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Patterns behind rural success stories in the European Union: Major lessons of former enlargements


  • Wolz, Axel
  • Hubbard, Carmen
  • Möllers, Judith
  • Gorton, Matthew
  • Buchenrieder, Gertrud


The findings presented in this edited book are derived from the activities of the SCARLED (Structural Change in Agriculture and Rural Livelihoods) project. It had been co-financed by the European Commission and lasted from January 2007 until September 2010. SCARLED pursued two major research objectives: (1) to analyse the agricultural sector restructuring process and the rural socio-economic transformation in the New Member States (NMS), with a particular focus on five case study countries: Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovenia; and (2) to analyse the patterns behind rural success stories in selected case regions of the established member states of the European Union (EU15). The chosen EU15 regions were Borders, Midlands and Western Region (BMW) (Ireland), Navarra (Spain), Skåne (Sweden), Tyrol (Austria) and Altmark (Germany). The findings of the research are available on the SCARLED website ( and have been published extensively elsewhere. A compilation of the main findings and a focus on objective 1 has been published in another edited volume. In this book we will focus on the main findings with respect to objective 2 of the project, viz. what lessons can be drawn from previous EU enlargements with respect to rural development policies. This book is structured as follows: in the first chapter, we will provide an introduction and a summary of main lessons, which can be derived from previous EU enlargements. This is followed by a condensed version of the five individual case study reports on Ireland, Spain, Sweden, Austria and new German Bundesländer (Eastern Länder), respectively. Each case study followed the identical methodology to allow for cross-comparison. However, the authors were free to focus specifically on those issues which according to their understanding needed to be most intensively discussed. The comprehensive versions of all case study reports are available on the SCARLED website.

Suggested Citation

  • Wolz, Axel & Hubbard, Carmen & Möllers, Judith & Gorton, Matthew & Buchenrieder, Gertrud, 2012. "Patterns behind rural success stories in the European Union: Major lessons of former enlargements," Studies on the Agricultural and Food Sector in Transition Economies, Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies (IAMO), volume 68, number 68.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:iamost:68

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