Presentation of Report on “Empowering rural stakeholders in the Western Balkans”, 6th October 2014, Brussels


Regional Rural Development Standing Working Group in South Eastern Europe (SWG) and PREPARE – Partnership for Rural Europe invite you to the launch of the report “Empowering rural stakeholders in the Western Balkans” that will be held on 6th October (Monday) 2014, at The European Parliament (rue Wiertz, Brussels, room ASP 5G3) starting from 18.30h. Commissioner Dacian Cioloş and Commissioner-elect Phil Hogan (tbc) will be present at the official launch of the report.

This report reflects the conclusions of a stimulating series of traveling workshops and conferences held in April 2014 in the Western Balkans, with a Concluding Conference held in Brussels on 8 April. Taking part in these events were Ministers with responsibility for agriculture and rural development, and representatives of public authorities and civil society organizations, from all the countries of the Western Balkans.

Governments in these countries – as they move towards membership of the European Union – are increasingly focused on programmes of local development in their rural regions, in order to strengthen their national and regional economies and to enhance the quality of life of rural populations. The European Union is supporting the governments in these efforts, through the IPARD programme.

The events in April 2014 were focused on the means by which rural communities can be empowered and encouraged to take initiative in rural development, and to work with governments in a positive partnership. The report shows that governments and civil society organisations in the Western Balkan region are committed to the pursuit of this positive partnership. It contains recommendations for the empowerment of rural stakeholders, and for the links between them and government, which may be broadly applicable not only in that significant region but also more widely in and beyond the European Union.

Here you can download the full report: