Development of villages: to Italy via the Office for European Affairs

Novi Sad, 15 July – By the end of the year, inhabitants of Vojvodina working on rural development will have received training, on the basis of cooperation between the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina and the Republic of Italy, via the Office for European Affairs, and within INePS project. Upon the tender procedure, which was announced at the press conference of the Office for European Affairs, the most successful local development plans will be refined in Italy with the help of local action group (LAG) Delta 2000 experts.

– “The formation of LAGs is the achievement of the European Union, which has promoted the activities of people living in micro environment through LEADER and LEADER+ programmes aimed at assisting rural development. LAGs have proved very successful in Italy, and we wish to establish them in the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina as well. Therefore, we would like to invite people and institutions with ideas about how their community could be developed”, said Ruggiero Tabossi, representative of the Ministry of Economic Development of Republic of Italy. He also announced the next day’s visit of Giancarlo Malacarne, President of LAG Delta 2000, which is situated around the Po Delta, and which is very similar to Vojvodina in its characteristics. Mr. Malacarne will hold an initial meeting with the representatives of Vojvodina municipalities, which already have some experience with this way of planning of local development.

– “Projects that will have the greatest impact on long-term local development will be given a chance to be improved in Italy, so that they could be filed as applications for European funds and thus be financed. It has to be indicated that this time special emphasis is placed on the development of undeveloped areas. To what extent our strategic partner from the EU, Republic of Italy is interested should be evident from the fact that Italian ministries have already announced their visits to our country in September to make activity plans for 2009.We are also going to talk to relevant secretariats then and decide about cooperation areas within our Province’s development plan framework in the forthcoming period“, said Predrag Novikov, Director of the Office for European Affairs.