Volume 42 / 2016

OME ASPECTS OF REGIONALIZATION AND EUROPEAN INTEGRATION IN BULGARIA AND ROMANIA: A COMPARATIVE STUDY
Mitko Atanasov DIMITROV

Abstract:The aim of the bilateral project “Regionalization and European integration in Bulgaria and Romania: a comparative study” of the Economic Research Institute, BAS (ERI BAS) and the Institute for National economy, RAS for the period 2013-2015 has dedicated to accomplish a comparative analysis of the implications of the European integration and enlargement for the development of regions in Bulgaria and Romania.

Taking into consideration the specific features of the national economic policy of either of the two countries since 2007, the academic interest in the chosen topic is to be acknowledged as being fully justified by the fact that the EU integration has altered the political and economic opportunities of regional development of all the EU policies. The academic research on the experience of Romania and Bulgaria as new EU member states in the EU cohesion policy may present a valuable input to the debates on regional disparities, territorial cohesion, tools of regional and urban policy, multi-level governance, policy impacts and evaluation, territorial reforms and regionalization at the present stage of the European integration when new challenges as well as possibilities are emerging.

Classification-JEL:  F15, F35, F36, F42

BULGARIAN AND ROMANIAN REGIONS COMPETITIVENESS: A SYNTHETIC OVERVIEW
Eduard Marinov

Abstract:  The Regional competitiveness index is the first measure of the degree of competitiveness at regional level covering all EU countries and their regions. The paper presents briefly the methodological frame of the RCI and then applies it to Bulgarian and Romanian NUTS 2 regions. The results achieved show the relative ranking of the two countries and their regions in the EU and allow for a broad comparison between them as well as for conclusions to be drawn about their strengths and weaknesses regarding the overall regional development and all 11 fields covered by the RCI.

Classification-JEL:  O18, R11, R58

Keywords:  Regional development, Regional competitiveness index (RCI), Bulgarian and Romanian regions

BULGARIAN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND EU INTEGRATION. HOW FDI AND EU STRUCTURAL FUNDS COULD HELP THIS PROCESS?
Iskra Christova-Balkanska

Abstract:  The aim of this research is to focus on Bulgaria’s macroeconomic development as an EU Member State and to focus on the results, which Bulgaria has achieved during the process of economic catching-up to the other, more developed economies. Bulgaria’s economic development depended and still depends on the inflow of fresh financial resources for restructuring the economy and deepening the process of integration with the other EU Member States. That is why the inflow of foreign capital in the form of direct foreign investments (FDI) has become one of the main tools for impacting and stimulating the industry and the services sectors in the country, both on a national and on a regional level. As a country suffering from a shortage of funding, Bulgaria is in need of significant investments in priority sectors of the economy. In this regard, what remains of crucial importance for the country is the utilization of financial resources under the Operational Programs (OPs) of the European Structural Funds (ESF), which emerged as almost the only source of funding for major projects of the Bulgarian economy and a means for addressing the country’s lagging behind in different spheres of economic life in the years following the economic crisis. Thus, this research is aimed at showing the extent to which Bulgaria has managed to get closer to the level of economic development of the other Member States, and especially to that of the other Eastern European countries. This research aims to show how FDI and financing under the ESF have attributed to the economic development and growth of the Bulgarian economy. The first part of this research is dedicated to the presentation of the economic situation in Bulgaria, mainly in the period after the economic crisis, and the problems related to the economic catch-up. The second part tries to show the extent to which FDI and EU Structural and Investment Funds (ESIFs)  have helped the process of economic development and growth in Bulgaria during the process of economic integration to the EU.

Classification-JEL: F15, E24, F21.

Keywords: Macroeconomic development of Bulgaria, catch-up and cohesion of Bulgaria to the other EU countries, FDI, EU Structural Funds

REGIONALISATION AND EUROPEAN INTEGRATION IN BULGARIA AND ROMANIA: A COMPARATIVE STUDY - BILATERAL PROJECT - THE ECONOMIC RESEARCH INSTITUTE, BAS AND THE INSTITUTE OF NATIONAL ECONOMY, RA 2013-2015
Rossitsa RANGELOVA

Abstract:  The paper presents the current economic and social regional performance in Bulgaria. It is aimed at outlining the regions’ differences in the country and giving relevant recommendations how to narrow this disparity in the future development. The purpose of the regional progress is to achieve faster economic progress and cohesion in order that the country catch up sooner with the average EU level of economic development. Three basic aspects of the regional disparity are considered: demographic, social and economic. The efficiency of the national policies for regional development in Bulgaria as well as the opportunity given by the EU funds are discussed in view of achieving considerable progress in the regional cohesion in Bulgaria and the country's efficient EU integration.

Classification-JEL: F15, F42, O18

Keywords:  regional development, regional differences, Bulgaria, EU integration

STOCKEXCHANGES‟DEVELOPMENT IN SELECTED DANUBE REGION EU MEMBER STATES: THE WAY AHEAD
Julia STEFANOVA

Abstract: The research paper will analyze the current state of development of the capital markets of selected Danube Region EU member states and will evaluate quantitative and qualitative economic indicators on these stock markets, as well as factors promoting their development. Neighboring countries have similar cultures and well-developed business relations. The expected positive external effects from deepened intra-regional cooperation processes are along the lines of economies of scale, diminishing market uncertainties, boosted liquidity and improved depth of capital markets.

Classification-JEL: G19, G23, G29

Keywords: stock markets development, European financial integration, regional cooperation

HERITAGE ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND ECOTOURISM. A NEW VISION ON ECOSYSTEM PROTECTION AND IN-SITU SPECIFIC ACTIVITIES FOR
CULTURAL HERITAGE CONSUMPTION

Valentina VASILE, MariusRazvan SURUGIU, Ioana-Alexandra LOGIN

Abstract: The local businesses can contribute to the preservation of cultural heritage assets. Therefore, it is important to support the development of local businesses that protect or do not alter the condition of local heritage assets. The heritage products and consumption addressed to youth are associated with ICT devices and interactive participation. In this way, a good platform for ecotourism development is created, due to non-invasive tools associated with cultural consumption. We designed the framework coordinates for eco-cultural offer based on less-known heritage assets, as a starting point for small/local heritage entrepreneurship development. For this purpose, we conducted an onsite qualitative research during Sagittarius Project implementation, using two research instruments: scope and satisfaction surveys. We conducted our research both on the supply and demand sides of the ecotourism requirements. The results support the idea that young consumers follow the value chain: knowledge about heritage asset acquired online → electronic cultural consumption → on-site interactive participation → offline and online feedback available for future consumers. Another conclusion of our research is that the tourism services associated are based on a combination of modern hospitality services and easy access to preserving natural ecosystems.

Classification-JEL: L26; L83; Z10

Keywords:  ecotourism; heritage entrepreneurship; cultural heritage consumption; interactive participation

THEOPPORTUNITIESOF EU‟S DANUBEREGIONS STRATEGY FORROMANIA AND BULGARIA
Andreea-Clara MUNTEANU

Abstract: The local businesses can contribute to the preservation of cultural heritage assets. Therefore, it is important to support the development of local businesses that protect or do not alter the condition of local heritage assets. The heritage products and consumption addressed to youth are associated with ICT devices and interactive participation. In this way, a good platform for ecotourism development is created, due to non-invasive tools associated with cultural consumption. We designed the framework coordinates for eco-cultural offer based on less-known heritage assets, as a starting point for small/local heritage entrepreneurship development. For this purpose, we conducted an onsite qualitative research during Sagittarius Project implementation, using two research instruments: scope and satisfaction surveys. We conducted our research both on the supply and demand sides of the ecotourism requirements. The results support the idea that young consumers follow the value chain: knowledge about heritage asset acquired online → electronic cultural consumption → on-site interactive participation → offline and online feedback available for future consumers. Another conclusion of our research is that the tourism services associated are based on a combination of modern hospitality services and easy access to preserving natural ecosystems.

Classification-JEL: L26; L83; Z10

Keywords:  ecotourism; heritage entrepreneurship; cultural heritage consumption; interactive participation

IS THERE A CONSPICUOUS CONSUMPTION EFFECT IN BUCHAREST HOUSING MARKET?
Costin CIORA

Abstract: Real estate market could have significant difference between the behavior of buyers and sellers. The recent period had showed increasing irrationality in consumption correlated with housing bubble and financial crisis. The purpose of this paper is to analyze top prices for residential properties in Bucharest and comparison with the median prices. By stating as initial hypothesis the Veblen effect of consumers, our analysis will present the actual price premium of the top 10% of transaction on a significant sample on Bucharest transactions. Through this analysis, we include conspicuous consumption as a factor of potential housing crisis.

Classification-JEL: R21, R31, O18

Keywords: conspicuous consumption, housing market, real estate market, Veblen effect

THE PROPERTY ECONOMICS AND THE BENCHMARK CULTURE OF COMMON SENSE: ONMARKETS FOR IDEAS, IDEALS, AND IDEOLOGIES
Octavian-Dragomir JORA

Abstract: The very word “culture”, as well as its twin, “civilization”, is one of the richest with respect to both significations and assorted definitions. Common in defining culture is to observe both its immaterial and material dimensions, meaning both the sharing and bonding values and ideas, on one hand, and the artefacts embodying them and resources involved in their making, on the other. There is a multiple relation between the world of ideas, which is disciplined by logical soundness, and the world of things, which is disciplined by property rights. And the interplay of ideas / ideals / ideologies and property rights is a critical one. The capacity of a culture to deliver peace and prosperity heavily depends on the measure in which public space is impregnated with the logic of private property, the mark of common sense. A condensed view of the Romanian realities will round up the principled argument.

Classification-JEL:  B13; K30; L82; O34; P48; Z10

Keywords: economics; praxeology; cultural climate; property rights; ethics; ideas