Competitiveness of Agriculture in New Member States of the European Union
Purpose: This paper aims to evaluate the competitiveness of agriculture in new member states of the European Union. Design/Methodology/Approach: The competitiveness of agriculture was evaluated based on characteristics describing relations between production factors, their productivity, and the significance of agriculture in international trade. The survey was carried out for 2007 and 2017 using selected cluster analysis methods and principal component analysis (PCA). Findings: In both analyzed years, two groups of countries having similar characteristics describing the competitiveness of agriculture were identified. A clear difference was observed between new and old EU member states in terms of the agricultural sector's competitiveness. The first group characterized by better values adopted for the analysis of variables in 2007 was countries of the so-called "old Union," consisting of 15 member states (excluding Portugal and Greece), and in 2017 this group did not include Austria. An additional value of the survey was that it identified the characteristics that had the largest share in explaining the variability of the analyzed phenomenon, creating grounds for formulating recommendations concerning measures in the European Union's agricultural policy. Practical Implications: Considering the diagnosed factors that, to the largest extent, determined the classification of the countries to a specific group according to the level of agricultural competitiveness, it is possible to formulate recommendations regarding measures undertaken under CAP. They should be oriented at boosting the dynamics of structural changes in the agriculture of new member states. Originality/Value: This paper focuses on a wide range of variables. Groups of countries most similar in terms of agricultural competitiveness were identified, and the characteristics of countries that had the largest influence on the above-mentioned classification were compared and defined.