The people living in former industrial worker flats are now raising animals and crops in small plots around the building, and the industrial mammoths serve as a source of iron and other construction materials. It is obvious now why the rural population is still reluctant in trusting the state or the authorities, many of them having lived the communist times and having experienced the psychological trauma.
Even more, the same attitude is passed down to their children, raised to avoid working with other people as much as they can. In a previous study by the authors on this topic, with a sample of respondents, relevant for the rural population with Internet access, from the The communist period is not the only one that contributed to the current state of the Romanian rural area.
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The policies issued after the fall of the communist regime have the same importance. What was called the economic restructuring of Romania has turned out to be a chaotic fight for keeping more of the loot. As a result, a massive migration from urban to rural and a massive land fragmentation ensued. More than 3. The difference is that the organized and forced agriculture with significant productions was turned into subsistence farming with millions of new landowners and farm managers with no formal training.
The primary economy is formed out of agriculture, forestry, and fishing, which are economic activities that predominate in the rural areas, rather than the urban. There has been an obvious decrease since the year The general trend is a decrease in agricultural workforce and an increase in service related areas. After , a clear increase became visible in the service economy, and this is natural since services like insurance or consultancy have turned out to be a profitable business.
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Even so, the agriculture-based economy has kept on a relatively steady course, hiring more of one-quarter of the occupied population. Another problem that occurred after the regime change was migration. If during the communist period it was almost impossible to leave the country, after , people had more freedom to visit or work in another country. This phenomenon has slowly turned into a western fear of invasion from the east. When World War II ended, a series of measures were structured that aimed at stimulating agricultural production and at regaining food security in the EU through its main actors, the farmers.
In that measure was replaced with encouraging the retirement of older farmers for a pension and their replacement by younger ones [ 9 ]. These actions also had adverse effects such as differences in regional development, environmental pollution caused by intense agricultural activities [ 10 ], and population migration from less developed areas to more developed ones [ 11 ].
The Common Agricultural Policy was then split into two pillars. First, regarding direct payments to farmers, remaining on the economic side, and second, regarding rural development European Parliament, with a clear turn to the social life of the rural area. Since the year when this split took place , the financial measures included in the second pillar have not changed much. It was structured on the same basis as the National Rural Development Programs destined for the EU members, having 4 priority Axes and 10 action measures, plus the technical assistance measure.
The four Axes split into two significant development areas: the first referred to enhancing the productive capacity of local producers—through Axes 1 and 3; and the second, to increasing the quality of life in rural areas—through Axes 2 and 4. Axis 3 intended to increase the number of rural jobs, while Axis 1 had measures of increasing product quality, and Axis 4 of increasing human resources quality. Axis 2 aimed, more than 15 years ago, at solving or diminishing several rural area problems like transportation, sewage infrastructure, and educational infrastructure, however, these problems are still present.
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The evaluation of this Program exposed a long series of challenges regarding the inefficient fund use [ 13 ]. Still, few or no measures of liability were taken afterward. The assumption of unrealistic objectives caused by the lack of a rigorous analysis of the situation before implementing the program resulted in 9 years of reckless use of funds the funding continued until During its implementation, the number of people from rural areas who chose to leave Romania for another country increased by 5. After , when Romania earned full member rights in the EU, the National Rural Development Program was implemented for the — period.
Unlike the first program, an evaluation of the rural area was made to set realistic development targets. An independent study [ 14 ] with the purpose of evaluating the most accessed measure in the program, — Installing young farmers , states that most of the questioned farmers consider the measure as an aid for remaining in their homelands instead of migrating. The general state of education and formal training in the Romanian rural environment supported the preference for accessing measures such as the installation of young farmers and the financing of subsistence farms, which required fewer responsibilities from their beneficiaries, but which yielded little structural gains.
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For the current funding period, —, Romania has 15 active measures out of which knowledge transfer and agricultural cooperation are central interests. These are basic development agents for each community.
The funding for subsistence farms disappears. The new version of the Program assumes the fact that farmers have learned how to respond to market demands and develop their business, but low training and skill levels are omitted, an omission that can prove to be vital at the end of the period. Looking at statistical trends, the labor input in agriculture has followed the same path as the EU 28 average in the last 10 years. While the EU 28 average of annual work units in agriculture is , in , in Romania it is almost four times higher after a steep decrease.
Considering that at the last census approx. These are people not bound to their homelands—on the contrary, it is likely for them to leave the rural areas, or even the country, searching for better payment and implicitly a better life. Not really, a study of Diaconeasa and Chirculescu [ 16 ] shows that the employability level, based on six basic factors—as considered by Cohen [ 17 ]—education and training, personal development, family, financial stability, health and the inheritance of these workers, is very low and without serious investment in the education, transportation, and health systems they will not be able to get a salaried job in another field other than agriculture.
Since the educational infrastructure is very poor, most high schools being in the urban area, it implies additional costs for a person living in the rural area to pursue a better education; moreover, there are no universities in the rural area. In this case, it is tough for a young person living in the rural areas to study for a better job. The average size of the Romanian farm is of 3. In the EU, practical experience is essential for In Romania In this case, the possibility of producing high-quality crops and animal products is very low.
As the costs for supporting a small farm are sometimes higher than the incomes, farmers have little options for investing in enlarging the farm or for investing in their education to produce better crops, therefore their choices are limited. Either they struggle in this situation or they leave the country for a few years, working for western farms where they have a double advantage: first of saving some money and second, of learning new techniques and agricultural practices, basically trying an empirical form of tacit knowledge transfer.
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Even if that is not the case for all the possible rural migrants, it is close to the story they leave with. As a general rule, migration flows from regions with high natural growth and low economic, and social development are moving toward regions with low natural growth and high level of socio-economic development.
Domestic migration, through the change of environment, revolved post around a predominantly urban to rural route. This population movement trend is explained by the development of residential areas, which are situated in the rural areas near urban localities and are characterized by a high living standard. The stages and characteristics of the post-December Romanian international migration are:.
The latest data from NIS certify that the total number of permanent emigrants, between and , with an annual average of , emigrants, decreased in and and increased in and , but without reaching the departure figures. From a numerical not weighted perspective, between and , the feminization of emigration at the national level can be noticed.
The peaks are in the years , , , , , For men, a more significant decrease is registered in the — period. Between and , as a result of the economic crisis, we are dealing with a feminization of temporary rural external migration. From , this trend stopped.
Regarding the share of regions in the total temporary rural migration, between and , there are very small fluctuations from year to year. In , Regarding the share of each age group from the total temporary external migration, between and , we notice that: those aged 15—24 represent between We highlight the increase in the 24—34 age group and the decrease of those over 45 in On the other hand, we note the existence of a negative balance of migration, between and , with the deficit ranging from 48, in to 57, in The situation is extremely unbalanced at the level of entry and exit of men and women: there is a loss of 47, women in and 31, women in The external contribution of men in and has not been able to fully balance the deficit caused by the feminization of emigration.
However, the latest figures in show a rebalancing of external migration by gender. Given that external female migration is more damaging than male migration at the family level, promoting measures to create attractive career opportunities for women could slow down their exodus, knowing that women in rural areas who leave work for the very first time abroad, which highlights the lack of jobs for them in the country. In the context of the massive external migration analysis of the s, both socio-economic causes and geographic neighborhoods or the development of social networks are important.
The push and pull migration factors can be divided into: a socio-economic places and working conditions, salary levels, and remittances ; b policies legislative framework, ethnic, cultural, religious persecution, or wars ; c environmental climate change ; d ethnic linguistic, employment facilitation and expansion of social capital, access to citizenship and rights, and other opportunities ; e cultural migration takes place between countries with a similar or related cultural identity.
Main research questions: A What are the main directions of labor migration in Romanian rural areas? B What are the main socio-economic effects of labor migration in Romanian rural areas? C What is the influence of demographic variables on the intensity of the push and pull factors? D What are the preferred means of communication within migration networks?
F What is the attitude of the interviewees on the effects of migration? Also, depending on remittances can be a problem, since people who benefit from them directly tend not to work some even receive social aid on top. The effects of emigration in the origin society are also quite visible to our respondents 5 from 10 versus 2 from Also, 4 out of 10 people versus 2 out of 10 agree that emigration influenced knowledge, habits, principles and values, beliefs and the social order.
Furthermore, they have a more noticeable influence on women, than on men, because of the rural patriarchal society, and the evolution of the labor market after the Crisis.