Home Economics Disaggregated impacts of CAP reforms : proceedings of an OECD workshop.
The case study regions
The five European Union regions (all, apart from Ostergotland in Sweden, at NUTS 2 level) were selected from across the European Union on a range of criteria to represent the diversity of the European rural regions. The regions are: Emilia Romagna, Italy; Anatoliki Makedonia and Thraki, Greece; East Wales, United Kingdom; Kassel, Germany; and Ostergotland, Sweden. The main characteristics of each region are illustrated in Table 14.1.
These regions are relatively large and internally diverse, representing different types of rural conditions within the European Union. The main differences, identifying particular regions, include: a growing population and a large number of cooperatives in Emilia-Romagna; a high percentage of employment in agriculture and semi-arid production conditions in Anatoliki Makedonia and Thraki; a shortage of affordable rural housing and relative under-funding of Pillar 2 in East Wales; severe demographic problems in the Kassel region; and a focus on rural entrepreneurship and SME development along with high standards of IT infrastructure in Ostergotland. The mountainous areas of East Wales are characterised by high rainfall and large areas that can only support extensive livestock production. The Kassel region is predominantly arable, whereas Ostergotland contains a mixture of more remote forested areas, inaccessible islands within the region’s archipelago, and containing the most productive arable lands in Sweden, the open plains area.
Overall population densities vary greatly between the regions, from 43 inhabitants per square km in Anatoliki Makedonia and Thraki, to 189 per square km in Emilia-Romagna. High variations in population density also exist within the regions, with the majority of populations being concentrated around the main cities. The significance of agriculture’s contribution to the regional economies and employment varies noticeably. Significant variations between regions also exist with regard to infrastructure — especially transport links, health, education and the provision of information technology. Disparities also exist in terms of economic development, ranging from low levels for Anatoliki Makedonia and Thraki to very good conditions for Emilia Romagna and Kassel. A key contributor to this diversity relates to the range of Rural Development Programme (RDP) or Pillar 2
measures implemented, from Italy, where all permitted measures were implemented in the 2000-2006 period, to Greece, where only a minimal number of the voluntary measures were adopted.
Table 14.1. Economic structure and employment levels of the regions
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