chapter  4
131 Pages

The evaluation of the transferability of the proposed agenda

The present study analyses the transferability of the measures outlined above to Austria’s Central and Eastern European neighbouring countries by means of qualitative methods of empirical research on the basis of a selection of local areas. In this context, local area denotes a municipality together with its relations with neighbouring municipalities. This leads to a particular local area being viewed differently by each given municipality, which makes a rigid definition of local areas impossible. Local areas, in turn, form part of a region. Selecting the cases surveyed according to specified rules represents an

important criterion for the soundness of qualitative research. For this purpose, the selection procedure comprised several stages. The study focuses on local areas in rural settings. Consequently, only such

regions in the respective countries surveyed that are to be rated as rural according to the OECD definition were considered (OECD 1993: 13, OECD 1995: 15). Ten local areas were analysed. The number of local areas to be examined per country surveyed was

determined in proportion to the size of the national territories of the eligible countries. Moreover, each country was to be represented by at least two local areas. Consequently, three Czech and three Hungarian local areas were examined together with two Slovak and two Slovenian local areas. In order to consider the influences of different regulations at the regional administrative level, the concrete local areas selected all had to correspond to a different NUTS II level in the individual countries surveyed. As Slovenia only consists of one region according to this level of classification, in this case, national administrative units were taken as a basis. Moreover, the effect of the distance of each local area surveyed from the Austrian border was to be controlled for. Therefore, the cases for analysis were selected in such a manner that, in each country surveyed, at least one local area is situated close to the Austrian border, and at least one other local area is situated further away.