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Open access

Željko Poljak

Abstract

The author analyses the transport policy of the rail sector in Croatia and tries to give answers regarding the policy stability and change based on the actors in the rail transport. The aim of the paper is to give an overview of the development of the rail sector in modern Croatia and to explore, in a larger period, the relations and beliefs of all types of actors in this area at the national level. As a theoretical background, the author uses an advocacy coalition framework, which states that policy actors are grouped into coalitions within a policy subsystem in which they advocate their beliefs in order to transfer them into government programs, thus provoking change and stability in the system. The author methodologically uses qualitative content analysis in the form of coding of the collected material based on transcripts of interviews with actors, official documents, and transcript of one parliamentary debate. Following is a review of the historical development of the rail sector in Croatia, with an emphasis on the post-independence Croatia period, which provides a basis for concrete research findings. The results are presented in two units: (1) identified actors and their relations, and (2) beliefs of actors. The follow-up discussion points to the existence of similar patterns of beliefs among the actors at the national level. However, the empirical material collected does not establish clear relationships that could be classified as an advocacy coalition. In conclusion, the author argues that the coded material does not give away any importance of the coalitions of actors at the national level for policy stability and change of rail sector leading to recommendations for further research in this area, where other transport sectors should be included as well as international actors.

Open access

Maria Alessandra Antonelli and Valeria De Bonis

Abstract

Based on the construction of a composite index to assess the relative performance of welfare policies, we show that the variability of performances cannot be explained only by the amount of resources devoted to social policies, but also by its composition: countries with higher shares of social public expenditure, specifically aimed at reducing income concentration, obtain better results. This associates the traditional classification of the European welfare systems to the performance obtained in the social sector.

Open access

Rukie Agic, Mariјa Zdravkovska, Gordana Popsimonova, Daniela Dimovska, Zvezda Bogevska and Margarita Davitkovska

Summary

The purpose of this study is to examine the effect of two different types of microbial fertilizers, namely Micro-Vita I (containing several groups of Azotobacter, nitrifying microorganisms and phosphate-solubilizing microorganisms) and Micro-Vita II (containing Azotobacter, nitrifying microorganisms, phosphate-solubilizing microorganisms and iron), on the yield and quality of beetroot (Beta vulgaris ssp. esculenta, cv Kestrel). Beetroots grown in the field without using microbial fertilizers served as the experimental control. The experiments were conducted in a field located in the village of Jurumleri, near Skopje, characterized by a well-drained and sandy soil, in 2013. The purpose of the study is to determine how different microbial fertilizers influence the production and quality of beetroot. The yields obtained were significantly higher in the beetroot grown using Micro-Vita II (69.43 t ha−1) and Micro-Vita I (58.13 t·ha−1) fertilizers, compared to the control yield (54.8 t/ha). The beetroot grown under the Micro-Vita I regime indicated significantly higher contents of vitamin C (6.86%), cellulose (13.79%) and protein (18.18%) compared to the control crops. Furthermore, the beetroot grown under the Micro-Vita II regime indicated significantly higher contents of vitamin C (14.71%), cellulose (27.59%), protein (44.62%), minerals (6.25%) and Fe (100%) compared to the control crops. According to the results obtained, the application of microbiological fertilizers is recommended for beetroot (cv. Kestrel), with regard to the beetroot quality and bioactive compounds, and can be used in organic farming.

Open access

Mihaela Simionescu

Abstract

Considering the potential factors that might generate economic growth, a target for any economy, this paper identified some determinants of economic growth in the countries from Central and Eastern Europe (CEE countries) that are member states of the European Union. The foreign direct investment was the most important determinant of economic growth in most of the countries (Bulgaria, Slovenia, Estonia, Hungary, Romania, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania) in the period 2003-2016, according to Bayesian bridge regressions. The indicators related to the level and the quality of labour resources proved to be insignificant in explaining the economic growth in these countries. Moreover, in Croatia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland, the government expenditure on education had a negative effect on economic growth.

Open access

Alicja Ewa Gudanowska, Josune Prieto Alonso and Annamari Törmänen

Abstract

The article focuses on indicating a set of competencies required for production branches based on the data regarding the Podlaskie labour market. The data was collected using quantitative surveys (in the form of questionnaires). Then, the Authors used network analysis to visualise the collected data and indicate the most frequently indicated set of competencies. Based on the opinion of respondents, the most popular competencies were professional knowledge and technical skills. These two competencies were also the most popular combination. Communication, self-reliance, thoroughness/reliability, sharing knowledge and experience, and teamwork/collaboration also proved to be important. The entire set of the competencies is strongly linked, with professional knowledge and technical skills forming the foundation. Knowledge of foreign languages has also been identified as significant as well as decision making, which was, however, less frequently connected with the above. Despite the dominance of the two competencies attributed to the professional group, this group of competencies was the least numerous. Based on the example of the Podlaskie Region, the study informs about the set of competencies sought by manufacturing companies. Also, the most important competencies typical for individual branches are noted. This collection of competencies can serve as a basis for further theoretical considerations in the field of competency identification aimed at the production industry. In some cases, competencies indicated for different industries coincide, while in others they are divergent. The set of competencies indicated by the respondents informs job seekers in the area of production as well as institutions such as Voivodship Labour Office in Bialystok, whose task, among others, is to appropriately orientate the development of future employees.

Open access

Ján Oťaheľ, Vladimír Ira, Zuzana Hlavatá and Róbert Pazúr

Abstract

City monuments attract tourists, especially at places with efficient viewpoints. The conditions of visibility of eight historical monuments in the city of Bratislava were evaluated using GIS on a 3D landscape, employing the criteria of distance, impressiveness, size and the number of visible monuments. The visual quality of 15 selected viewpoints was verified by surveying more than 300 respondents about their views of the monuments from similar locations. These approaches allow us to assess the conformity of visual quality analysis conducted in objective and subjective ways. The most attractive viewpoints ranked by observers were remote from the historic town and provided views of several monuments, as well as a comprehensive panoramic view of the centre of Bratislava. The approaches to assessing visual quality analysis presented in this study represent a comprehensive way of defining and verifying which places are the best for effective sightseeing of a city’s monuments.

Open access

Nicolae Balteș, Florin Dumiter, Delia David and Ștefania Jimon

Abstract

The pension system, together with the social assistance services form the social security system is recognized worldwide throughout the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for the purpose of insured person compensation for damages regarding some inherent risks as: permanent or temporary inability of work, old age or unemployment. The main objectives of a pension system are decreasing poverty regarding the lower income persons throughout the conditions of limitation of the working capacity which are financially vulnerable. In this article we provide a qualitative and quantitative overview regarding the Romanian pension system structure and mechanism. The conclusions of this article highlight the need for a more comprehensive reform of this system in order to strengthen it for the new challenges still to come in the near future.

Open access

Marija Nikolić

Summary

Organic food market in Serbia is characterized by underdeveloped supply and limited demand. Demand of organically produced food has certain specifics. Paper analyzes research results of domestic and foreign authors aiming to identify key characteristics and to carry out a systematization of the factors that determine demand and consumption of organic products in Serbian and foreign markets. The aim of the research is to develop demographic profile of organic consumers, and to provide a picture of “typical” organic consumer.

Most authors agree that there is a positive correlation between the level of education and consumption of organic products. Studies conducted in Serbia suggest that concern for health is one of the most important factors of buying organic products, while foreign customers, in addition, are also motivated by environmental and animal welfare attributes, and with desire to consume “local” food. In both groups of consumers sensory characteristics of the product were recognized as the key factors for the consumption of organic products. Price is one of the relevant factors that limit the purchase of these products. Significant attention was paid to marketing channels. Since domestic organic producers are underdeveloped and unadjusted to customers’ requirements, getting familiar with the basic characteristics of buyers of organic food is the starting point for development of adequate marketing concept for growers, processors and retail of this group of products.

Open access

Ondřej Mulíček and Robert Osman

Abstract

Daily rhythmical patterns in the city are investigated in depth in this paper. The city is conceptualised here as a cyclical process and described by a sequence of relatively stable spatial-temporal stages. The concept of a chronotope is incorporated in the analysis of retail opening hours in the middle-sized city of Brno (Czech Republic), in order to identify distinct fusions of specific times and specific retail places and to examine their position within the daily rhythms of the city. There are distinct time-space retail configurations (chronotopes), which play crucial roles in the social negotiation and imagination of basic temporal categories, such as early morning, late morning, lunchtime, afternoon, evening, as being taken-for-granted in the urban context. More generally, the paper offers an example of the ways in which the specific daily rhythms of the city are produced and structured.