Panel discussions on European initiatives for development of rural communities

Vesta Association started implementing activities within the project „Panel discussions on European initiatives for development of rural communities“. The project's objective is to contribute to a better understanding of the EU, its policies and programs, as well as benefits of EU member countries in this respect.

In the next eight months, during project implementation period, as planned, at least 500 representatives interested in rural development will be involved in North-Eastern BiH, in the dialogue about EU integration process. This will be done by promoting the EU LEADER approach to the development of rural communities. The objective is to ensure feedback of interested parties on the possibilities to prepare for the LEADER approach, and to establish mechanisms for cotinuous exchange of information and dialogue on the possibilities for application of such an approach in BiH.

In the forthcoming period, the project activities will involve representatives of municipal department for agriculture and rural development, development agencies, farmers' cooperatives, entrepreneurs, NGOs, in the municipalities of: Tuzla, Živinice, Lukavac, Gračanica, Gradačac, Brčko, Bijeljina, Zvornik, Modriča and Derventa. Interest groups in rural communities of these municipalities will be informed, during panel discussions, about advantages of BiH's joining the EU, especially as it relates to development of agriculture and rural communities, and investments into agriculture sector with offered prospects. Rural development policy has a growing importance as a part of the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) and has become one of the EU development priorities. It promoted sustainable development in European rural areas, including economic, social and environmental issues.

LEADER approach to rural development is a method of mobilizing and transferring rural development to its local communities. In the EU member countries, it achieved notable results, and in many rural communities of new member countries and candidate countries it could play an important role by helping them to adjust to the changes.

More than half of the EU population live sin rural areas that comprise 90% of the Union's territory. Within the rural development policy, EU LEADER represents an innovative approach that encourages rural areas to identify new ways to become or remain competitive, and how to best use their advantages and successfully overcome all the obstacles that they are facing.

Our country, being on the path toward the EU, can start already now to adjust its rural development tendencies to the European norms, and seek to further promote overall quality of life and work in rural communities, in line with European standards.