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Effects of European Common Agricultural Policy and Regional Policy on the Socioeconomic Development of the Central Pyrenees, Spain

Teodoro Lasanta and María Laguna Marín-Yaseli
Mountain Research and Development
Vol. 27, No. 2 (May, 2007), pp. 130-137
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25164100
Page Count: 8
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Abstract

Although the European Union has invested important subsidies in European mountain areas since the 1980s, the influence of these subsidies on the economy and society of these regions has so far not been analyzed. For this reason, we conducted a quantitative analysis of the effects of public policies on the development of the Central Pyrenees from 1986 to 2001. During this period, around €170 million (US$ 226.3 million) was invested in development of the Central Pyrenees through the Common Agricultural Policy and Regional Policy. However, in our analysis of correlations between several socioeconomic factors, we found that the number of inhabitants, farms, and employees in the primary and secondary sectors had decreased, while the tourist sector was becoming a major part of the economy. These findings seem to indicate that public policies had little effect; but although our analyses revealed that the various subsidies did little to promote structural improvement, they were important for supporting inhabitants (for example farmers) in the Pyrenees, because they are a form of complementary income, they allow communities to maintain farming activities, and they favor small enterprises linked to tourist activities-thus preventing depopulation. As the Pyrenees have little capacity for endogenous development, we argue that the current public policies should be maintained for the foreseeable future.

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