Results from the study tour on Area Based Development Approach (ABDA): “Best practices for regional rural development, regional cooperation and area based development “, 26 – 30 November, 2012, Bavaria, Germany and Austria


The Area Based Development Approach (ABDA) was recently initiated in the region through an EU-financed study carried out by the SWG. The SWG Assembly has selected four cross-border regions in the Western Balkans to be involved in the process of implementing the ABDA: “Drina- Tara” (cross-border region between BiH, SRB, MNE), “Prespa” (cross-border region between ALB and MK), “Sharra” (cross-border region between ALB, MK and KOS),  and “Drina – Sava” (cross-border region between BiH, HR, SRB).  So far, an in-depth analyses, development strategies and action plans for each of these regions have been elaborated in close cooperation with stakeholder groups formed in each of these regions.

In the forthcoming period, the SWG will further work on building capacities and structures within the SWG and selected regions in order to be able to implement the forthcoming ABD programmes.

Therefore, the SWG organized a study tour to Germany and Austria, which took place from November 26th to 30th, 2012.

The group composed of representatives from each of the regions, regional rural development experts and representatives from the SWG Headquarters.

The study tour was meant to provide an opportunity for representatives from the ABDA cross-border regions in the Western Balkan countries to become familiar with good practices of implementing policies for rural development and regional cooperation in EU member countries. The program was tailored to cover the topics of Regional Rural Development, the implementation of LEADER through Local Action Groups, the organization and marketing of different regions, mechanisms of trans-regional cooperation, aspects of tourism, branding, business locations, issues of energy saving and sustainable construction, civic participation in decision-taking concerning energy and selected cross-border projects.

In addition, the study tour aimed to establishment closer cooperation and exchange of experiences and views between representatives of different cross-border regions related to implementation of ABDA) in the Western Balkans.

More information on this study tour:

Illustrated documentation