The SWG, as a platform for networking and regional co- operation, has been established during the Agricultural Policy Forum 2005 (“Rural Development Opportunities for Co-operation in the SEE”) held in North Macedonia and Serbia in June 2005. The SWG is acting as per the conclusions of the Leipzig Agricultural Policy Forum and the adopted Agenda 2004. It was founded on the basis of a common wish to establish an organization for sustainable rural development in SEE. As an organization the SWG is a non-political body, acting in a spirit of friendship and good neighborliness and enhances mutual respect and confidence, dialogue and cooperation among the Member Institutions.
In general, the SWG is working to empower and promote sustainable principles on rural development, through networking and permanent cooperation between all stakeholders of rural development in SEE region. It is intergovernmental organization responsible for initiation and preparation of regional development projects in SEE. It acts as independent agency for coordination and implementation of joint projects, as well as for carrying out project activities. Through them, the SWG serves as the facilitator in the process of strengthening regional institutions necessary to support long-term agricultural and rural development. Moreover, the teamwork by our members reinforces their individual efforts to mainstream or incorporate regional rural development concerns into all of their policies and programs.
Our experience and competence
SWG is an intergovernmental organization, operating on national and regional level, responsible for initiation and preparation of regional development projects in South Eastern Europe. It acts as independent regional agency for promoting sustainable agriculture and rural development in SEE region.
The SWG serves as the facilitator in the process of strengthening regional institutions necessary to support long-term agricultural and rural development policies. We support our Member Governments, academic institutions, associations and organizations in reinforcing capacity building and networking in SEE. We work together in order to increase the understanding and awareness about available information and tools, and identify the gaps and discrepancies within the context of regional alliance.
SWG areas of co-operation: Broadening the definition of agriculture
The SWG strives to capture the richness not only of agriculture, but also of the many other sectors and areas which share common themes and can be merged together. The SWG executes its activities in the following areas:
- Rural Development
- Trade and Economic Development
- Agriculture and Agro-industry
- Environmental Protection and Sustainability
- Protection and promotion of cultural heritage
- Tourism and Rural Tourism
- Contributing to Human Health and Education
- Exchange of Statistical Data
- Promoting Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women in Rural Areas
Reinforcing Capacities and Building Knowledge
The SWG supports its Member institutions, academic institutions, associations and organization in working together to increase their understanding and awareness about available information and tools, and identifying gaps and in discrepancies.
The objective is to engage stakeholders to work on collaborative activities (seminars, workshops and trainings) for enhancing development capacity. Such events promote exchange of experiences, increase collaborative engagement and strengthen knowledge or skill development among the involved parties in the regional development process. The capacity building activities will increase the competences of the participants.
SWG Gender Equality Plan 2022-2026
The aim of the Gender Equality Plan (hereinafter GEP) of the Regional Rural Development Standing Working Group (hereinafter also SWG RRD) is to ensure equal opportunities for all of its employees and collaborates and to guarantee a reassuring work environment for the employees of the SWG RRD.
Throughout the years of SWG’s existence, active work towards achieving the goals and implementing many projects, SWG has established unique path and working standards and gained full respect, appreciation and acknowledgement from the institutions and partners, but most delighted for SWG is the appreciation and respect that comes directly from the local community in the rural areas of SEE. The idea behind the Plan is to extent SWG’s path, to cover the area of gender equality in all our activities that we are conducting in the Western Balkans.