production economics; farm management; agricultural policy; agricultural environmental issues; tourism; regional planning; rural development; methodology; marketing of agricultural and food products; international trade; development; sport management
The negative impacts of human activities on the environment and nature can be felt worldwide. Thus there is a growing focus on measurements that keep sustainability in mind. As one of the main pioneers of environmental protection and sustainability efforts, these aspects are more and more prevalent in the current environmental policy of the European Union (EU). In this review article, the development of the environmental policy of the EU is presented. After listing the main milestones, the role of the EU in the area of environmental protection, the frameworks built around the goals and the roles of the institutions are discussed. Then – with an international detour – the details of the Paris Agreement about climate change and the state of the 20/20/20 commitments are summarised. In the remaining parts of the article, the focus is on the climate protection goals of the EU for the next three decades, the expected future directions, and the agenda of the von der Leyen Commission concerning climate protection. An important step and tool for achieving the goals set until 2050 is to incorporate climate and environmental protection elements to the 2021-2027 budget of the EU. In order to achieve the expected effects, it is crucial to develop the right tools of the environmental policy, to form a widespread cooperation, to raise awareness, and incentivise and support the innovative solutions in the sustainability area.
In the audit the process of strategic planning the management focuses the social expectations, threats and opportunities of the environment as well as the expectations of the owners. The main question is how much are the strategic tasks is matching with the environmental and corporate resources and capabilities. The answer which raised in strategy audit evaluates the ability to break the implementation barriers. A strategy is worth to realize only if we get satisfying answers to the questions related to the audit. A complex strategy audit method helps to appraise how the planning process is integrated.
Tourism is one of the leading sectors in the world economy. Enhancing its well-known economic, social and environmental benefits while managing its negative impacts are highly important for the national governments in European Union. Strategic planning is essential to meet the long term requirements of sustainability. National sustainable development strategies and tourism strategies are fundamental means of strategic planning as they provide guidance for the decision-makers of the tourism sector. The member states of the European Union have prepared their national sustainable development strategies, furthermore the Union’s common strategy and the national strategies of some member states have already been revised and renewed by now.The Hungarian strategies – National Sustainable Development Strategy and National Tourism Development Strategy – were completed the World Tourism Organization published its twelve aims for an agenda for sustainable tourism in 2005. Consequently these strategies are expected to contain references to the sustainability requirements and environmental, economic and socio-cultural aspects of tourism development. In the present study we analyse the issues of sustainable tourism development in the sustainable development strategies of the EU and Hungary and the National Tourism Development Strategy of Hungary 2005-2013 with special attention to the principles laid down by the WTO in 2005. Our aim is to investigate the cohesion between the principles of sustainable development and sustainable tourism, and their manifestations in some of the strategic documents influencing Hungarian tourism development.
In Hungary, similarly to developed countries, the share of agriculture in the GDP has declined. Even so, preparation of the sector’s long term strategy is crucial, as the role of agriculture exceeds the results represented in the GDP. Environmental and social functions of agriculture are revaluated in developed countries, and consumers at the end of the food chain actually govern the entire process. This is why information plays an increasingly important role, and gives signals (Verbeke, 2005) to the actors in the economy and society. This research area is diverse (including agricultural policy, environmental policy, rural development and sustainable development), and so I applied an interdisciplinary approach and conducted an integrated examination. The results show that in recent decades, the pressure of agriculture on the environment has been lower in Hungary than in the EU-15 and agri-environmental measures have taken hold in all types of land-use systems, even though they are more important in protected areas. Although this development provides a good basis for a long term strategy social capital has lost strength (Csath, 2002), so fostering the creation of internal and external rural networks – one instrument for this could be the Leader programme – is essential for sustainable rural development.
In recent years, game theory is more often applied to analyse several sustainable development issues such as climate change and biological diversity, but the explanations generally remain within a non-cooperative setting. In this paper, after reviewing important studies in this field, I will show that these methods and the assumptions upon which these explanations rest lack both descriptive accuracy and analytical power. I also argue that the problem may be better investigated within a framework of the evolutionary game theory that focuses more on the dynamics of strategy change influenced by the effect of the frequency of various competing strategies. Building on this approach, the paper demonstrates that evolutionary games can better reflect the complexity of sustainable development issues. It presents models of human – nature and human – human conflicts represented by two-player and multi-player games (with a very large population of competitors). The benefit in these games played several times (continuously) will be the ability of the human race to survive. Finally, the paper attempts to identify and classify the main problems of sustainable development on which the game theory could be applied and demonstrates that this powerful analytical tool has many further possibilities for analysing global ecological issues.
Innovation in agriculture ensures the wide-spread use of the latest, up-to-date technology. Such new technology is precision farming in crop production, which serves as a validation of the criteria of environmental and economic sustainability. The economic applicability of precision crop production depends on several factors.Among them the following aspects must be emphasized: the size of the farm, the characteristics of the production structure, the current input-output prices and their tendencies, the investment needed for transitioning to precision technology and its capital source, the level of professional knowledge and the managerial attitudes of the farm. I have examined the economic relations between potential savings in chemicals on EU level. It has been found that after switching to precision farming, the active ingredient use for fertilizers can be reduced by 340 thousand tons at the same expected yield level in an optimistic scenario in the EU-27, while the savings in pesticide use can be 30 thousand tons (calculating with the current dose-level). If approximately 30% of the crop producing and mixed farms over 16 ESU adopt this new technology, this will diminish environmental loads by up to 10-35%. The majority of farms characterized by greater output and size can be based on their own equipment but it might as well be presumed that smaller farms can turn to precision farming not based on their own investment. They can buy the technical service from providers, they can establish producer cooperation, for example in the frame of machinery rings. At a certain farm size and farming intensity precision crop production is a real, environmentally friendly farming strategy, with the help of which the farm can reach earnings that cover at least the economic conditions of simple reproduction.
The role of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) is unquestionable in the European economies, while financial opportunities are still inadequate for them. The more than 20 million SMEs play a significant role in European economic growth, innovation and job creation. According to the latest EC Annual Report , SMEs are accounting for 99% of all non-financial enterprises, employing 88.8 million people and generating almost EUR 3.7 tn in added value for our economy. Despite the fact that there is plenty of EU funding available for these SMEs, for certain reasons these funds hardly reach them. But we have to see that the EU supports SMEs by various way, e.g. by grants, regulatory changes, financial instrument, direct funds. On the other hand, SMEs and decision makers realised that the environmental sustainability has to be attached to the economic growth, therefore more and more tools are available for these enterprises. Over the last few years, public institutions, the market, the financial community and non-governmental associations have explicitly demanded that firms improve their environmental performance. One of the greatest opportunities might lay in the Climate- and Energy Strategy till 2030 as 20% of the EU budget is allocated to climate-related actions, however the easy access to finance is still a key question. Does the EU recognise the actual difficulties? Is there a systemic reason behind the absorption problems? Is the EU creating a more businessfriendly environment for SMEs, facilitating access to finance, stimulates the green and sustainable growth and improving access to new markets? The paper analyses the current European situation of the SMEs and the effectiveness of some new tools, which are specially targeting SMEs.
JEL classification: Q18
New Sources of Employment to Promote the Wealth-Generating Capacity of Rural Communities (acronym: RuralJobs) is a collaborative research project partly funded under the European Commission Research and Development 7th Framework Program. The Rural Jobs consortium consists of partners drawn from eight European Union (EU) countries (Bulgaria, France, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Romania, Spain and UK). The project began on February 2008 and finished in October 2010. RuralJobs quantified labour market, demographic and economic trends, and the impact of employment creation measures and policies in seven, representative “reference areas” across the EU, and used the information to demonstrate how rural development measures can be better targeted and how rural development policies should evolve.We identified labour market, demographic and economic trends in rural areas across EU-27 and the potential for new sources of employment outside traditional primary and secondary sector activities, and examined the interaction between different types of rural area (peri-urban, remote, high environmental/amenity value etc.). We identified employment growth areas where rural development programmes can be targeted to increase their contribution to employment creation. Our strategic objectives were the following: review of employment policies and programmes, scenarios for new sources of employment according to rural typologies, recommendations for better targeting of strategies, dissemination and mainstreaming. The main outcome expected is that the results will allow a better targeting of rural development measures and future evolution of rural development policies in line with the Lisbon Strategy.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) or Corporate Sustainability reporting is a relatively new phenomenon in Hungary. As the external pressure from the civil society, public authorities and the media has so far been fairly low, this important corporate activity emerged only at the beginning of the last decade. In spite of this, several pioneering companies have started to publish information on its environmental and social performance in recent years. CSR and sustainability reports are seen increasingly as strategic documents that offer a balanced, objective, and comprehensive assessment of a firm’s non-financial performance. In 2008 and 2009, more than a third of the 100 largest companies reported on their non-financial results (most of them were GRI based reports). In 2010, sixty-one organisations published a report about their non- financial performance, and 22 of these for only the first time. The aim of this paper is to present recent attempts to use indicators in CSR and sustainability reports. On the basis of a detailed review of 70 CSR/sustainability reports published during the last 9 years in Hungary, an analysis was made on the performance indicators appearing in the reports. The motivations of indicator selection processes was analysed and the intended roles of indicator set in communication and strategy design was presented. The significance of and limits to the proposed indicators was discussed.
When viewed from the perspective of climate policy, agriculture as a separate sector is one of the most difficult development areas to assess. One of the reasons for this is the problem of the localization of greenhouse gas emitters, caused by the fact that production takes place in small or dispersed production units. The special circumstance that unit production takes place in complex interactive systems (food, feed, energy sources, main products, by-products, etc.) is yet another special factor, which in addition makes it significantly more difficult to measure and identify the GHGs they emit than if they were a uniform production plant. Additionally, there are few sectors outside agriculture where decision-makers encounter such strong opposition and lobby interests when developing limiting regulations. This stems from the fact that following World War II, European decision-makers and the Common Agricultural Policy elevated agriculture to a prominent role whose importance was indisputable. As a result, both climate policy and other measures that would result in any reduction of the priority of the sector are very difficult to implement, since the players involved always reason that limitations would restrict their competiveness and the security of their production. In addition, the uncertain nature of regulatory elements also poses a grave problem. As an example, the name of the sector itself – the LULUCF (Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry) sector – shows that the strategy for reducing the greenhouse gasses emitted by the whole sector would be significantly different if these units were treated separately (agricultural land use, forest, not-cultivated areas). Taking the above into account, the present study aims to identify development directions that in turn allow those low-carbon development directions to be pinpointed within animal husbandry and plant production that have the greatest feasibility and can contribute to decreasing the GHG environmental load exerted by agriculture.
Advancing the domestic industrial production towards a sustainable, resource-preserving direction can become an important pillar to support competitiveness in the European Union, as well as in Hungary. Reaching the de-carbonization goals for industrial production via lowering the production volume may result in less desirable macro-economic effects, so decisions which concern the industry require a lot of attention from the climate policy as well. In the case of the cement sector, economic actors have to be motivated to make energy-efficiency investments and technology developments, which also show promise in terms of business efficiency. In the more natural-resource-intensive branches of the industry, both innovations and technological developments will be required to reduce the amount of used non-renewable energy resources, keep it in the industrial cycle, and reduce environmental load. The importance of greener cement will be essential in the near future to reduce the sector’s CO2 emission levels. We need to identify more sector branches which relate to sustainability, which can aid the country in establishing long-term competitiveness that points towards the de-carbonization goals. The cost-efficiency aspects of this development process are the most tedious questions in today’s business planning.
JEL classification: Q55
European arable farming, including Hungarian arable farming, faces a huge dilemma: how to contribute to and maintain the global food supply while reducing greenhouse gas emissions while main taining biodiversity, but reducing inputs that are potentially damaging to society and the environment while ensuring that no more land is taken out of production? Not to mention that the increasingly urgent need to tackle climate change is also placing additional demands on EU agricultural decision-makers. Under the European Green Deal (GD), the 'From Farm to Fork' (F2F) strategy will help achieve climate neutrality by 2050, with a target of a 55% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. Achieving this will require significant changes in food production, a shift in crop health strategies and accelerated innovation in the agricultural sector. The study addresses these issues. Our first hypothesis (A1) is that the GD and F2F strategies can be implemented without problems and without losses. Our second assumption (A2) is that the know-how solutions and the technological conditions for precision agriculture that are already available exist, and that all of these already justify the feasibility of A1. In order to prove this, we have reviewed recent and up-to-date literature on DG and F2F. For A1, we found that there are pro and con findings in the literature. However, the summary finding is not positive. The conclusion of the studies, based on data calculations, is that EU agriculture faces huge additional costs if it is to maintain production and reduce environmental pressures. Their calculations suggest that more people will be disadvantaged by the decisions, and that millions of euros could be lost to the public. However, the article also shows that there are many cases where positive results can be achieved even with reduced chemical use. Facts and figures from international and Hungarian technological and know-how solutions and their trials at plant level show that the DG's objectives are already partially achievable. It has been established that the systematic use of precision technologies allows to increase the natural and at the same time the economic efficiency. In our work we have used the results of primary and recent secondary research. We have shown the downsides of GD, but also that with targeted support, the objectives of sustainability and GD can be approached. Changes in 2022, drastic price increases for inputs including fertilizers and pesticides, inflation at a 20-year high, energy prices spiraling out of control, and an almost unprecedented drought affecting crop production and horticulture, point to the need for a radical change in technology, thinking and regulation. And all this to ensure that there is enough affordable food in Hungary, that there are export products within and outside the Community, and that those working in agriculture have a decent living.
Small-urban farm businesses utilise agro-food waste emanating from own production and other levels of food supply chain activities to supplement conventional inputs. Out of these, the food produce surplus from agro-producer households is offloaded to the urban market. As such, the aim of the study was to assess the determinants of agro-food waste commercial utilisation behaviour among urban agro-producer households. An electronically-designed research tool was administered to 456 agro-producer households to collect self-reported estimates of their agro-food waste utilisation behaviour. Results indicated higher budget share towards conventional inputs (0.73) compared to agro-food waste (0.27) but the observed suboptimal production intensification could be rectified with increased use of agro-food waste. Structural equation modelling results indicated that attitude, environmental awareness and concern, motivation and perceived moral obligation had positive significant influence on commercial utilisation intention. The adopted constructs for the model could explain 79.1% of the commercial utilisation behaviour variance. Furthermore, commercial utilisation intention, risk perceptions and perceived behavioural control had significant influence on the commercial utilisation behaviour. Findings are an indicator that agro-food waste commercial utilisation intentions among small-urban farm businesses would likely transition to commercial utilisation behaviour. Since behaviour can be learnt and developed, aspects that contribute to commercial utilisation intentions and behaviour would need to be stimulated. As a strategy of reducing the collectible waste, urban authorities may introduce tailor-made programs meant to stimulate commercial utilisation intention and behaviour in small-urban farm businesses. In valuation of agro-food waste, methodologies that could factor in utility would provide more precise insights in its commercial utilisation.