The Regional Rural Development Standing Working Group of SEE (SWG) is organization consisted of institutions responsible for rural development in the respective countries and territories of South- Eastern Europe.


The guiding principles are:

a) Acting in a spirit of friendship and good neighborliness and enhance mutual respect and confidence, dialogue and cooperation among the Members;

b) Further developing and diversifying bilateral and multilateral cooperation on the basis of the principles and rules of the international law;

c) Improving environment for development and promotion of individual and collective initiatives of stakeholders on all levels;

d) Developing collaboration in a manner not contravening with the international obligations of the Members, including those deriving from their membership to international organizations or institutions of an integrative or other nature, and not preventing the promotion of their relations with third parties;

e) Further encouragement to participation of other interested states, international organizations and institutions in the SWG work.


The aims
of the SWG are:

1.     To assure close, open, active, constructive and permanent cooperation among the Members within the scope of their responsibilities to the ongoing integration processes in the EU;
2.     To stimulate and organize initiatives and activities related to rural development on a national, regional and global scale under the supervision of SWG Assembly;
3.     To take part in activities of transnational and global rural development cooperation structures.

Areas of cooperation

In accordance with the agreed principles and with the aim of utilizing more effectively their human, natural and other resources for attaining a sustained growth of rural areas and the social well-being of their people, the members shall cooperate in the following areas:

– Rural development;
– Agriculture and agro-industry;
– Environmental protection;
– Protection and promotion of cultural heritage;
– Tourism and rural tourism;
– Exchange of statistical data;
– Knowledge, experience and information; and
– Collaboration between authorities or in any other related area.

The general objective of the SWG is:

– to facilitate the identification of mutual needs and interests,
– to support joint planning of cross-border rural development projects,
– to support different institutions in fulfilling needs of the countries/ territories.

The main objectives were defined as:

–        Providing a platform for exchange of information on rural development topics;
–        Joint planning of cross-border projects;
–        Organizing support for solving problems and satisfying needs related to rural development issues in the SEE.

Specific tasks of the SWG are to provide a platform for exchange of experiences and assisting each other in:

1.     Direct support for conducting studies, assessments and research in rural development;
2.     Support the establishment of proper structures in institutions responsible for rural development;
3.     Facilitate communication between all stakeholders of rural development in the region;
4.     Rise awareness for rural development within local communities and rural development stakeholders;
5.     Assist strategic planning and programming for rural development.


–       exchange of information;
–       initiation, preparation and implementation of joint projects,
–       lobbying and fund raising;
–       exchange of personnel;
–       building up rural development expert pool;
–       actively supporting capacity building on all levels.