The Baltic Region

2019 Vol. 11 №4

The Development of the Baltic Region

The development of a Russian-Polish cross-border region: the role of the Kaliningrad agglomeration and the Tri-City (Gdansk—Gdynia—Sopot)

Abstract

Until 1991 ties between entities located on either side of the Russian-Polish border were virtually non-existent. There were, however, favourable physical, geographical, economic, social, and ekistical conditions for the development of a cross-border region. Since the early 1990s, cooperation between administrative units and municipalities, businesses, and non-governmental organisations has been developing on an institutional basis. Euroregions and cross-border cooperation programmes have become major contributors to cross-border region-building. On either side of the border, there are socio-economic nodes between which axes of cross-border interaction are emerging. The most powerful axis is the Tri-City (Gdansk-Gdynia-Sopot) — the Kaliningrad agglomeration. A systemic approach is used to analyse a variety of relationships, reflected in a map showing the diversity of geographical areas of cooperation. The University of Gdansk and the Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University are playing an important role in the development of Russian—Polish relations. Although the intensity of cross-border ties has decreased in recent years amid tensions between Russia and the West, there is hope that bilateral socio-economic benefits will encourage the restoration and development of collaborations and the Russian—Polish cross-border region will continue to evolve.

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The development of bioeconomy of the Baltic Region in the context of regional and global climate change

Abstract

Climate change is projected to have a profound effect on natural ecosystems, biodiversity, and societies both in the Baltic region and globally, particularly so through agriculture and food systems. The Baltic region has a vast potential for the development of bioeconomy due to the existing opportunities for biomass production and advances in microbiology leading to process- and product innovations in biomass production and utilization. The development of sustainable bioeconomy in the Baltic region, however, requires a flexible and timely adaptation to climate change. Based on an overview of the relevant state-of-the-art literature, the article explores the implications of the development of bioeconomy for the adaptation to and the mitigation of climate change in the Baltic region. The paper elaborates on actions that may facilitate the sustainability of bioeconomy in the region. It concludes that scientific collaboration across borders in the Baltic region can accelerate innovations to successfully adapt bioeconomy to climate change. Sustainable development of bioeconomy can provide considerable opportunities for mitigating climate change.

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Trends in population change and the sustainable socio-economic development of cities in North-West Russia

Abstract

The Northwestern Federal District is a Russian macro-region that is a unique example of a model region. It accounts for 10 % of the country’s total area and 9.5 % of its population. This article aims to trace the patterns of city distribution across the region, to assess the conditions of differently populated cities and towns, and to identify sustainability trends in their socio-economic development. Population change is a reliable indicator of the competitiveness of a city. As a rule, a growing city performs well economically and has a favourable investment climate and high-paid jobs. The analysis revealed that population change occurred at different rates across the federal district in 2002—2017. A result of uneven socio-economic development, this irregularity became more serious as globalisation and open market advanced. The study links the causes and features of growth-related differences to the administrative status, location, and economic specialisation of northwestern cities. The migration behaviour of the population and the geoeconomic position are shown to be the main indicators of the sustainable development of a city.

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The Development of Border and Transborder Regions

The changing role of border regions in the regional policies of the EU and Russia

Abstract

This article analyses how the role of border regions has changed in the regional policies of Russia and European countries since the early 1990s. The study aims to estimate the efficiency of Russia’s regional policy with regard to border regions (its completeness, a focus on actual problems, etc.) and to compare it with that of European counterparts. The article relies on publications on the experience of EU countries, earlier contributions from Russian researchers, federal regulations, and statistics on the regional distribution of federal investment in fixed assets. It is shown that the federal border region policy is largely a reflection of the features and problems of Russia’s regional policy as a whole. Currently, the development of cross-border cooperation is affected more strongly by national security concerns than by economic growth considerations. Cross-border cooperation is no longer part of the regional policy. Border regions, however, have received an increasing proportion of federal investments in recent years, particularly, amid the reunification with the Crimea. The study calls for better coordination between different areas of the federal socio-economic policy on border regions and closer attention to border regions’ foreign economic ties, particularly, within the implementation of the Strategy for the Spatial Development of the Russian Federation.

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Regionalisation in Northern Europe and the Northern Dimension in Russian political discourse

Abstract

The progress and sustainability of international cross-border region formation is a major concern for Russia, a country bordering sixteen states. In the early 2000s, the development of regions with Russian participation was at its height in northwestern Europe. Cross-border regions arise both naturally, stemming from various functional relations, and as a result of political decisions. In the latter case, political discourse is an important factor in successful region-building. The Northern Dimension (ND) programme, which was launched in 1997, embodied the principle of depoliticised cooperation — Europe’s ‘new regionalism’. This article aims to evaluate the role of the ND in the federal and regional political discourse of 1997—2016, to determine its place among other cross-border cooperation projects, and to follow changes in the understanding of its goals. The study relies on data from the Integrum agency, which has built up the most comprehensive digital archive of federal and regional printed and online media. The federal discourse on the ND reflected the whole set of relations between Russia and the EU. The idea about the crisis of the programme came from the discrepancy between the expectations aroused by political discourse and the actual results of cooperation. The study shows the ND-related discourse changed over the study period and stresses profound differences between federal and regional discourses.

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Rural areas of russia’s north-west borderland: problems and development paths

Abstract

This article focuses on the rural areas of Russia’s North-West borderlands, particularly, the municipal districts and towns that are closest to the national border. The study aims to identify problems in the development of these territories and provide solutions to them. The methodological framework employed is the neo-endogenous approach, which suggests the maximal multifunctionality-driven use of internal resources, bottom-up initiatives supported by the authorities, extensive use of innovations, the Internet, and scientific knowledge. The study takes into account and assesses the heterogeneity of rural areas by producing a typology of districts built on the structure of agricultural production, using the Hall-Tideman index. The study used several indicators to identify the role and place of border districts in their respective regions. Three types of districts were distinguished according to the structure of agricultural production: districts dominated by agricultural organisations, districts dominated by small farms, and mixed-type districts. Cross-district differences in output dynamics were described. The socially essential functions of rural areas and the economic entities performing those functions were identified. The analysis of the recreational resources of border districts helped to determine the directions in which the transformation of rural areas into consumer spaces was moving. The major development trajectories of rural areas were plotted using the non-endogenous approach and differentiated by the district types. The rural areas of the North-West borderlands were confirmed to have a unique and diverse resource potential that is sufficient to ensure their sustainable development based on the non-endogenous approach.

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Regionalisation

Stakeholder approach to the implementation of the ‘third mission’ of universities

Abstract

The implementation of the ‘third mission’ by universities is a significant area of research that has been explored by many Russian and international experts. The ‘third mission’ means engaging with society. Alongside education and research, it is an important factor in the successful development of a contemporary university. In this article, we explore how stakeholder theory, which is successfully employed in the management of large organisations, may be applied for the development of mechanisms for effective implementation of the ‘third mission’ by universities. We identify the main problems in organising stakeholder interactions at Russian universities and analyse possible strategies to improve the situation. We use the examples of Polish, Swedish, and Russian universities to illustrate the practical aspects of interactions at different levels between universities and stakeholders., forms, and methods in the field. Further, we propose a classification of key stakeholders of universities, describe their mutual relations, interests, and resources available to them as well as reflect on stakeholder participation models in educational management. Our findings may contribute to better management at Russian educational institutions and benefit national education authorities.

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Large business in the coastal zones of Russia: features and factors of localisation

Abstract

Russia’s evident ‘turn to the sea’ as regards the economy, the infrastructure, and population distribution patterns is very much in line with the interests and projects of large businesses. This change manifests itself in the development of port and logistics complexes, the port industry, the construction of offshore pipelines, more active offshore oil and gas production, the growing demographic potential of coastal cities, etc. This article aims to explore the localisation of large businesses in Russian coastal zones and to analyse the ‘coastalisation’ of the country’s largest companies. It is shown that ‘coastalisation’ has taken place in forty-two of Russia’s top 100 companies, as rated by the Russian Business Channel. Another objective of the study is to identify large businesses’ industrial and regional priorities in the maritime economy and investigate how they are transformed under the influence of geopolitical and geo-economic factors. Amid active Eurasian integration, which includes the Greater Eurasia project, big businesses are spurring the development of maritime economic complexes and the formation of sea-land economic structures, including cross-border ones. The study identifies which national coastal zones are most attractive to Russian large businesses. Special attention is paid here to the Baltic Sea and the exclave of Kaliningrad where both local (Sodruzhestvo and Avtotor) and interregional/transnational companies (United Shipbuilding Corporation, Gazprom, LUKOIL, etc.) are benefitting from the coastal factor in the socio-economic development.

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Entrepreneurial capital of the region: the concept, manifestations and spatial localisation

Abstract

An important element of the explanation why an entrepreneur carries out high-risk transactions is the evaluation and analysis of her or his inner qualities. Thus, there is a need to identify the connection between entrepreneurial risk and capital. At the regional level, there is an ongoing academic discussion as to who the carrier of entrepreneurial capital is and how this capital can be measured and evaluated in view of its direct influence on the business environment and economic growth opportunities of a certain territory. This article presents the findings of a study into the complex structure of the concept of regional entrepreneurial capital and establishes how this concept is connected with such categories as entrepreneurial spirit, entrepreneurial substance, and entrepreneurial ability. Using an estimate of the number of economic entities (individual entrepreneurs and farmers; small, medium, and large enterprises) per 1,000 population, the study demonstrates cross-regional differences in entrepreneurial activity as a manifestation of entrepreneurial capital, including those in the Northwestern Federal District.

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