ISSN: 1648 - 4460

International Journal of Scholarly Papers


Transformations  in
Business & Economics

Transformations in
Business & Economics

  • © Vilnius University, 2002-2011
  • © Brno University of Technology, 2002-2011
  • © University of Latvia, 2002-2011
Guest Editorial
Institutional Transformations and Regional Development in Central and Eastern Europe

JEL classification: Y20.

One of the most important and relatively recent tendencies in the specialized literature is the attempt to correlate the institutionalist approach with the economic theories and patterns. Furthermore, the increase of the theoretical and practical interest in understanding the regional development and growth processes, the behaviour of the economic actors at the local level or the determination of the regional balance and convergence brought about an increase in the relevance of institutionalism for the economic geography and regional development studies.

These new tendencies in the economic research at the international level have a specific significance in the European context, especially from the point of view of the interest in the scientific shaping of the European policies, mainly of the regional policy, in order to increase the potential contribution to achieving the EU 2020 strategic objectives.

This thematic issue of Transformations in Business & Economic Journal includes multi and interdisciplinary studies which tackle different specific aspects of regional development mainly in the Central and Eastern European countries, in most analyses laying emphasis on the role played by the European Cohesion Policy in the new member states. Without omitting the theoretical dimension of the fundamental research, the papers included in this volume focus on empirical analyses and case studies, contributing to the better understanding of realities in the new EU economies (especially from the Eastern periphery) which result from the dynamics of changes brought about by the participation in the integration system of the European Union. They approach subjects such as foreign direct investments, migration and labour market, the regional development policies and the implementation of the European Cohesion Policy, the changes at the level of the formal and informal institutions, development of human capital, regional convergence and development, social responsibility or public private partnership. An important part is played by the interpretations from the point of view of institutionalism and the new economic geography.

On the whole, we must not forget that the taking over and implementation of the EU acquis, the integration in the European policies, the adjustment of the economies and participation of the economic actors to the internal market competitiveness involve a process of learning and adapting which generate fundamental changes both at the formal institution level (organizations, public administration bodies, firms and other) and at the informal institution level (values, attitudes and behaviours). The studies clearly show the fact that the management of these changes and their valorization for the support of the regional development and convergence processes depend on the quality of the governance structures at the local level, the challenges being greater the more the economic peripherality is associated with spatial peripherality, as in Romania’s case. We can also note the interest for evaluating the impact of the present economic crisis on the transformational processes in the Central and Eastern European countries, especially in Romania, one of the most affected economies, currently blocked by a certain incoherence of the economic relaunching programmes.

Moreover, we consider that the scientific value of the current thematic issue is also given by the analyses made at the NUTS 2 and NUTS 3 level, very useful for the shaping of the regional development policies and evaluation of the impact of these policies at the local level.

The published studies are most of them results of academic research (professors, researchers and PhD students) from different Romanian universities: Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi, Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies and Babes-Bolyai University of Cluj-Napoca. The researches were done within international and national research grants, joint to the general issues of regional development. The Center for European Studies from “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University of Iasi has an important contribution in making up the volume, through the interdisciplinary research programme Regional Development, Convergence and Competitiveness in Central and Eastern Europe.

Alexandru Ioan Cuza University (UAIC) of Iasi, Romania is the oldest higher education institution in Romania. With 15 faculties, over 38.000 students and 800 academic staff, the University enjoys a high prestige at the national and international levels. UAIC cooperates with over 180 universities worldwide, being member of some of the most important university networks and associations, being oriented more and more for the last period of time towards promoting academic research and increasing visibility at the international level. One of the newest and most dynamic structures of the university is the Centre for European Studies (CES). Created in 2000, CES is an interfaculty department which operates as a Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence in European Studies. CES mission is to contribute to the development of the European dimension of education, to promote research, consultancy, information and documentation in the area of European Studies. In the last years, the increased interest for the regional development issue in the EU Eastern periphery has led to the orientation and intensification of research made by the Centre for European Studies towards issues of regional development in the subjects of interest of regional development such as regional convergence, disparities, European Cohesion Policy, the centre-periphery model, secondary growth poles, international specialization and competitiveness, tourism and regional development, foreign direct investments, migration, local and regional governance, cross-border cooperation and European Neighborhood Policy. The interdisciplinary research programme Regional Development, Convergence and Competitiveness in Central and Eastern Europe is consequently the result of the increased interest, theoretical and normative, for shaping the regional development policies both at the European level and in Romania. One of the CES priorities lately has also been the development of partnerships in the research field, promoting research results, their own and the partners’, as well as the increase of the Romanian research visibility at the international level.

We are consequently extremely honoured by the possibility to promote our studies and those of the collaborators in an impressive review such as Transformations in Business & Economics Journal. We also believe that the opening of Vilnius University Publishing House and the Editors of Transformations in Business and Economics for the issuing of the Romanian academic research is an important opportunity both for the academic dialogue and the transfer of knowledge in the European research area, as well as for the promotion of partnerships at the European level.

Special thanks to the Editorial Board for the permanent support and important cooperation throughout drawing out this issue of the Transformations in Business and Economics Journal. Without the encouragements and real help in coordinating the volume, this issue would not have come out.

Guest Editor

Professor Gabriela Carmen Pascariu, PhD,
Director of Center for European Studies,
Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi,

18th October, 2011

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