Cover Osteuropa 6-8/2019

In Osteuropa 6-8/2019

Farewell to the “eternal farmer”
Agriculture and rural regions in Romania

Dietmar Müller

Deutsche Fassung


One-third of agricultural businesses in the European Union are Romanian. Most of these are small-scale and serve as subsistence farms. Larger operations produce mainly grain and sunflowers. Romania is the largest exporter of grain in the EU. Historically, the rural regions were a guarantee of stability for the ruling regime. Since the rural population was dependent on the goodwill of the bureaucracy, the farmers are easy to manipulate in elections. Today, the number of people working in agriculture is decreasing. Rural regions are beset by structural problems such as over-ageing and migration. In the past, the rural population moved to the cities. In recent years, however, they have mainly decided to leave the country to work elsewhere, initially as seasonal labourers, and then as permanent employees.

(Osteuropa 6-8/2019, pp. 143–153)