Green Rural Deal

Enabling residents of rural Greece, Kosovo, and Serbia to co-create projects, tools, and instruments that support the sustainable development of their home regions.


Project info


Germany, Greece, Kosovo, Serbia

Project duration:

10/20 - 12/22

Target groups:

Local governments, Civil society, Private sector


574,738.00 €

Contact info


Katja Witte

  • Balkan Green Foundation (BGF)
  • Germanwatch e.V.
  • Regional association of local government of Western Macedonia
  • RES Foundation


Municipalities in Europe’s rural regions face different challenges than urban regions with regards to the sustainability transformation: The shrinking and ageing of their population, a shortage of skilled workers and, simultaneously, a high level of unemployment. In these situations, the trade-off between creating jobs and saving the climate seems all too real. Green Rural Deal supports rural municipalities in building up their transformative capacities and developing suitable solutions for a zero-carbon economy.

Rural view in Kamenica, Kosovo, Photo: ©Blerim Demolli


A sustainability strategy requires reliable data. Therefore, the project supports local stakeholders in Western Macedonia (Greece), Kamenica (Kosovo) and Priboj (Serbia) in gathering and assessing key socioeconomic data relevant for a transition to a zero-carbon economy. As a next step, the same regional stakeholders co-create project ideas and concepts in a series of events and formats, including one study trip to a rural region in Germany. Furthermore, the partners develop tools which help to align regional economic development strategies with climate targets. Based on learnings from the three target regions, the project develops recommendations for other rural regions in similar processes. Finally, the partners develop policy briefings in order to raise awareness for rural regions among higher levels of government.

View on Priboj, Serbia, Photo: ©RES Foundation

Success Stories

Rural Municipalities Become Role Models for Sustainability

The project "Green Rural Deal" enabled residents of rural Greece, Kosovo, and Serbia to take the sustainable development of their home regions into their own hands. The Serbian municipality of Priboj developed, among others, a sustainability plan which includes the decarbonisation of the local public heating system and the construction of a bicycle track with charging stations for e-bikes and e-scooters. To evaluate these policies and measures, the project also developed two online tools which are already used by 22 other chambers of entrepreneurs, municipalities, universities, and other drivers of sustainability in the region.

More about this project