Report – “Empowering rural stakeholders in the Western Balkans”


6th October 2014 was the date for official lunching of the report “Empowering rural stakeholders in the Western Balkans”. Report which 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. The promoting event on this Report was organised at the European Parliament, moderated by Boban Ilic, SWG Secretary General, and included speeches of Commissioner Dacian Ciolos, the President of the EP’s Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development Czeslaw Siekierski, and Ministers and State secretaries from the Western Balkan region and members of Parliament.

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.

Commissioner Ciolos highly endorsed this report saying that “empowering local communities and stakeholders is an imperative in Europe today. We need to find and test new methods of societal engagement to put together stakeholders and political leaders.”

“As you have discovered in our countries, we have some new ideas and positive energy to offer to the European Union. We are not an additional burden for you, we are Europeans like you!” said Boban Ilic, SWG Secretary General, calling for more open minds in the EU towards the Western Balkan region.

The series of traveling workshops were initiated by SWG and PREPARE Network and were conducted by the financial and logistic support of TAIEX, the Commissions technical services and DG AGRI, and carried out by National Rural Development Networks and numerous local projects which hosted numerous visits on the land, meetings at municipalities and final concluding conferences at national level.

Download the Report in English on the following link:

Download the Report in Macedonian on the following link:

Download the Report in Serbian on the following link: