IMPORTANT LEGAL NOTICE - The information on this site is subject to a disclaimer and a copyright notice
Banner Research
  European Commission   > Research > Key Action 5
index by sub-area 5.4. Support for common policies (Common Agricultural/Fisheries Policy)
index by country Germany

Sustainable agriculture in Central and Eastern European Countries (CEESA)

Contract nr: QLK5-CT-1999-01611
Project type: RS (Research and Technological Development Project)
Starting date: 01-02-2000
Duration: 36 months
Total cost: 1,620,969 EUR
EC Contribution: 1,539,895 EUR
Scientific Officer: Norbert WINKLER
Research topic: 5.4. Support for common policies (Common Agricultural/Fisheries Policy)

The research project focuses on sustainable agricultural development (SAD) in Central and Eastern European Countries (CEECs). Sustainable development is an issue that the fifth Framework Programme has ranked highly, making sustainable agriculture a key action. The region under research is related to a short-term priority of the EU, i.e. enlargement towards the CEECs. Hence, the conditions under which CEE transition countries meet both the requirements for EU accession and the demands for SAD provide the principal focus of research. The research partners are renowned experts in both fields - research on transition processes and on environmental protection. They come from four universities and from the FAO. Working together with researchers from CEE countries (Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ukraine), they want to combine their expertise gained in several disciplines to analyse the topic by a complex and comparative approach. Guided by the principle that research should benefit all partners and give an explicit impetus to societal development, researchers and decision-makers from the EU and CEECs and the FAO are involved. This will facilitate widespread dissemination of results and of implementable recommendations on SAD.


Concepts and recommendations for a successful transition of the agricultural sectors of CEECs towards sustainability are developed, presented to decision-makers, discussed with them and published at an international level. The main research objectives are as follows:

1) Derive basic objectives of sustainable agricultural development from identification of relevant problems in CEECs: what are the main conflicts between transformation and sustainability? Although an integrated view of sustainability will always be preferred when possible, the research will concentrate on ecological problems. An initial inventory of environmental problems related to agricultural production will lead to the selection of case studies respecting a given set of criteria.
2) Investigate institutions of sustainability, focusing on property rights and governance structures: what institutional arrangements are prerequisite to meet SAD? Property rights on land and other nature components, information systems and other institutional forms will be considered as determinants of both transformation of agriculture and transformation towards sustainability.
3) Promote sound agri-environmental policies at national and EU levels, emphasising implementation: should policies be changed, their implementation, or both? The environmental impact of current policies as well as of anticipated EU policies (pre-accession policies and international agreements) will be investigated with a view to elaborating alternative national policy instruments to promote SAD.
4) design sustainable farming systems, including appropriate capacities for reducing the negative impacts on the environment. Different farming system types will be analysed and compared with respect to their impact on environmental media and systems. The requirements for achieving sustainable farming practices will be identified and alternative farming systems will be proposed. Comparison of impacts between various FS should help to design farm-level-based systems which reduce negative externalities of agricultural production, and enhance the positive ones.


Humboldt University Berlin Department of Agricultural Economics and Social Sciences
Tel.: +49 30 2093 6320
Fax: +49 30 2093 6497

University of Helsinki Department of Economics and Management
Tel.: +358 9 1915 8077
Fax: +358 9 1915 8096
  Philip LOWE
University of Newcastle upon Tyne Centre of Rural Economy
Newcastle upon Tyne
Tel.: +44 1912 226623
Fax: +44 1912 226720
Wageningen University
Tel.: +31 317482950
Fax: +31 317484763
  Stjepan TANIC
Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations Sub-Regional Office for Central and Eastern Europe
Tel.: +36 1 461 20 11
Fax: +36 1 351 70 29