ASSESSMENT OF RURAL SOCIAL INFRASTRUCTURE SERVICES IN LITHUANIA AND POLAND IN THE CONTEXT OF GREEN ECONOMY
Keywords:social infrastructure, social infrastructure services, rural development, green economy
This article reveals the importance of social infrastructure (hereinafter SI) services to rural people, overall rural development and its interface with green economy in Poland and Lithuania. Social infrastructure services are recognized as basic services which are useful and used by people in everyday life regardless of where people live. Development of these services is a key issue when it is analysed in the rural context because it includes various services for local community, facilities, relationships and networks which is not always the focus even in scientific discourse. Social infrastructure services can be considered as important element of rural people integration, fostering their capabilities and acknowledging human rights. The research question of this article is – how the importance of social infrastructure services in rural areas appears? The aim of the research is to disclose the importance of social infrastructure services in rural areas. There were used both theoretical and empirical research methods exploring the evaluations about of social infrastructure services in Poland and Lithuania by using empirical data from European Social Survey. The research results disclosed that the differences between two countries are not very strong and between rural and urban areas are slightly noticeable in some aspects. In Poland the state of education services in rural areas and small towns was rated little higher than in Lithuania, while perception of health services is much better in Lithuania, especially in big cities. Lithuanian residents trust the police more than Polish people but their feeling of safety is noticeably lower.