First year of IPARD II implementation in Serbia
The Working Group of the National Convention on the EU policy covering Agriculture and Rural Development, Food Safety, Veterinary, Phytosanitary and Fisheries (Chapters 11, 12, 13 of the acquis communautaire) held its 9th meeting on 30 November 2018 in Belgrade.
The focus of the session was on IPARD II (2014-20) in Serbia. Representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture and related authorities presented the situation after the first year of implementation, and plans for 2019.
There have been 4 calls within IPARD II in Serbia for Measure 1 (agriculture production) and Measure 3 (agro-processing). The Ministry announced that Measure 7 (diversification of agricultural holdings and business development) and Measure 9 (technical assistance) should be accredited in 2019. Within the measure 7, the Ministry will focus on agro-tourism which has a high potential in Serbia for securing use of all allocated pre-accession funds.
Members of the Working Group emphasized the importance of cooperation between the Government and civil society, and urged the relevant ministries to use independent expertise and advices by the Working Group. They criticized public institutions for the slow implementation of IPARD II and the low use of available funds. One issue identified was lack of information and training for potential IPARD beneficiaries.
The National Convention is a platform for participation in, and monitoring of, the negotiation process with the EU, and a permanent body for thematically structured debate on Serbian accession. Members of the Convention include representatives of government bodies, political parties, NGOs, experts, syndicates, the private sector, professional organizations and CSOs/NGOs.
In addition to the Working Group on Chapters 11, 12 and 13, CNVP Serbia is also participating in the Working Group for Chapter 27 (Environment).