A Forum for Rural Development of the countries of South-East Europe was held

The Forum for Rural Development of the countries of South-East Europe was held from 16th to 18th October 2018 in Jahorina.

On the first day of the forum, an experience was presented in support of the rural economy of the Permanent Working Group for Regional Rural Development of South East Europe, as well as the experience of the company Tehnopolis Niksic from Montenegro in support of the development of rural economy. The theme of one of the introductory presentations was the green economy as an opportunity for diversification of economic activities in rural areas.

Within the panel session "Experience in diversifying economic activities in rural areas in the countries of the Western Balkans, Turkey and the EU", they presented:
1. Maja Timotijević, Association of Cannabis
2. Ibrahim Tugrul, Foundation for the Development of Turkey
3. Dinka Huremović, Association BOSPER
4. Guntis Ruskis, Latvian rural forum
5. Matija Zamjakčanec, Croatian Network for Rural Development
6. Hajredin Serjanaj, representative of the associations of Albanian municipalities
7. Igor Stajić, Association Educational Center Leskovac
8. Petar Gjorgjievski, Macedonia's Rural Development Network
9. Aleksandar Janičić, company Tehnopolis

The participants discussed the following topics within the working groups:
- Diversification of economic activities in rural areas - how to establish a stimulating environment
- The role of civil society organizations in supporting economic activities in rural areas
- Social entrepreneurship as a possibility of diversifying economic activities in rural areas and supporting marginalized groups for employment

On the second and third day, the participants of the forum attended the "Agriculture Policy Forum" organized by the Standing Working Group for Regional Rural Development of South East Europe. Participants of the forum had the opportunity to participate in panel sessions "Agricultural Policy: Determining Regional Rural Development and the EU Perspectives of the Countries of Southeastern Europe", and on the topics they spoke:
1. Cultural Policy in South-East Europe - Dr. Zeljko Vasko, Professor of the University of Banja Luka, Faculty of Agriculture.
2. Land and Small Farmland Market - Dr. Maja Kožar, Agricultural Institute of Slovenia.
3. Application of agroecological policy - Dr. Endrit Kulaj, professor of the Faculty of Agriculture in Tirana, Albania.
4. Preservation and sustainable use of genetic resources in agriculture - Dr. Sreten Andonov, University Cyril and Methodius, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences and Food, Skopje, Macedonia.
5. Depopulation and migration in the countryside - Dr Judith Möllers, PhD, Leibniz Institute for the Development of Agriculture in Transition Economies, Halle, Germany.

Within the working groups, the forum participants had the opportunity to contribute to the following topics:

  • Diversification of economic activities in rural areas in the countries of Southeast Europe
  • Land market and access to land by small farms in Southeast Europe
  • Agro-ecological policies for improving regional rural development in South-Eastern Europe
  • Exchange of good practices in the meat processing sector in the Western Balkans (EXQUISITE)

The Rural Development Forum of the countries of Southeast Europe is one of the activities of the project "ALTER - Active Local Territories for Economic Development of Rural Areas", which is supported by the European Union.