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Pastoral Commons Use in Romania and the Role of the Common Agricultural Policy

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Type: Journal Article
Author: Sutcliffe, Laura; Paulini, Inge; Jones, Gwyn; Marggraf, Rainer; Page, Nathaniel
Journal: International Journal of the Commons
Volume: 7
Page(s): 58-72
Date: 2013
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/8736
Sector: Agriculture
Region: Former Soviet Union
Subject(s): agriculture--policy
collective action
farmers' associations
Abstract: "In comparison to many Western European countries, in Romania the use of common pastures remains widespread and is strongly linked to the predominance of subsistence and semi-subsistence farming in much of the country. The majority of permanent pasture in the country is under state or community ownership, and these areas are of high natural and cultural, as well as economic importance for Romania. Whilst traditional governance systems of the commons are still partly intact, or at least within living memory here, new institutions are forming in response to substantial changes in agriculture and rural life that have been occurring, particularly since Romanias accession to the EU in 2007. We describe the changing role of common pastures for local communities in the case study region of Tarnava Mare in Southern Transylvania, Romania. The number of active users here is decreasing, and those who have more animals are increasingly grazing their animals on long-term leased or private land, thus effectively no longer participating in the commons. This is encouraged by the current system of relatively low prices for agricultural products and EU agricultural support payments, which for smallholders and larger farmers alike are now a major factor in the financial viability of farming in Romania. The future of the commons in the study region will hinge on the success of the communities to self-organise and take advantage of the opportunities presented by the changing rural context of pastoral commons use."

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