Rural Development through LEADER
This essay presents the European Union's LEADER program for rural communities.
As the EU's most successful community initiative, the LEADER Program encourages and supports new ideas in sustainable rural development. Through LEADER, the EU supports rural society actors including public, private and civil sphere representatives, in their creation of local partnerships aimed at implementing integrated, high-quality and original strategies for sustainable development.
The LEADER program has been developed over several prior incarnations which have provided experience in implementing the program's approach. The current programming period (2007–2013) is LEADER's 4th generation and the program's philosophy is based on seven key principles. Romania, as a new member state of the European Union, may take part in this 4th level.
To be selected for the LEADER program, rural communities have to meet several conditions and create a development strategy for their region. LEADER is a good opportunity to strengthen rural communities but, for implementation to be successful, it is necessary to promote community building and to change rural mentalities.
Rural Development: Compulsion or Opportunity?
In the post-socialist countries there are se-veral underdeveloped rural areas that need to be improved. The rural regions get nowadays gradually appreciated mainly because of their natural values. There are required development practices that will not change or liquidate the rural area, but will consider the advantages of the region and develop it based on the cooperation with local people. This purpose needs the presence of a new professional elite in the region, as well as the adoption at local level of the integrated development approach.
Community Builders and Entreprenorial Culture in Partium
The economic and social development of the Partium Region (located in the North-West of Romania) has been characterized in the past almost two decades following the systemic change of 1989 by an increasing inflow of foreign investments, the reassertion of traditional economic activities in the new market oriented conditions, and the strengthening of local community ties and initiatives. In the same time a sharper social polarization occurred, and certain areas, particularly the small and rather isolated villages could not keep the pace with the dominant trends of economic and social transition. In order to achieve a higher degree of cohesion, there is a need for the elaboration and implementation of a set of coordinated and sector specific strategies and measures.
Rural Tourism – Rural Development
Financial Assistances for Tourism Develop-ment in the EU-member Romania
The article surveys shortly, how the matter of tourism appears in the national strategic development documents, whose assistance exists for the tourism development. Besides the financial supporting system the article is also concerned with the interpretation of rural tourism like a product. It points out that in the society of the Transylvanian Hungarian minority, the small enterprises in tourism exploit the conjuncture of ethnic and cultural tourism. While the focus markets of the Romanian rural tourism are generally targeting the western, domestic and partially the Moldavian market, the minority enterprises orientation is determined by the specific demand of ethnic tourism of Hungarians. The opening towards the domestic market is also an economic necessity, and the intercultural exchange can lead to a better cognition and acceptance of the minorities' culture and to better social tolerance of the polical aspirations of the ethnic groups on a medium or long term.
The Need has the Face of Your Neighbour
Ten Years of Caritas Home Care in Hargita County
Europe is becoming older and older: the proportion of the aging population is growing. So health care and care for the elderly people is becoming more and more important. The situation of the Eastern and Central European countries in this respect is not very easy. They have inherited a deficient health care system and social net, poverty among the retired population is huge. The young continnously migrate in order to have an opportunity to work. The elderly are left behind. The aging body needs greater care, and when sickness comes, these elderly people lack any real support and help.
In order to overcome these problems, ten years ago Caritas, the relieve organization of the Catholic Church started its home care service. The isolated centres proved to be a real succes. In 2001 Hargita County Council officially signed a partnership contract with Caritas. This allowed home care system to develop in the whole county, including 66 locations, 22 home care stations, 6 community centres and 3 centres designed to help families. The home care system built in Hargita county is a model for 3 other counties where Caritas offers its service: a care that includes medical assistance and domestic help as well as spiritual care.
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