PROJECT NAME: Fostering regional cooperation and balanced territorial development of Western Balkan countries in the process towards EU integration

TARGET REGION: Western Balkan (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, FYR Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia)

IMPLEMENTED BY: Standing Working Group for Regional Rural Development in South Eastern Europe (SWG)

FUNDED BY: the European Union

TIMEFRAME: 01 June 2015 – 31 May 2017


SWG is International Intergovernmental Organisation, consisting of members from governmental institutions in South Eastern Europe (SEE) responsible for agriculture and rural development (Ministries of Agriculture) in countries and territories of SEE. The   SWG   aims   to   assure   a   close   and   permanent cooperation in order to accomplish the common policy of integration with the EU, stimulate and organize initiatives and activities on national, regional and global scale.  In the same time, the SWG as a network of institutions applies critical approach towards global issues, such as climate change, food security and etc.

Our vision – promote innovative and sustainable agriculture and rural development through regional cooperation, to improve rural livelihoods in the SEE countries.

Our mission – increase horizontal cooperation among respective countries and territories of SEE, by coordinating regional initiatives related to agriculture and rural development and supporting the process of social and economic development of rural areas in SEE region.


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

The objective of the project is to strengthen the 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 SEE candidate and potential candidate countries in the field of agriculture and rural development.


  1. Political and policy dialogues related to agriculture and rural development among Western Balkan countries and relevant institutions and stakeholders are enhanced;
  2. Cooperation in at least four cross-border rural areas of SEE (“Drina-Sava”, “Drina-Tara”, “Prespa” and “Sharra”) is strengthened with implementation of different projects with cross-border and regional relevance;
  3. Performance of baseline analysis and strategic planning and programming of economic development in at least two additional cross-border regions is initiated.


The project involves participation of policymakers in the dialogue process, together with major stakeholders including representatives of local self-governments, civil society, and representatives from business community, NGOs and other civil society groups, as well as academics, experts, and stimulates a culture of dialogue and discussion on various important agriculture and rural development policy issues and issues on economic development of rural cross-border areas.

*This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.

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