Agriculture: a priority of the neighbourhood policy
"With this conference, the European Commission sends a very clear signal of its willingness to put agriculture at the heart of our relationship with our neighbours and friends from the South and the East of the EU. Concretely, we are ready to share our experience, our know-how, in the framework of a solid partnership for rural development and for the sustainable valorisation of these regions’ agricultural potential. That is the meaning of ENPARD programmes.
It is not merely about funding, but also about working methods, which have been shown to be effective, in particular during the accession of the new EU Member States", stated Dacian Cioloş, European Commissioner in charge of Agriculture and Rural Development.
The objective was to present the Programme's vision and approach to high level officials in charge of agriculture, rural development and international cooperation from all European Neighbourhood Policy partner countries South and East of Europe. It also provided the opportunity for participants to have in-depth discussions on how the Programme can best respond to the difficulties of agriculture and rural areas in their countries. Participants discussed the experiences of the EU-12 member states in modernizing agriculture and rural areas, through the presentation of lessons learnt under SAPARD and IPARD programmes, which yielded significant results during the pre-accession phase.