The purpose of this project is to analyse the medium-term agricultural and employment perspectives in selected rural areas of four Balkan countries - Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania and Slovenia. As a point of reference, an analysis of a comparable rural area in Greece will be carried out. The research project will focus on some selected regions, trying to incorporate the variety of economic conditions in the rural areas of the countries under study. The construction of regional Input-Output (I-O) tables and the identification of possible scenarios will allow definition of the medium-term impacts of policy changes on rural employment. This research will provide an insight into the rural employment problem upon accession, and will allow the European Union and regional policy makers to assess the impact of changing agricultural and rural policies better, along with national economic growth and the EU membership on the acceding Balkan countries.
The proposed project will focus on the development perspectives within rural regions of five Balkan countries - Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Romania, and Slovenia, countries which either boarder with, or were included within, the former Yugoslavia. Three of the case countries are applying for accession to the EU, Slovenia has recently joined while Greece has been a Member State for some time. The main objective of the project is to assess the implications for inter-sectoral rural employment patterns of policy changes at the domestic and EU level. The inclusion of the Greek case within the study will provide grounds for suggesting the likely path of employment development post-accession. The study will concentrate on the analysis of three main aspects: rurality, employment and agriculture within a medium-term perspective. Different scenarios with respect to the political and economic evolution in the area, specifically related to the EU accession and adoption of the EU policies, will be developed. The impacts of the possible scenarios on intra-sectoral employment will be assessed in each selected rural region.
Progress to Date
The research is to be carried out in two phases.
In the first phase, the selection of the regional case studies for the five Balkan countries has been carried out. Following the selection process, a detailed descriptive analysis of the economic development, employment patterns and the relevant policies in each region has been conducted. On this basis, a comparative study of the patterns in the five selected regions has been produced.
In the second phase, Input - Output (I-O) analysis has been carried out on the specified regions to study the structure of rural employment in more detail. I-O tables have been constructed for each region based on existing regional tables or, where these did not exist, on estimated regional I-O tables derived from the national ones.
On the basis of the I-O model, the impact of different scenarios will be analysed. Scenarios will be defined according to the specific development patterns in the study regions, the rate of national economic growth, EU accession and other specific regional policies. The impact of the different scenarios on regional non-agricultural and agricultural employment will then be identified and the policy recommendations formulated.
If the nature of rurality is considered, it is possible to assert that all five regions present
those typical characteristics of rural regions. The infrastructural development is not optimal and the population structure may be a source of concern in future. The rurality of the regions is also confirmed by the analysis of their economies. The regions lag behind in terms of degree of economic development and the agriculture sector still plays an important role. The importance of the agricultural sector is also confirmed by the analysis of the employment dynamics. It appears that the expected considerable outflow of labour force from agriculture has not occurred yet. In addition, a high unemployment rate is also observed.
The perspectives for future development were discussed through the application of a simple methodology based on different national governments projections. This was done is order to identify those variables to be used in the implementation and definition of the policy scenarios for the I-O analysis.
After the definition of the common I-O methodology, the different partners produced the
impact regional papers.
CAP AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT
Scientist responsible for the project
Professor FRANCO SOTTE
Piazzale Martelli, 8
Italy - IT
Phone: +39 0712 207117
Fax: +39 0712 207102
||MARCHE POLYTECHNICAL UNIVERSITY OF ANCONA, DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMICS
||01 October 2001
||810 216 €
|Total EC contribution
||810 216 €
|Web address of the project
- IMPERIAL COLLEGE, LONDON UNIVERSITY, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURAL SCIENCE, AGRICULTURAL ECONOMICS & BUSINESS MANAGEMENT, United Kingdom (The) - GB
- UNIVERSITY OF LJUBLJANA, BIOTECHNICAL FACULTY, DEPARTMENT OF ZOOTECHNICS, Slovenia - SI
- ARISTOTLE UNIVERSITY OF THESSALONIKI, SCHOOL OF AGRICULTURE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURAL ECONOMICS, Greece - GR
- BABES-BOLYAI UNIVERSITY OF CLUJ-NAPOCA, FACULTY OF ECONOMICS/STATISTICS, ANALYSIS AND FORECASTING, Romania - RO
- UNIVERSITY OF NATIONAL AND WORLD ECONOMY OF SOFIA, DEPARTMENT OF AGRIBUSINESS, Bulgaria - BG