I have the pleasure once more to participate in the forum, organized by Regional Rural Development, Standing Working Group, SWGRRD which is the forum for cooperation in South Eastern Europe, SEE, Western Balkan countries. This time the Forum was hosted by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Economy of North Macedonia in the place Ohrid.

The title for the Forum 2019 is “Contribution of Diversification of Economic Activities to Sustainable Rural Development in SEE”. Three workshops is held.
- Diversification of economic activities in rural areas in SEE
- Harmonization of wine regulation in SEE for enhanced competitiveness of the wine sector
- Research capacities – factor of sustainable development in rural areas in SEE

This cooperation in Western Balkan countries for agriculture and rural areas is of course so important for not only the region, it is for whole Europe and EU. Listening to the debate we see more similarities than differences. So interesting.

During the forum the strategic plan for SWG 2021-2025 was presented. After the summary reports from the workshop the formulation of the Ohrid Agenda 2019 will be adopted.

When the meeting is ended you can find more information and the adopted declaration on the homepage: www.seerural.org
Some participants here will also attend our coming ERP in November.

Staffan Nilsson
ERCA and Rural Sweden