PREPARE Gathering in 2010. This year 109 participants from 20 European countries gathered in Ohrid, Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) from 30th August to 3rd September.
The participants were welcomed by representatives of the organisers (ALKA and PREPARE) as well as by Macedonian Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food, Mr. Ljupco Dimovski. Also, the European Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr. Dacian Ciolos, addressed the PREPARE Gathering participants with a letter that was read out at the conference. Speakers from the Delegation of the European Union from Skopje, AFSARD Macedonia, Standing Working Group, University of Ljubljana (Slovenia), Leibniz-Institute for Agricultural Development in Central and Eastern Europe (IAMO), ELARD and PREPARE raised a lot of important aspects of rural development. In their opinion, many European regions were unable to contribute to the three EU goals of sustainability, competitiveness and cohesion, because of limited resources. The LEADER initiative, after having experienced three programming periods, has reached maturity. ARC 2020 was an initiative towards a new common voice for civil society. The human factor in rural development issues was considered of crucial importance. The importance of local people’s involvement in rural development, empowering local actors and forests was highlighted.
Overall, the presentations about the future of the CAP as part of the ARC2020 process opened many issues which will become more relevant for accession countries in near future. Participants learned about existing problems, possible reform plans and new challenges. The most important thing was ensuring that rural civil society should be fully informed about the functioning of the CAP and the changes which might occur.