Teder, M., Mizaraitė D., Mizaras S., Nonić, D., Nedeljković, J., Sarvašová Z., Vilkriste, L., Zalite, Z. and Weiss, G. 2015. Structural Changes of State Forest Management Organisations in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Serbia and Slovakia since 1990. Balti

All former socialist countries in central and eastern Europe have been undergoing a transition from one political system (based on a centrally planned economy and a one-party system) to a radically different political system (based on a market economy and a democratic political system). The formation of a free timber market and new modes of ownership have caused a change in the state forest sector as well.

The primary objective of this article is to demonstrate the changes in state forest enterprises over the last 20 years in five selected countries of central and Eastern Europe: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Serbia and Slovakia. Country case descriptions of the situation are based on literature analysis, statistical data and expert opinions.

The main findings of this study are the following: changes in ownership structure caused a reduction of the area managed by state forest management organisations in most case study countries; in all mentioned countries state forest enterprises have underwent changes in their organisational structure; a reduction of personnel in state forest enterprises and an increase in outsourced activities were observed. Methods of timber sales have altered during the last 20 years; in several countries, the state forest management organisations play a role in stabilising the domestic timber market. The importance of forest values, such as environmental protection and forest-related recreation, is also increasing in the state forest sector.

Keywords: forest ownership, state forest enterprises, organisational changes, central and eastern Europe