Balkan Rural Development Network established
“I expect that BRDN will prove to be a social asset for the Balkan rural communities, that will be able to utilise the opportunities and strengths of today, in order to annul the challenges of tomorrow and contribute to innovative and sustainable solutions to the current and future social and rural development issues,” said Petar Gjorgievski, the newly elected President of the Balkan Rural Development Network (BRDN) at the Founding Assembly.
The regional network is established by five founding members – the national rural development networks of Bosnia, Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro and North Macedonia, while the networks of Albania and Serbia will join as full-fledged members. BRDN’s member organisations are also member based and they are unifying around 200 rural development associations from the entire region that represent the interests and the rights of 9 million rural people.
With the support of We Effect, BRDN will serve as a platform for intense cooperation between the national rural development networks of the Western Balkan countries. The aim is to boost the rural development of the region and improve the socio-economic livelihood of the rural communities.
“BRDN can be a powerhouse for change and a tool for raising the voice of the rural communities from the Balkans. By bridging the gap between the countries, BRDN is uniting them to work more closely together, articulate their mutual interests and seek joint solutions. In the future, we hope to have a strong regional partner that also carries an important role of lobby and advocacy especially on higher level when dealing with regional or EU issues,” says Anneli Leina, Regional Director Europe.
Emphasis is also placed on the increased participation of women in the network and enhanced advocacy work for empowering the rural women from the Western Balkans.
BRDN has acted as an informal association of a civil society rural development networks since 2011.