Representatives of more than 40 civil society organizations from Western and Eastern Macedonia, working on different areas in the field of rural development gathered at two trainings in Eastern and Western Macedonia, organized by the National Rural Parliament as a Voice of Rural Citizens project. This was the first of the series of three two day trainings, expected to provide civil society organizations with knowledge on rural development policies at national and EU level, as well as skills on reading, interpreting and elaborating policies. Through such a process of building the capacities of the civil sector, the National Rural Parliament as a Voice of Rural Citizens project is making efforts to introduce a participatory approach in creating rural development policies and partnerships between the civil and the government sectors in making joint decisions for improving life in rural areas.

“Without a united and strong civil sector we cannot expect to have developed environments, since the civil sector is the driving force in mobilizing resources in rural areas – human and natural” – stressed Petar Gjorgievski, President of the Rural Development Network of the Republic of Macedonia, which unites more than 83 civil organizations throughout Macedonia. He added that work will be done on increasing the level of involvement of local people in preparing strategies and programmes, as the only sustainable means for functional measures for rural development.

National Rural Parliament as a Voice of Rural Citizens project is funded by the EU and implemented by three partner organizations – CNVP (Organization on Connecting Natural Values and People), RDN of RM (Rural Development Network of the Republic of Macedonia) and ARD (Action for Rural Development). The main goal of this project is to increase the influence civil organizations from rural areas have, as well as to strengthen their participation in development of public policies and decision making processes.