Conference on “Farmers’ and Agrarian parties in Europe”
On 1 and 2 June 2007 a conference was held in Aix-en-Provence entitled “Farmers’ and Agrarian Parties in Europe”, organized by the Centre de Sciences Politiques Comparative (CSPC) of the Institut d´Etudes Politiques d´Áix-en-Provence and CEVIPOL at Université Libre in Brussels. The conference dealt with a topic more or less neglected at present (with exceptions) given the relative decline of agrarian parties in general. It was a plus that the conference assumed an all-European perspective for research on political parties, and produced a number of articles on agrarian parties in the post-communist environment.
In the first bloc, devoted to a comparative perspective, Jean-Michel de Waelle examined agrarian parties in Central and Eastern Europe, Daniel-Louis Seiler took on the Scandinavian agrarian parties, and Thomas Landwehrlen the agrarian parties in the German-speaking countries. Antoine Roger reported on the situation of the representation of agricultural interests in the Romanian party system, Miroslav Mareš and Pavel Pšeja on agrarian and farmers’ parties in the Czech Republic, Csaba Nikolenyi on the Hungarian Small Farmers’ Party, and Cédric Pellen on Self-Defense in Poland.. The last block was devoted to the Black Sea region, including reports by Petia Gueorguieva on Bulgarian agricultural politics, Sorina Soare on the situation in Romania, and Julien Danero on the Democratic Agrarian Party of Moldavia.
The conference clearly served its purpose. The articles and discussions addressed important aspects in the decline or transformation of agrarian parties in Europe as a result of changes in the social structure of rural areas, and integration of agricultural interests with other, more broadly-defined interests. Articles from the conference will be published in a book in two languages (articles in French or English) that will likely become one of the main sources of scholarly information in this field for the next few years.