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Reflections on a Journey to Albania’s Third Rural Parliament…

Some eight years have passed since the establishment of the Albanian Network for Rural Development (ANRD), which seeks to promote the LEADER approach in Albania, focusing on supporting and building the capacities of public and private actors in rural areas, building partnerships in creating Local Action Groups (LAGs), as well as increasing the confidence of rural society to follow the path of European sustainable development policies and

At one go, ANRD has also developed national advocacy for supportive and encouraging policies on the development of the LEADER approach as well as supportive financial policies and schemes for farmers and other engaged
actors, to channel their confidence and motivation in this path. Supporting social capital has been and remains a priority for ANRD.
The 3rd Albanian Rural Parliament is an even more dedicated effort in empowering important social groups, and specifically builds on two important pillars for rural life and the LEADER approach, that of the Rural Youth Hub and the support of Pro-Rural Women initiative.
The rural parliament comes at a time when, due to bottom-up advocacy, the Parliament of Albania adopted the Law on Local Action Groups, thus creating a real opportunity for developing partnerships to strengthen local and rural cooperation.
Yet, the preparation of local actors, local self-government units, business, and civil society is still far from a sustainable investment to increase the confidence of actors in coming together for instigating changes. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development should place more efforts to open the processes to societal actors and boost collaboration among them. The support of farmers or rural tourist enterprises should be accompanied
by raising awareness of local communities in evaluating them, say “guesthouses”, as a quality instrument for strengthening the Local Action Groups of the area. This is also and contributes to sustainable development, because it is an investment in human capital.

ANRD comes to this national event more consolidated, with an increasing membership trend and an activity that crosses the borders of the country..

The network is present across the country and has established cooperation relations with all local self-government units. The goal for the future remains its consolidation as a resource center for the rural development of the country and the implementation of the LEADER approach.

I am pleased to point out that ANRD has increased its presence in many European organizations and activities. At the same time, it has been awarded several prizes, including the Green Flag from CIA Agricoltori Italiani, attesting to the great work it has done over the years in the sector of civil society empowerment and rural development in Albania. Administratively, the Network is now fully independent and leads and manages regional projects funded by the EU and other donors.
The Albanian Network for Rural Development is expanding and cooperating with public institutions in the country. In addition to the excellent cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, communication with the Parliamentary Committee for Production Activity has also increased, which we consider to be a crucial indicator on the impact of the ANRD’s work.

The Agricultural University of Tirana remains our main partner not just for the physical space of its premises, that it has kindly shared over the years, but also for the continuous support to and advice in our work.
In conclusion, allow me to wholeheartedly thank all donors that have supported the Albanian Network for Rural Development over these years, our collaborators across the country, and all the participants in this important activity.


Sotiraq Hroni

Chairman of the Board,

The Albanian Network for Rural Development



11-13 October 2023

The Rural Parliament of Albania (ARP) is an initiative of the Albanian Network for Rural Development (ANRD) and represents an advocacy, capacity building and networking platform dedicated to rural development. Following the Rural Assembly of Albania (September 2017) and in response to the current challenges of agricultural and rural development in Albania, ANRD in cooperation with the Agricultural University of Tirana (UBT) organized the third Albanian Rural Parliament on October 11-13, 2023.


THE 3rd ALBANIAN RURAL PARLIAMENT – a national platform dedicated to capacity building, networking, and advocacy for sustainable rural development – takes place at the premises of Agriculture University of  Tirana, from October 11 to 13, 2023. The 3rd Albanian Rural Parliament represents a collaborative effort between the Albanian Network for Rural Development (ANRD) and its thirty-four member CSOs, in partnership with the Agriculture University of Tirana (AUT).

This platform represents the most sustainable bottom-up advocacy effort, creating space for dialogue and cooperation, exchange of perspectives on important and current issues of rural and agricultural development, and providing recommendations toward revitalizing rural life and economy. The platform of this third edition will offer innovative ways and new approaches to reach a broad consensus on rural development priorities at the national level and to strengthen the civil and private sector’s voice to benefit sustainable rural development.

The third Parliament comes with an upgraded platform, creating for the first time ever opportunities for young people from rural areas, young farmers and entrepreneurs to gather in their Youth Assembly: with the youth, for the youth, by the youth of the ANRD Rural Youth Hub themselves. Also, the 5th Edition of Pro Rural Women 2023 will be organized within the platform of the Rural Parliament to strengthen advocacy for an agricultural and rural sector, for communities, and a society with equal opportunities for all.

The theme of the 3rd Albanian Rural Parliament – LIFE SPRINGS FROM THE VILLAGE – sets the stage for meaningful dialogue and collaboration, to analyze the reality and get better acquainted with the needs and problems, to reflect on the vision and priorities as collective actions to further empower and uplift rural communities across the country. “Life springs from the village’ serves as a powerful call to action for fostering sustainable rural development, as it reflects the profound truth that the development and progress of Albania originate from its rural areas. “Life springs from the village” highlights the importance of supporting rural economies, investing in infrastructure, and education and creating opportunities for the youth within their communities. It urges us to reevaluate the importance of rural communities and their economy in the context of the current challenges, including climate change, outmigration from rural areas and etc.

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