Gábor Balás gave a lecture on the results and experiences of the development of smaller towns and rural municipalities for the MTA’s Science of Municipalities standing committee.

The director of Hétfa summarized the results of the evaluations made by the Research Institute and his experiences of strategic planning in small towns. The development activity in these municipalities is greatly determined by the relationship with and the distance from the closest city.

The small towns outside of a greater agglomeration lack the necessary capacity and therefor had a lesser chance in the race for funds. This disadvantage was partially compensated by a special program that supported the most adverse areas, but there some small towns couldn’t take part in this program either.

The rules of funding became more predictable in the period 2014-2020, that hopefully diminishes the disadvantage of off-agglomeration areas. On the other side the implementation of development program is fast that highlights the issue of planning and implementation capacities – frequently external expertise is necessary to ensure the quality of the project development and implementation.