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There is no universally accepted definition of the category of "rural area" in Hungary and this issue is the subject of controversy. The EU or OECD standards cannot be fully applied due to unique national characteristics. As a) the role of agriculture in the national economy has drastically decreased in the last 15 years in Hungary - due to the political transition and globalisation, and as b) this decreasing importance causes heavy and pressing problems, especially in agricultural and ex-agricultural areas and regions, job loss is a characteristic sign of the underprivileged areas, and that affects mainly the villages and rural people who have lost their jobs in the agricultural sector. Main goal of the author's Ph.D. research is an analysis of the economical strategies of rural micro-regions depressed by agricultural unemployment. During this analysis a survey of the possibilities and plans of local people, civil organizations, entrepreneurs and local governments will be made. According to this Ph.D. research - from the point of view of employment and rural people - those areas where the rate of agricultural employees (% of total civilian employment) dropped significantly between 1990 and 2001 and where this caused permanent job-loss and unemployment are emphasized as "rural or special rural areas". After analysing the new role of agriculture in the national economy and in the life of the countryside in Hungary, these areas and the effects of the changes (mainly that influence rural employment) have been searched, as a first step in this research. The paper - as the second step - provides a short overview on the effects of the changes, the new role of agriculture and collects the micro-regions that are mainly depressed by agricultural job-loss, comparing these areas with different rural development categories used in Hungary and in the EU as well.


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