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As per tradition, the General Assembly (GA) of the Albanian Network for Rural Development (ANRD) was held on May 29, 2020. Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 crisis, and in search of new ways to sustain the continuity of activity, this year’s Assembly was held virtually to discuss, exchange, and decide on important issues of the functioning of ANRD and its agenda. The agenda included, among other things, the review and voting of requests of grassroots organizations for membership to ANRD; presentation and approval of the Annual Report on the activities of ANRD and the Financial Report for the period January-December 2019; presentation and approval of the Action Plan for 2020; elections of the Board members for the period 2020-2024.

The GA approved the admission of five organizations as full-fledged members by increasing ANRD membership to 27. The presence of new grassroots organizations will ensure ANRD gains a better geographical coverage of rural communities across Albania as well as bring experience and expertise in important themes such as rural development, environment, biodiversity, rural entrepreneurship, regional development, etc.

The five admitted / re-admitted organizations are:

  1. Shoqata mjedisore “Çajupi” (member as of May 29, 2020)
  2. Për mirëqënies sociale dhe ambjentale (member as of May 29, 2020)
  3. Klubi i sipërmarrësve të rinj (member as of May 29, 2020)
  4. Creative Bussiness Solutions (re-admitted on May 29, 2020)
  5. Agjensia e Zhvillimit Rajonal Lezhë (Agency for Regional Development Lezhë re-admitted on May 29, 2020)

GA unanimously approved the 2019 Annual Report and 2020 Action Plan. Discussions on the Action Plan introduced valuable suggestions complementing and making it more relevant to development dynamics as well as the needs and opportunities of ANRD constituents. The GA members concluded that undertaken initiatives and the good performance evidenced during the past year are reflected in the increasing interest of grassroots organizations to contribute and be part of the synergy and opportunities offered by networking. this is considered an important indicator of the reliability, effectiveness of work and expertise provided by ANRD.

During the Assembly’s work, in the course of past year performance analysis, GA members listed democratic decision-making and fairness in the distribution of opportunities and benefits as main factors to encourage activism and volunteerism for joint activities on the part of ANRD constituents. Also, following the statutory request for the renewal of the Board of ANRD, the Assembly members discussed at length and openly concluding in important decisions. They agreed to complete the regulatory framework of ANRD’s Board in accordance with the statute, defining the rules and procedures for renewal and selection of board members.

In this regard, while appreciating the contributions and experience of the actual Board members and also in order to sustain the governance for further consolidation of the governing structures of ANRD, the GA took the decision to mandate for the second time the current Board. Meet the ANRD Board members by clicking here: https://anrd.al/bordi-anrd/.

The Assembly closed its proceedings in an optimistic and positive atmosphere, expressing confidence that the impact, credibility, and role of ANRD will be qualitatively strengthened and deepened in favor of increasing the importance of the rural agenda at the national level, in line with EU policy on community-led local development.