The influence of European Union single area payments and less favoured area payments on the Latvian landscape

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The influence of European Union single area payments and less favoured area payments on the Latvian landscape

At the end of the 20th century, following the collapse of centralised planned economy of the Soviet Union, the disintegration of collective type of agriculture and the restoration of lands to their pre-war owners, Latvia experienced widespread abandonment of agricultural lands and their gradual re-colonisation by woodland. It has been assumed that following the accession by Latvia to the European Union in 2004 and the incorporation of the agricultural system into the Common Agricultural Policy would stop or reverse the process of land abandonment. The conclusion from examining five geographically diverse rural municipalities is that so far the single area payments have had little effect on hilly mosaic type landscape structure, or on the process of land abandonment.

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