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The Lisbon Treaty and its consequences for rural development and sustainable tourism : A case study of Romania

Oanta, Gabriela and Sindico, Francesco (2010) The Lisbon Treaty and its consequences for rural development and sustainable tourism : A case study of Romania. Yearbook of the “Gh. Zane” Institute of Economic Researches, 19. pp. 27-42.

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With the entrance into force of the Lisbon Treaty on 1 December 2009, the European Union (EU) has now more tools to deal with a scenario of 27 Member States with specific regional characteristics and different needs in the fields of rural development and sustainable tourism. An important incentive to sign the Lisbon Treaty on 13 December 2007 was the accession to the EU of twelve Central and European countries in recent years. Romania is one of these States. This country has a huge touristic potential and, at the same time, is one of the poorest EU Member State. Against this background, this paper will examine, firstly, the Lisbon Treaty novelties on rural development and sustainable tourism, paying special attention to the new Policy created specifically for tourism; secondly, it will address the EU legislative and policy frameworks in these two fields and the financial instruments that Romania is entitled to and that it could use to promote rural development and tourism; and thirdly, the paper will focus on the Romanian regulation on rural development and sustainable tourism in order to critically assess the extent to which rural development and tourism have been linked at a domestic level. The final goal of the paper is to assess whether Romania is provided with the necessary legal tools to take a strategic decision about how to develop its rural areas through, amongst other factors, tourism.