“Fostering regional cooperation and balanced territorial development of Western Balkan countries in the process towards EU integration – Support to the Regional Rural Development Standing Working Group (SWG) in South-East Europe” – June 2015 – May 2017.

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The SWG continued with the activities related to the implementation of the ABD approach in the Western Balkan countries, within the project “Fostering regional cooperation and balanced territorial development of Western Balkan countries in the process towards EU integration – Support to the Regional Rural Development Standing Working Group (SWG) in South-East Europe”.

The project aimed at fostering regional cooperation among institutions and stakeholders in the agriculture and food sector, as well as facilitation of the process of balanced territorial development of the Western Balkan countries in the progression towards EU integration.

The objective of the project was to strengthen networking and cooperation among the public institutions and stakeholders, as well as with other relevant regional bodies, in order to accelerate the EU accession process of the WB candidate and potential candidate countries in the field of agriculture and rural development.

Organization of high-level meetings and forums, working group on topics related to agriculture and rural development, as well support of organization of two SWG assembly sessions, resulted in preparation and dissemination of political statements and policy recommendations which contributed to increased dialogue on EU approximation process of the Western Balkan countries and future policy development related to agriculture and rural development.

The project activities also focused on facilitation of the achievement process of the strategic development goals defined in the strategic frameworks and Programmes for economic development of the regions.

Specific project objectives:

  1. Enhanced political and policy dialogues related to agriculture and rural development among Western Balkan countries and relevant institutions and stakeholders.
  2. Strengthened cooperation in at least four cross-border rural areas of the Western Balkan (“Drina­ Sava”, “Drina-Tara”, “Prespa” and “Sharra”) with implementation of different projects with cross-border and regional relevance.
  3. Initiated performance of baseline analysis and strategic planning and programming of economic development in at least two additional cross-border regions.

The project results till now are in line with the foreseen indicators and are up-scaling the general and specific project/regional objectives:

– Indicator 1: At least two political statements and eight different policy documents on agriculture and rural development issues are prepared and disseminated

  • 3 (three) political statements and 8 (eight) policy documents prepared and disseminated!

– Indicator 2: At least six projects per cross-border area are prepared and submitted on different calls for project proposals

  • 36 project proposals are prepared and submitted with the support of the PMU’ staff (average 9 per region).

– Indicator 3: Stakeholder Groups in at least two additional cross-border areas are established and the areas are preparing for implementation of integrated economic development

  • Established Stakeholders Groups in 3 (three) additional cross-border areas which are prepared for further implementation of the ABD approach

Additional remarks:

  • Reconciliation is possible through regional cooperation and economic development in the cross-border regions in WB;
  • The PMU are well established and recognized by the Stakeholders as focal points for matchmaking;
  • The Action and the successfully implemented activities managed to attract different donors to invest in the rural cross-border regions and scale-up the results;
  • The Stakeholders are willing to continue and contribute to the process;
  • Continuation of the process and additional funds are needed for these specific regions to continue their development, increase cooperation and reduce the migration rate from this areas to EU and other countries.

This project was funded by the European Union.

Project duration: June 2015 – May 2017.

P2P infograph