The European Research Area: in quest of the Lisbon goals

strong educational and scientific knowledge basie is one of Europe's traditional key assets that has made it possible for our continent to become world class in several research fields. Despite these great achievements, the position of the European research and technological development (RTD) potential is currently being challenged by a rapidly changing global competition, including the two main rivals, the US and Japan. The European Union (EU) is behind these countries as regards research and innovation output. Moreover, European research is faced with the
implications of globalisation of markets and industries, digitalisation and new technologies, as well as a need to address societal issues such as an ageing population or climate change.
At the same time, the European Union (EU) is facing the uneven distribution of RTD capacities and excellence within its own borders, especially the EU12 countries are lagging behind in this
In order to meet this twofold challenge the EU has to step up its efforts for the creation of a legitimate "European Research Area" that will make the EU more competitive on the international scene, and also encourage the less developed EU member states to invest more and better into research and innovation.

Open Method of Coordination in the European research policy

Research, development and innovation (R+D) are of great importance nowadays as regards the competetiveness and economic growth of any given country. In the European Union the Lisbon Strategy considers R+D as a crutial means to enhance european competetiveness. The EU is substansially lagging behind its main competitors (USA, Japan) in this domain, furthermore developing countries (China, India) have recently been making
great progress, thus posing additional challanges to our continent.  The EU needs to assess the present situation as soon as possible and meet the latest challenges in the most efficient way. In order to achieve this objective, the concept of the European Research Area (ERA) has been elaborated with the aim of reorganising, regrouping and integrating existing structures. The open method of coordination (OMC) is playing an important role in the implementation of this common area. It constitutes an alternative policy-making merthod to pure „intergovernmentalism” and the
„community method”. The OMC in the field of research policy is coordinated by the Scientific and Research Committe (CREST), which provides a forum for member states to share their experience and reach their common goals.

Coherence and connection between the good pond culture practice and the environment conscious management

According to the data indicating the decline and restructuring during the past decade, as well as the trend in the European Union member states, it can be expected that the role of traditional agriculture and fish production in direct rural employment decrease further. This also values those strategic directions for restructuring that will lead fishculture from quantity driven to quality production along with sustainable development (i.e. environmental conscious production) and multifunctional farming. This way the economic and social tensions caused by the concentration of the production and labour output can be mitigated.
It is laid in the 1257/1999 Act on rural Development that farmers that enrol the agri-environmental scheme should follow the “Good Agricultural Practice” on the whole managed area. In case of agri-environmental schemes this is a precondition for which no grants are given.
The adaptation of “Good Agricultural Practice” in fishproduction,where it is called: “Good Pond Culture Practice” is considered important on the basis of the above mentioned. This programme is undertaken in co-operation with the Research Institute for Aquaculture, Fisheries and Irrigation, University of Debrecen, Faculty of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development and the Association of Hungarian Fish Farmers and Product Council.
The European Commission proposed the formulation of the European Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (EFAF) for the period 2007-20013, which will replace the Financial Instruments for Fisheries Guidance (FIFG), but it also consists of several new elements and will be working differently, too. According to the proposal the budget for the Fund will be nearly 5 billion EUR (4963 million EUR). The development level of aquaculture and fisheries and the social and economic significance in the given member state will be considered when distributing the Fund between the Member States.
According to the plan the Fund is organised along five priority axes, of which the most important for the Hungarian fisheries sector is No. II: Aquaculture and the processing and marketing of aquaculture and fisheries products. The main measure areas are the followings:
1. investment support for aquaculture;
2. support for aquatic-environmental schemes;
3. environmental- and animal health issues;
4. investments in processing and marketing
In case of accessing support under measure area No. 2 farms are obliged to meet the requirements of the scheme beyond the “good management practice” for 5 years, which is to be supervised by the approved body of the Member State. For this reason our work is considered to be substantial.
Approval of the application of “Good Pond Culture Practice” is based on two elements: first the prevailing environmental and nature conservation regulations, as well as the list of controllable conditions in the new agri-environmental agreements are to be met. “Good Pond Culture Practice” are to be conducted on the whole farm area. Its main elements are:
- nutrition management,
- feeding,
- pond maintenance,
- stocking,
- harvesting,
- animal welfare (storage and over-wintering).

Will there be a horticultural triangle (cluster)? Thoughts about the reconstruction of the Hungarian horticulture between two European regions

The authors of this study seek the answer to the question how to develop, in the first decade or decades of the 21st century, the university-level
horticultural scientific training, the horticultural innovation and the scientific co-operation between companies and universities in Debrecen and
in the North Great Plain Region and – in a wider sense – in Hungary to a standard being competitive even in European terms. With the synthesis
of the prospects of past, present and future, they drew the following conclusions. The reconstruction of agriculture, horticulture and food industry
is a part of reforming Hungary's countryside. Horticulture, producing high added value, will be able to decisively contribute to the plan whereas
the value presently produced in an agriculturally cultivated area of 1,000 euros/hectare can reach 2,000 to 3,000 euros in the next two decades.
A necessary and indispensable precondition to achieving this is the strengthening of the innovation output of the Hungarian horticultural sector.
Despite the numerous technical criticisms formulated in connection with the serious problems of Hungarian agricultural and horticultural
scientific innovation, no progress has been made in this field for the past one and a half decade. The scientific research of this topic hardly
continued or did not continue at all, the up-to-date surveys and in-depth analyses were missing. The objective, basic principles and tasks of the
Act CXXXIV of 2004 (TTI) enacted concerning research-development and technological innovation are clear and progressive. The co-operation
between the National Research Technology Office and the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, the setting up of the Innovation Fund are heartening
opportunities. These – along with the new Higher Education Bill to be passed – may as well be suitable for restarting the Hungarian agricultural
and horticultural scientific innovation. In our opinion, this requires a new, well-considered national agricultural programme, which can be
conceived in the framework of the "Ferenc Entz National Horticultural Plan" proposed by us for horticulture. In the most eastern Hungarian
university knowledge centre, at the University of Debrecen, the continuing of the horticultural scientific innovation strategy started in the last
decade may be the focal point and generator of the development of the so-called "Hungarian Horticultural Triangle”, or "Hungarian
Horticultural Cluster". This region comprises the Northern and Southern Great Plain Regions and the area between the Danube and Tisza
Rivers. Here, about 70 to 75% of the total Hungarian horticultural commodity stock is produced. The objective of the HORT-INNOTECH
DEBRECEN programme planned in 2004 by the University of Debrecen, Centre of Agricultural Science is to establish the horticultural scientific
research-development and technological innovation structure and knowledge base of the Hungarian Horticultural Triangle / Hungarian
Horticultural Cluster. In harmony with this, the objectives are to bring about competitive, new horticultural products, to improve the conditions
of utilising them, to enhance the competitiveness of enterprises based on technological innovation, to make use of the research-development and
innovation opportunities available in the regions in an efficient manner, to as full extent as possible, to encourage the creation of places of
employment producing high added value in the field of horticulture, to improve the technical skills of those employed in horticultural researchdevelopment and to promote their enhanced recognition by the society.

Mitochondrial DNA-based diversity study of Hungarian brown hares (Lepus europaeus Pallas 1778)

The brown hare being an important game species which is widespread across the European continent has been in focus of many population genetic studies. However only a few comprising researches can be found on the diversity of Central-European populations.

The aim of our large scale long term ongoing study is to fill this gap of information on the species by describing the genetic history and structure of the brown hare populations of the area using both mitochondrial DNA markers and genomic skin and hair colour regulating genes.

This article gives forth a part of our results concerning the mitochondrial DNA diversity of Hungarian brown hares based on amplification of a 512 bp long D-loop sequence. N=39 tissue or hair samples have been collected from 15 sampling sites on the Hungarian Great Plain. We have described a high level of haplotype diversity (Hd=0.879±0.044) based on a 410 bp alignment of our sequences. We have found 17 haplotypes within our sample set with the nucleotid diversity of π=0.01167±0.0022. Our ongoing research shows high genetic diversity for the brown hare in the studied region and a second alignment with 156 sequences downloaded from GenBank indicates a geographic pattern of haplotypes among the studied populations though these results need confirmation by our further analyses.

Yield and sward composition responses of a native grassland to compost application

A major part of the animal products are based on the grasslands, due to the fact that the grassland ecosystems can be found all over the globe. In places where economical and successful crop production cannot be realized, the grassland based animal husbandry can be an efficient way of food production. In addition these ecosystems have an important role in carbon sequestration, and with their rich flora – and the fauna connected to it – in conservation of biodiversity. The protection of nature, and the sustainable agriculture is getting more and more attention in the European Union, but looking at the consumers’ needs, the production of healthy food cannot be neglected either. Because of these facts, the effects of two specific composts - which are officially authorized in organic farming, in Agri-environment Schemes and Natura 2000 programs – on grass yields and sward compositions were investigated in a field trial. The investigation took place in Hungary, on a natural grassland based on solonetz soil. The first type of compost was a natural one (N) without any additional material and the other one was enriched in phosphorus (E). Both was produced by the research institute, made of sheep manure. Three rates of compost (10 t ha-1, 20 t ha-1,30 t ha-1) were tested on 3 m×10 m experimental plots. Every treatments had four replications and both type of compost had four-four control plots too, this way 32 experimental plots were included in the investigations. The yield of the pasture was harvested two-times (in May and in September) and before cutting the plots measurements on botanical compositions were made. Samples for laboratory analysis were also taken. Dry matter yield and crude protein content was measured in laboratory and with the received data the yield per unit area was calculated. Based on the research results we can say that the application of compost in any dose inflicts higher dry material and crude protein yield. The changes were partly due to some positive changes in sward composition, because of the better nutrient conditions. The research results indicate, that use of organic compost can be an efficient way to increase grass yields in a sustainable way.

The Effect of Year and Irrigation on the Yield Quantity and Quality of the Potato

In Hungary, the growing area of potato area reduced dramatically in the last few decades, additionally we are lagging behind the Western European countries as regards yields and the competitiveness of production is further decreased by the great alternation in yields from year to year, the unpredictable market conditions, bad consumption habits and many times unfortunately the lack of quality products.
The ecological and climatic conditions of Hungary are not everywhere suitable for potato, in the area of Debrecen the amount of rainfall was lower, and the monthly average temperature was higher than the requirement of potato in its growing season in 2002 and 2003.
The experiment was carried out at the experimental site of the University of Debrecen, Farm and Regional Research Institute, at Látókép. In our experiment we examined the yield and some quality parameters of 8 and 9 medium-early varieties in large parcels in 2002 and 2003 respectively. Out of the examined varieties 3 are of Dutch, and 6 are of Hungarian breeding.
The experiment was set up on 49.5 m2 parcels on calcareous chernozem soil after winter wheat as a forecrop in both years. The 9 varieties were examined in 4 repetitions in randomized blocks, out of which two repetitions were irrigated, and two were non-irrigated.
We examined the yields of the varieties, the distribution of tubers according to size and their percentages, and the changes in specific parameters of quality and inner content due to irrigation. We studied the dry matter content, the starch content, the under-water mass, the amount of reducing sugars, the colour index of frying and the element contents of tubers.
Summing up, it can be stated that among the agrotechnical year effect, variety and irrigation factors have considerable impact on potato yield quality and quantity. On the basis of our results, it can be stated that in potato production variety should be chosen in accordance with the aim of production and technology should be adapted to that specific variety.

Effect of Irrigation on the Yield and Quantity of Potato Varieties

In Hungary, the growing area of potato area dropped dramatically in the last few decades. Additionally not only are we lagging behind Western European countries as regards yields, but the competitiveness of production is further decreased by the great alternation in yields from year to year, unpredictable market conditions, poor consumption habits and, often the lack of quality products.
The experiment was carried out at the experimental site of the University of Debrecen, Farm and Regional Research Institute, at Látókép. In our experiment, we examined the yield and some quality parameters of 9 medium-early varieties in large parcels. Of the examined varieties, 3 are of Dutch, and 6 are of Hungarian breeding.
The experiment was set up in 2003 and 2004, in two years of significantly different precipitation, on 50 m2 parcels on calcareous chernozem soil after winter wheat as a forecrop in both years. The 9 varieties were examined in 4 repetitions in randomized blocks, from which two repetitions were irrigated, and two were non-irrigated.
We examined the yields of the varieties, the distribution of tubers according to size and their percentages, and the changes in specific parameters of quality and inner content due to irrigation. We studied the dry matter content, the starch content, the underwater mass, the amount of reducing sugars, and the colour index of frying of the tubers.
In Summary, it can be stated that among the agrotechniques, year effect, variety and irrigation factors have considerable impact on potato yield quality and quantity. However the effect of irrigation depends on the crop year. In a draughty year, like in 2003, irrigation could increase the yield by 10%, while in a more favourable wet year, the improving effect of irrigation was low.

Effect of the media on morphology of Cryphonectria parasitica (Murr.) Barr isolates and their Vegetative Compatibility Groups

The most dangerous pathogen for the European and American chestnuts is the blight fungus Cryphonectria parasitica (Murrill) Barr. Short after its introduction a big number of chestnut trees were destroyed on the infested area. The control could be really complicated, because of the numerous vegetative compatibility groups of the fungus. There is a type that carries a mycovirus viz. hypovirus in the cytoplasm. We are able to control effectively this pathogen by using mycovirus-carrying strains (called hypovirulent fungal strains also). In laboratory it is easy to multiply the virulent and the hypovirulent strains of the fungus but do not easy to differentiate colonies visually on simple PDA medium. During our research, we tested different types of media, based on potato and chestnut bark extract respectively. It was observed that on potato medium the virulent strains produce more orange pigments. So it is more easy to differentiate virulent or hypovirulent isolates of chestnut blight fungus based on colony colour and morphology.