THESES. for the Ph.D. Thesis of. Zoltán Egyházy. The Traffic Relations in Hungary within the European Regional Development and Regional Cooperation - PDF

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International Relations Multidisciplinary Doctoral School THESES for the Ph.D. Thesis of Zoltán Egyházy The Traffic Relations in Hungary within the European Regional Development and Regional Cooperation

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International Relations Multidisciplinary Doctoral School THESES for the Ph.D. Thesis of Zoltán Egyházy The Traffic Relations in Hungary within the European Regional Development and Regional Cooperation Supervisor: Dr. Ákos Kengyel associate professor Budapest, 2007 Faculty of World Economics THESES for the Ph.D. Thesis of Zoltán Egyházy Traffic Relations in Hungary within the European Regional Development and Regional Cooperation Supervisor: Dr. Ákos Kengyel associate professor Zoltán Egyházy 2 TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. PRESENTING THE THEME AND EXPLANATION THEREOF THE RESEARCH PROBLEM, HYPOTHESES... 4 THESES RESEARCH PLAN AND AIMS THEORETICAL BASES; METHODS AND SOURCES USED IN RESEARCH SUMMARY OF THE RESULTS, CONCLUSIONS REMARKS ON THE GENERAL APPLICABILITY OF THE ESSAY IMPORTANT REFERENCES TOPIC-RELATED PUBLICATIONS BY THE WRITER... 28 1. Presenting the Theme and Explanation Thereof At the beginning of the 21 st century, due to the economic and technological advancement, production and commercial relations are continually expanding and growing. The position and relations of the competing regions and relevant economic participants have changed and are continuing to change dynamically. Production and the activity of economic participants have by far outgrown the borderlines of the nation-states. The sphere of interest and the circle of owners of the international companies seldom belong to just one nation-state. Through their activity, these international firms affect the economic indicators and the industry of the region or the country selected as site of activity, than the economy of their own nation-state. For an area (a territorial unit, a region) the capacity to adopt the global economic processes or the capability to augment these economic processes may yield a more favourable competitive rating as its own economic potential previously did. In the decade following the turn of the millennium, the challenges of the ever faster development in technology and telecommunications, the widening range of mass production and the expanding commercial networks gaining more and more terrain, after accessing the EU by membership, Hungary was also faced with new circumstances and a new situation was to be adapted. After the fall of the strict borders both in terms of ideology and physically speaking, after the pull down of the iron curtain, the national states became no longer capable to further represent their own interests in a globalizing world that has become uni-polar and where the capital and the market economy have become the top priority. The economic role of the geographic facilities and the attractive power of production, also the comparative priorities are all influenced by the development of transport infrastructure in the area. The connections established with the immediate proximity of the region, the transit routes crossing the area and the availability and accessibility of the region itself is top priority due to competitiveness. In the same time, associations and cooperation stemming from economic, industrial and commercial grounds are less and less connected to country borders, nations and governments. Due to being knowledgeable of the local demand and facilities, and also, by reacting more flexibly to the environmental impacts, a more open-minded approach for regional programming, planning and regional public administration has been gaining terrain; 1 meanwhile the national governments role of strategy making has been gradually failing to comply with the daily challenges involved. This has become characteristic in our country as well: regional concern has become a priority with the professional interests. It has become obvious that there is no more chance for merely answering the environmental impacts within the borders of the country. Regionalism, by exploiting area peculiarities and cooperation, is being the most prominent strategic factor enhancing the competitiveness of the European continent. Either within the borders of certain national states or clustering and spanning across the borders prerequisite of which is development in full swing of the traffic links, the regions of the continent, are resources of primary relevance for internal cohesion and the socio-economic development built thereupon. Nevertheless, characteristic of Europe is not only the shared culture and history but also the numerous borders detaching these countries as well as the existent social and cultural differences. The borders, set up in the course of the three centuries passed, have been separating European regions and ethnic groups. The unnatural character of the borders, consequently the fear and alienism along the borders have caused the generation of vast but scarcely populated areas alongside the borders. After certain events of war or conflict escalation, not only the regression of the economy and trade could be identified but also the tendency of the population has become evident to move inbound from the territories neighbouring the country borders. The governments of the national states, upon political and economic considerations, have further enhanced this segregation by strict control on the closed borders. Traffic routes had been traced parallel with the borders, and thus, the areas in the vicinity of the borders in Europe had become peripheral, structurally underdeveloped and difficult to access. It is not by chance therefore that the mayors and representatives of the localities in the immediate vicinity of the border have been the first to build up cross-border connections. However, the efforts of the localities situated along the borders have proved little powerful by themselves. So that the European integration could reach its aim, politics for averting obstacles and solving cross-border problems would be necessary to initiate. Increasing motivation for the cooperation over the borders are: doing away with the mutual animosity and preconceptions providing from historical roots, reinforcing the plural 2 democracy, alleviating the isolation and peripheral character of the areas. Among others, promoting economic growth expected form regional cooperation. Besides this, as benefit of the regional cooperation we can expect promotion of the economic growth, rise in the living standard, integration into the system of the European economic and social structure, the highest level of autonomy and variety being granted. Within the new system of the global and regional cooperation in the area, the role of a certain region or a territory along the border can be boosted in order to face competition merely by the coexistence of state-of-the-art communication contact services and highly professional transport infrastructure. It is for this purpose that the development of transport infrastructure needs to be approached in a new way. This is the general picture owing to which the primary demand arises for the development of the trunk network in traffic and the construction of the international corridors (Helsinki corridors, the development of the Central-European sections of the former TINA network to join into network TEN). In the same time, beyond the development of the trunk road networks, establishing a high standard internal link system for the towns of certain economic areas of the regions and connecting them with the surrounding economic areas, as well as integrating these into the European network is also a major task. It is only when co-existing that these priorities may grant these areas to be competitive, which is their common aim for development. After the physical disappearance of the borders, Hungary is to cope with new challenges and can count with new chances. The extended, globalizing economic area, the uneasy way of keeping in touch along the borders, doing away with the administration when crossing the borders and goods transport across the borders, the single European market and economic rules have constituted a new economic environment, concealing risks and potentials alike. Albeit Hungary has to fight with the special conditions providing from history, the memories from the historical past, the bias or the image of the Hungarians and that about Hungary, sometimes quite unfavourable as seen by the nations of the neighbouring countries. 3 2. The research problem, hypotheses According to those outlined above, Hungary is to face new challenges. The common requirement both for the ever accelerating globalization processes and the European territorial integration can only be met by operating a well-organized transport and communication network. Bad habits dating back to historical traditions, the burden of the negative stereotypes upon the eastern and central European cooperation can also be augmented and promoted by improving the traffic relations. In the course of thesis writing I analyzed the statements below, step by step following the stated hypotheses and proving whether the statements are right or wrong: The hypotheses analyzed are: THESES 1. statement: EU membership has a considerable influence on the strengthening of the co-operation process within Central Europe, which may also ease the controversial situation the societies are in due to their historical legacy. Resources and initiative inspiration for a positive process may be provided by EU, Both external and internal conditions may influence the direction of this process Directly as well as indirectly, it has a mutually favourable effect on the development of transport network that is a physical factor of co-operation 2. statement: an ease to isolation due to the historical legacy of Central Eastern Europe may be effected in two directions; at a macro level, on the one hand, by the completion of EU integration, and, at a micro level, on the other, by giving a green light to the fulfilment of the natural demands to seek and develop cultural-economic relations. 3. statement: It is nevertheless impossible to properly develop any transport infrastructure which development is a must in strengthening the relations without international concepts and plans that include mutually conceived, organic, crossborder relations. 4. statement: In the boosting of the integration that assists social well-being and peace, it may be determined as an objective that the missing plans are to be worked out the soonest, while these are also to be aligned with the existent concepts; and, through this, the joint optimum utilisation of the available EU resources for the integration process is also to be targeted. Through the application of the research method of my thesis I will support and verify the truth of the above statements according to the following research plan and aims. 4 3. Research plan and aims The aim of my thesis is to isolate the peculiarities of the transport system in Hungary at the beginning of the 21st century. Part of this effort is to study the tendencies in transport development inspired by the national and international transport demand; to study the possible contradictions resulting from that, while comparing the transport development programme of the European Union with the Hungarian transport development strategy and the related basic documents of transport network development (macro level study). The study, pursued after international and national level analysis, aims to highlight the impact of the relatively rapid economic-social changes, the liberated market, and the free exchange of goods and capital, which resulted from Hungary s EU accession. Likewise, my study is aimed at indicating the regional effects due to the opening country borders and the contradictions of the static and slowly transforming transport networks. (mezo level study). The study covers the system of relation in the neighbouring regions, and analyzes the current situation in transport relations that evolved from historical events as well as to adverse phenomena caused by the state borders having until lately been closed. Through brief examples, the project level study follows to assess the efficiency of cost-benefit analysis procedures applied to evaluate projects (micro level), and also the utility of these processes within the decision-making system. The study then covers the elements and relations of the institutional system controlling transport development. Meanwhile, a brief review gives an insight into the sectoral goals with the European Union s integrationstrengthening policy, and in the instruments used in transport development as a priority sector. Besides a project evaluation capability, the methods applied must have a guidance capability for decision-makers in assessing any comprehensive transport development measure package highly impacting area development concerns. Consequently, the thesis examines cost-benefit analysis procedures applied in project assessment for weighing the appropriateness of these to judge the impact of transport projects affecting regional development. The general aim of my thesis is to find and examine the factors and processes in the aftermath of the opening of the state borders, whether favourable or unfavourable, that (may) influence Hungary s geo-potential economic-social status. Also, general aim is to point out the complex factors basically influencing the transport development system. It is an uttered purpose of this paper to forecast the opportunities and steps which, if applied at best as potential instruments 5 of transport development, may make Hungary a well-integrated, organically co-operating element in Europe; even more, to make Hungary a regional economic centre in Europe. A further aim is to present a proposal, a strategy for the development of transport network, one which would promote Hungary s position to become a pivotal element yet an integral part of the economy and culture in Central Eastern Europe, thus enhancing the economy and status of the region. Research areas The research plan of my thesis was as follows: Central Europe s historical background; 20th century events and their influences on Hungary s current position The regional transport network of Central Europe; Hungary s transport connections. This chapter covers basic definitions and a description of the major features of the transport network in the Carpathian Basin, including Hungary s transport connections as well as the documents determining their nature. The role of regionalism; transport as power plant for regionalism This chapter deals with the search for missing relations, with the potentials, and with the demands for co-operation and transport relations. Feasibility of tasks; evaluation of planning systems; methods and efficiency of cost-benefit analysis EU instruments and resources to assist the implementation of goals. Characteristics of the institutional system determining transport development This chapter tackles a single, institution-wise approach of the elements analysed, and elaborates an amendment to the proposal. Summary of the results gained; conclusion. 6 Constraints While in my thesis I intend to cover all of the influences on Hungary as well as on the peoples, economy and culture of the Carpathian Basin, I ignore influences, whether coming from within or outside Europe, which do not affect the region and its development. As much as possible, I would like to ignore both political and lobby efforts. In order that a comprehensive and objective picture may be drawn, I make deliberate efforts to remain independent from political views and fashionable approaches. Research period: from September 1, 2005 to August 20, Thesis was completed on August 20, 4. Theoretical bases; methods and sources used in research A considerable part of my research efforts were devoted to the study of the national and international literature of the professional field. To ensure credibility and objectivity, in my research I relied as primary sources only on those sources and databases related to economictrading relationships and transport infrastructure characteristics that had been produced either by organisations in the administrational system or by ones professionally engaged in transport research, in transport control or in the implementation of transport facilities. Furthermore, I relied as primary sources on retrievable items of information released by the European Committee or other EU organisations. I also relied as primary sources on materials presented at transport conferences and meetings. In classifying the materials as well as in making references, I used the technical terminology of engineering and economics. An appendix with explanation for the abbreviations applied is also attached. Any literature used as reference, whether directly or indirectly related to the professional field, is considered secondary source. Besides national publications in the field, I pursued research of the foreign literature related to the profession, so as to use them in my thesis. Basically, the thesis relies on three types of sources. Primarily, I studied national and international literature on transport development. Besides, I used publications in economics, regional politics, regional economics, and regional development. In making the statements and conclusions in my thesis I also relied on both theoretical and methodological approaches of strategic planning, project planning, transport economics, transport network development, network modelling, regional planning, regional development, transport planning, and regional administration. As secondary sources, I used professional papers and legal regulations referring to transport, whether issued at national level in Hungary or at European level, those related to regional national transport development strategy and administration. I analysed and evaluated their assertions, their orientation and their correlation. Thirdly, in my thesis I used and introduced some documents in statistics and economic analysis. Additionally, in respect of cost-benefit analysis, I applied cost-benefit findings and data used in a basic funding document with certain EU-funded projects. 8 The first part of my thesis summarises the tenets and assertions of the most relevant school of economics and integration theory related to transport development and regional economy. However, the theories introduced here can just partially be associated with the study concerning the role of transport and globalisation in the European integration process. Therefore, in my analyses I applied the problem-tree goal-tree method widely used with the implementation of the European Union integration policy and regional policy, as well as its instrument, the regional assistance system. In the problem-tree goal-tree system I summarised the goals to be reached by the implication of an efficient transport system (goal-tree). By the application of a problem-tree, in turn, I outlined the problems connected to the current situation, which have basically determined the stream of the research and analysis performed just like these theses. When studying the fields with relevant impact on establishing transport networks, at the beginning of the main chapters I introduced the most relevant theoretical fundamentals based on the professional literature of the pertinent field. Therefore, in my thesis, the most relevant basic concepts and theoretical approaches are referred to throughout the text; those related to the nature of transport, the correlation of transport and economy, regionalism, and costbenefit analysis. Apart from the above-mentioned sources of literature, I relied on interviews and discussions with transport experts and officials. Conference lectures in the field and related professional material made in workshops were likewise utilised. For the time being, there is no effective method to evaluate the efficiency and results of the transport development measures within the European Union. Although several efforts have been made to answer this problem, no methods o
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