Sustainable rural development and cross-border cooperation

Žaklina Stojanović, Emilija Manić


The concept of sustainable rural development comprises three aspects - social, economical and ecological. They are supposed to act in synergy, but, at the same time, these aspects are supposed to be competitive. Agriculture, as a traditional activity of rural economy, contributes to the sustainable development of rural areas only if there is an adequate resources management. If not, there will be a significant degradation of rural environment. These are the reasons why sustainable agriculture development is emphasized since it maximizes productivity and minimizes negative effects on nature and human resources. In this context, one should observe the connection between agriculture and tourism existing in the EU, where the application of sustainable agricultural development concept produces external effects connected to biodiversity protection and environment in rural areas. These become a good foundation for the development of rural and ecotourism. EU enlargement induced diversification of support programmes that EU gives to the candidate countries, as well as to those who are just entering the process of stabilization and association to the EU. Through cross-border cooperation projects, many goals can be accomplished, among which aspiration for promotion of sustainable economical and social development in border regions is one of the leading. Knowing that these regions are usually passive and underdeveloped, the projects of cross-border cooperation could induce development of those activities in local economy, which could bring better living conditions and economic prosperity on the one hand, and protection of environment on the other. Examples of this kind of projects in Serbia can usually be found in rural and ecotourism development.


multifunctional agriculture, sustainable rural development, cross-border cooperation, rural tourism, ecotourism

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