The 'LEADER' programme evokes mixed reactions in Poland. Apart from enthusiastic opinions voices can be heard that the programme is too difficult and its implementation ought to be postponed. For some it means an occasion to acquire more funds from the European Union, whereas for others it means a chance for the emergence of a new grass-roots social movement that would complement in an essential way the activities of local governments. The real meaning of the programme for the Polish rural community will become known only in the coming years but the first twelve months of its formal implementation have yielded many suggestions and make it possible to draw some conclusions. The text describes the current and predicted position of the 'LEADER' programme in Europe and contains conclusions and recommendations concerning its implementation in Poland.