Thomas Dax

Thomas Dax
Federal Institute of Agricultural Economics Rural and Mountain Research

PhD

About

124
Publications
38,780
Reads
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3,119
Citations
Citations since 2017
55 Research Items
1788 Citations
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Introduction
Thomas Dax currently works at Federal Institute of Agricultural Economics, Rural and Mountain Research (BAB). Thomas focuses on research in Rural Development, Mountain Development Research and Geography and Urban Politics. One of his recent projects is 'A New Approach for Rural Development in Georgia.' He is involved in various H2020 projects (ERA-Net RURAGRI; RuDI, PEGASUS, ROBUST) and ESPON 2020 projects (PROFECY, Alps2050, ESCAPE), and provided a report to the European Parliament's discussion for CAP-reform 2020+ on "the future of rural development".
Additional affiliations
May 1985 - December 2018
Federal Institute for Less Favoured and Mountainous Areas
Federal Institute for Less Favoured and Mountainous Areas
Position
  • Managing Director
Description
  • deputy director

Publications

Publications (124)
Article
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Many scenic areas in mountain regions have attained preservation status, which enhances strategies to attract tourists based on its unique natural or cultural resources and its original brand. It is a particular challenge for plant-dependent assets how tourist attraction for the scenic areas could be increased in the off-season, taking account of t...
Article
Since 2008 small communities have elaborated the concept of “Mountaineering Villages”, first as an initiative of the Austrian Alpine Club within the framework of the Alpine Convention’s activities. It seeks to promote low-intensity tourism strategies in high mountain areas, benefitting from unique mountaineering options. The article explores the po...
Article
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The European Commission’s Long-term Vision for Rural Areas, published in June 2021 and building on a previous report on the Impact of Demographic Change and a Green Paper on Ageing, underlines the importance of population trends as a key issue for EU rural policy. The increasing concern about demographic issues, especially in rural Europe, has been...
Chapter
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In recent decades, analyses on spatial change have addressed mountains as specific and crucial places for resilience and global sustainable development pathways. Comprehensive studies have recognized the complexity of "mountain" research issues at local to global levels. This article takes stock of the emerging shift in priorities across European r...
Article
Blog article on shifting debate on remoteness in mountain regions and reference to publication of MATILDE Manifesto, highlighting a changed perspectives on challenges and opportunities of remote areas.
Chapter
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Within marginalization processes driven by neoliberal globalization, remote places seem to constitute a category different from that of “periphery”: they represent, in cultural terms, an alterity posed out of the spatial and conceptual continuum lived and enacted in metropolitan spaces. Remote places can be, and often are, marginalized territories;...
Chapter
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The MATILDE Manifesto starts from the momentum visible in these recent shifts: from the potential of places left behind, and from their desirable and feasible renaissance. It considers the fundamental contribution that newcomers – together with locals – can make to this process. When analysing the potential of these regions, immigration (and “new p...
Research
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This study provides an overview of the effect of the decline in the number of farms across the EU on the European farming model (EFM), which is built around the notion of multifunctionality and provision of public goods by agriculture. It concludes that in order to foster sustainability and resilience, the EFM and policy must embrace the emerging d...
Chapter
Mountain areas are the predominant topographical feature of large parts of Austria (about 70% of total area). The cultural landscapes resulting from settlement and land management activities have gained iconic relevance and instigated tourism development throughout these mountain regions. With rising ecological concerns and threats of land abandonm...
Chapter
Reform periods raise significant expectations for tackling the key challenges linked to the specificities of mountain regions. Involved stakeholders aim at influencing policy decisions to reflect adaptation needs and at the same time face numerous high-level goals and competing views from other areas. In this highly inter-related policy setting of...
Article
Resumen: Durante mucho tiempo se consideró que el desarrollo local combinaba múltiples esfuerzos para fortalecer las zonas desfavorecidas o remotas, con riesgo de periferización o incluso de marginación. A partir de los años ochenta, la concienciación sobre el potencial endógeno y los servicios rurales permitió centrarse más en la capacidad de acci...
Article
Resumen: El artículo comienza con un debate sobre el concepto de “contracción” y sus orígenes, fuera del ámbito del desarrollo rural. A partir de ahí, se muestra la distribución de las zonas rurales en contracción en toda Europa. A continuación, se describen los procesos socioeconómicos que impulsan el declive demográfico en las zonas rurales, util...
Article
The Metropolitan Area of Styria represents one of the most dynamic economic regions in Austria. The strong interdependence of rural, peri-urban areas and the city of Graz is particularly evident in strong commuter flows. The pressure on the region to offer alternatives to motorized individual transport is increasing, forcing decision-makers to miti...
Article
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In a period of rising concern for sustainable land management systems to achieve food security at a global scale, land-use changes demand increased attention. This study assesses the past observations and future risk calculations for land abandonment across European regions, highlighting the particular risk for mountain areas. It draws from a study...
Article
Summary of findings of study on land abandonment, commissioned by European Parliament.
Book
This study, commissioned by the European Parliament's Committee on AGRI, examines the phenomenon of land abandonment, its consequences and mitigation options. Using quantitative data, it provides an overview of the possible future evolution of land abandonment in the EU by 2030, its historical evolution and current state of play. Based on desk rese...
Article
The challenges to achieve balanced territorial development are often related to the predominance of spatial concentration processes, lack of awareness of local potential and critical mass in remote regions. Despite this large-scale picture, increasingly development problems are observed also in more “centrally-located” regions of Europe necessitati...
Book
This study report analyses European rural regions experiencing or threatened by demographic decline. It is orieted at understanding the processes driving shrinkage, mapping the heterogeneity within this group of regions, acknowledging alternative views on teh challenge and devising intervention logics for more appropriate integrated policy approach...
Research
This report (Annex 1) analysis the history of EU policies addressing the challenge of rural shrinkage over the past decades. It highlights the long-term concern for the issue, and, simultaneously, the ineffectiveness to change the overall spatial dynamics and population trends. Main policies addressed are Rural Development Programs, including local...
Research
German Case Study of the ESPON ESCAPE project highlighting the specific regional challenges of a region in Eastern Germany and the long-term negative population trend (prior and post reunification). link: https://www.espon.eu/sites/default/files/attachments/ESPON%20ESCAPE%20Final%20Report%20Annex%2008%20-%20CS%20Mansfeld-S%C3%BCdharz_Germany.pdf
Research
The report analysis the need to take account of different perspectives in tackling challenges of rural shrinkage and extending intervention logics. In particular, limitations of linear and sectoral objectives of respective policies are discussed. Good practice examples are presented and referred to their ability to enhance change and provide useful...
Chapter
This thought-provoking book questions the framework of the Horizon 2020 strategy and the policies of smart development. It aims to answer the following question: is there any possibility for a policy of smart development and smart specialization in rural and peri-urban areas? Based on detailed analytical studies, empirical and econometric methods,...
Chapter
This paper reports on the long-term experience of local development initiatives in rural areas of Austria, carried out under the EU-programme of LEADER since the 1990s. It assesses the main aspects facilitating innovation and cooperation and highlights some of teh crucial impacts of LEADER implementation in this country by highlighting several exem...
Chapter
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Der Beitrag analysiert die Einflussfaktoren lokaler Entwicklugnsprozesse und hebt die Rolle des LEADER Programms bei der Initiierung solcher Prozesse hervor. Er beschreibt insbesondere wie wichtig diese lokale Ausrichtung, der Prozess sozialer Innovationen und die Verbindung zu transnationalen Partnern und Aktivitäten ist, um Aspekte des räumlichen...
Article
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In the past, the contrasts between rural and urban regions were the primary feature of analysis, while today, spatial dynamics are realized by the interactions between spaces and focus on the dependencies of rural-urban areas. This implies that boundaries are not anymore perceived as fixed but as flexible and fluid. With rising spatial interrelatio...
Book
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Vor dem Hintergrund großer gesellschaftlicher Herausforderungen wie den Umweltproblemen, der Klimakrise, dem demografischen Wandel oder erhöhter Krisenanfälligkeit vermag Soziale Innovation Lösungsmöglichkeiten aufzuzeigen. Sie hat unter anderem das Ziel, das gesellschaftliche Wohlbefinden zu erhöhen und wird oft von der Zivilgesellschaft initiiert...
Article
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The European Commission’s efforts to support lagging regions through Smart Specialization Strategies since 2014 have proven effective also in different mountain regions. In Italy’s Aosta Valley, local actors have built on previous collaboration and agreed on strategic development priorities. They have created new organizational structures to promot...
Presentation
This note highlights the need to turn our attention to recognize highland-lowland interactions as an "old", but highly influential paradigm which was foundational for the interest in mountain areas, the changing perceptions towards using them, and realizing the values we attach to them. Analyzing the services provided by mountain regions for lowlan...
Article
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This report provides a conceptual framework for analysing migration processes of TCNs and the protagonists’ interactions with local structures adopting a regional/territorial perspective. At first, working definitions for key categories, such as Third Country Nationals as well as rural and mountain areas, are given. Moreover, explanatory frameworks...
Chapter
In recent years, development in mountain regions has been increasingly subject to the pressures of climate change and shifts in natural resource use. At the same time, appreciation of the manifold assets and services provided by these regions to wider communities has increased significantly due to enhanced recognition of place-specific opportunitie...
Chapter
For many decades, agritourism has emerged as a particular form of tourism addressing the desire of urban people to spend holidays in the countryside with experiencing typical agricultural surroundings and activities. On-farm touristic activities offer farmers the possibility of diversifying and generating additional income to supplement their low a...
Chapter
Austria, as one of the core countries of the Alpine Convention, is overwhelmingly characterized by its location in the mountains: about 70% of its area is classified as mountainous according to the EU classification, wherein about 65% lies within the Alpine perimeter. The recent increase in international migration has led to a steady rise of the fo...
Article
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After World War II, the economic recovery of Western Europe implied a swift economic transition for all regions, including the area of the Alps, although affecting various parts at different paces and stages. The resulting out-migration led to population decline in some mountain valleys and regions since the 1950s. Such negative population developm...
Chapter
Smart specialization and innovation strategy could provide a fresh perspective on the complexity of mountain development and strengthen spatial inter-linkages and related learning processes. While no short-term improvements can be expected this novel approach might impact on the foundations for local development action in the long-term. This perspe...
Article
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Tourism in rural regions of Georgia has a long tradition; however, many structures had been developed during Soviet times under the framework of a centrally planned economy and forced collectivism. Today, Rural Tourism is widely discussed by the national government and international cooperation partners as a means for regional development and as an...
Book
If you want to know how the Alps area will look like in 2050 our ESPON project Alps 2050 is the best source of information. The project focused on the challenges the broader Alpine area is facing such as specific geographical position, globalisation, demographic trends, climate change and its impact on the environment, biodiversity, territorial pat...
Article
Full-text available
Population forecasts for the next decades predict significant spatial variation in demographic development across Austria’s regions. Low birth rates and a pronounced negative balance of internal migration mainly affect large parts of the Eastern Alps. To analyse the resulting problem of population decline, both economic and demographic analytical c...
Technical Report
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Scientific Annex to the Alps 2050 project including references of cited literature of all reports
Article
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In accordance with the dynamics of spatial development, rural regions are increasingly characterized by interactive integration into their wider spatial contexts. The complexity of drivers and the wide array of socio-economic changes contrast with the inertia of the framework of European Rural Development Programmes elaborated over the past decade....
Article
Many rural areas of Western Europe are not any more regions of out-migration, but show increasing levels of international in-migration. As the underlying changes bear wide-ranging effects on the identity of rural inhabitants, encouraging shifts towards new life-styles and cultural approaches, and adaptations of integration measures in regional deve...
Chapter
From its start, the Leader initiative looked for innovative ways for involving local partners in steering future development of rural areas. This led to the view of LEADER providing one of the most influential sets of activities to address the spirit of mobilizing the countryside, through focusing on endogenous potential and activating local stakeh...
Article
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Public goods provided by different land management practices in European regions have increasingly attained attention in agricultural policy debates. By focusing on the social-ecological systems (SES) framework, the systemic interrelations (e.g. drivers, resources, actors, governance regimes and policy impact) in land management across several case...
Technical Report
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The Final Report has been designed as follows: • A summary of the Conceptual Framework (Chapter 2). The main ideas regarding the conceptualization of Inner Peripheries have been collected and are presented in the main report in a summarised form, while Annex 1 includes all relevant information on the conceptual and theoretical framework of the proj...
Technical Report
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A reform of the EU policy instruments would not mean necessarily introducing new policy tools in the present regulative framework, but it implies strengthening the role of those already existing (in particular ITI and CLLD) and simplifying the working rules of ESI funds. This would ensure more coherent investment and simplify the life of beneficiar...
Article
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Outmigration from rural territories is a worldwide phenomenon that is visible in many mountain regions and creates a perception of a landscape of abandonment. Nonetheless, a counterprocess has also occurred over the past decades of increasing immigration into marginal areas, including mountain areas in Europe. This article compares case studies fro...
Book
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The aim of this cumulative doctoral thesis is to assess the emerging research focus that corresponds to the specific societal challenges of mountain areas and to analyze research efforts in Europe against the framework of social-ecological systems of mountain areas. It covers selected journal publications which address different spatial scales of a...
Article
Many rural regions in Europe used to be characterized by weak economic performance and negative population development. While in a long-term perspective this is not any more valid for large parts of Western Europe, a number of rural regions face persistent population decline. By analysing the case of Austria, where approximately one-third of rural...
Article
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The ‘European Neighbourhood Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development in Georgia’ focuses on local development in rural regions as a main national goal and offers a series of pilot actions to apply LEADER-like activities in various rural parts of the country. In this paper the application of such a pilot scheme in Borjomi Municipality, the ob...
Book
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Negli ultimi anni, a causa di diversi fattori, i territori rurali stanno progressivamente cambiando, aumentano i divari interni, emergono differenze e criticità. Sebbene nella letteratura molti studi si concentrino sul ruolo dei diversi attori, sulle dinamiche di governance e sull’innovazione prodotta, non è sempre chiaro come le istanze dal basso...
Chapter
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The post 2020 rural development policy will build on the wealth of experience and commitment of a wide scope of rural actors. To increase effectiveness, it will have to respond to a host of drivers and changes of rural regions. Rural policy should concern all economic sectors, strengthen social action and environmental considerations and be targete...
Chapter
Der demografische Wandel in ländlichen Regionen wird im Allgemeinen mit Schrumpfungsprozessen assoziiert. Diese Einschätzung ist jedoch für viele ländliche Regionen in den Industriestaaten längst nicht mehr zutreffend. Dies offenbart, wie wichtig eine umfassende Analyse der Bevölkerungsveränderungen und Wanderungsbewegungen in ländlichen Regionen i...
Technical Report
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This strategic research agenda is the product of an enthusiastic year-long collaboration between researchers based in centres of excellence, across many different disciplines and European countries. Our primary goal is to highlight the importance of mountains in providing insights and solutions to many of Europe’s pressing challenges. To this end,...
Article
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Since the 1990s the LEADER approach has very powerfully addressed the spirit of mobilising actors in the countryside through focusing on endogenous potential and activating local stakeholders across all sectors. Given the long-term experience and wealth of diverse development initiatives across the European Union (EU), the diversity of implementati...
Technical Report
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Their specific potentials and opportunities of mountain areas need to be considered as much as their challenges. Mountain areas are too diverse to elaborate an integrated European strategy. However, a framework for development strategies in mountain areas can be developed, taking into account the specific challenges and importance of mountain farmi...
Article
Since the beginning of the 1990s, the Leader programme has been hailed as the instrument of rural policy that most explicitly takes account of the territorial dimension. This culminated in the mainstreaming of its underlying concept into the Rural Development Programmes of the current period (2007–2013), with the aim of having more effective policy...
Article
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Current changes in our societies and economy have strong implications on the geographies, including mountain areas. It seems particularly important to take account of the local conditions in mountain contexts where challenges and opportunities for economic activities and social development may vary significantly at a low territorial scale. In many...
Chapter
The increase of immigration is experienced as an important aspect of contemporary rural change across European countries, and also globally. Although migration to and from rural areas is not a recent phenomenon, it has achieved an increased dimension over the last three decades. The paper focuses on the Austrian context where the share of foreigner...
Article
Die Umsetzung des LEADER-Ansatzes als Beitrag zur Stärkung der Beteiligung im ländlichen Raum in Österreich ist das Thema des Gastbeitrages von Dipl. Ing. Thomas Dax, stellvertretender Direktor der Bundesanstalt für Bergbauernfragen. Er stellt die Umsetzung und innovative Vorbildwirkung Österreichs bei der Entwicklung regionaler, kleinräumiger, end...
Article
This is the Epilogue of the book „Territorial Cohesion in Rural Europe, The relational turn in rural development” published in the Routlege Series Regions and Cities No. 76 in 2015. It draws together the implications and lessons learned from the previous chapters in terms of guiding principles and rationale for future rural policy. It aims at resta...
Chapter
This book argues that rural/regional policy needs to evolve in order to address the current complex reality, partially reformulating territorial or place-based approaches, and the New Rural Paradigm, following a set of principles termed ‘Rural Cohesion Policy’. In the last chapter, the Epilogue, the implications and lessons learned from the previou...
Chapter
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This is the concluding chapter of the book "Voices of Rural Youth: Breaking with Traditional Patterns?" edited by T. Dax and I. Machold. It summarizes the findings of the research project "“Policies and Young People in Rural development “ (PAYPIRD) carried out within the 4th EU-Framework Programme (FAIR6 CT-98-4171), coordinated by the Arkleton Cen...
Article
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In a context of significant changes and increasing complexity of economic and social systems, new challenges arise for rural research. It is commonplace that many research issues cannot any more be understood by regional or national studies alone but have to be framed in their international setting. A recent ERA-NET, the RURAGRI network, addressed...
Chapter
This publication is a result of the discussions from the OECD 8th Rural Development Policy Conference: "Innovation and modernising the rural economy" which took place in Krasnoyarsk, Russia on 3-5 October 2012. It provides an overview of the two themes of modernisation and innovation, focusing on identifying the attributes of the modern rural econo...
Article
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With increasing policy priority for a larger set of instruments available to Rural Development Programmes the focus on monitoring and evaluation increased substantially. Against the highly diversified experience with regard to implementation of policy instruments the Common Monitoring and Evaluation Framework has been set up by the European Commiss...
Article
Seit Beginn der 1990er Jahre werden in vielen ländlichen Regionen der Europäischen Union (EU) innovative, lokale Aktivitäten über die EU-Gemeinschaftsinitiative Leader initiiert. Auch in Österreich hat das Leader Konzept zu einer Intensivierung der Entwicklungsvorhaben in ländlichen Regionen und zu vielfältigen neuen Projektvorhaben geführt. Der Be...
Article
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Leader im Spannungsfeld von Innovation und Administration Seit Beginn der 1990er Jahre werden in vielen ländlichen Regionen der Europäischen Union (EU) innovative, lokale Aktivitäten über die EU-Gemeinschaftsinitiative Leader initiiert. Auch in Österreich hat das Leader Konzept zu einer Intensivierung der Entwicklungsvorhaben in ländlichen Regionen...
Book
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The book focuses on three areas of development driving the significant structural and functional changes that have been appearing in and shaping rural spaces: development of renewable energy, multifunctional agriculture, and rural tourism. In the rural context these three phenomena are related and significantly influence each other – or better to s...
Article
In the context of European spatial development, mountainous regions are characterized by specific development issues and by limitations on regional exchange. The EU Community Initiative Interreg IIIB Alpine Space Program (ASP) is a focused instrument to strengthen transnational cooperation and promote balanced development, covering the geographical...
Article
Due to a very high financial endowment the Rural Development Programme (RDP) is the core instrument for rural policies in Austria. Its Mid-term evaluation offers a first assessment of its implementation and resulting effects over the period 2007-2009. This article focuses on capturing socio-economic effects of the RDP with regard to the objective o...
Article
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The starting point of the EDORA project was the recognition that, rather than becoming more uniform in character, rural Europe is, in many ways, becoming increasingly diverse, implying new challenges and opportunities. The project’s overarching aim was to examine the process of differentiation, in order to better understand how EU policy can enab...
Book
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Diese Studie von insgesamt 11 Studienregionen untersucht die Wechselbeziehungen zwischen Landwirtschaft, Umweltentwicklung, sozialen und ökonomischen Aspekten und dem generellen Prozess der ländlichen Entwicklung. Die regionale Untersuchungsperspektive stellte eine integrierte Analyse der Rolle der Landwirtschaft, entsprechend ihrer multifunktional...
Article
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This paper reflects the demand for taking account of the territorial dimension in the application of Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) more comprehensively. While this has been addressed in rural development discourse to a wide extent over the last two decades and consensus for regionalized strategies is emerging, programme evaluation is in general...
Article
Since the funding period 2007-2013 the innovative European Community Initiative Leader for improving the quality of life and developing the rural economy through Local Action Groups, has become a constituent part of the Rural Development Programmes. Thus the term Leader mainstreaming indicates the integration of the Leader approach into the Rural D...
Article
The linkage of various local actors is at the heart of rural development. In a conceptual understanding agriculture can be set in a context of multi-functionality and sustainable rural development, linking it to the rural economy, society and environment. The interdependencies between agriculture and the rest of the rural economy can be exemplified...
Article
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Der Beitrag beschäftigt sich mit der Fragestellung, inwieweit die strategischen Leitlinien der EU zur ländlichen Entwicklung, analysiert am Beispiel des österreichischen ländlichen Entwicklungsprogramms, zu einer integrativen EU-Politik beitragen. Des Weiteren wird darauf eingegangen, inwieweit dabei durch das Monitoring- und Evaluierungssystem räu...
Article
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Since the on-going funding period 2007-2013 the former European Community Initiative Leader has become a constituent part of Rural Development Policies. Above all the mainstreaming of Leader into the Rural Development Programme (RDP) as axis 4 has both significantly changed the level of funding and the way in which Leader is executed in comparison...
Article
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Ländliche Gebiete sind nicht einheitlich und unterscheiden sich hinsichtlich ihrer Entwicklungspfade und –perspektiven stark voneinander. In vielen ländlichen Regionen schlagen sich die regionalwirtschaftlichen Probleme in deutlich unterdurchschnittlichen Wirtschaftskennziffern und in der Regel in einer erhöhten Abwanderung in Richtung der Zentralr...
Article
In Austria the situation of multifunctional mountain farming in terms of local food production, environmental impacts, and threat of land abandonment, natural hazards, rural development and agricultural policies has been discussed as a subject of major national concern for a long time. Multifunctional mountain farming is also an important basis for...
Article
For many years, the specific handicaps of mountain areas in Europe have been seen as a major reason for targeted policies, particularly for mountain agriculture. There is a range of differences in production difficulties due to the climate and topographical variety of geographical situations. Farm abandonment and marginalisation processes are seen...