Countries wishing to join the EU must fulfill a wide range of economic and political conditions. This is obviously also the case in the agriculture and rural development sector.
Specific conditions for the agriculture and rural development sector
For the agriculture and rural development sector, two sets of criteria are of key importance:
- Economic aspects = the situation in the countries on the basis of the economic criteria for membership
- Community standards = the country's capacity to implement the Community legal and administrative provisions in the areas of agriculture and rural development
- The existence of a functioning market economy, based on clear property rights, functioning markets, price liberalisation and macroeconomic stability.
- The capacity to cope with competitive pressure and market forces within the Union and from imported agricultural and food products.
- Adequate administrative capacity of the agricultural administrations, in particular in the area of agricultural policy formulation, analysis, implementation, support payment and control.
- Adequate administrative capacity for the formulation and implementation, in the first instance, of pre-accession rural development measures (IPARD) and later Community Rural Development programmes.
- Legislative alignment and setting-up of administrative capacities in the areas of organic farming, quality policy and other horizontal aspects.
- At agricultural market level, setting up of market mechanisms (including marketing standards, price reporting, quota management, producer organisations, public intervention etc.).