Montenegro continues to make strides in the EU accession process in the fields of agriculture, food security and fisheries, the Agriculture and Fisheries Subcommittee assessed in Brussels today.
The meeting was opened by Deputy Head of Unit for Montenegro at the Directorate-General for Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Barbara Jesus Gimeno and Deputy Director General of the Directorate for Rural Development at the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development Darko Konjević.
Progress on Chapter 11 - Agriculture and rural development, Chapter 12 - Food safety, veterinary and phytosanitary policy and Chapter 13 - Fisheries in the period between the two Subcommittee meetings was presented.
Jesus Gimeno noted that progress was made in all three areas, emphasizing the importance of stepping up activities to implement all the regulations that were adopted and aligned with EU legislation. In this regard, she emphasized the positive experience in the implementation of the IPARD program so far, through which Montenegrin producers can receive significant grant support. She stressed that activities must be intensified, taking into account that there was no overlapping with existing support measures. Also, as part of the strategic framework, Montenegro is expected to intensify its activities regarding revision of the Chapter 11 Action Plan and the planning of new strategic documents, in order to adapt them to the new Common Agricultural Policy.
The progress made in the Chapter 12 – Food safety, veterinary and phytosanitary policy was praised, in the area of animal identification and registration, as well as in activities related to improving the quality of raw milk. It was also emphasized that the activities regarding the categorization of facilities were carried out in accordance with the plan. It was emphasized that the process of accreditation of products intended for EU exports must be among priorities, having in mind the trade deficit with the European Union.
In the area of fisheries, the EC also praised the progress and activities undertaken to strengthen the administrative capacity of the Ministry and the inspection bodies and other supporting services, stressing that this process should be continued in order to achieve the capacity to implement the EU Common Fisheries Policy.
It was stated that the European Commission remains committed to enlargement policy and will continue its support in this context. In this respect, it is important for Montenegro to continue to use all available EU funds to further improve agricultural production and processing, increase the competitiveness of Montenegrin producers and prepare for entry within the EU market.
PR Service of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development
GENERAL SECRETARIAT OF THE GOVERNMENT OF MONTENEGRO