Rural areas have great potential, which properly supported can signifi cantly accelerate the socio-economic development of the country. However, the resources and values of individual areas are spatially diversifi ed, which means the diversity of development challenges and the necessity to diversify the instruments of local development policy as well as the territorialisation of development policy. The need to deal with development issues in connection with the development of urban functional areas and, more broadly, node regions, remains unchanged for all types of rural areas, which means the necessity of joint planning of spatial development, implementation of common development strategies of the entire functional area and pursuit of common socio-economic goals. The endogenous theory of local development remains valid, but it must be based on resources that go beyond the administrative boundaries of a single municipality. The need for network local development planning applies in particularly to peripheral rural areas, since rural municipalities often do not have sufficient economic potential to stay competitive even on a local scale. Only in partnership with other municipalities, within the framework of nodal regions, they can implement more eff ective competitive strategies. Another aspect of the network cooperation is the need to involve non-public entities into local economy. Establishing partnerships for the implementation of development goals may increase the chances of achieving a favourable competitive position and implementation of effective development strategies.