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Rural transition experiences after joining the EU: Results of the case studies in selected EU15 regions

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Carmen Hubbard, Professor Matthew GortonORCiD


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The performance of five regions (Altmark, Borders, Midlands and West (BMW), Navarra, Skåne and Tyrol) in established EU Member states (Germany, Ireland, Spain, Sweden and Austria) are examined in the light of competing theories of rural development. Case study evidence reveals that the performance of regions has been closely tied to that of their respective nation states. No region has been insulated from national / global trends or grown entirely due to internal, endogenous factors and there is minimal evidence of purely endogenous development. While the CAP, particularly direct payments, make a significant contribution to farm income in all regions, the growth in farm incomes has not kept pace with non-agricultural occupations. The degree to which farm based development can be the mainstay of a prosperous rural economy is severely questioned. Farm centric models of rural development are unlikely to benefit some of poorest groups. Only in Tyrol is there clear evidence of ‘multifunctional agriculture’ delivering wider economic benefits, leveraging significant agri-tourism.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Hubbard C, Gorton M

Publication type: Report

Publication status: Published

Series Title: Working Paper

Year: 2008

Print publication date: 01/10/2008

Source Publication Date: October

Report Number: Deliverable 8.6

Place Published: Scarled Project