Panel discussion on European initiatives for development of rural communities held in the municipality of Modrica

Presentation and panel discussion on European initiatives for development of rural communities were organized by the AssociationVesta, yesterday in the municipality of Modrica. The aim of the presentation and discussion was contribution to a better knowledge and understanding of the EU, its policies and programs of rural development, as well as the benefits that candidate and potential candidate countries and EU Member States have. Information on the possibilities of preparing for the LEADER program, and establishing mechanisms for continuous dialogue and exchange of information on the possibilities of applying this approach in BiH were presented.

The presentation was attended by 67 representatives of the relevant municipal services, local communities, agricultural cooperatives, producers, processors, NGOs, the media. Participants are familiar with the benefits of convergence with the European Union, especially when it comes to developing agriculture and rural communities, and investments in rural development projects. On this occasion, they expressed their own view on the benefits of adapting to EU standards in the development of agriculture and to discuss possibilities of improving agricultural and rural development in the municipality of Modrica.

The attendees highlighted that the poor relationships between the villages, local communities and municipalities and the inability of quality and organizational arrangements at the local level are one of the major problems. On the other hand, they consider the relevant municipality and the municipal authorities, the main driving force that needs to listen to the presentation of this type and apply knowledge and experience of the EU in local communities. Many participants found the presentation and panel discussion very useful. They think that the Leader program is something that should be accepted willingly especially municipalities like Modrica, Gradačac and Samac.

Farm irrigation system is essential for Modrica residents. They should take advantage of offered funds and improve their life in the municipality. They should also provide water for people and animals because the villages here are in a very bad situation in this regard. It is primarily needed to determine priorities and join the local villages and communities in the agricultural cooperatives, which will closely cooperate with municipal authorities.

The representative of municipal services for agriculture Sida Tomic emphasized that the municipality have a qualified persons trained for project writing. The most important are the project ideas that come from farmers itself, which will then be incorporated into the project that municipality will apply for IPA funds and available EU funds.

Panel discussion is one of ten planned projects under the project ‘Get to know the EU’. Project is funded by the European Union with the amount of 33.600 EUR from the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA 2010). The project is planned to include at least 500 representatives interested in rural development in north-eastern Bosnia and Herzegovina, in a dialogue about the process of EU integration by promoting EU LEADER approach to rural development.

And our country on the path of entry into the European Union, already can adapt its tendency towards rural development to European standards and in accordance with European standards strive to further improve the overall quality of living and working in rural areas.

After a successful five panel discussions held in the municipalities of Gracanica, Lukavac, Zivinice, Gradacac and Modrica, other panel discussions are planned to be held in the municipalities of Tuzla, Brcko, Bijeljina, Zvornik and Derventa.