Together or Apart? Analysis of Discourses on Inter-municipal Cooperation on an Example of a Micro-region in Szeklerland

The topic of my paper is the analysis of rural elites´ narratives about inter-municipal cooperation in the Felcsík micro-region of Szeklerland. The importance of this topic is closely linked to the new rural paradigm and is one of the central elements of EU programs and strategies in recent years. In the study I present four ideal types identified in the discourses related to inter-municipal cooperation: (1) the ideal type that manages the interests of the municipality as a priority, (2) the abstain, (3) the interest oriented and the (4) project-oriented ideal type. My research is based on interviews made with 15 persons belonging to rural elites and coming from the public administration sector. The results of my research shows that the identified ideal types define the external and internal relations of the region, the cooperation practice of municipalities and, in this sense, the direction and the results of the developments. At the same time, from the point of view of the development policy, attention is drawn to factors stimulating and limiting the development processes of the region.