No 20 (2006)

Published May 23, 2006



The Aalborg process and its Hungarian connections

The four European Conferences on Sustainable Cities and Towns gave birth to documents that are important from the point of view of local sustainability. These are, in chronological order, the Aalborg Charter – 1994 Aalborg, the Lisbon Action Plan – 1996 Lisbon, the Hannover Call – 2000 Hannover, and the Aalborg Commitments – 2004 Aalbor...g. Throughout the process, the emphasis gradually moved from planning to the implementation of plans.
Today, there are more than 2000 signatories of the Aalborg
1A tanulmány az OTKA T-046704 sz. pályázatának támogatásával készült.
Charter. The cutting edge of the process are Italy and Spain, the municipalities of these two countries add up to 80 per cent of all signatories. In both countries, the national commitment is given, but there is not a body that could coordinate the activities related to sustainability, so local governments play the major role in it. The constitutions of these two countries also pass on some duties that are relevant from the point of view of sustainability within the competence of local governments, and allow resources to implement them. In the case of the United Kingdom, the commitment of the national government, and especially the Prime Minister, is the major factor in the movement towards local sustainability.
The former socialist countries in Europe, as well as Hungary are relatively underdeveloped economically, so the social and environmental pillars of sustainable development are pushed into the background behind the economical pillar. As a result of the lack of national commitment, there is no guidance and there are no case studies available, so only a small part of local governments are informed of this important international movement, and so are committed to it. The lack of resources is also a problem. The consequence of all this is that there are 35 municipalities from the Eastern European countries that joined the EU in 2004, and only four from Hungary – to mention by name Aba, Kecskemét, Monor and Nagykanizsa – that signed the Aalborg Charter.

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Effectivity indicators in the German agriculture from the 1990s till today

Almost fifteen years have passed since the reunification of Germany. At the beginning of the 1990s, it was still unclear how the agricultural sector in the former East Germany would be able to survive, as it was still characterized by large scale farms, organized for a socialist economy. The course of this essay will look at how the agricultura...l productivity has changed the two different productivity systems in the western and eastern part of Germany.
Productivity can be defined as output produced per unit of input. If we define productivity indicator as output per one type of inputs then we get so-called partial productivity index, however, if we define productivity indicator as output produced per unit of more than one inputs we get multi-factor productivity.
In agriculture, the most often used partials productivity indexes are: labour, capital, land productivity and intermediate consumption productivity.
The analysis of total factor productivity requires the aggregation of all inputs by using input prices.

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Methods for the examination of the role of the time factor in managerial and organizational processes

managerial efficiency. The system of investigations is in accordance with the method elaborated and applied by the Department of Management Science of UD, CAS, Faculty of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development (Berde, 2003). This method involves questionnaire interviews and corporate data collection. The first part of the questionnaire co...ntains data with respect to the company, while the second part focuses on the manager being interviewed. The third part is a closed, directed interview-based preference assessment. I aim to assess the sample at my disposal in order to test the research model.
In the course of the assessment of questionnaires, I apply descriptive statistical methods for the assessment of the personal and professional features of the managers interviewed and the characteristics of the companies. In the case of questions substantively concerning the time factor – resource, managerial function, reaction time, and impact assessments – I carry out hypothesis testing. I draw up a zero hypothesis, whose appropriateness I test by means of statistical methods. I usually apply rank correlation for the evaluation of the relationship between the variables measured on an ordinal scale in my investigations. This can be applied if not the exact values of the given variables, but only their order in one respect or another is known. If the group building criterion is two-variable Mann-Whimey, if a multi-variable Kruskal-Wallis trial can be applied, which, after the rank transformation, gives information about the acceptance or refusal of the Ho hypothesis through the average of the ranks. The model also contains the managers’ evaluation of the time factor in management work.

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Verifying the farm size – environment interaction

With this study, based on experience gained in the United States of America, the author intends to draw attention to the fact that farm size related questions in Hungary, which form an integrant part of farm policies all around the world, cannot and should not be discussed without taking environmental relations into account. In the United State...s, where the excessive use of agrochemicals poses a great threat to the environment, many researchers claim that the conventional large farm model is now getting outdated. These experts question the social and economic benefits of a large farm oriented farm structure and try to convince researchers arriving from Middle- and Eastern-European countries to reform their thought on optimum farm structure. In their opinion, it is essential to let countries in the region understand that they are not required to follow the US course of large farms, which many experts in the States also would prefer to leave. From the facts presented in this study, it can be concluded that large farms by nature can protect the environment less efficiently than small farms. It is also pointed out that the excessive use of fertilizers, which is a trait often attributed to large farms by researchers throughout the world, do not yet apply to large farms in Hungary. As regards the use of pesticides in Hungary, the unfavorable tendency portrayed in foreign literature is identified in this analysis, according to which the larger the farm involved in field cropping the larger per hectare doses they use to protect their crops.

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Conceptions regarding sustainable agriculture – the national sustainable development strategy

The task of the national sustainable development strategy is to provide a long term conception for the economy and society, so that this might function and develop in harmony with the environment. Creating the conditions for sustainable agricultural production requires the elaboration and implementation of long-term programs spanning generation...s. The objective is to find a compromise between the conceptions appearing in the long-term and the short-term programs.
In Hungary, several principles, conceptions and proposals have been suggested regarding sustainable agriculture. In the present study, I intend to systematize the above mentioned principles and conceptions, and compare them to the conceptions regarding agriculture in the national strategies of the EU member states. Furthermore, I examine to what extent the agricultural policy of the European Union supports the conceptions regarding agriculture in the strategies. This topic deserves special attention, as the Hungarian national sustainable development strategy is being prepared and is supposed to be finished by the end of 2005.

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Agri-environmental subsidies and the National Rural Development Plan

The financing of agri-environmental target programs which is a prominent area in the EU became possible during the implementation and successful operation of the National Agricultural Environment Protection Program (NAPP) launched in 2002. Through this program we gained experience in the field agri-environmental measures which are financed from... the Guidance Section of European Agricultural and Guarantee Fund in the European Union. The agri-environmental measures which are included in the National Rural Development Plan (NRDP) were implemented in Hungary in the fall of 2004 when the farmers handed in their application after the publishing of the related law. The NAPP financing is still active, but not significant since most farmers have chosen NRDP measures.
We are examining the experience of the above programs after studying some theoretical aspects of the agricultural economics and the EU laws. We try to analyse the most important experiences of NAPP including the legal background, news opportunities yielded by target programs, the financing, organisation, and institutional background. We will present the results taking into consideration the data of the winning applicants.

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Application of environmental accounting tools for agricultural companies

Today there is an ever stronger requirement for companies to consider the environmental aspects of their operation. The incorporation of these aspects into the economic practise of agricultural firms in our country is still in its infancy and, moreover, it usually follows from outside coercion (legal regulation) rather than voluntary behaviour....
Consequently, in the Hungarian agrar-economics – contrary to the example of Western Europe – the application of environmental accounting in agriculture is a barely researched subject; this has been so even though the environmental policy of companies can be made more conscious by adding an environmental dimension to the organizational information systems.
The aim of our investigation is two-fold. The first goal is to form a method that quantifies the environmental load of companies, is capable of comparing environmental performance of companies with different sizes, and takes into account the specific attributes of agriculture as well. The second is to apply this method in practice, to prove that estimating the environmental load of companies is possible by processing already available data (fiscal, accounting and statistical) using new concepts.
In this publication we present the joint application of three methods – each belonging to the toolset of environmental accounting – for two companies dealing with both crop and animal farming in the Pannonian region. The three methods are partly built upon each other and partly complementary. The company-level environmental balance is capable to show the relations between a given firm and its surrounding, but realistic comparison between environmental performance of different companies or periods is only possible by using specific index quantities.

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Social capital as a resource influencing social and economic processes

The concept of social capital became well-known in the 1980s and as a non-material resource existing in the society and today it is one of the most popular fields of the sociological and economic research. There are many definitions of social capital, but there is a common point that they all have: a network-related interpretation. The networks... are made up of discrete elements, which have some kind of relation between them. Accordingly, social capital is manifested in the totality of the relations between elements (actors of the economy and society) forming the network not in the elements themselves (e.g. human capital). This is a resource which influences the social and economic processes of a community – even if it is a community of a micro region or a nation. Consequently, social capital has a significant impact on the development and improvement of an area or a territorial unit. In this paper, I try to summarise the information concerning social capital and to sketch the relation between rural development and social capital as one of the immanent resources of a territorial unit.

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The methodology of Event History analysis and its application in the quality control of raw milk

Event-history analysis is among the most frequently adopted mathematical methods, mainly due to the numerous types of models, available in the analysis. This method is also appropriate for analysing risk. Specifically, it has been employed in medical and animal-breeding science to manage risks. In this article, I give a presentation of the basi...c concepts, the basic types of models and their theoretical basis. I deal with the nonparametric Kaplan Meier and the parametric Cox proportional hazard model. The case study is also analysed with these methods. The results shows, that the 16-stall caroussel is the most effective facility from the viewpoint of quality. Milking into assay crucible (sample- cup) is more effective than to the floor after 16 decades.

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The ain impacts of the Lisbon Strategy on tobacco growing

The Lisbon Strategy of the EU promises a more competitive Europe with more and better workplaces, in addition to sustainability.
Tobacco production is one of the most controversial industries of the agricultural sphere in the European Union. This crop is a „leader” of the world’s economic growth, a promoter of globalisation and has bee...n an economic channel between America and Europe for more than 500 years. It is also a motor of technical development, due to its inducing effect on profitability and work efficiency. The tax competition of the states and the increase in consumption have become such a self-inducing system in which the increase of production created an increasing number of jobs, especially in tobacco growing, where the replacement of manual labour was much slower than the increase of the demand for raw material. The fact that smoking is becoming general should be handled as a social demand, though its health risks cannot be denied. However, the extreme objection to smoking cannot be accepted, especially not when it evokes social strains and concludes that people smoke because of tobacco production, al though the real situation is the opposite: People smoke in Europe, so the tobacco should be grown here, as is in our economic interest.
There is a contradiction between the strategic objectives and the roles of the industry which should be ceased urgently. Al thong aim is the creation of jobs, stopping tobacco growing could result in unexpected agro-social disadvantages. Rejection of the industry’s sustainability questions the realization of the keystones of the strategy. Competitiveness, sustainability and social cohesion should be implemented as a unit of the strategy also in tobacco growing.

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The strengthen of the second pillar in the European Union and Hungary

The Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) took shape in the early 1960s. At that time the first action was to stop food shortages. Among the objectives of the Treaties of Rome appeared the subvention of rural development had not yet.
Rural development appeared, in 1992, in connection with accompanying measures, and by end of decade, the European A...gricultural Model had taken shape. Agenda 2000 pointed out the direction of rural development and introduced the first and second pillars in the CAP. The regulations of rural development were simplified by 1257/1999/EC, which stressed the importance of rural development to and it has to continue the principle of subsidiarity and has to be decentralized.
The last enlargement raised new problems, the mid-term review of Agenda 2000 occurred and resulted in a new CAP-reform in 2003. The 1783/2003/EC rural development regulation modified the previous regulation. According to the new regulation it is necessary to strengthen the new rural development policy, enlarge the circles of accompanying measures, place greater emphasis on requirements of environment, human resource, animal welfare and plant health. Digression and modulation take part in the new CAP-reform in order to increase the role of rural development in the common budget.
In the next budget from 2007-2013, the European Union wants to create a single rural development fund and simplify programming, financing, monitoring. The EU wants to enlarge the instruments of rural development with a four axis model.

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Evaluation of tourism in the Erdőspuszták sub-region

The Erdőspuszták sub-region established an Association of Local Municipalities in 1992, 10 settlements of which set up the Erdőspuszták Association in 1995, as a voluntary organization. One third of the settlements in Hajdú-Bihar county are handicapped from an economic or infrastructural point of view.
Tourism has become the most dynami...cally developing industrial sector. Unfortunately, in Hungary and, especially, in the eastern region, this way of earning a living is still in its infancy. Nevertheless, these areas possess such untouched natural values, cultural monuments and unexploited possibilities which could attract tourists.
In my study, the problem is examined from two aspects. First, interviews with mayors are included, consisting of three questions. The leaders of the settlements were first asked about the impact of EU accession, then the most important development plans were mapped and finally the local tourism plans were investigated. Second, I have made an evaluation of each settlement which reviews the infrastructural and environmental conditions, the accommodation and boarding possibilities offered the different tourist attractions and leisure possibilities.
The development of tourism can be an obvious solution to this problem. The toots of tourism entails the creation of job opportunities, the development of infrastructure, the enhancement of living conditions. It has a diverse effect and it contributes to the improvement of living standards in rural areas.
Regarding tourism, it can be stated that each settlement has its own image and value, which the citizens are proud of. It has been realized that collaboration between the settlements could greatly contribute to the development of a tourist programme of several days length, as a result of which the guests would spend more time in the region, which would be beneficial to everybody. My suggestion is that the settlements should work out a plan for the development of tourism jointly, in which they would determine the targets, describe the specific development plans and tasks and elaborate the ideas for the different investments.

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Wine market trends in the EU and Hungary

Traditions of the Hungarian grape and wine sector go back centuries. However, although this sector is proud of its rich traditions, it has gone through several shocks. Having joined the EU, Hungary has become a part of the integrated internal market. The commercial obstacles and difficulties among EU-members and Hungary have officially been rem...oved. At the same time, within the Common Agricultural Policy, the wine market has been organised at community level by EU-members. There is no possibility for the sector to access any kind of direct supports from the Hungarian budget, unless such activity is definitely allowed by community directions or unless Hungary were authorized in the framework of a supplementary procedure. After joining the EU, the customs-protection - which aim was to protect the EU-market against the third countries - reduced, so wine producers from overseas countries emerged with their competitive wine prices in the home market and also became competitors of Hungarian wine producers who have been working under low technically equipped conditions. In order to increase the competitiveness of Hungarian wines, it is essential to improve the machinery of producers and to improve the equipment of winecellars. Finally, it is also vital that Hungarian wine producers develop a well-constructed marketing policy.

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Examination for employee’s satisfaction to develop the organisational culture

This examination for employee’s satisfaction analyzes relationships which influence the general feelings of workers and which are revealing in horizontal and vertical. On the whole we can observe that the workers find their horizontal relationships good. In the co-worker’s relationship the appreciation and the confidence appear. Inside depa...rtments and between departments the good relationship is typical which is indispensable for the effective work. It is interesting that more than 40% of employees find their chief as „ideal superior”. The quality of vertical relation is determined by human relationships. This result is interesting because the management style is not participative in this organisation.

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Rural Entertainment in the Püspökladány sub-region

The Püspökladány statistical sub-region is geographically located in Hajdú-Bihar county’s south-west corner, in the area called Nagy-Sárrét. The tourism of the sub-region has been highly determined by the proximity of Hortobágy National Park and the presence of thermal water, one of the most important resources of the region. As Hajdú...-Bihar county – especially Debrecen, Hajdúszoboszló and Hortobágy – possesses these attractive factors as well, in the Püspökladány sub-region rural tourism could be an important means of catching the interests of – mostly Hungarian – tourists.
In the course of this research, my objectives were to introduce the rural hosts of the sub-region, the main features and problems of rural hospitality as an enterprise and the characteristics and activities of rural tourist – from the view of the hosts.
I chose questionnaires as the method of the investigation, and evaluated them with the help of SPSS and Microsoft Excel software. During the evaluation, I calculated distribution, arithmetic mean, deviation and carried out significance-analysis.
The investigations confirmed my presumption, i.e. rural tourism has not gained ground yet in the Püspökladány sub-region. This statement is proved by the fact that I completed only 8 questionnaires in a sub-region with 13 settlements, where rural host activity concentrates on 3 settlements. The results of the questionnaire-evaluation prove the aforesaid.

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The significance of ecolabels in tourism

More than one hundred types of ecolabels have been introduced worldwide since the 1980s. These voluntary certifications may play a prominent role in achieving sustainable tourism as, on the one hand, they may encourage companies to behave responsibly, and on the other, they may contribute to increasing tourists’ awareness in their choice. Con...sidering that there are many small and medium-sized companies working on the tourism market, developing voluntary certification systems is highly encouraged in the member states of the European Union.
At the same time, there are significant differences among the various ecolabels concerning their content, qualitative criteria, and requirements, which makes it difficult for them to gain acceptance on the tourism market. It is worth mentioning that the sets of criteria belonging to the ecolabels usually do not involve indicators related to the social and cultural impacts of tourism.
In my paper I review the main characteristics of voluntary certifications with special emphasis on the players in tourism ecolabels, furthermore I discuss their advantages and some of the arising problems as well.

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