Development of the Balkan Countries: Where Does the European Responsibility Lie?

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  • The Agricultural Ecomomics Society and the European Association of Agricultural Economists 2006

    point de vuebyDanilo Tomi and Biljana Umievi

    Development of the Balkan Countries: Where Does the European Responsibility Lie?

    Le dveloppement des pays balkaniques : o se situent les responsabilits europennes ?

    Entwicklung der Balkanlnder: Worin liegt die europische Verantwortung?

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  • The Agricultural Ecomomics Society and the European Association of Agricultural Economists 2006

    At this stage in its development,

    Europe faces special challenges.

    Europe has a long and rich historical,

    political, cultural, social, and

    economic tradition. Its distinguishing

    feature is its mixture of peoples,

    cultures and religions. A united

    Europe, of the form that we might

    describe as an open workshop,

    is a challenge for 21st century

    management. By setting aside near-

    sighted and untamed capitalism, and

    by introducing the principles of an

    integrated economy, we can all step

    into a peace-oriented and prosperous

    Europe of the future. By acting

    constructively, Europe can make

    considerable contributions to the

    development of future global models.

    Principles of solidarity, sustainability

    and support applied within Europe

    are precious contributions to global

    strategies. The language of Europe

    in global decision-making is clear

    and true and this can contribute to

    the formation of new unions and

    peaceful development in the future.

    What can the Balkan experience

    offer? This region is rich in natural

    resources and labour potential for

    accelerated economic and agricultural

    development. It is in this area that

    continental and Mediterranean

    climates meet. Followers of different

    religions Orthodox, Catholic, Islam

    live here. The European and Asian

    civilizations meet in this region, and

    the infl uences and consequences of

    the Byzantine, Roman, Ottoman and

    Austro-Hungarian Empires can be

    felt, as well as the strong infl uence of

    the communist ideology of the past

    60 years. This region offers not only

    labour and production potential, but

    also 60 million food consumers. Some

    of these countries, moreover, are

    important tourist destinations.

    The Balkan countries have been

    challenged. Our task is to take up the

    challenges and utilize the European

    model of development. If the Balkan

    countries wish to integrate into the

    EU there are certain things we must

    do, especially in the fi elds of rural and

    agricultural development: (a) take

    advantage of free trade zones amongst

    South East European countries

    and at the same time increase the

    rate of foreign direct investment

    and joint ventures; (b) encourage

    team work amongst domestic

    and foreign experts on crucial

    agricultural and rural development

    problems including investments

    in production, improvements in

    processing and marketing, education

    of farmers, cooperative farms

    unions, environmental issues, and

    the phytosanitary and zootechnic

    protection of plants and animals; (c)

    we need education reforms as soon

    as possible at all levels, following the

    principles of the Bologna declaration,

    and leaders in the various agri-food

    and rural agencies should have

    access to the results of the latest

    scientifi c research to enable them to

    lead the way in agricultural and rural

    development; (d) intensify efforts

    to launch Long-term Programmes of

    Agricultural and Rural Development

    for each country in the Balkan

    region, with clearly defi ned aims,

    directions, measures and dynamism

    of implementation, in line with the

    Der entschei-

    dende Faktor zur Beschrnkung der allgemeinen Auswirkungen auf die Produktion ist der Umfang, im welchem die Industrie ihre Kostenbasis restruktu-rieren und verringern kann.

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  • The Agricultural Ecomomics Society and the European Association of Agricultural Economists 2006

    CAP programme of the EU but

    we must keep in mind the dangers

    arising from social tensions which

    can occur between urban and rural

    areas; (e) complete the process of

    transition and of general privatization

    (ongoing now for 15 years), and of

    fi nancial consolidation of agricultural

    enterprises and companies we

    must overcome prejudices favouring

    large state farms which have been

    present here for decades and

    encourage the development and

    effective management of family

    farms; (f) opportunities should be

    taken for the creation of domestic

    brands and trade marks, starting with

    labels offering geographical origin

    that consumers will be interested

    in provision of key market

    information and intelligence will be

    a vital element; (g) direct payments

    to farmers and measures of structural

    policy should comply with the rules

    set up by the EU, and the EU funds

    for structural adjustment should

    be used mainly for environmental

    protection schemes, regional and

    rural development; and (h) generally,

    we should ensure that changes in

    agricultural policy are consistent

    with the direction of the EUs CAP,

    especially in the areas of price, export

    subventions, import protection,

    internal incentives, etc.

    The Balkan countries are in the

    second and third circle for access to

    the EU. The forthcoming period must

    be used to prepare for membership

    of the EU. International and domestic

    institutions have important roles to

    play in this process.

    Editors note: I would welcome

    comments on the issues raised in this

    article or indeed any other policy

    issues of relevance to EuroChoices.

    Le dfi qui se pose

    aux Balkans est la mise en uvre du modle europen de dvelop-pement. Les prochaines annes devront tre mises profit pour prparer ladhsion lUnion europenne.

    The Balkan

    challenge is to utilize the European model of development and the forthcoming period must be used to prepare for membership of the EU.

    Further Reading Tomic, D.,Vlahovic, B. and Radojevic, V., (2004). Thesis on Possible Ways the Balkan Countries Should Follow to Integrate into the EU, International Conference on Sustainable Agriculture and European Integration Processes, Anniversary of 50 years, Faculty of Agriculture, Novi Sad, 61.

    Riegler, J. (2002). Ecosocial Market Economy as a European Innovation, Proceedings of International Seminar, Pre-accession Strategy of Czech Agriculture toward EU, Research Institute of Agricultural Economics, Praha, Pruhonice, 2728. September, 3745.

    Tomic, D., Vlahovic, B., Umicevic, B., Radojevic, V., (2002). Agroindustrijska razmena SRJ i balkanskih zemalja neiskoricena ansa, Zbornik: Proizvodnja hrane cinilac regionalne integracije na Balkanu, IEP, Beograd, 231241.

    Dr Danilo Tomic and Mr Biljana Umicevic, Regional Chamber of Economy

    Novi Sad, Serbia.

    Email: dtomic@rpkns.co.yu

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  • summary

    point de vue

    point de vue

    The Agricultural Ecomomics Society and the European Association of Agricultural Economists 2006

    At this stage in its development, Europe faces special challenges.

    A united Europe, of the form that we might describe as an open workshop, is a challenge for 21st century management, to create a peace-oriented and prosperous Europe. The principles of solidarity, sustainability and support applied within Europe are precious contributions to global strategies. What can the Balkan experience offer? The region is rich in natural resources and labour potential for accelerated economic and agricultural development. The European and Asian civilizations meet in this region. It offers labour and production potential as well as 60 million food consumers and important tourist destinations. The Balkan challenge is to utilize the European model of development and the forthcoming period must be used to prepare for membership of the EU. In the meantime the region must take advantage of local free trade zones, encourage team work amongst domestic and foreign experts on agricultural and rural development, reform education at all levels, launch well focused programmes of agricultural and rural development, complete the process of transition and of general privatization, create domestic brands with labels offering geographical origin and ensure that changes in agricultural policy are consistent with the direction of the EUs CAP.

    Entwicklung der Balkanlnder: Worin liegt die europische Verantwortung?

    Development of the Balkan Countries: Where Does the European Responsibility Lie?

    LEurope, au stade actuel de son dveloppement, doit faire face des

    dfi s particuliers. Une Europe unie, oriente vers la paix et la prosprit, comme celle que lon pourrait dcrire comme un chantier ouvert, est un dfi pour le 21me sicle. Les principes de solidarit, de durabilit, et de soutien mutuel tels quils sont ap