The Extended Metropolitan Area in a New EU Member State: Implications for a Rural Development Approach
I examine the role of rural development strategies in a new member state (Romania) of the European Union and, in particular, analyse the case of the metropolitan area of the Bucharest-Ilfov region. The analysis concerns the selected strategies for rural development in the programming period 2007–2013. It must be noted that Romania is divided into nonadministrative development regions and that the process of land privatisation is not yet concluded. These factors could have a negative influence on the implementation of the interventions. The analysed region is situated in the Southern part of the country and in the central part of the Romanian Plan. The total surface is about 1.8 square kilometres, of which 12.5% are occupied by the town of Bucharest and 87.5% by Ilfov County; however, approximately 88% of the population is concentrated in the urban center and only 12% in Ilfov County. The case study is characterised on the one hand by a high growth rate of the gross domestic product, a relatively low unemployment rate, and increasing consumer good sales (mainly food and beverages); on the other, by some marked disparities in macroeconomic indicators among regions and between rural and urban areas and an enormous lack of infrastructures. The case study thus calls for a local approach in order to identify the strategies required to improve the quality of life of the regional inhabitants (both in rural and urban areas) and to prevent pressure from the urban centre from compromising the rich rural heritage
Keywordsrural development regional disparities enlargement
JEL classificationR58 Q18
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