The EU integration process is a highly complex process which involves the design and implementation of reforms in a wide range of areas. In general, the EU integration has been steady but uneven. Although all of the WB countries are at different stages of development, they face similar challenges in modernizing of the agricultural and rural development sectors. Problems with policy reform and harmonization, information systems and economic development, coupled with general underdevelopment and limited institutional capacity, continue to obstruct the reform processes in the Western Balkans. In addition to the policy requirement for the EU integration of the WB countries, extended regional cooperation is most substantial for the future relations to the EU. It is an essential means for strengthening of agriculture and rural development and subsequently enhancing the economic growth.
In the pursuit of these objectives the countries of the Western Balkans have created a regional body in the field of agriculture and rural development legitimized by their governments (Ministries of Agriculture). The Regional Rural Development Standing Working Group (SWG) in South Eastern Europe is a regional organization, financially backed up by its member institutions. Its objective is to facilitate close cooperation among the governing institutions and other stakeholders in the field of agriculture and rural development and support the countries of South Eastern Europe in their process of EU integration.
The SWG as a regional initiative, in order to contribute to the regional cooperation and establishment of EU system in the SEE region, requires support on international level for strengthening its core functions. The objective of this project is to provide the necessary assistance across the main core functions in support of SWG for policy analysis, capacity building, networking and project. implementation.
Project duration: June 2012 – May 2015