EU-wide networking: an instrumental valuable for European rural development policies in Romania?
This paper examines the relevance of networking as an instrument for implementing European rural development policies. The LEADER programme of the European Union (EU) supports partnerships and networking within and between rural regions in the EU and aims at advancing rural, regional socio-economic development. LEADER and the establishment of the European and National Networks for Rural Development, respectively, are discussed using the example of the case of Romania, where these measures are currently implemented. The discussion is primarily based on results of 2008 surveys among various stakeholders involved in LEADER in Romania, Hungary and Germany. We conclude that networking is a key factor for successfully implementing rural development policies. This is due to benefits resulting from the exchange of experiences or partnerships, but also due to social control - a hidden effect of networking.
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