Over fifteen years have elapsed since the transition from the centrally planned economic system started in the early 1990’s. During this time agricultural and rural areas of Central and Eastern Europe have undergone profound structural changes with wide variations in the degree of transformation and in the rate of success in creating a competitive market and private ownership based food and agricultural system. By becoming member of the European Union the "transition" in its traditional interpretation has been concluded in ten of the Central East European countries. The transition to market based agriculture, however, is far from completion in Southern and Eastern Europe and especially in the CIS countries. International Association of Agricultural Economists (IAAE) and European Association of Agricultural Economists (EAAE) in collaboration with the Corvinus University of Budapest and with a number of other institutions in Hungary organized an inter-conference seminar on the subject of agricultural transition in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia. The major objective of the seminar was to discuss and draw conclusions on the role of agricultural policy in the transition process in the light of actual progress and current situation in Central and East European countries and in formal Soviet States. In addition the contribution of agricultural economics – both from the West and from the East – as a discipline and a profession to the transition process in agriculture were discussed. A specific objective was to identify priorities and means to strengthen the agricultural economics profession in the transition countries and determine research and educational priorities for the future. The seminar was attended by 118 participants representing 26 countries from Europe, North America and Asia. The Seminar was the largest professional meeting organized by the two associations in 2007. Over 110 abstracts were submitted and evaluated by the International Program Committee. In the two day program of the meeting, 8 presentations were made during the 3 plenary sessions, 66 papers were presented in the 15 contributed paper sessions in 8 subject categories. In addition there were 15 posters discussed in the poster session and the findings of a World Bank study on distortions of agricultural incentives in the region was the subject of a pre-conference workshop. Plenary speakers included Ulrich Koester, Johan Swinnen, Jerzy Wilkin, Zvi Lerman, Eugenia Serova and József Popp-Gábor Udovecz. At the end of the seminar David Colman, President of IAAE gave a global assessment of the status of agricultural economics discipline and profession, while Csaba Csáki, former President of IAAE made summary comments on major issues discussed during the seminar. This volume includes the plenary and contributed papers presented at the seminar and submitted for publications by the authors as well as the abstracts of the poster papers discussed. The seminar was supported and sponsored by a number of organizations and persons. All of their contributions have to be greatly acknowledged. First the two international organizations IAAE and EAAE have to be mentioned, which provided overall organizational framework and logistical support. The IAAE provided in addition a generous grant to support the participation of young agricultural economists from Central and Eastern Europe on the seminar. On the Hungarian side the Corvinus University of Budapest, the Szent István University of Gödöllő, the Research Institute for Agricultural Economics, the Hungarian Agricultural Economics Association, the Hungarian Association of Agricultural Sciences and the Hungarian Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development were the major material and organizational supporters. The International Program committee was chaired by David Colman and Csaba Csáki and included Ulrich Koester, Joe Swinnen, Eugenia Serova and Jerzy Wilkin. The local Organizing committee was chaired by Csaba Forgács and István Szűcs and included Zoltán Lakner, András Nábrádi, József Popp, József Tóth, Gábor Udovecz, László Vajda, László Villányi, Krisztina Fodor, Attila Jámbor and Tamás Mizik. Finally IAMO, Halle facilitated the publication of this proceedings.


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