Volume 113 - Issue 2

The starting point of the EDORA project was the recognition that, rather than becoming more uniform in character, rural Europe is, in many ways, becoming increasingly diverse, implying new challenges and opportunities. The project’s overarching aim was to examine the process of differentiation, in order to better understand how EU policy can enable rural areas to build upon their specific potentials to achieve ‘smart, sustainable and inclusive growth’. The first phase of the project consisted of a literature review in order to establish a conceptual framework for subsequent empirical analysis. This identified a very wide range of aspects of contemporary rural change. In order to manage this complexity, and so that it could be communicated simply and clearly, three ‘meta-narratives’ of rural change were devised. In the second phase the evidence base for rural change was explored, both in terms of large scale patterns, based upon regional data, and local processes. The macro-scale patterns were addressed by three typologies. These were complemented at a micro-level by in-depth studies of 12 exemplar regions, reflecting a wide range of types and contexts. The third phase explored policy implications. The project’s findings point towards neo-endogenous approaches, in which a ‘bottom up’ process of...

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This paper focuses on current trends of regionalisation with supra-regional coalitions emerging in Europe. In the context of further European integration and institutionalisation of cross-border cooperation, functional integration in cross-border areas is developing. By exploiting cross-border territorial capital these coalitions might contribute to the concept of territorial cohesion as stated and upgraded in the European Union’s Treaty of Lisbon. The paper considers the right scale for these emerging supra-regional coalitions and their implications for the European Spatial Development Policy. When elaborating on the right delineation of supra- or transnational regional coalitions and about policy options, ‘territorial knowledge’ on territorial specificities, territorial capital and development potential is urgently needed. In border regions this includes cross-border functional linkages and interdependencies. The paper highlights an enhanced framework condition for cross-border functional integration and gives examples of supra-regional coalitions emerging in Europe, especially along Germany’s borders. It shows the difficulties with cross-border data availability for delineation of supra-regional coalitions in Europe and discusses the implications for European Cohesion Policy.

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Definitions are imposed but properties not. The basic question addressed by this paper is how to ‘detect’ objective socio-economic spatial structures instead of ‘defining’ them arbitrarily. The NUTS classification model is rather arbitrary. Not only have the administrative units been structured through ‘accidental’ historical conditions but the reliability of the measurement of the population in an area is disputable as long as the mobility is strengthened and the ‘usual residence’ becomes more and more vague. Concerning the auxiliary criteria, they are also heterogeneous and are rather perceptions imposed by decision makers than physical entities. The quantitative network analysis (QNA) approach is suggested as a tool to detect macro-structures regarded as socio-economic and natural infrastructure of a ‘macro-region’. This is based on algebraic analysis of a number of variables such as flows of people migration, financial means, information, commodities, bio-diversity elements and parameters of the new relationship between urban and rural areas. In this paper, by using algorithms of QNA, such as Density of flows or Betweenness centrality of places, ‘denser’ networks of flows among places or more ‘central’ places can be differentiated from others, and thus can be used for a more substantial demarcation of ‘macro-regions’.

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The four main ways in which rural employment creation can be grounded on the exploitation of natural capital can be structured by two complementary analytical directions. These are firstly, ‘production’ based on (a) renewable resources (agriculture, energy) and (b) depletive resources (energy, construction materials) and, secondly, ‘consumption’ by (a) non-residents (tourism and leisure) and (b) residents (incomers including the wealthy retired). This analysis forms the basis of a conceptual framework (Rural Europe 2+2+) which recognises that there is no simple definition of rural employment but that a sustainable approach to exploiting natural capital, together with the development of the other capitals of the territory via a place-based (i.e. territorial policy) approach, can create jobs and encourage working age people either to stay in, or relocate to, rural areas. Thus five Strategic Orientations which target the major driving forces for rural employment, namely natural, financial, human, physical and social capital, and the interactions between them, could be the focus for future rural employment strategies. They are as follows: SO1. Encourage the development of key growth sectors; SO2. Reinforce the local rural economy; SO3. Improve skills and labour market participation in rural areas; SO4. Develop infrastructure and services; and SO5. Ensure proper...

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This paper examines if broadband Internet access (‘broadband’) developments enhance regional cohesion in ten New Member States (NMS-10) of the European Union. It focuses on broadband developments in these countries financed from Structural Funds (SF). Broadband developments have a potentially beneficial impact. However, while the existence of this beneficial impact is well established in theory, still there is no conclusive evidence empirically. Broadband is perceived here as an essential part of ICT, enabling the spread and use of ICT. The paper analyses (1) the regional dimension of broadband access in the NMS-10, (2) the recognition of broadband-cohesion links by NMS-10 governments, and (3) the priority given to broadband in SF spending. The impact of broadband developments on cohesion is not presently monitored, however it would be essential in order to evaluate the effective use of public resources in the enhancement of regional cohesion.

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Sustainable rural development is one of the social, economic and territorial cohesion aspects of the European Union. In the current financial perspective 2007-2013 rural areas development is supported by the Common Agricultural Policy, which does not always contribute to improvement of their vitality and cohesion with urban areas. The main theses organising the analyses presented in this paper are as follows: The problem lies in the division of the funds into particular priorities of rural development and the rural development is still dominated by the agriculture approach. The European Commission and the Member States’ approaches to rural development focus on agricultural production and improving its conditions or environment protection. Cohesion Policy instruments intervention will be an essential condition for sustainable rural areas development. One of the key research issues concerned with rural areas development is territorial orientation in programming of the Structural Funds in the next financial perspective 2014-2020. Integrated rural development requires different instruments of development in order to stimulate non-agricultural economic, social and cultural activity of rural residents.

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The study investigates the convergence of labour productivity in 204 NUTS2 regions of the EU-15 between 1995 and 2006. The main objective of our work was to assess whether and to what extent European Union (EU) policies (Regional Policy and the Common Agricultural Policy) have been effective in promoting economic growth and fostering the process of convergence of EU regions. These policies can have an asymmetric spatial impact, even if some concrete steps have been taken to avoid an excessive concentration of costs or benefits. To verify the effects of EU policies we compare different scenarios: with/without EU policies. Under a methodological profile, we adopt the Solovian model proposed by Mankiw et al. (1992). For the estimates we used an econometric approach based on spatial filters with characteristics similar to Geographically Weighted Regression (GWR) in order to obtain consistent estimates of both the convergence parameters β and the impact of the conditioning variables, policy measures in particular. Our technique allows the estimation of different convergence rates for each region and management of both the presence of spatial spillovers and structural differences in the regional economies. The results indicate that global convergence rates are comparable to those obtained in some other...

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  • Scopus SJR (2023): 0.29
  • Scopus CiteScore (2022): 2.0
  • WoS Journal Impact Factor (2022): 1.2
  • WoS Journal Citation Indicator (2022): 0.45
  • ISSN (electronic): 2063-0476
  • ISSN-L 1418-2106



Publisher Name: Institute of Agricultural Economics Nonprofit Kft. (AKI)

Publisher Headquarters: Zsil utca 3-5, 1093-Budapest, Hungary

Name of Responsible Person for Publishing:        Dr. Pal Goda

Name of Responsible Person for Editing:             Dr. Attila Jambor

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

The publication cost of the journal is supported by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

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