Conf2009-1           Conf2009-2


Faculty of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development
Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Hungary

7th European Rural Development Network Conference 2009
Linking competitiveness with equity and sustainability:
New ideas for the socio-economic development of rural areas

Debrecen, Hungary
29 – 30 October 2009

The Organising Committee of the European Rural Development Network (ERDN) cordially invites you to the 7th ERDN Conference. The Conference will take place at the University of Debrecen, Centre of Agricultural and Technical Sciences, Debrecen, Hungary, from Thursday 29 October until Friday 30 October 2009.

The European Rural Development Network (ERDN) brings together various European research institutions which are involved in analysing the transformation process of rural areas, particularly in Central-Eastern Europe ( The key issue underpinning this process is that the historic role of agriculture in rural areas as sites of feed, food and fibre production now represents only a part of their social and economic fabric. It is now widely accepted that beyond agriculture, which also provides new products such as fuel and feeling, the different capitals of rural areas (human, social, natural, physical and financial) offer additional opportunities. This, however, has led to the view that rural development policy should focus on “sustainability” whilst of urban
areas should emphasise “competitiveness”. Just like their urban counterparts, rural areas have human, social, physical and financial capital, not just natural capital. These capitals, when properly developed and exploited, can allow rural areas to contribute fully to the competitiveness of the regions in which they are embedded, thus aiding their prosperity and attractiveness as places in which to live. Both in rural and in urban areas, therefore, competitiveness and sustainability should be developed in parallel, consistent with the objectives of the Lisbon Agenda and the Göteborg Strategy, in a managed way that ensures equality of opportunity for all communities.

Objectives of the meeting
The meeting aims to stimulate theoretical and empirical discussions on current and possible new approaches to promoting competiveness, equality and sustainability in rural areas in different regions and nations. Economists, social scientists, policy makers and natural scientists are invited to enrich the discussion 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 which can be developed from theories into practical applications. Following this approach, the process of review, references and publishing will be accomplished by a team drawn from different nations and different fields of reference. Rural areas themselves and our understanding of how to most effectively support their development are in a process of dynamic development. Economic development must promote human well-being. The conference topic aims to address many experts of different disciplines; thus we invite prospective participants to adopt an interdisciplinary approach. Collaboratively penned papers are welcome, but not mandatory. Contributions to the conference may deal with:

  • Developing the natural, human, social, physical and financial capital of rural areas,
  • the contribution of rural areas to regional development,
  • the potential for knowledge-intensive employment creation in rural areas,
  • political approaches towards linking competitiveness with sustainability and sustainability with competitiveness,
  • community perspectives on the socio-economic development of rural areas.

During the two days of the meeting, three thematic sessions and a sightseeing tour are proposed.
The number and emphasis of thematic sessions may be changed according to requests and preferences. The provisional topics are:
o Academic-practitioner dialogue as a tool to promote rural development and equity
o Decent work: new approaches to rural employment in the post-agricultural era
o Sustainability – competitiveness: linking Local Agenda 21 and Leader
Papers with methodological-theoretical as well as empirical emphasis are equally welcome.

Important Dates
The deadlines for the conference are:
15 April 2009: Submission of collaborative abstracts
30 April 2009: Notification of acceptance of papers
30 May 2009: Deadline of registration and submission of travel grant applications
30 June 2009: Notification of travel grant acceptance
1st October 2009: Submission of full papers
29 – 30 October 2009: ERDN Conference in Debrecen

Conference Venue and Accommodation
Fényház, University of Decbrecen
Böszörményi út 138.
4032 Debrecen/Hungary

Transportation, Accommodation costs and Grant
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development supports the travel costs from your country to Hungary by train, bus or low cost flights booked in advance, up to € 150 per person per accepted paper and presentation by presenting an 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 by email. Arrival will be in Debrecen on 28 October, 2009. Transport from the airport or railway station to the conference venue has to be organised 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 Debrecen, before or after the Conference, should notify the organisers.

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 7th 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.

Scientific and Organizing Committee

Scientific Committee:
József Antal, University of Debrecen, Hungary
Andrew Fieldsend, Agricultural Economics Research Institute, Hungary
Zbigniew Florianczyk, Secretary of European Rural Development Network, Poland
Judit Katona-Kovács, University of Debrecen, Hungary
Géza Nagy, University of Debrecen, Hungary
András Nábrádi, University of Debrecen, Hungary
Julia Neuwirth, Federal Institute of Agricultural Economics, Austria
Vladimir Szekely, Academy of Sciences, Institute of Geography, Slovakia
Dan Marius Voicilas, Academy of Sciences, Institute of Agricultural Economics, Romania
Klaus Wagner, Federal Institute of Agricultural Economics, Austria

Organizing Committee:
József Antal, University of Debrecen, Hungary
Andrew Fieldsend, Agricultural Economics Research Institute, Hungary
Judit Katona-Kovács, University of Debrecen, Hungary
Judit Oláh, University of Debrecen, Hungary

József Antal
Andrew Fieldsend
Judit Katona-Kovács
University of Debrecen, Centre of Agricultural and Technical Sciences
Böszörményi út 138.
4032 Debrecen/Hungary
Tel: +36-52-508-444
Fax: +36-52-508-482

Check the Call for papers.