North Macedonia: Supporting regional and national rural development networks in the Western Balkan

On 31st August and 1st September the Kick-off Workshop for the PEM Consult assignment to strengthen the capacities of regional and national cooperation structures for rural development to promote local development partnerships took place in Skopje / North Macedonia. The event was organised and led by the regional project “Support to economic diversification of rural areas in Southeast Europe - SEDRA II” implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.

This regional project includes the Southeast European countries/territories and the lead executing agencies are the ministries competent for agriculture and rural development, through their membership in the regional organization Standing Working Group for Regional Rural Development (SWG RRD). As the EU Green Deal as a new growth strategy towards an environmental and digital transformation, the Western Balkan countries face multiple strategic reorientations and transformative challenges which have been adopted with the Green Agenda for the Western Balkans.

The project activities are focused to the (further) support of the regional platforms for political and policy dialogue and mechanisms for more intensive and broader cooperation, strengthening the regional stakeholders’ competencies and expertise related to the EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and to the Green Agenda for Western Balkans.

PEM’s activities will cover support for joint learning and exchange, capacity-building in policy advocacy, establishment of functioning bottom-up models for participatory rural development and support to the implementation of Community-Led Local Development (CLLD) approaches and LEADER (Liaison entre action de développement de l'économie rurale) actions for the development of the rural economy in the six Western Balkans countries.

Main implementing partners and participants at the planning workshop are:

1. The Balkan Rural Development Network (BRDN)

A platform through which rural development networks in the Balkans regularly exchange information, experience and knowledge. The objective is to network and cooperate together in order to increase the effectiveness on national level. The Balkan Rural Development Network (BRDN) started as an informal network, which became formally confirmed as a representative organization in August 2020.

2. National Rural Development Networks (NRDNs)

The six NRDNs with a total membership of more than 200 Non-Governmental Organisations are further key partners:

  • Albanian Network for Rural Development (ANRD)
  • The Rural Development Network in Bosnia and Herzegovina (MRRBiH)
  • The Network of Organizations for Rural Development of Kosovo (NORDK)
  • The Rural Development Network of North Macedonia (RDN of NM)
  • Network for Rural Development of Montenegro (NRDM)
  • The Network for Rural Development of Serbia (NRDS)

We are looking forward to a trustful cooperation and successful project implementation.