Factors of social and economic rural development

A case study of the Romanian village Glod, county of Maramures

Master's Thesis, 2009

149 Pages, Grade: 1,3





1. Description of journey– reflections on my research approaches
1.1. Why research about the village Glod?
1.2. The procedure in the research field
1.3. About the difficulty to use the right research method in the right way
1.3.1. Ethnography and participant observation
1.3.2. Self-completion questionnaire
1.3.3. Study of wealth
1.3.4. Key informant interview
1.3.5. Focussed group interview
1.3.6. Communicative validation – the attempt to use participatory methods
1.3.7. Indirect observation Physical proof: Jewish gravestones Written material – content analysis: essays of school children
1.4. About the difficulty to be a research scientist all the time
1.5. About the difficulty to stay objective
1.6. Analysis of the material: About the difficulty to balance out the scientific exactness and the confidential attitude of the village people

2. Development- concepts and strategies
2.1. What is development?
2.2. Classical development theories and strategies- some views
2.3. New approaches in development cooperation
2.3.1. Democratisation and good-governance
2.3.2. EU development instruments- structural and cohesion funds

3. Social Security
3.1. Definition and concepts of social security
3.2. History of Social Security

4. Romania- a transition country
4.1. Brief history of Romania
4.2. Country brief- demography and economic insights
4.3. Human development in Romania
4.4. Formal Social Security in Romania
4.4.1. Formal Social Security before
4.4.2. Formal Social Security after The national social assistance system- Law 47/2006 A guaranteed minimum income- Law 416/2001 Health insurances system- Law 145/2001 The public pension system and other social insurance rights- Law 19/2001 Rights of the child- Law 272/2001 The national education system- Law 84/2001

5. Case study- village Glod, Maramures
5.1. Brief history of Glod
5.2. Demography and infrastructure
5.3. A study of wealth in Glod
5.3.1. Family in Glod
5.3.2. Education
5.3.3. Buildings structure and properties
5.3.4. Transportation and livestock
5.3.5. Communication facilities
5.3.6. Occupational allocation and job migration
5.3.7. Religion and values
5.4. Strategies of social security in Glod
5.4.1. Rotating working of fields and sitting clubs
5.4.2. Organised seasonal labour migration
5.4.3. Loan providers
5.4.4. Help and assistance to life events
5.4.5. Help and assistance in case of disasters
5.4.6. Help to expensive medical interventions
5.4.7. Help to children’s education
5.4.8. Collectively cattle breeding
5.4.9. Help for old-age and orphans
5.4.10. Other helping schemes

6. Chances and limits for the rural areas in Romania
6.1. Corruption as a limit for development
6.2. Rural regional development projects as a chance

Conclusions and results


Millennium Development Goals
Development and changing processes of modernisation
Village plan- Glod
Maramures- map
Political map- Romania
The EU cohesion policy 2000-2003
Cohesion funds- allocation by member states
Romania and the European Union-
Companies in Glod and surrounding villages
Infrastructure inside and outside Glod
Questionary – survey Glod
Frequencies- survey Glod
Questionary- household assessment Glod
Frequencies- household assessment Glod
Structure of Regional Rural Development (RRD)
Essays- children of Glod
Some extracts from the interviews


This work would not exist without the friendly contribution in different ways of many people. I would like to acknowledge and give thanks to all the friendly contributors, counsellors and advisers.

First I wish to express my gratitude to my first supervisor Prof. Dr. habil Horst Friedrich Rolly, lecturer and dean of the Social Sciences School of the Friedensau University, whose knowledge, expertise and vision effected a higher vision of life also for myself. During the years of studies, he provided me with valuable ideas and skills.

My deep appreciation goes to my lecturer and second supervisor Dr. rer. pol. habil. Ulrike Schultz, for her helpful advice and professional guidance throughout my studies and thesis.

Special thanks to Dr. phil. Thomas Spiegler, lecturer at the Friedensau University for his advice in choosing and applying the appropriate research methods and instruments.

A lot of thanks I want to pay to Ph.D. Manjul Rolly, who helped to make the necessary improvements in English. I owe her a great debt of gratitude for her efforts and devotion.

The children of the primary school in Glod did a great job in distributing and collecting the questionnaires of the social survey to each family of the village; not only the teacher of the primary school but also the survey participants and the interviewed people merit a lot of compliments for their help and devotion in providing me with plenty of information I needed for my research.

I am eternally grateful to the many beloved people whose love has empowered me over the years. Special thanks to my parents and my brother who graced my life with continual care, love and encouragement. Hearty thanks to my precious wife Annika, who during my studies supported me with her lovely kindness and gave me assistance with precious thoughts; while writing this work she lovingly cared for our daughter, Naomi Sophia and could not count much on my help.

Finally, I would like to thank every lecturer and any other person who contributed in some way to the appearance of this study.

Friedensau, August 2009


Romania is passing through a long transition process, from the totalitarian communist regime to democratic laws and institutions, from the centralized economic and administrative system to a free-market economy. After the fall of the communists in December 1989, not only the public TVs, newspapers, but also the people in Romania, speak about the economy and the legislation of the country, as being in a process of transition. Today, in 2010, the transition has not ended. The last 20 years were dominated by political instability and an economic privatisation with plenty of untransparent decisions and mediatised corruption cases. The biggest state factories and income bringing institutions were privatized or sold through dubious conditions. The justice was not totally independent and the social security schemes were obsolete and ineffective. The repeated increasing inflation, low-paid jobs and unemployment led to insecurity of the population and to a mass labour migration to Western-European countries.

In 2005 Romania signed the accession treaty to the European Union, and on 1 January, 2007 the Romanians celebrated the integration into the European Union. Since then, positive changes can be seen in the economic, social and political life of the country.

Three years ago, while spending my holidays in Romania, I read a newspaper article which reported that the village Glod, in the county of Maramures despite the bad infrastructure and unsealed roads, has a high number of cars reported to the number of inhabitants in comparison to other villages with asphalted streets and better infrastructure. I was surprised to read such news about the village where I grew up and I lived until the age of 12, and I asked myself what could be the reasons of this fact. I began to compare the villages of Maramures and I observed certain particularities regarding the different stages of development.

Later being again in Germany for continuing my study of International Social Sciences I realised that researching the causes of development in Glod would be a really interesting issue for my M.A. graduation thesis. Is Glod generally more developed than other villages of Maramures or are there particular reasons for the increased number of cars in the village? What are the factors playing a role in the developmental process of Glod? Which social security schemes are there in Romania? Which ones are functioning in Glod? How is the impact of transition on the citizens in rural areas and what future perspectives have the people living in the villages of Maramures? Are the rural areas less affected by the transition than the urban space in Romania? Is Glod more developed than other villages of Maramures because of the placement, being situated away from the main street having the possibility of developing some internal, specific strategies? (What actually would be against the rule: more developed are usually localities situated centrally, with a good infrastructure). The size of the village was also taken into consideration that could have a certain positive influence on the development of the village: a relatively small village with households situated side by side where everybody knows everybody and many activities are done together from related or neighbouring groups of people. The close relationships between the people could be a key to development of the village too. I also let open the possibility of some illegal ways of becoming rich. By means of triangulation of more research methods (interviews, self-completion questionnaires, household assessment, literature research, indirect observation) that will be presented in detail in the next chapter, I tried to find answers to these (research) questions and to confirm or infirm the set hypothesises.

In the first chapter of the present work I will describe my research journey with its challenges, satisfactions and difficulties, reflecting thereby also the applied methods. Furthermore different definitions of development, the classical and the new approaches of development theories and strategies will be presented and summarised. The social security schemes of a society are an indicator for its development, so that definitions and concepts of social security will be analysed emphasising on the situation of Romania as a transition country. The history and the present economic situation of Romania will be also pictured further on. The analysis of Glod will begin with a brief history and some insights in the demographical and infrastructural situation of the village. Having a central relevance for this work, the wealth study and the social security schemes practiced in Glod will be then presented. The issue of chances and limits of the rural areas of Romania to sustainable development will complete the present study.

To avoid any confusion I want to mention that the village Glod in the county of Maramures is not the same as the village Glod in the county of Dambovita, habituated in majority by people belonging to the Roma minority where scenes of the controversial Hollywood comedy movie Borat were filmed.

1. Description of journey– reflections on my research approaches

1.1. Why research about the village Glod?

Actually I thought that I am the perfect candidate to do a research like this: I am a Romanian, I understand the language and the way of thinking of the people. I understand cultural backgrounds and traditions, and the people of the village are confident in me, because I myself lived in the village my whole childhood and my parents still live there. In addition I lived abroad for nine years in German speaking countries – long enough to develop some distance so that my thinking has emancipated from the thinking in the village – so that I can observe things better. That it was not as easy as I thought, I will explain later.

The idea itself to do research about the factors of social and economic development grew over the last two years, where I realised, that the village is and always was developed quite well in comparison to neighbouring villages, despite the fact, that the village infrastructure is really bad and that the village has a remote position and therefore is not easy to access.

1.2. The procedure in the research field

Before I went to Romania, I read 4 books, which inspired me to do such a kind of research; about theories of social changes (Zapf 1971: Theorien des sozialen Wandels), about the behaviour of a village hit by certain unemployment (Jahoda 1995: Die Arbeitslosen von Marienthal), about participatory approaches in development projects (Rolly 2001: Participatory Planning of sustainable development projects) and about methods to undertake research (Bryman 2008: Social research methods).

In February and March 2009 I stayed in Glod for 6 weeks to do my survey. Winter seemed to be a good time for me, because most of the villagers stayed at home, were not at work in the surrounding cities or West-European countries. And while in the summer time every village member often spends the whole day on the field and is tired from work in the evening, the people were relaxed in these winter months and were willing to share some information with me. Sometimes we discussed for hours, and they enjoyed being in the focus of interest. The first two weeks I spent time for finishing my questionnaire and the categories for the wealth study, copying and buying some incentives for the pupils I wanted to involve. I talked with the teachers and they agreed to help me prepare the children properly. Then I went to school on two days to train the children to hand out the questionnaire to the villagers. They for themselves developed a strategy to divide the village between themselves, so that everyone at the end had 10 to 15 households surrounding their own home. They handed out the questionnaire on a weekend, telling the people that they would come and fetch it on Monday. It really was a pleasure to see, how engaged they were, looking like little research scientists, and they really did a good job. Thanks to their engagement there was a return rate of over 85%. Two weeks later I had a communicative validation for all village members, who where interested, to present first research findings. Meanwhile I went through the village from house to house collecting information for the household assessment. During the whole time I had formal and informal interviews, so that in total my research outputs where the following:

- 172 self-completion questionnaires about the family background, educational status, profession, religion, problem statements and future perspectives of the village
- Registration/Recording of all 195 households regarding wealth, religious affiliation, work circumstances education and number of children under 18 years in the household
- 17 essays of pupils aged between 12 and 15 years about their imagination of their future
- One key informant interview with Ioan Botizan, one of the oldest persons in the village and known for his excellent knowledge of the village history and one key informant interview of a woman, who spent her whole life in the village and told me how the circumstances changed during the time she was alive
- One focussed group interview with 4 old ladies about the history of the village and changes of values during their lifetime
- One focussed group interview with 5 teachers of the local school about the factors and stages of the village development in Maramures and especially in Glod
- One focussed group discussion or communicative validation about first results of the self-completion questionnaire with 16 men and 3 women present
- Several informal conversations with villagers of different ages about their life, their problems, their view of the future, their interests and their world of life in general
- Hundreds of impressions and observations into the way of life of the villagers through participatory observation; written down into my research diary
- Several pictures of old Hebrew grave-stones

1.3. About the difficulty to use the right research method in the right way

Besides the fact that some scientists claim, that qualitative and quantitative research methods do not fit together in one research,[1] I used both research methods to get a more complete picture of the village. It would not have been possible to access so much and such different types of information, with just one of the two types of research methods.

Nowadays there are more and more studies based on the two approaches, and the argument is because of completeness.[2]

My decision to use many different research methods had advantages and disadvantages. At one hand this brought me information in abundance and I was flexible to gather even more information, where some research tools failed, on the other hand I didn’t know how to value this information according to the research method at the end. For example I developed a semi-structured questionnaire, which turned out to be pernicious, so that I had to do an additional inquiry after my stay in the village to verify my results of research. Some interviews with experts I recorded and put them into writing after my stay, but many interviews happened to be in a informal setting, so I just wrote down some information that seemed to be important to me at the end of the day into my research diary.

1.3.1. Ethnography and participant observation

Actually there are two possibilities to look at the way I used this method. Because since I spent my childhood in the village and was attached to the village during holidays and through the phone-calls with my parents, one could say, that my role as an observer was a complete participant of the village and that my parents were my key informants.[3] But even when I observed the things going on in the village over several years, I didn’t do it with the purpose of writing about these people in a research. But still this long period of time had a great impact in how I saw the people during my stay for the research. While staying in the village this time, I would call my observant roll a participant-as-observer,[4] because I informed the people of the village about my micro-ethnography,[5] and I concentrated myself on the aspect of development during my six-week stay. In my case I would state that the method of participant observation was the prevalent research method[6] of my total research, because it was the basis to develop hypotheses and assumptions, which I scrutinised through all the other research methods.

When I look at my micro-ethnography,[7] I would rather call my research approach a rapid rural appraisal (RRA)[8] with some additional participatory elements of the villagers. One key assumption of RRA is that it is necessary to collect as much and as clear data as possible, but knowing, that the data is not completely accessible in a very short timeframe, and therefore to ignore the information not needed, or not accessible (optimal ignorance).[9]

1.3.2. Self-completion questionnaire

I developed a questionnaire to get information about personal data, problem-rating and future perspectives of the people and their values. At the local school, I trained children at the age of 13 to 15 years to distribute the questionnaires throughout the village and to collect the filled out papers 3 days later. Through this method I profited from the advantages of a self-completion questionnaire, like cheap and quick administration and the absence of interviewer effects[10] and I even pushed more pressure on the people to complete it, because the children went to the households personally and reminded people to fill it out even after three days. I was happy about the excellent response rate of over 85%, but when I went through the results, I saw the disadvantages of this method, too, like the fact, that I couldn’t prompt and help the respondents to fill out the parts, which where difficult for them to understand, and therefore there was quite a lot of missing data.[11]

Looking back, I see quite a few things that I would have done better, knowing the results beforehand. For example I would rather use more pages to have a clear structure, an introducing part to explain again, what is my aim instead of leaving everything in the childrens’ hand, clearer explanations how to respond to questions, maybe not so many different answering systems (like crossing, ranking with numbers, ranking with crosses, which was obviously confusing to some villagers) and more space to answer the narrative questions.[12]

1.3.3. Study of wealth

Through my participatory observation and some informal interviews I was able to develop a categorical system to measure the wealth of a household. Then I went through several households to see, if the categories fit and then I went through the village and I collected the information of what people called their property (household assessment). In addition I collected data about the household size, the religion of the head of household and weather there was a family member finishing a university study in the last decade, to take a look at existing correlations.

1.3.4. Key informant interview

Key informants are persons, who are experts in a special field of knowledge. Experts do not need a profession to count as experts, either they are experts because of the experience they have made, or through the circumstances they live in, or because they have gathered this knowledge, because it is of great interest to them. Usually the key informant him/herself is not of interest to the interviewer, it is the knowledge about something the interviewer is interested in, the information that he/she can provide.[13]

Therefore I interviewed two old persons in the village, an old man, who is known for his knowledge about the history of the village, and a woman, who could explain very well how her life, beginning with her childhood till her old age, in the village was like.

Parts of the materials are available in the Romanian language and I translated sequences that I considered to be important into English.

1.3.5. Focussed group interview

I asked four old women one evening, who where sitting and talking on a bench by the street about their knowledge of the history of the village, about the experiences that they have made and about how they felt that the present situation of the village was like, and what they expected from the future.

My interest in using the method of the focussed group interview was not so much the interaction of the women interviewed, but the consensual construction of what they felt was important to report about. Through the arguing with each other I got a clearer picture and more realistic accounts of what people think.[14] And by the way I had the possibility to verify the information that I got from my key informants.

1.3.6. Communicative validation – the attempt to use participatory methods

At the end of my stay I made an official call to make a presentation about my first research results of the self-completion questionnaire in the village centre. The information I gave were the most interesting correlations between different age groups and gender groups and their opinions on the problems of the village, their values, their future expectations and their trust in different institutions. Here the people reflected, where the difficulties of the questionnaire were, and what I had to consider while evaluating the results. The participatory validation nevertheless showed to my satisfaction, that the present people (16 men and 3 women) could find themselves reflected and therefore where in agreement with the research results.

I used the focussed group interview after the survey to flesh out views and information on topics surveyed,[15] I wanted to use the participatory approach of development management, because at one side I could verify my observations, at the other side I had the feeling of giving them at least something back of what they gave me through their willingness to provide me with information and spending time with me, while sharing some research results.

1.3.7. Indirect observation

Besides my participatory observation I observed indirectly, too, to verify what I read, heard and assumed.[16] Physical proof: Jewish gravestones

I heard from some old people, that there must be a physical proof of the fact, that Jews have lived in Gold: a Jewish graveyard. So I went to the place he described to me and I really found this nearly forgotten place. The 40 graves were overgrown with brushwood and many were weathered, but at some grave stones the Jewish letters and symbols were still visible. Written material – content analysis: essays of school children

After I received the filled out questionnaires of the villagers, I realised rapidly, that most of the villagers had a negative view about the future of the village, which was very astonishing to me, because before my research I assumed, that people have a positive view, which would make development easier at all times. But this was not the case. So I decided to have a look at the younger generation, whether this negative world view had already been transmitted from the parents to their children and I asked the teacher to let school children write about their opinion on what they think the future will be like: what they will do, who they will be. My first interest in these essays was to analyse the content whether their view of the future was positive or negative.[17]

1.4. About the difficulty to be a research scientist all the time

Usually when I come to Glod, I really enjoy the time with my family and my friends, I enjoy having time and being relaxed. And although the stay for my research only took 6 weeks I felt it was a big strain to find myself in the role of a research scientist all the time. Every move that I made, every talk that I had, every observation that I made had to be observed as a researcher, because I wanted to use participatory observation as a research method. Even in my family I couldn’t get rid of this habit, because all the time I tried to stay awake and sensible to gather new information that could be helpful for my research interest.

1.5. About the difficulty to stay objective

According to Durkheim (1938) it is absolutely necessary that preconceptions must be eradicated to produce valid social facts as a scientific researcher.[18]

I already mentioned, that I thought it would be easy to stay objective before I did my research. But during my stay I figured out that it was not. I can happily thank my German wife and my sister-in-law, who both went with me, that we often had a reflection hour in the evening, which helped me to see, where I have fallen into the track of the village thinking again, and to liberate my thoughts so that I could continue to play the role of a scientific researcher. But every day I had to struggle with this going native-effect.[19]

But during my stay I realised, that it was not only my curiosity to observe my village, no, I rather wanted to prove that my village has something very special. All the people in the village know that it is special, so do I. I am proud to come from Glod, like every other villager and this attitude made it difficult for me to stay objective. Actually I merely wanted to proof what I already thought I knew, and therefore my eyes were sometimes blinded while observing my village. From time to time my research interest was not open-ended, and therefore not scientifically clear and true. To discover this attitude and to admit it to myself was a process.

Today I still cannot liberate myself from a sympathy toward my village. And I think I do not have to. Today I see myself in the role of discovering true, open-ended factors of development to contribute my part for future village development in Glod. To pay attention and not to be indifferent towards the fate of the village, whose child I am.

I was happy to discover, that Durkheim’s ideas on social research to avoid bias nowadays comes out of fashion, since more and more scientists are aware of the limits of objectivity. Even scientists, who do not know much about the people in their future research field, couldn’t deny an affinity or sympathy towards the people whom they study, and this was often reflected in the interpretation of the collected data. There are even some feminist social scientists, who argue, that the “postulate of value free research, of neutrality and indifference towards the research objects, has to be replaced by conscious partiality, which is achieved through partial identification with the research objects`”.[20]

In the planning of development projects a participatory approach aims even to identify oneself with the persons of the research field to better understand their problems and needs, to show empathy, so that the foundation is laid to plan sustainable development projects. “Contrary to the so called `objective and value free science` (...) the participatory approach does not rely on the neutrality of investigation but encourages an active involvement to find out prevailing problems in a community and to arrive at socially and culturally acceptable problem solutions”.[21]

1.6. Analysis of the material: About the difficulty to balance out the scientific exactness and the confidential attitude of the village people

For me this was a balance act and a dilemma to decide between truth and the trust that people had in me. My personal link to the village made it easy for me, to access information, and often I got information, which was both: confidential and dubious. Corruption is a big issue; but local people of the whole region rear it in a tacit understanding. Very few profit from it, but all unconscious became entangled into the corruption network. So what is my responsibility in this situation? Should I now tell the world who did what and how and why, to be scientifically correct? But who would be served by such an approach? The village would certainly not profit from a sudden pointing to the scapegoat. The whole community works just because of good relationships. When there would be a misuse of the trust that the people had in me, certainly mistrust would grow and relationships would not function the way they did before. I decided to handle the theme of corruption very sensitively, to not endanger. Some corruption tools that will be outlined will have an anonymous character. In my opinion the corruption fades, when democratic values become stronger, because people realise that they don’t take the money away from the state like in communism, but from their own neighbours and families.

There is a saying in the region, which describes quite well the present situation: First people voted the new mayor because he was poor and he promised to fight for the poor. Then they voted him again, because they thought that he now had gathered enough wealth on his bank account and would now work for the people in his region. But after all they voted the new mayor, because he was very poor... Hope dies last.

2. Development- concepts and strategies

2.1. What is development?

There are plenty of definitions for development, referring to different fields, issues and perspectives. The general meaning of the term development refers to an evolutional process of passing trough different stages to a new form, generally to a more advanced one.

Referring to the societal development we have to notice that there is no universal definition for it. Also concepts of societal development have to do with different world views and ideologies, and the various definitions for development are related to these views.

Summer and Tribe (2008) argue for three discernable definitions of development. The first one outlines development as a free, historical long term process of structural societal transformation. The second definition is policy related implying evaluative indicators, and sees development as a short-to-medium term outcome of desirable targets. Finally, the third definition of development refers to the dominant discourse of the western modernity.[22]

Development encompasses different domains of the society: the social, the economic and the politic one are the most important of them but not the only ones which have to be considered. The idea of sustainability in context of developmental aid and cooperation became important in the last years. We can read about genuine development only when our developmental theories, strategies and instruments are aiming towards sustainability. The World Commission on Environment and Development defines sustainable development of the society as the “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”[23] The business dictionary gives four distinct definitions for development. The most comprehensive of them describes development as being a “process of economic and social transformation which is based on complex cultural and environmental factors and their interactions.”[24] Deutsch (1971) speaks also about the political transformation or political development of the society. The social mobilisation, namely the complex changing processes from traditional to modern society, leads to political development and to political implication of the wider parts of the population, for example through elective turnout.[25]

No matter how developed is a society, there would always be poor people, sickness and other risks around us. We cannot speak about social development of a society without reliable schemes of social security. The concept of social security is understood and used in various ways: from the narrow concept defining old age, survivors and disability insurances, up to wider concepts including education and human rights issues, and the usage of social security as a synonym for social development. “The term social development has two meanings. It can refer to: improvement in the welfare and quality of life of individuals; or changes in societies—in their norms and institutions—that make development more equitable and inclusive for all members of a society.”[26]

Social development, political development and economical development are closely related to each other, and occur in interdependency to each other. The condition for the social, political and economic development is the spiritual-cultural development of the society that in turn includes: a rational way of thinking and religious secularisation, civilisation of the society and the presence of peaceful ways for conflict resolution, but also individualisation of the society’s members. To economic development belong: capital accumulation, technical progress and innovation, economic liberalisation and building of a market economy, increasing of society’s wealth, and building of a mass consumption society. In the political fields, developments have to occur in establishing a functional democracy with fair laws, or in effecting political liberalisation and a high participation of the population in the political decision making. Changes in social structures of the society mean namely: population growth and urbanisation, improvements of educational systems, increasing of communication and scientific movements. An observed phenomenon in the societal changes is also the social differentiation which is often interpreted as a synonym for social disparity.[27]

Dahrendorf (1966) saw the causes of social disparities in the societal norms and laws. He understood social differentiation as a form of social disparity that leads to the fragmentation[28] of the society, and divided social disparities in the following categories: (1) natural disparities based on features like character and look or different interests of the people, (2) natural disparities based on intelligence, talents and strengths, (3) social differentiations of societal roles and working conditions, and (4) social stratification on basis of estate and honour.[29]

The concept of the welfare state refers to the active role of the state as a regulator in industrial-economic issues with the aim of reduction of social disparities, and also emphasises on social security schemes and strategies “ including transfers such as unemployment benefits, pensions, social assistance, social services and health services, childcare, and education”[30]

Sustainable development always focuses the avoidance of new and the reduction of existent social disparities and social tensions. The aim of sustainable development is always “well-being and the comfort of humans in their respective social, economic and cultural settings.” Individuals should have the possibility of self-realisation and self-determination in cultural, political, or social individual fields; we speak here about the freedom of development.[31]

It is frequently said that development aid and development strategies of developed countries don’t match with the notion of development in developing countries. Development aid and cooperation encompass all the measures, instruments and strategies by which developed countries support developing countries. Hereby the concept of help to self-help (Ger. Hilfe zur Selbsthilfe) plays a central role. Typical for the developing countries are: low per capita income and a modest GNP, weak technical and innovative movements, bad qualification of the manpower, lacks of vital basic goods, low industrialisation, and bad infrastructure. The investments of the developed counties pursue improvements in these enumerated fields.[32]

Rolly (2001) points out to a methodical pluralism and decentralised participatory management in the development policy as a necessary condition for sustainable development. He argues for a holistic concept of developmental sustainability reached by triangulation of different developmental dimensions, and to the three “classical” perspectives of developmental sustainability (economic, social and political), he elaborates a wider concept including additional important perspectives of the sustainability. The issues he is pointing to, are namely: (1) ecological sustainability, (2) economic sustainability, (3) social sustainability, (4) cultural sustainability, (5) sustainability of individuals and collectives, (6) institutional and political sustainability.[33] Referring to the usage of the concept sustainability as an “unreflected commitment to an alternative type of development to be managed by a qualified technological input to conserve nature and to foster social justice”, Rolly outlines the following: “Sustainability is certainly related to a technical approach that can generally be applied to achieve a certain end with the pre-understanding that means and ends of sustainable development are intrinsically interrelated. But sustainability is more than the ability to sustain the environment, society or economy by given technical inputs. Sustainable development has a wider reference, and the mentioned ecological, social and economic parameters are interlinked with politics, education, culture and the individual demanding a more philosophical framework of attitudes and values. (…) The term `sustainable development` is connected with self-reliance and independence as an aim to people’s development and attaches importance to environmentally conserving and socially harmonising strategies of development. (…) The phenomenon of sustainability or sustainable development comprises a wide range of issues, fields of knowledge, theories, and intervention strategies which obtain their relative value through application in changing contexts.”[34]

The UNESCO general director Matsuura sees in the sustainable development “a moral precept as well as scientific concept” and refers thereby to concrete issues representing at the same time real challenges for our society. Fostering peace, human rights and equity, fighting for ecological issues and encouraging limitation of global warming, but also transparency in economic and political issues are purposes anchored in the millennium development goals.[35]

Critical statements range from basically criticism toward development policies and development aid, until critics toward certain particular issues of development. Shiva (1988) criticises the western modern developmental concepts assuming that all subsistent economies are deprived, and she emphasises thereby on distinguishing between cultural poverty and material poverty: “Culturally perceived poverty need not be real material poverty: subsistence economies which serve basic needs through self provisioning are not poor in the sense of being deprived. Yet the ideology of development declares them so.”[36] Also Sachs’ (1992) conclusion toward development concepts doesn’t inspire too much optimism: “The idea of development stands today like a ruin in the intellectual landscape. Its shadow obscures our vision (…) Delusions and disappointment, failures and crimes have been steady companions of development and they tell a common story: it did not work (…) But above all, the hopes and desires that made the ideas fly, are now exhausted: development has grown obsolete.”[37]

2.2. Classical development theories and strategies- some views

Famines, precarious health, epidemics and pandemics, infant mortality, low educational level, unemployment or gender-related discrimination, corruption and bad infrastructure or a high level of criminality, all these are issues usually coexisting in close interdependency in a region or a country. One searched for development strategies, and plenty of development theories were elaborated, focussing on the elimination of these poverty-related effects. For the underdevelopment of certain regions of the earth many authors, politicians, sociologists or economists, delivered different theories and explanations during the time. What can we actually understand under development theories ? Nuscheler (1997) tries to answer this question and he distinguishes thereby between two different kinds of development theories: (1) development theories trying to find explanations for the underdevelopment and for the incurrence of different development levels, and (2) development strategies providing theoretical-based development policies and acting orientation.[38]

From geo-determinist and demographical approaches, seeing the causes of underdevelopment in an unfavourable geographical position, respectively in uncontrolled fast population growth, to approaches emphasising on the modernisation of the economy as a solution for development, and theories referring to the strong dependency between developing in developed economies, all of them are available in the scientific discourse.

According to the Marxist capitalist theory, the extension of the markets and capital accumulation were existential for economic growth and development. Karl Marx also saw a substantial contribution of the sciences and nature to the qualitative changes, and represented the idea that history had changed and was moving in 3 distinct phases: primitive communism, feudalism and capitalism; a fourth welcome phase would be than the communism. The sum of all material productive sources of the society was called by Marx, mode of production: “these productive forces include climate, and geography as well as the existing technology. It is technology that Marxists view as the chief factor changing the material base of the society. (…) The traditional interpretation of Marx maintains that Max believed that social, political, cultural, and spiritual aspects of life are conditioned by the mode of production.”[39]

Max Weber’s theory of the early 1900s on the protestant ethics seems to be almost the opposite of the Marxist approach. Weber’s empirical studies sustained that the protestant ethical and religious norms influenced in a positive way the culture and the economic development of Western modern society. The faith leads to an obligation of living in accordance to ethic principles, which bases on ascetic virtues like diligence, proficiency or contentment: “Protestantism provided an ethical foundation for wealth accumulation, which was viewed as a sign of God’s favour. The person who came by wealth honestly, through work, acumen, and thriftiness, was blessed by God and more likely to be chosen for salvation. Hence, accumulation provided a sense of religious security.”[40] Weber noticed the increased percentage of the Protestants in the higher educational and leading levels in comparison to the Catholics, and related the development of the capitalist culture countries of the 16th and 17th centuries like: Holland, England and France to the Calvinist faith and values.[41] For to summarize the virtues and principles of the protestant-capitalist spirit, Weber cites Benjamin Franklin, and he sees a utilitarian motivation behind them: honesty, punctuality, diligence or temperance are useful values since they bring credit. The world exists to glorify God through all the talents it has, and the altruism, charity and brotherly love are practical ways to fulfil this belief.[42]

Luther, who beside Calvin was one of the main actors of the Protestant movement, understood the meaning of profession or occupation (Ger. Beruf) as God’s task for the individual, as a calling.[43] The heritage of the Protestantism and Reformation can be observed until today also in some Christian educational institutions in Germany: on one building built around 1900 in the University Friedensau, Land Saxony-Anhalt, one can read the inscription “Bete und arbeite!”, what translated means “Pray and work!”.

When we speak about values, we have also to refer to Inglehart’s (1998) large-scale empirical study of cultural, economical and political changes in 43 societies, covering around 70% of the world population.[44] His world-values-surveys provide a unique data base for the understanding of different world views and ideologies that influence also the development of the society. Inspired from Maslow’s model of the basic needs, Inglehart distinguishes between materialist values, with the economic and personal safety playing a central role, and post-materialist values, where the individuals long for a high life quality and self fulfilment. The economic stability of the post-war generations of developed countries leads to the change from materialist to post-materialist values. Beside the negative effects of industrialisation and the success of banality generally in the society, post-modernism provides two worthy issues: (a) higher surviving chances, measured by life expectancy, and (b) a higher subjective wellbeing.[45] Values of the society are changing in an intergenerational cycle: the priorities of the individuals are reflecting the socio-economic environment whereby the scarce things in society acquire a high subjective relevance. The correlation between values and socio-economic environment can be observed with delay: the absolute values of an individual reflect the conditions of his formative years.[46] Focussing the correlation between culture and development, Inglehart states that cultural factors alone are not enough to explain variations of the economic growth. Comparing the different economic growth rates of South- with North-Korea, and East- with West-Germany, countries with common cultural backgrounds, he concludes that economic strategies and cultural factors are working together, playing a complementary role in the economic growth of a country or region.[47]

In a recent publication of 2009, Wilhelm and Ihne (ed.) analyse the impact of culture and religion on global development, and establish concrete coherencies between faith-based values and development in different religions of the earth. Religion can contribute to the development of proper social, political and economic structures, to fair laws and promoting of respect toward human rights. Unfortunately, religions can also stop development determining grave violations of human rights, gender disparities, or political conflicts. The former president of the World Bank, James Wolfensohn formulates: “All practitioners in this field (development) come soon to recognise that religion is a pervasive influence on development. Religious institutions provide a major portion of assistance to the poor and they have long standing and deep relations with the developing world. No doubt they can be a source of great benefit to a community and its cohesion, but sadly there are other examples where they can exert a divisive influence by favouring one group over another thus creating tensions and ill will. (…) Religion and religious leaders can have a crucial impact on how our future world will emerge and the leaders must come together to look at the common problems which they share and which will determine significantly the peace and stability for our children.”[48]

Among the development theories, the modernisation’s theories and the later dependency theories became popular and were strongly debated maybe also because of the political implication of two of their main representatives: Walt Rostow and Fernando Cardoso.

The modernisation theories of the 1950s tried to fight the economic underdevelopment by endogen approaches like: infrastructural improvements and economic measurements, as well as by emphasising on the industry sector as a leading sector of the economy.

Rostow outlines an economic growth of 2-3 decades which is a determining factor for sustainable development of an economy. The society will be basically transformed in this time so that the economic growth will be automatically sustained. This model of development is known under the take-off concept,[49] and represents an economic modernisation occurring in 5 stages:

1. Traditional society, without any norms of economic growth and a pre-scientific understanding of gadgets
2. Precondition to take-off, implies the appearance of secular education systems, capital mobilisation with few, limited development of some sectors, functional agriculture
3. Take-off, referring to the transition from a traditional to a modern economy and established economic norms of growth. The following conditions have to be fulfilled for the take-off phase: (a) Increasing of productive investments from 5% or less, until 10% or more of the net national product; (b) Development of one or more major industry sectors with a high take-off rate, and (c) Presence or quick development of a political, social and institutional environment, that permits positive impulses for the enlargement of the economic sector
4. Drive to maturity, describing the need of diversification: new sectors begin to take-off, and the standards of living increase
5. Age of high mass consumption: the present comfort of many western countries. Diversified market economy and consumers interested in durable goods as well as the aspiration to power and influence, characterise this phase.[50]

The critics toward the Rostowian take-off argue that this economical growth model is not a universal theory since many countries don’t experience the take-off, while others remain constantly in this phase. It is mainly economical oriented and developing countries are thereby only partially considered.

Popular in the 1960s, approaches of the dependency school emphasised on exogenous factors as causes for underdevelopment: the unfair economic terms of the relationships to developed countries were responsible for the underdevelopment in the developing countries: “Poor countries exiled to the periphery of the world economy could not develop as long as they remained enslaved by the rich nations of the center.” One can distinguish between a radical streaming of the dependency theories and a moderate one. The radical position claimed that “the center grew at the expense of the periphery. The only solution was to delink completely from the world economy”, and was represented by A.G. Frank and A. Samin. Frank admitted recently that delinking "has not been a very viable or fruitful policy."[51]

The moderate streaming of the dependency theories had adepts like F.H. Cardoso, E. Faletto, O. Sunkel or P. Paz, and it maintained that “under capitalism both rich and poor could grow but would not benefit equally.”[52]

Cardoso referred to the imperialist concept of Lenin to exemplify the dependency effects in the developing countries: “the consequence of imperialism with respect to dependent economies and nations (or colonies) was the integration of the latter into the international market. Inequality among nations and economies resulted from imperialism’s development to the extent that import of raw materials and export of manufactured goods were the bases of the imperialist-colonial relationship. The reproduction and amplification of inequality between advanced economies and development economies developed as a by-product of the very process of the capitalist growth.”[53] Development will have sustainability only considering the related historical and political factors of the economy and replacing imperialist tendencies. Lenin characterised the imperialism by the following effects: the replacement of competitive markets by monopolistic ones, the control of financial over the merged industrial and financial capitals, difficulties of capital realization and accumulation, and the trying of the advanced capitalist countries to get political control of the developing countries and their raw materials.[54] Cardoso noticed few new changes in the relationship between the imperialist and the dependent nations: increasing importance of internal markets, decreasing of the net investments to the dependent economies, exportation of capital from dependent to dominant economies, and he also observes the new pattern remains imperialist. While the most advanced parts of the economy are linked to the international capitalist system, the average wages will be kept low; the gap between rich and poor increases, fact that leads to the building of internal colonies and social fragmentation. In the countries of Latin America, Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Columbia or Chile, the export sector remained in the hands of the local bourgeoisie, which benefits directly from it, and controls the national trade. Parts of the middle working class profit only secondary of the capitalist development. Cardoso pointed to the outbalancing between economic growth on one side, and the national development and social integration on the other side.[55]

Since the 1980s plenty of theses declaring the failing of the classical development theories and of the development policy were elaborated and became popular in political and collegiate institutions. Frank (1983) declared at the beginning of the 1980s all development theories for bankrupt. Also Menzel’s (1992) thesis (Scheitern der großen Theorien) fussed over the two classical development theories: modernisation theory and dependency theory; and these were only two of the many critical approaches. Global development theories with universalistic explanation character didn’t reach their developmental aims and couldn’t cope with the heterogeneity of the development reality. Underdevelopment is a complex issue; there is no universal solution for all countries and continents.[56]

In the large debate on development theories of the 70s-80s, one could observe a certain convergence of the different camps in two central issues:

First, above all the internal situation of a country, the social structures and the economic policy were responsible for the progress or regress of the country. The global market has only a secondary influence on it, contrary to the dependency theory suggesting a central role of the global market. The increasing of the development aid or new global economic system, would be ineffective without the participation and the own efforts of the developing countries.

And second, according to the modernisation theory, the elites and the state administrative structures of the so called Third World countries were considered to be the motor of development. Unfortunately it had to be admitted in the debate of the 70s that the elites as well as the state administration structures of the developing countries are corrupt and they are rather impeding than helping in the development processes.[57]

2.3. New approaches in development cooperation

The political-scientific discourse on development theories and development policy led to a new realism in the development world. New development ways and strategies were sought, new debates occurred. Further steps were: (a) realisation of the strong correlation between development and ecological issues, (b) emphasis on a solid concept of global sustainable development considering in the same time particular specifics of regions and countries, or (c) conceding that the irresponsible western lifestyle has a substantial contribution to the emergence and maintaining of development and ecological problems.[58]

The new approaches emphasise on method triangulation and methods pluralism: promoting democratic and transparent governance, social responsibility and a general establishment of economic ethics are concrete aspirations of the present. Participative approaches and condition fulfilment for receiving financial assistance, development monitoring and evaluation can also be observed in cases of the structural and cohesion funds accorded to the new member countries of the European Union.

2.3.1. Democratisation and good-governance

The concept of good governance became popular among the concepts of democratic governance of the last years. Plenty of critics characterised good governance as a pretext for exaggerated political intervention and controlling. Negative experiences with numerous corruption cases and corruptive structures in the developing countries, but also mediatised examples of corruption affaires in the USA and EU, show the necessity of a new concept in the governance policy. Around 250 billion Euros are lost annually in the EU states because of the tax fraud. Only in Germany the amount of illegal employment (informal labour) is estimated at 350 billion Euros. It is supposed that about 250 million children under the age of 14 are forced to child labour, and there are circa 12 million slaves and people in forced labour world wide. Holthaus (2008) cities Niklas Luhmann when he says: “there is economy, there is ethics- but there is no economic ethics.” Profit maximisation shouldn’t be the only goal of the companies. Morals and success can work effectively together. Surveys in Germany indicate that 80% of the population agrees that economic leaders are thinking only of themselves and not of the company or employees. Around 50% of the Germans don’t trust in the government anymore.[59] For a democratic state like Germany this is a disastrous result. What we need in our society are solid principles and values that leading our actions in social, political and economic fields would inspire trust and respect in the society.

Habermas (1999) spoke about a so called “under-institutionalisation of the world’s citizen’s rights” (Ger. Unterinstitutionalisierung des Weltbürgerrechts) and suggested thereby that human rights are still weak rooted on global tier. The participation of the citizens to the decision making processes beyond the parliamentary elections, building of social and economic networks, respect toward human rights, democracy and decentralisation, as well as the empowerment of the civil society’s organisations, all these elements have to be present in the contemporary society as attributes of a discourse ethics, reached by regional political and economical dialogue and cooperation.[60]

The way to democratic laws, structures and institutions occurs in different ways. It is differentiated between five democratisation models: (1) the classical (Euro-American) type of democratisation, (2) the Asiatic democratisation type, (3) the Latin-American one, (4) the African type, and (5) the Eastern-European model of democratisation. Although every type of democratisation has its own particularities corresponding to the historical, geographical and cultural circumstances, according to Tetzlaff (1997) one can distinguish between five common phases of the democratisation process:

a) Incubation phase, where the existing authoritative regimes are getting weak and become fragile
b) Liberalisation phase, in which the ruling elites become open for new social and political movements and mobilise the folk building an opposition
c) Negotiation phase, when the ruling elites and the opposition debate about changes in the constitution and principles of political negotiation and competition
d) Phase of the new power distribution by fair elections as a sign for the system changes
e) The institutionalisation- and consolidation phase of the democracy, with non-violent conflict mediation and peaceful discussions and debates, and the internalisation of the civil values.[61]

Democracy and human rights as independent programs will find access to the development cooperation first at the beginning of the 1990s. The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (Ger. BMZ) established 1996 five criterions prevailing own acting fields in the development cooperation: (1) respect toward human rights, (2) political involvement of the population, (3) constitutional state with the rule of law, (4) social-oriented market economy, and (5) development-oriented acting of the state.[62] One can find by Schiller (1997) a similar categorisation.[63] These criterions have to be understood as a premised framework for the development of a democratic environment and of society selves; than “democracy offers the opportunities; it does not offer guarantees of success.”[64]

The good-governance concept aims the poverty alleviation by means of: partnership - describing the involvement of the civil society and the cooperation with the political actors, and ownership - defining the national responsibility toward the poverty alleviation strategies.[65]

“It must be remembered that the goal is not partnership per se. Partnership is a means to an end. The real goal is the shared objective. Partnership is a tool to reach this goal more effectively, and more efficiently, for the benefit of all involved.”[66]

While in case of partnership one can distinguish between participation by information and consultation, common decision making, as well as initiating and controlling by the stakeholders, it is difficult to measure the ownership by means of empirical techniques. The limits of ownership can be concrete measured only by the influence’s scope of the responsibility transfers on the national poverty alleviation strategies.[67]

The German Society for Technical Cooperation (Ger. GTZ) outlines the good governance concept like following: “Good governance implies effective political institutions and the responsible use of political power and management of public resources by the state. Essentially, it is about the interaction between democracy, social welfare and the rule of law. Good governance thus extends beyond the public sector to include all other actors from the private sector and society. Good governance is guided by human rights and by the principles of the rule of law and democracy, such as equal political participation for all. Particular attention is devoted to the needs of the weaker members of society.”[68]

Also the BMZ sees in good governance a “key concept in development strategies”, and it defines as being an “umbrella term which covers democracy, the rule of law, anti-corruption measures and the protection and enforcement of human rights. It is always based on principles of sustainability.”[69]

Good governance is not only an aim in itself; fighting corruption and reaching transparency in political-economical issues, and working for decentralisation of the administrative systems are concrete goals of the millennium declaration of the UN, which also emphasises on good governance as a key factor in establishing of sustainable human development, poverty alleviation and peace building.[70]

The European history was shaped by Jewish-Christian ethics (rooted in the Ten Commandments) on which are based all modern judicial norms and are inspired from them. These basic ethics are still indispensable today; they have to be revitalised and promoted furthermore. “The issue of values has something to do with the religion, I am convinced of that. Values need a metaphysical basis. Indeed, Immanuel Kant affirms that an ultimate justification is not needed for values. But all the mentioned alternatives are although of religious nature. If freedom, egality, solidarity toward the fellow men (or neighbours) or tolerance: values cannot survive without faith. Every value, which can really be called a value, is based on an unquestionable societal consensus, if you like on a faith basis. Every good deed we are doing is good only because of the previously intended value settings which base on a certain philosophy of life.”[71]

Particular little steps in the development policies should be an encouragement to stubborn continuity. Ideas like the system of the micro credits for small-sized industrial units of the Nobel Prize winner Muhammad Yunus with the Grameen Bank, or trade initiatives like the fair-trade concept are encouraging progress for the social policy. Some few companies discovered that values are indispensable for the economic world. A survey of St. Gallen University shows that a quarter of the business successes are related to value culture of the company self. Responsibility and concepts like corporate citizenship or corporate social responsibility are paying off; they have to be rooted first in the leading structures then the sustainability of the companies is dependent on them. When leaders and managers promote a value-oriented behaviour they will win also their employees for a company ethics. The devise of consul Buddenbrock of Thomas Mann was: “make by day only businesses with them you can sleep well by night”. We need today responsible people, integral personalities who, above all, through the own positive example encourage to a social responsible behaviour in the business life too.[72]

2.3.2. EU development instruments- structural and cohesion funds

The European Union has a main contribution to development programmes world wide. Funds allocated to development are focussed on issues like: food, education, health, disaster response, gender disparities, human rights, and generally poverty alleviation world wide. The budget lines of the EU development programmes are related to the these specific issues and determine the eligibility criteria of the project proposals which also in turn have to be correspond to certain required design and bureaucratic standards. Plenty governmental and non-governmental organisations are implementing various development programmes world wide accessing development funds from the European Union.

The European Union allocates constant development funds also for its member countries. The development programmes of the European Union for the member countries of the European Union run in different time tables and are managed by concrete settings of detailed rules and instruments, representing the main development policy within the European Union. The objectives and instruments of the present EU development programmes for the EU member countries will be further described, since I think they are a relevant example of large development policies and strategies, and cooperation between EU and country governments.

The development programmes and the cohesion funds of 2007-2013 succeed the 2000-2006 period,[73] and represent the “greatest investment ever made by the EU”, amounting to 347,410 billion Euro (2007 prices) for the creation of new jobs, for regional sustainable development and growth. Like the name of the funds says, its principal, overall objective is cohesion and convergence within the European Union, and they especially address the less developed countries of the EU.[74] Related to the fixed objectives, the financial resources are allocated like following:

a) 81.5% of the total amount will be concentrated on the poorest countries and regions of the EU, trying to fulfil the convergence to the developed countries
b) 16% of the total amount will focus on regional competitiveness and employment objectives
c) 2.5% are allocated to objectives of European territorial cooperation.[75]

The Council and the European Parliament adopted in July 2006 a package of rules and principles, which represent a legal basis for the 2007-2013 development instruments; namely: the general regulations, European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), European Social Fund (ESF), Cohesion Fund, and the European Grouping of territorial cooperation (EGTC). Another instrument regards the pre-accession assistance for the candidate countries.

1. General Regulations are referring to the administration and implementation of the three cohesion instruments: the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the European Social Fund (ESF) and the Cohesion Fund, by common principles and standards. The three EU development funds have to be seen as an additional financial contribution for the individual countries and not as a substitutive instrument of their infrastructural spending. The EU priorities in terms of competitiveness and employment promotion have to determine the implementation of the funds. The beneficiating countries have the responsibility of monitoring, controlling, evaluating (ex-ante and mid-term), and reporting the implementation of the programmes through designated, responsible bodies and authorities for that. The principles of gender equality, partnership and shared management are playing also a central role by the implementation of the development cohesion funds: “…any appropriate organisation representing civil society, environmental partners, non-governmental organisations and organisations responsible for promoting equality between men and women can participate in negotiations concerning the use of Structural Funds. It not only participates in management but is involved at every programming stage (setting up, follow-up and evaluation).”[76] The operational programmes outlined by the member countries have to be built around the individual priorities but they also have to be concerned with one of the EU objectives. “One programme=one fund” sounds the new rule simplifying the financial management of the funds. The analysing of the capabilities and vulnerabilities of the eligible areas, specific objectives of the key priorities, the funding plans and the programme implementation (management, evaluation, auditing), but also an indicative list of the large projects (different projects exceeding 50 million Euro and environmental projects exceeding 25 million Euro), all these have to be included by the operational programmes. The maximum co-financing rates amounts: 75-85% for convergence funds, 50-85% for regional competitiveness and employment, 75-85% for European territorial cooperation, and 85% for the cohesion funds. Payments by the EU Commission are made in three steps: pre-financing, interim payments, and payment of the final balance.[77]

2. The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) has the role of promoting public and private investments and helping to the reduction and outbalancing of regional disparities across the EU. Programmes and projects addressing territorial cooperation throughout the EU, enhanced competitiveness, economic change and regional development are going to be supported by the ERDF. Corresponding to the individual needs of different EU regions, the ERDF prioritises infrastructural investments, research and innovation, environmental protection, and risk prevention.[78] The regulation on the ERDF emphasises also on good governance and partnership among all relevant steak holders as a condition for an efficient and effective implementation of actions supported by ERDF. The concrete purpose of the ERDF is formulated by the EU regulation like following: “…the ERDF shall contribute to the financing of assistance which aims to reinforce economic and social cohesion by redressing the main regional imbalances through support for the development and structural adjustment of regional economies, including the conversion of declining industrial regions and regions lagging behind, and support for cross-border, transnational and interregional cooperation. In so doing, the ERDF shall give effect to the priorities of the Community, and in particular the need to strengthen competitiveness and innovation, create and safeguard sustainable jobs, and ensure sustainable development.”[79] Art 7 of the same regulation provides the eligibility of expenditure in case of the ERDF: interest on debt, recoverable value added tax, or decommissioning of nuclear stations shall not be eligible for a contribution from ERDF. The purchase of land for an amount exceeding 10% of the total eligible expenditure for an operation concerned is also considered to be not an eligible expenditure; a higher percentage can be although permitted in exceptional justified cases. Under certain conditions, the countries that accessed to the EU on or after 1 May, 2004 can also benefit from some eligibilities of housing expenditure.[80]

3. The European Social Fund (ESF) contributes to the societal development especially through programmes creating new good job opportunities and effecting hereby a high level of employment, programmes promoting social inclusion of disadvantaged people, and reducing of national, regional and local employment disparities. Also the ESF regulation of the EU commission emphasises on good governance, partnership and gender equality; trans-national and interregional actions should reduce different disparities within the EU. Further objectives are improving of educational and health services through social reforms and policies, development of human potentials, strengthening of public institutional capacity and efficiency, modernisation and strengthening of labour market organisations.[81] The eligible expenditures are presented in Art 11 of the ESF regulation and they may take the form of “...non-reimbursable individual or global grants, reimbursable grants, loan interest rebates, micro-credits, guarantee funds and the purchase of goods and services in compliance with public procurement rules.“[82] Purchasing of furniture, equipment, vehicles, infrastructure, real estate and land, as well as the recoverable value added tax and interest on debt are considered not being eligible expenditures.

4. The Cohesion Fund was constituted for the purpose of “…strengthening the economic and social cohesion of the Community in the interests of promoting sustainable development.”[83] The assistance given by the Cohesion Fund bases on the partnership between the EU commission and the member states, and concentrates on areas like: infrastructural investments and common interest programmes of building new effective trans-European transport networks, or in environmental protection programmes, and environmental benefit projects aiming energy efficiency and renewable energy. The domains of eligible expenditures differ not much from the ERDF: interest on debt, the purchase of land for an amount exceeding 10% of the total eligible expenditure for an operation concerned, decommissioning of nuclear power stations, recoverable value added tax, but also expenditures on housing shall not be considered as eligible.[84] The Cohesion Fund amounts to 70 billion Euro and represents a third of the budget allocation given to the new member states addressing some 167 million of Europeans living in countries and regions aided thereby.[85]

5. The European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation (EGTC) was founded by the treaty establishing the European Community and has the goal of promoting and facilitating cross-border, trans-national and interregional cooperation between the member states of the EU. Article 7 specifies the tasks of an EGTC that “…shall be limited primarily to the implementation of territorial cooperation programmes or projects co-financed by the Community through the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund and/or the Cohesion Fund.”[86] An EGTC has to be composed by members located in at least two member states, and they have to belong to one of the following categories: local authorities, regional authorities, member states representatives, bodies governed by public law. The management of the public funds made by the EGTC-s has to be controlled by the competent authorities of the member states and has to be carried out applying international accepted audit standards. The EGTC has also the responsibility of establishing, and adopting by the assembly, of an annual budget covering running costs and diverse operational issues.[87]

6. The Instruments of Pre-Accession (IPA), represent the pre-accession assistance from side of the European Union for the candidate countries to the European Union. The most popular pre-accession instrument developed by the EU are: ISPA (Instrument for Structural Policies for Pre-Accession), PHARE (Poland and Hungary: Aid for Restructuring of the Economies), SAPARD (Special Accession Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development) and CARDS (Community Assistance for Reconstruction, Development and Stabilisation), which beginning with January of 2007 are replaced by the new IPA (Instruments of Pre-Accession). The IPA-aid of 2007-2013 for the candidate and potential candidate countries incorporates five components: “ 1) Ease of transition and institutional capacity building aimed at promoting the strengthening of institutions and democratisation, economic and social development and aiding the adoption of the acquis communautaire. 2) Cross-border cooperation, as much with the Member States, for the countries concerned, as with the other countries eligible for the IPA. 3) Regional development, targeting investment in the transport sector, the environment and economic development. 4) Human resources, targeting operations to strengthen human capital and the fight against exclusion. 5) Rural development, replacing the preceding instrument, Sapard.”[88] Countries benefiting from EU pre-accession assistance are also divided in two groups: candidate countries and potential candidate countries. The candidates are: the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Croatia and Turkey. The potential candidates, recognised on the Thessaloniki European Council of June 2003, are: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia, inclusive Kosovo. While the candidate countries are considered to be eligible for all five components of the pre-assistance instruments, the potential candidate countries can beneficiate only form the first two components. Similarly with the development programmes for the EU member countries, the implementation of the pre-assistance programmes (IPA) has to be guided by democratic principles of good governance, shared decentralised management, transparency and partnership.[89]

Development represents a purpose that has to learn from past experiences and develop new options and strategies for the future. The gained experiences and knowledge have to be used to estimate and develop new ways and strategies. A pluralism of methods, theories and strategies has to be constantly sought. The political and scientific debate on development issues has to be continued updating to the new challenges of development cooperation, monitoring new trends and developments in the field. The necessity of the good governance is obviously today; therefore concepts of good governance have to be defended and promoted on global level furthermore.


[1] Comp. to Bryman 2008, p. 604

[2] Bryman 2008, p. 612

[3] Comp. to Ibid., p. 409-410

[4] Ibid., p. 410

[5] Ibid., p. 403

[6] Ibid., p. 402

[7] Ibid.

[8] Rolly 2001, p. 76-77

[9] Ibid., p. 77

[10] Bryman 2008, p. 217-218

[11] Comp. to Ibid., p. 218-219

[12] Raithel 2008, p. 64-76

[13] Gläser/Laudel 2006, p. 9-11

[14] Bryman 2008, p. 474-475

[15] Punch 2008, p. 172

[16] Hunt 1991, p. 35-50

[17] Comp. to Bryman 2008, p. 275-276

[18] Durkheim 1938, in Bryman 2008, p. 24

[19] Bryman 2008, p. 412

[20] Mies 1993, in Bryman 2008, p. 25-26

[21] Rolly 2001, p. 73

[22] Summer/Tribe 2008, Ch. 1

[23] World Commission on Environment and Development, in UNESCO 2005, p. 2

[24] http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/development.html

[25] Deutsch, in Zapf 1971, p. 329-350

[26] Davis, in Vetterlein 2007, p. 517

[27] Comp. to Saraswati 2002, p. 22; See also annex: Development and changing processes of modernisation

[28] Building of individual groups living isolated from each other, with different values and orientations

[29] Dahrendorf 1966; Similar views: by Weber (1980) or Bolte/Hradil (1984)

[30] Green-Pedersen 2000, p. 13

[31] Rolly 2001, p. 34

[32] Mühlbrandt 1989, p. 124

[33] Rolly 2001, p. 19-33

[34] Rolly 2001, p. 17-18

[35] Matsuura 2005, p. 1

[36] Shiva 1988, p. 10

[37] Sachs 1992, p. 1

[38] Nuscheler, in Zapotoczky/Gruber 1997, p. 20

[39] Grabowski/Shields 1996, p. 3

[40] Ibid., p. 10

[41] Weber 2000, p. 3-4, 56

[42] Weber 2000, p. 12-14, 66

[43] Ibid., p. 34

[44] Inglehart 1998, p. 11

[45] Ibid., p. 43

[46] The theory of intergenerational value change bases on two hypotheses: scarcity hypothesis and socialisation hypothesis; Comp. to Inglehart 1998, p. 53-57

[47] Inglehart 1998, p. 302

[48] Wolfensohn, in Wilhelm/Ihne 2009, p. 11

[49] Rostow, in Zapf 1971, p. 286

[50] Comp. to Rostow 1959; Rostow, in Zapf 1971, p. 292

[51] Velasco, in Foreign Policy, Oct/Nov 2002

[52] Velasco, in Foreign Policy, Oct/Nov 2002

[53] Cardoso, in Roberts/Hite 2000, p.171

[54] Ibid., p.170

[55] Ibid., p.172-175

[56] Comp. to Nuscheler, in Zapotoczky/Gruber 1997, p.21

[57] Nuscheler, in Zapotoczky/Gruber 1997, p.22

[58] Ibid., p.27

[59] Holthaus 2008, p. 94-96, 99

[60] Comp. to Habermas, in Die Zeit 18/1999

[61] Comp. to Tetzlaff, in Opiz 1997

[62] BMZ, in Spanger/Wolff 2003, p. 6

[63] Schiller, in Von Bredow/Jäger 1997, p. 32-33

[64] Sorensen, in Spanger/Wolff 2003, p. 1

[65] Spanger/Wolff 2003, p. 20

[66] World Bank, a discussion paper 1998, in Spanger/Wolff 2003, p. 21

[67] Comp. to Spanger/Wolff 2003, p. 22-23

[68] http://www.gtz.de/de/themen/882.htm

[69] http://www.bmz.de/de/themen/goodgovernance/index.htm

[70] See annex for complete Millennium Development goals

[71] Holthaus 2008, p. 122, own translation from German. Original text: „Die Wertefrage hat etwas mit Religion zu tun, davon bin ich überzeugt. Werte brauchen eine metaphysische Grundlage. Zwar wir seit Immanuel Kant behauptet, dass es für Werte keiner religiösen Letztbegründung bedürfe. Die Alternativen, die dafür genannt werden, sind aber alle religiöser Natur. Ob Freiheit, Gleichheit, Solidarität mit dem Nächsten oder Toleranz: Werte überleben nicht ohne Glauben. Jeder Wert, der wirklich als Wert bezeichnet werden kann, beruht auf einem nicht hiterfragbaren gesellschaftlichen Konsens, wenn man so will auf einer Glaubensgrundlage. Jede gute Tat, die wir tun, ist nur deshalb gut weil wir vorher Wertsetzungen vorgenommen haben, die auf einer Weltanschauung beruhen.“

[72] Comp. to Holthaus 2008, p. 95-97

[73] See annexe: The EU cohesion policy 2000-2006 and 2007-2013

[74] See annexe: Cohesion funds- allocation by member states

[75] European Union 2007, Cohesion Policy 2007-2013- Commentaries on official texts; p. 24

[76] European Union 2007, Cohesion Policy 2007-2013- Commentaries on official texts; p. 27

[77] European Union 2007, Cohesion Policy 2007-2013- Commentaries on official texts; p. 32-37

[78] Comp. to Official Journal of the European Union, Regulation (EC) No 1080/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 July 2006 on the European Regional Development Fund and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1783/1999; Art 4-6

[79] Ibid., Art 2

[80] Comp. to Ibid., Art 7

[81] Official Journal of the European Union, Regulation (EC) No 1081/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 July 2006 on the European Social Fund and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1784/1999; Art 2-6

[82] Ibid., Art 11

[83] Official Journal of the European Union, Council Regulation (EC) No 1084/2006 of 11 July 2006 establishing a Cohesion Fund and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1164/94; Art 1

[84] Ibid., Art 2-4

[85] European Union 2007, Cohesion Policy 2007-2013- Commentaries on official texts; p. 120

[86] Official Journal of the European Union, Regulation (EC) No 1082/2006 of the European Parliament and of the council of 5 July 2006 on a European grouping of territorial cooperation (EGTC); Art 7, §3

[87] Cop. to Ibid., Art 1-11

[88] European Union, Cohesion Policy 2007-2013- Commentaries on official texts; p. 136

[89] Comp. also to Official Journal of the European Union, Council Regulation (EC) No 1085/2006 of 17 July 2006 establishing an Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA)

Excerpt out of 149 pages


Factors of social and economic rural development
A case study of the Romanian village Glod, county of Maramures
Friedensau Adventist University
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
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5689 KB
Development, social security, village development, wealth, education, religion, social laws, transitional economy, good governance
Quote paper
M.A. International Social Sciences Paulin Giurgi (Author), 2009, Factors of social and economic rural development, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/153874


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