News archive - “COST is a must” – Agricultural research and knowledge transfer in Western Balkan Countries

On Tuesday 24 November, Director of the COST Association, Ronald de Bruin was invited as a speaker at the first ‘Workshop on Agricultural Research and Knowledge Transfer in Western Balkan countries. The 2 day event (23-24 November) was organised by the European Commission DG AGRI and Regional Rural Development Standing Working Group in South Eastern Europe (SWG), bringing together professionals from the Western Balkan region, European Union countries and the EU institutions, to address two key aims:


  1. To assess status and exchange views on the current capacity of Agricultural Research and Knowledge transfer to impact the development of agriculture and rural development in Western Balkans in areas covered by IPARD II.
  1. To present current research experiences and examine future funding opportunities, the possibilities for capacity building, networking and funding in the future in Western Balkans.

During his presentation, the COST Director explained how COST is committed to serving the Western Balkan countries and providing its tools to facilitate stronger integration with the European Research Area. He emphasised how the programme enhances the enlargement process and reinforces research communities’ integration into the European Research Area.

“The networks COST supports are among the most impactful tools to bridge the participation gap and close the innovation divide in Europe, whilst providing opportunities for all generations. Participation in COST has led to significant results and follow-up in terms of the number of proposals submitted for collaborative research in Horizon 2020, with a success rate which more than triples the average success rates for these programmes. This underpins the role of COST as a pre-portal for follow-up European funding for research and innovation.”

Speaking after the COST programme presentation, Liam Breslin, Head of Unit Pre-Accession Assistance (IPARD), DG AGRI, European Commission exclaimed “COST is a must”

Background to the event

The integration of the Western Balkan countries (WBCs) into the European Union (EU) is a major political and economic project designed to assure stability and development in the region. From the very beginning, cooperation on research and innovation has been stimulated as a tool to facilitate integration into the European Union. Research and innovation has been identified as offering a positive political agenda and a path towards sustained economic growth and job creation.

Western Balkan countries and COST

All six countries of the Western Balkan region are actively involved in the COST programme, joining in the following years:

1991 Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, Members of COST

2002 North Macedonia, Member of COST

2015 Montenegro, Member of COST

2018 Albania, Member of COST

2018 Kosovo*, Near Neighbour Country to COST


Further reading

Event on COST website

Official event listing


COST Member Countries

Near Neighbour Countries

Original news:

Geographical focus
  • European Union (EU 28)
  • WBC
Scientifc field / Thematic focus
  • Cross-thematic/Interdisciplinary

Entry created by Admin on November 26, 2020
Modified on November 26, 2020