One Size Fits All? Regional Differentiation and Rural Development Policy
summary Since enlargement the European Union has become more diverse in many socio-economic, demographic and agricultural respects. A recent research project sponsored by DG Agriculture (SERA - Study on Employment in Rural Areas) carried out a review of a broad range of regional statistics relating to rural labour markets. The results were presented within the framework of the OECD rural-urban classification. A broad overview of the findings confirms the importance of two widely acknowledged processes of change, urbanisation and counter-urbanisation. Overlaying these urban-based centripetal and centrifugal processes both east-west and north-south differentiation affects particular socio-economic aspects. The net result of this complex combination of (macro-scale) processes is a tendency for accumulation of human capital in accessible significantly rural (SR) regions and a depletion of the remoter, sparsely populated predominantly rural (PR) regions. The emphasis upon macro-scale patterns and trends complements the recent preoccupation of much rural development research upon localised 'soft factors'. There is arguably scope for both in the design of rural policy Broad spatial processes should influence resource allocation, whilst localised advantages, such as strong human and social capital, good governance, networking, clusters and networks, entrepreneurial culture, and so on, can form the basis of strategies for intervention. Copyright The Agricultural Ecomomics Society and the European Association of Agricultural Economists 2007.
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Volume (Year): 6 (2007)
Issue (Month): 3 (December)
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