The continuous reduction of agricultural employment may have large consequences for the viability of rural regions - especially when the share of agriculture in total employment is high - unless sufficient alternative jobs can be provided.
The changing role of agriculture in rural areas is further enhanced by new migration flows from urban areas to rural areas and by policy changes. Partly due to the difficulties with overproduction, the CAP considers farmers now both as producers of food and as managers of the countryside. Besides, the emphasize in EU policies is moving towards regionalization and integration of existing policy measures. For rural areas these policies may emerge into an approach of an integrated rural policy. Such an approach implies that agriculture is seen as indissolubly linked with the other sectors of the rural economy.
In order to assess the possibilities of an integrated rural policy, insight in the interactions of agriculture with the other economic sectors, policies, the environment and landscape is necessary. In this project these interactions are analysed from the employment perspective.
The objectives of the study are:
(1) analysis of the development of employment in the rural regions of the EU against the background of a downward trend in the agricultural labour force
(2) in-depth analysis of the interaction process of the local agricultural actors, other economic actors and policy makers in selected EU rural regions, which succeeded in maintaining or augmenting employment opportunities during the past decade;
(3) examination to which extent policies and strategies for maintaining employment opportunities in successful rural regions offer a perspective fo rural regions, in which employment has declined.
In the first part of the project regions with increasing and decreasing employment opportunities are identified and an analysis is made of the socioeconomic situation in those regions. In the second part the interaction process of the local agricultural actors, other economic actors and policy makers is examined in regions which succeeded in maintaining or augmenting employment opportunities during the past decade. In the third part it is assessed to which extent the story of these "successful regions" can serve as an example for regions lagging behind and which inputs for an integrated rural policy can be recommended.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
118 55 Athens - Votanikos
21465 Wentorf (Hamburg)
08193 Bellaterra (Barcelona)