The aim of the research is to identify and analyze the potential for cross-border and regional cooperation between Serbia, Bulgaria and North Macedonia in border municipalities. The investigated municipalities in Serbia are Dimitrovgrad, Crna Trava, Bosilegrad and Trgovište; in Bulgaria: Dragoman, Tran, Treklyano and Kyustendil; and in North Macedonia: Kumanovo, Staro Nagorichane, Rankovci and Kriva Palanka. There are not many similar areas in Europe, which are characterized by a favorable geographical position, exceptional natural resources, multiethnicity, common historical and cultural values, and all these potentials are untapped. The participatory approach identified and analyzed opportunities for rural development, by engaging the natural and social capacities of communities from all three countries. The main challenge is access to the entire chain of production, processing and marketing, as well as the development of the local market.