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Rural networks in the funding period 2007 - 2013: A critical review of the EU policy instrument

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  • Marquardt, Doris

Abstract

Rural Networks have been implemented as an instrument to enhance EU rural development policies in the funding period 2007-2013. Gaps in European programme documents concerning the networks' purpose and their evaluation led to a survey of the National Network Units being conducted in 2010. Besides investigating how these gaps are bridged nationally, the survey aimed to provide an overview of the development of the networks, of the initial experiences and challenges faced in running the networks, and to assess their potential impact. Empirical findings show that the networks probably support rural development (policies) and create added value. However, ways of demonstrating this impact in quantitative terms are lacking. Member states tend to stick closely to the specifications provided by the Commission and rarely go beyond them even if they are inadequate - even though this is legally possible. As a result, one purpose originally envisaged for the networks, namely to contribute to improving governance, is neglected. The paper provides proposals for modifying EC Regulations so as to enhance rural networks' impact and points to the need for further theoretical research corroborating the networks' value and increasing their effectiveness. -- Für die Förderperiode 2007-2013 wurden Netze für den Ländlichen Raum als Politikinstrument zur Aufwertung der EU Politik zur ländlichen Entwicklung aufgebaut. Unzulänglichkeiten in den EU Programmdokumenten im Hinblick auf die Zweckbestimmung und die Evaluierung der Netze gaben Anlass, im Jahr 2010 eine Umfrage unter den Nationalen Vernetzungsstellen durchzuführen. Es sollte einerseits der Frage nachgegangen werden, wie auf nationaler Ebene mit den regulatorischen Lücken umgegangen wird, andererseits zielte die Umfrage darauf ab, die Entwicklung der Netze zu erfassen, sowie erste Erfahrungen und Herausforderungen im Bezug auf das Management der Netze und ihre potentiellen Auswirkungen auszumachen. Die empirischen Ergebnisse zeigen, dass die Netze wahrscheinlich die Umsetzung ländlicher Entwicklung(spolitik) unterstützen und einen Mehrwert hervorbringen. Allerdings fehlt es an Mitteln, diese Wirkungen quantitativ nachzuweisen. Ferner, da die Mitgliedstaaten dazu tendieren, sich stark an den EU Vorgaben zu orientieren und nicht über diese hinauszugehen, auch wenn sie unzureichend sind, wird das ursprünglich für die Netze vorgesehene Ziel, einen Beitrag zur Verbesserung von Governance zu leisten, allseits vernachlässigt. In dem Papier werden Vorschläge für mögliche Modifizierungen der EU Verordnungen gemacht, die die positive Wirkung der Netze verstärken könnten. Außerdem wird der Bedarf an netzwerktheoretischer Forschung zur Unterlegung des Werts der Netze für den Ländlichen Raum und zur Vergrößerung ihrer Effektivität herausgestellt.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Central and Eastern Europe (IAMO) in its series IAMO Discussion Papers with number 133.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:iamodp:133

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Keywords: National Rural Networks; Policy Instrument; Rural Development; CAP; Netze für den Ländlichen Raum; Politikinstrument; Ländliche Entwicklung; GAP;

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