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Current Trends Of The Regional Development Policy In The European Union. The Development Of Competitive Economic Agglomerations Of Cluster Type

Laura Cismas, Andra Miculescu and Otil Otil
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Andra Miculescu: West University of Timisoara, Romania

Annals of the University of Petrosani, Economics, 2010, vol. 10, issue 2, 99-110

Abstract: The study of economic agents’ behaviour, whose nowadays tendency is to group themselves in space as clusters, has an important place in the field of localizing industrial activities. This is due to domestic scale economies, known as agglomerations economies. According to Edgar M. Hoover (Hoover, 1948), domestic scale economies are specific to companies; the economies of localizing - to a certain branch, whose companies form clusters in certain geographical arias, and the urbanization economies are specific to cities, where there are clusters of companies from different branches. The specialty literature regarding local economic development, based on the idea of cluster starts from well-known economic theories, such as: agglomeration theory (Alfred Marshall), the theory of spatial localizing of industrial units (Alfred Weber), the theory of interdependence of locations (Harold Hotelling), the diamond theory (Michael Porter), the theory of entrepreneurship (Joseph Schumpeter), the theory of geographical concentration. Basically, the common point which links them are the concepts which occur in these theories, such as: industrial district, industrial agglomeration, spatial interdependence, concepts which lie at the basis of the cluster idea. Clusters represent an important instrument for promoting industrial development, innovation, competitiveness and economic growth. If, at the beginning, the effort to develop clusters belonged to private persons and companies, nowadays, the actors involved in their development are the governments and public institutions of national or regional level. The objective established within the Lisbon Strategy (2000), to make the European Union “the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy”, is tightly linked to the new approaches of the European economic policy, to competitiveness. One of the policies is focused on developing at the European Union level clusters in the high competitiveness fields. The efforts are concentrated at microeconomic level, by partnerships between universities, the private sector and other institutions, aiming to achieve macroeconomic results through the real growth of companies’ productivity. This is also the objective of our paper, to demonstrate the fact that for the European Union, clusters represent the economic model of development, which is suitable for organizing these efforts and, in the same time, for effectively launching initiatives with an innovative character. Using statistical data relatively recently by the European Cluster Observatory (2007), our paper aims at revealing the fact that clusters are linked to prosperity and that it exists a necessity to consider them as a central part of each economic strategy for the European Union member states. We shall also present the initiatives of cluster type between the European states, successful clusters, with a possible multiplication effect. The paper will also present Romania’s trials to achieve an industrial policy based on competitive economic agglomeration.

Keywords: clusters; competitive economic agglomeration; regional development policies; innovation; competitiveness (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O1 O3 R1 R5 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2010
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