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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Abstract

Hungary, along with the other member states of the EU, is making efforts to diminish the social and economic gap between the different regions of the country. EU cohesion funds are designed to serve this goal. However, the utilization of these resources is not efficient enough. The problem is exacerbated by how the disadvantaged regions are supported. Support is provided on the basis of various indicators, such as per capita GDP, life expectancy, residents’ educational status, etc. Omitted from this indicator set is reference to the environment or other structural characteristics of the region (such as proximity to big cities; cultural heritage, etc.). This is partly why these developments are not entirely successful. This paper describes some positive cases that may serve as examples for the rural development of poorer regions, both in terms of economy and society. The description of the well-known case of Murau (Austria) is followed by a description of a new experiment which is taking place in the small village of Herencsény in Hungary. It is stated in conclusion that through the help of a guiding holistic vision not only the single issue of poverty can be targeted but a model is created which can facilitate the achieving of numerous ecological and societal goals.

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