The Problems of Agriculture and Rural Areas in the Process of European Integration
The CAP instruments have played a positive role in creating changes in the agricultural sector and in rural areas, although they have not attained many of the objectives for which they were designed.The agriculture (and mostly the semi-subsistence farms) and rural areas have little chances of development without the financial support of the EU, especially in poorer countries. Therefore, the political rank attributed to the problems of the development of farming and rural areas in the EU policy is important. In the present article, these issues are presented on the basis of the example of the Mazowieckie voivodeship. The first stage of implementation of the EU agriculture and rural development support programmes in Poland has not been fully successful. First of all, the development disproportions in the region have not diminished, which resulted mostly from the amount of funding, not sufficient for the existing needs, and a too short period of implementation. The most visible improvement in the rural areas occurred in technical infrastructure equipment, mostly for transport purposes. A slight improvement in the agrarian structure of farming also took place. Currently, the beneficial solution for all the EU countries is a multifunctional development of agriculture which implies the multifunctionality of rural areas. Only a multifunctional development of agriculture and rural areas can assure sustainable development. (original abstract)
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