Table 3. Scenario principles for alternative plausible changes affecting European rural regions.

  Public intervention - Muskateer Market liberalization - Marketeer
 
General principles
• There is a strong belief that the public sector must intervene to solve social, economic, and environmental problems. • There is a strong belief that market liberalization will achieve solutions to social, economic, and environmental problems.
• The main aims of public intervention are social-economic equity, territorial equity, and environmental protection. • The main aim of market liberalization is to strengthen competitiveness in the global economy to protect socioeconomic achievements.
• Subsidies, tariffs, public investment, and regulation are important instruments to achieve these aims, and are paid for by society. • Low taxation, light bureaucracy, market flexibility, and deregulation are important instruments to achieve these aims.
 
Policy
• EU and national policies focus on supporting the Sustainable Development Strategy (EC 2009), focusing on the synergy between economic, social, and environmental goals. • EU and national policies are based on the economic dimensions of the Lisbon strategy (EC 2004) and the aim of Europe leading the world economy.
• Policies aim for integrated development at a regional scale. • Policy intervention is limited and aims to strengthen European competitiveness.
• Special attention is given to supporting economically and socially marginal areas, and ecologically valuable areas. • Special attention is given to leading economic regions.
• The EU continues to protect vulnerable agricultural sectors from the global market. When appropriate, income support is replaced by a system of targeted payments to farmers and other landowners for their contribution to the improvement of public goods. • The EU abolishes export subsidies, import tariffs, domestic subsidies, milk and sugar quotas, and cohesion policies.
• Multifunctionality of rural areas is supported by public investment (e.g., in infrastructure and information and communication technology [ICT]) and by providing policies that aim to make living in rural areas affordable for all. • The only important policies focus on investment in R&D, technology and the knowledge economy.
• Environmental protection is tackled through regulation and public investment. • Environmental protection depends on market mechanisms and the willingness to pay principle.
• Designated sites or regions receive strong protection. • Designated sites or regions receive moderate protection.
• Policy intervention aims to reduce landscape fragmentation and urban sprawl. • There is little intervention through spatial land use planning.
• There are political initiatives to stimulate sustainable use of resources and to prevent or adapt to environmental impacts, e.g., forest fires, droughts, flooding etc. • Market mechanisms are applied to the effective use of resources and to help to prevent or adapt to environmental effects, e.g., forest fires, droughts, flooding etc.
• The EU implements climate change mitigation policies, but outcomes are marginal by 2030 because of the inertia in the climate system. • The EU does not implement climate change mitigation policies.
 
Governance
• The EU devolves political and financial responsibility to the regions (the subsidiarity principle). • Government is centralized and follows the principle of nonintervention by privatizing national assets. Intervention only occurs in situations where the market fails.
• Rural development is governed by local authorities that fund public participation and bottom-up initiatives. • Rural development is steered by market forces.
 
Economy
• Public investment is used to underpin sustainable development and regional self-sufficiency. • Public investment is minimized and consequently taxation is reduced.
• The EU budget is significantly increased as a proportion of GDP. The additional resources are used to support cohesion policy and payments to farmers for the provision of public goods both of which discriminate strongly in favor of poorer areas and social groups. • Private investment is concentrated in the areas with the greatest comparative advantage and this leads to regional specialization in a global market place.
 
Technology
• There is substantial public investment in R&D and infrastructure including ICT. There is major investment in ICT infrastructure in rural areas providing new business opportunities and improving accessibility. • Technological development is driven by market-led, private investment in regions with sufficient demand.
• There is moderate investment in agricultural productivity. • There will be considerable investment in agricultural productivity, especially in regions with a comparative advantage.