The fundamental principles of the EU LEADER Programme are common in every member states. However the Programme was fit to the national legislative framework, institutional culture and social features, thus it was implemented with significant differences in the different EU countries/regions. Our study examines the LEADER implementation in one of the Spanish autonomous regions, Andalusia, which has many parallels with Hungarian rurality in terms of political culture, rural economy and society. The Andalusian implementation of the LEADER Programme is especially advanced on various ways. Resulting from the genuine decentralisation of the programme, local action groups enjoy a great degree of independence. They act as paying agencies, make independent and fast decisions and provide tailored assistance for their local clients. The Andalusian implementation of LEADER clearly proves that it can be successful, even in less advanced socio-cultural circumstances. Many elements of this system could be usefully applied in Hungary too, given that we find a way to embed a similar approach to rural development in various levels of our institutional system. We recommend our study to all those who aim for a better rural development system for Hungary in 2014-20.