Traveling Workshop: “Empowering Rural Stakeholders”, 31st March – 2nd April 2014, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia

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The Regional Rural Development Standing Working Group (SWG) in the Southeast Europe and the PREPARE Partnership for Rural Europe jointly initiated an event entitled: “Empowering rural stakeholders: Mainstreaming participation of stakeholders in development and implementation of agriculture and rural development policies in the Western Balkans and Turkey”.

The objective of this multi-country event which is being organized by TAIEX (Technical Assistance Information Exchange Instrument of the EC) is dual:

–       First, it seeks to raise awareness among all rural development stakeholders, in particular local action groups, of the opportunities and means for involvement and cooperation in relevant policy and decision making at a national level, and

–       Second, it will draw the attention of national administrations and decision-makers to the importance of having structured means for involving stakeholders, and in particular the local actors in rural areas, in designing and implementing agricultural and rural development policies.

The event is structured in 2 stages:

Stage 1: Parallel traveling workshops in 3 hosting countries (Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia) will take part from March 31st – April 2nd.  Each country will host around 30 participants, divided into 2 groups.

The majority of the groups will be composed of experts and administration representatives from the respective host country + representatives from each of IPA beneficiary countries in Western Balkans and Turkey + representatives from EU Member States, European Parliament and experts and representatives of PREPARE and SWG.

Each group will travel separately, visiting 2-4 municipalities, local projects or farms each day. Each day will end in sharing experiences between the 2 sub-groups and reaching joint debate and recommendations.

After the first two days of field visits, the groups will meet together in each capital for a Concluding Workshop to summarize the findings from the Traveling WS-s and share the experiences. This will be supported by presentations of case studies related to the experiences in public/civil partnership in EU Member States (by EU experts). The concluding discussion will be focused on implications for policy and action within the country and on issues to be raised at the multinational conference to be held as a follow-up in Brussels.

Stage 2: Closing Conference in Brussels

The following is the Scope of the Closing Conference which is foreseen for April 8th 2014:

–        Address the issue of stakeholder participation in rural development programming; the general role of stakeholders, and in particular rural actors, in policy design, implementation and control; and the role of Monitoring Committees.

–        Share success stories and lessons learnt from the Member States, especially rural networks and capacity building.

–        Debate findings of the travelling workshops/study tours.

–        Seek opinions (and concrete commitment) of administrations on how to encourage and mainstream involvement of agricultural and rural development actors, mainly those from rural areas, in design and implementation of relevant policies.
Follow the hyperlinks to find out more details about the travelling WS-s in each of the 3 hosting countries:

Traveling WS_Agenda_Macedonia

Traveling WS_Agenda_Montenegro

Traveling WS_Agenda_Serbia