A NUTS 2 Level Cluster Analysis of EAFRD Submeasure 4.1 Implementation in Romania and Poland

A NUTS 2 Level Cluster Analysis of EAFRD Submeasure 4.1 Implementation in Romania and Poland

Alexandru Sin (National Institute for Economic Research “Costin C. Kiriţescu”, Bucharest, Romania), Czesław Nowak (University of Agriculture in Krakow, Poland) and Ion Burlacu (European Foundation for Sustainable Development, Bucharest, Romania)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 11
DOI: 10.4018/IJSEM.2020040104

Abstract

Rural development is an important part of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) of the European Union, as the Second Pillar of CAP, covering a wide range of actions, aimed at achieving a balanced territorial development of rural economies and communities. Previous studies highlighted significant similarities between Romania and Poland, regarding agricultural sector and rural areas. A k-mean cluster analysis was performed on Romanian and Polish NUTS2 regions, in order to identify common problems and examples of good practices. The analysis considered five clusters, built over a dataset of four variables: EAFRD investments in farms per capita, share of agricultural output in GDP, utilized agricultural area, and GDP per capita. Out of the five clusters, only one presented a balanced composition of Romanian and Polish regions, also representing a good example of attracting rural development funds where they're mostly needed.
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Introduction

Rural development is an important part of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) of the European Union, with a total funding of approx. 95.6 billion Euro for the 2014-2020 allocation period. Referred to as the Second Pillar of CAP, rural development measures, funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD), cover a wide range of actions, from investments in physical assets for farm modernization to knowledge transfer, advisory services and setting up of producer groups (Reg.(EU)1305/2013). One of the 2014-2020 CAP’s objectives is achieving a balanced territorial development of rural economies and communities.

Rural funding state agencies, in both Romania and Poland, are implementing the EAFRD measures through regional networks at NUTS2 level. Thus, this study aims to analyze the distribution of EAFRD funding for submeasure 4.1 (“Support for investments in agricultural holdings”) at NUTS2 level in Romania and Poland, in relation to other characteristics of the analyzed development regions, as the importance of the agricultural sector, utilized agricultural area and gross domestic product (GDP). A cluster analysis brings valuable information on how different regions approached specific development issues. Grouping the targeted development regions by a set of variables can lead to identification of good practices examples for other regions to follow.

Several past researches already studied the distribution of EU rural funding and the results of the EAFRD implementation for the previous programming periods. The new approach of the paper consists in anlysing the destination of EAFRD funding for agricultural holdings during the most recent period (2014-2019) and by comparing and clustering all of the Romanian and Polish regions, regardless of their affiliation. Thus, the specific country in which each region is included was not considered, but only the selected variables, regarding funds absorbtion, agricultural output, agricultural area and GDP.

The structure of the paper starts with a literature review section, highlighting past researches that already proved the importance of comparative analyzes regarding EU rural funding, followed by a section describing the materials and method used for the study, namely the k-means clustering analysis. Further on, the research and results and conclusions sections focus on the aspects the study leaded to.

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