6: Agriculture – Romania’s largest resource
The key to progress in Romania lies in agriculture , and a national commitment there is crucial for economic development. About half of Romania’s 20 million people live in rural areas, but few young people settle there. Rather, they move from there. It is especially young people with a high level of education who leave Romania, and who do not see opportunities for work in their home country.
Paradoxically, Romania is – by nature – one of the most resourceful countries in Europe. The country has a unique climate and soil, but is far behind the other EU countries as a food producer. In other words, Romanian agriculture is not very productive.
Under communist rule, Romania was the grain chamber of the whole of Eastern Europe. It is estimated that Romania alone can feed 80 million people. Today, only enough food is produced for approx. a quarter of its own population. 1.3 million acres of arable land is currently fallow, according to statistics. There is also a great potential for business activities that are linked to agriculture, such as eco- and agro-tourism in addition to large areas with a unique cultural landscape, species diversity, biological diversity and great opportunities for hunting and outdoor life. Romania also has a rich cultural life and long traditions in architecture and crafts.
Before 1990, there was an efficient irrigation system that covered approx. 30% of the entire agricultural area. Today, less than 10% of this system works. Romania has therefore applied for EU funding of 370 million euros to improve the irrigation system and other infrastructure in agriculture.
After the fall of communism in 1989, the polluting industry was gradually dismantled, and families who had had to leave agriculture during industrialization in the 1950s and 60s regained the right to own land. The problem was that the small, family-run farms did not qualify for EU support or were large enough to provide profitable operations. The reasons why it has not been possible to utilize agricultural resources are many and complex, but there is no doubt that the EU’s requirements for structure and size are far from being met .
Romania receives extensive EEA funding . After Poland, Romania is the largest recipient of these funds. Norway, together with Iceland and Liechtenstein, allocated 306 million euros to Romania in the period 2009 to 2014 alone. The distribution of funds should reflect the needs of the recipient countries, but it is also an important goal that the donor countries should have a dividend.
More serious is the fact that there is a fundamental distrust of the political system and a lack of investment in agriculture as a national resource. Corruption is considered to be the biggest obstacle to development also in agriculture. It has led to a lack of investment from the EU and other countries wishing to establish themselves. Although leading politicians have implemented several measures to reduce corruption, it is considered difficult to do anything about it.
7: Romania – a picture of the old and the new Europe
The diversity of ethnic groups in the Habsburg Monarchy (Austria-Hungary) up to World War I has inspired a number of writers and artists. The empire was headquartered in Vienna, and the city was a melting pot of nationalities. There were Jews, Ukrainians, Romanians and Serbs. Romania was part of this empire and Bucharest was often called Little Paris with its large boulevards and magnificent architecture. Here the old and the new Europe met.
Although the media picture today is dominated by refugee flows from south to north, migration flows are greatest between east and west within Europe. These flows are largely a result of Schengen cooperation and the opportunities for labor migration that lie within it. Poles are establishing themselves in Norway, Sweden and other countries, and there are many examples of Spaniards, Portuguese and Italians trying to establish themselves in Eastern Europe.
After World War II, there were almost no Germans left in Romania, a country located in Europe according to COLLEGESANDUNIVERSITIESINUSA, Ceaucescu “sold” Germans to West Germany so that they could start again where many thought they belonged. Many have lamented that so many traveled. Klaus Iohannis represents in many ways both the old and the new Europe. And an explanation for the great expectations that lie in the choice of Iohannis can be found in Romanian history and the Germans’ place in the people’s consciousness.
Europe in change
This issue of Where Does It Happen? (HHD) is part of the series “Europe in change” which addresses conditions and developments in Europe and the EU. This also means Norway’s relations with Europe and the EU, among other things as it appears in EEA co-operation. To a large extent, the
articles will be in addition to regular yearlings’ 24 articles in Where does it happen ?.
The series “Europe in Change” is a collaboration between the Norwegian Institute of Foreign Policy, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the NDLA (Norwegian Digital Learning Arena).