Conf2009-1 Conf2009-2



Multifunctional Territories: Importance of Rural Areas beyond Food Production

20th – 21st November 2008
Vienna, Austria

The Organizing Committee of the European Rural Development Network (ERDN) cordially invites you to the 6th ERDN Conference. The Conference will take place in Seminarhotel Springer Schlössl, Vienna/Austria, from Thursday, November 20 until Friday, November 21, 2008.

The European Rural Development Network (ERDN) integrates various European research institutions, which are involved in analysing the transformation process of rural areas particularly in Central-Eastern Europe ( Nowadays, modern society increasingly affects rural areas by new needs regarding work, mobility, housing, and recreation. Society not only expresses new expectations of the role of agriculture in general, such as the provision of green services (environment and landscape), blue services (water management and flood control) and yellow services (social care and cohesion), but also of agricultural production in particular (food safety and quality, standards, provision of biomass for energetic use, etc.). Mirroring these changing processes, rural areas are increasingly shifting from a productive to a consumptive area by fulfilling social, recreational or maintenance functions. However, rural areas are becoming the meeting points between agriculture and society, such that territory becomes an important aspect for future development. In response to the evolution of these demands and the existing limits of markets, of environment, and of social concerns, farmers have engaged in new activities, such as deepening activities (adding more value to products), broadening activities (development of new activities) or re-grounding activities (pluriactivity or cost-reduction). At the same time the political and social awareness as well as the recognition of the multifunctionality of agriculture and rural areas have been growing considerably in the last years.

Objectives of the Conference
The conference aims to stimulate theoretical and empirical contributions on the various functions of agriculture and rural areas to picture the importance of multifunctionality in different regions and nations. Economists, social scientists, policy makers, and natural scientists are called to enrich the discussion about multifunctionality from different perspectives. A broad range of experts engaged in different fields of research as well as a great number of different regions and nations are the best precondition for an inspiring atmosphere offering new insights, ideas and collaborations. Following this international and interdisciplinary approach, the process of review, references and publishing will be accomplished by a mixed team of different nations and different fields of reference.

The conference topic of multifunctionality suggests that rural areas and agriculture are in a dynamic development processes and captures economic and environmental elements but also focuses on human well-being. The conference topic aims to address many experts of different disciplines. We also invite prospective participants to adopt an interdisciplinary approach. Collaboratively penned papers are welcome but not mandatory. Contributions to the conference should deal with

  • new demands on rural areas and agriculture and their effects,
  • new agricultural activities or activities in rural areas as a consequence of the new demands,
  • analysis of multifunctionality and evaluation of its effects,
  • political conditions supporting multifunctionality,
  • possibilities of compensation of non-commodity outputs of agriculture.

During the two days of the conference, three thematic sessions and a half day field trip are proposed. Number and emphasis of thematic sessions may be changed according to requests and preferences. The topics are:

  1. New demands on and new supply of agriculture and rural areas
  2. Policies for multifunctionality and regional governance in EU 27 in the period 2007-2013
  3. Scientific measurement and evaluation of effects of new rural developments

Apart from papers regarding these three topics, contributions focusing on the whole spectrum of rural development and agricultural economics can be submitted. However, papers with methodological- theoretical as well as empirical emphasis are equally welcome.

Important Dates
The deadlines for the conference are:
14th of March, 2008: Submission of collaborative abstracts
25th of April, 2008: Notification of acceptance of papers
30th of May, 2008: Deadline of registration and submission of travel grant applications
30th of June, 2008: Notification of travel grant acceptance
1st of November: Submission of full papers
20th – 21st of November, 2008: ERDN Conference in Vienna

Guide for authors
Proposals must take the form of an extended abstract that should not exceed 2 pages (1.5-spaced) in English (Times New Roman 12). Only Word or PDF documents are accepted. Anonymous proposals will be evaluated by a scientific board according to the usual academic criteria: originality of the research questions and expected results, theoretical foundation, quality of the empirical instruments and compatibility of the topic with the conference topic. Selected papers must be presented during the conference. The acceptance of the papers will be announced to the respective contributors by e- mail. Full papers should be in English, a maximum of 15 pages including title, authors, affiliation, contact details, abstract, keywords, figures, tables and references, preferably in MS Word format, Times New Roman 12 pt, single spaced.

Abstracts and Full Papers should be sent to:

The participants will receive conference proceedings on site.

All speakers will give an oral presentation of 20 minutes with slides in PowerPoint format. For technical reasons, the presentation has to be sent to the organizers by e-mail to one week before the conference.

Conference Language
The conference language is English.

Conference Venue and Accommodation
Seminarhotel Springer Schlössl
Tivoligasse 73
1120 Vienna/Austria

Registration fee
Speakers, invited guests and sponsors of the conference will be exempted from the registration fee. For all other participants, a fee of € 30 per conference day including lunch will be charged, to be paid at the conference desk. The number of participants is limited.

Transportation, Accomodation costs and Grant
The Federal Institute of Agricultural Economics supports the travel costs from your country to Austria by train, bus or low cost flights booked in advance, up to € 150 per person per accepted paper and presentation by presenting the invoice. Beneficiaries of this travel grant will also receive accommodation for three nights and meals for two days. If you are interested in this, please apply for a travel grant per
email. Arrival will be in Vienna on 19th of November, 2008. Transport from the airport or train station to the conference venue has to be organized by the participants themselves. Detailed information about public transport to the conference venue will be provided. Participants who plan to stay for fewer or additional nights in Vienna, before or after the Conference, should notify the organizers.

Publication of Proceedings
After the conference the participants will be given four weeks for a revision of their papers. The proceedings of the Conference will then be published in the 6th volume of the series “Rural areas and development” by the Institute of Agricultural and Food Economics and the Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization of the Polish Academy of Sciences in collaboration with the Federal Institute of Agricultural Economics.

Scientific and Organizing Committee
Scientific Committee:

  • Andrew Fieldsend, University of Debrecen, Centre of Agricultural and Technical Sciences, Hungary
  • Zbigniew Florianczyk, Secretary of European Rural Development Network, Poland
  • Karl Ortner, Federal Institute of Agricultural Economics (AWI), Austria
  • Vladimir Szekely, Academy of Sciences, Institute of Geography, Slovakia
  • Dan Marius Voicilas, Academy of Sciences, Institute of Agricultural Economics, Romania

Organizing Committee:

  • Julia Neuwirth, AWI
  • Klaus Wagner, AWI
  • Martina Wimmer, AWI


  • Julia Neuwirth
  • Klaus Wagner

Julia Neuwirth
Klaus Wagner
Federal Institute of Agricultural Economics
Marxergasse 2
1030 Vienna/Austria
Tel: +43 1 877 36 51 7437 or +43 1 877 36 51 7428

Check the AGENDA of the Conference.