploma thesis, the basics of spatial planning and regional development are discussed and Austrian regional politics are illustrated at supra-regional and regional levels. Afterwards, the principles of the EU regional politics and the diverse structural funds periods are dealt with. In doing so, the thesis tries to refer to Styria and - whenever possible - to the district Südoststeiermark. The LEADER region Steirisches Vulkanland is essential for the district, as this region has evolved from a border to a flagship area and encompasses all of the area under investigation. When analysing this subject, a brief discussion of its successful development is provided, followed by a more detailed look into several innovative projects. The diploma thesis is concluded by a SWOT-analysis, whereby all strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats are discussed, as well as an outlook on possible future prospects of the district.