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EU Candidate / Potential Countries


EU enlargement is an on-going process and the ENRD aims to support the dissemination of relevant information to the emerging rural networks in candidate and potential candidate countries.

As of November 2011, the European Union granted status of "candidate country" to:

In March 2012, Serbia also received the "candidate country" status.

All remaining countries of the Western Balkans currently have the status of "potential candidate countries":


Empowering Rural Stakeholders: Multi Country Workshop workshops, 31 March – 2 April 2014, Belgrade, Serbia

The governments of the Western Balkan Region and Turkey are engaged in an intensive and demanding process of preparation for accession to the European Union. In the period March 31 - April, 2, 2014 a series of travelling workshops and country seminars were organised in the Western Balkans, which provided a reality check to all participants: representatives of the EU Commission, national authorities, national academia and research organisations/institutions, rural networks and practitioners.

The objectives of the events “Empowering rural stakeholders” were to raise awareness among rural development actors of the opportunities and means for involvement and cooperation in relevant policy and decision making at a national level and to draw the attention of national administrations and decision-makers to the importance of having structured means for involving stakeholders, in designing and implementing agricultural and rural development policies.

As part of the implementation of pre-accession programmes for rural development , the specific support for farmers as well as the development of the wider rural economy plays a significant role in preparing rural populations for opportunities to shape their own future. The empowerment of rural people to participate in designing their rural development projects is seen as vital for rural innovation and integration of the various sectors and stakeholders.

The workshops were jointly initiated by the Standing Working Group for Rural Development in the Western Balkans and PREPARE Partnership for Rural Europe, with the support of the TAIEX instrument of the European Commission.

Six travelling workshops were organised in parallel in Serbia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Montenegro with the kind hosting and support of the Rural Network in Serbia, the Macedonian Network for Rural Development and the Rural Development Network of Montenegro.

“The workshops were concluded with country-based conferences. A European conference was also held in Brussels on 8 April 2014 with the participation of Dacian Ciolos (Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development), Christian Danielsson (Director General for Enlargement), Ministers of Agriculture of the IPA countries, and representatives of National Rural Networks among others.”

More information and resources:

From the workshops and the seminar in Serbia

From the workshops and the seminar in Montenegro

From the workshops and the seminar in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

From the Concluding conference



Multi Country Workshop on Rural Networks, Paris, France, 20-22 November 2013.

The workshop was organised by TAIEX in cooperation with French Agence pour le Développement de la Coopération Internationale dans les domaines de l’Agriculture, de l’Alimentation et des Espaces Ruraux (ADECIA). The event was addressed mainly to the EU candidate/potential countries such as: Albania, Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Turkey. The ENRD CP was invited also to this event.

The objective of the workshop was to get practical experience on establishing and arranging a rural development network. This knowledge would enable officials to understand what role such a network can play in facilitating relationships between actors in rural areas.

Please see the selected presentations:

  • NRN Albania - [PDF ]
  • NRN Croatia - [PDF ]
  • NRN Macedonia - [PDF ]
  • NRN Montenegro - [PDF ]
  • NRN Serbia - [PDF ]
  • NRN Turkey - [PDF ]
  • ENRD CP - [PDF ]

More details on the entire TAIEX event you can find here

A seminar on the Establishment and Development of National Rural Networks in Candidate Countries was held in Brussels on 11 November 2010. All presentations from this seminar may be downloaded below:

  • ENRD CP presentation: Candidate Countries Seminar - November 11th 2010 – [PDF ]
  • Seminar programme (11 November 2010) – [PDF ]
  • State of play on preparation for National RD Network in Croatia – [PDF ]
  • State of play on NRN, TA implementation and LEADER preparations of Macedonia – [PDF ]
  • Rural Development Network of the Republic of Macedonia – [PDF ]
  • Twinning Project for Support to Implementation of LEADER Measure under IPARD – [PDF ]
  • Technical Assistance Measure – Turkey - [PDF ]
  • Finnish Rural Network and Rural Network Unit –[PDF ]
  • Operation of Rural Network Unit in Estonia ja LEADER – [PDF ]
  • National Rural Networks: Approaches and methods to build national rural networks – [PDF ]
  • Starting a rural network step by step: Approaches and methods to build national rural networks – [PDF ]
  • NRN Wallonia: Strategic Framework – [PDF ]
  • NRN Communication and Dissemination Methods and Tools – [PDF ]
  • The Swedish Rural Network –[PDF ]

Further resources will be available here as they are developed.