During the past two decades Croatia has faced numerous challenges: gaining independence, war conflicts, political and economic transition and the process of European Union (EU) accession. Despite rich and diversified landscapes and cultural heritage, it is still faced with problems limiting the economic development. So the purpose of this chapter is to point out the pragmatic reasons of Croatian delay in the process of adjustment to European business and agricultural policy standards.Based on statistic and literature analysis, the study determines specific characteristics of Croatian regions, rural areas, rural population and agriculture. Agriculture after independence shows increase in utilized area, but the production is still below pre-war level and results with unsteady and modest value. Harmonization with Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) standards is slow; big steps have been made in establishing new institutions in agriculture and preparing adequate legislative framework, so there are no significant formal differences between Croatian and European agricultural policy. However, European agricultural policy models cause problems. There is a daily debate about a low degree of self-sufficiency of the domestic production, low competitiveness and uncontrolled import of farm products. Farmers still often expect for the government to organize the production and guarantee the purchase prices as were in former, socialistic system.Due to these reasons, a fear was expressed by farmers that they could not be able to meet the strict criteria for the European financing. Despite this, a large part of farmers see the possibilities for their existence in rural areas, mostly through development of non-agricultural activities.
Franić, R. and Mikuš, O. (2013), "Chapter 10 Transformations in Croatian Agriculture and Agricultural Policy: Challenges and Opportunities within the European Context", Ortiz-Miranda, D., Moragues-Faus, A. and Arnalte-Alegre, E. (Ed.) Agriculture in Mediterranean Europe: Between Old and New Paradigms (Research in Rural Sociology and Development, Vol. 19), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 233-261. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1057-1922(2013)0000019012Download as .RIS
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