Changes in commuting patterns in the territories covered by LEADER Local Action Groups: Slovakia, 2001 and 2011
In the European Union’s (EU) 2007–2013 programming period, 29 Local Action Groups (LAG) were registered in Slovakia. The rural regions covered by these LAGs have been selected for detailed time-space analysis of two specific aspects of commuting to work: (a) the share of intra-LAG, predominantly rural-to-rural commuting, from the total numbers of out- and in-commuters (indicator of intra-LAG entrepreneurial activity, economic networking, social capital and diffusion of codified and/or tacit knowledge); and (b) the share of individual LAG out-commuters abroad from the total number of out-commuters from territories of individual LAGs (indicator of ‘openness’ of rural communities towards new challenges which is aimed at improving their living standards). Two years have been selected for the comparison: 2001 (prior to the establishment of LAGs and the accession of Slovakia to the EU, its entry into the Schengen Area, and the opening of labour markets of the EU Member States to the citizens of the Slovak Republic) and 2011 (after the establishment of LAGs and the ‘Europeanisation’ of Slovakia). Statistical analysis showed the position and attractiveness of most LAGs as local labour markets has weakened during the period 2001- 2011.