Results from the Working Meeting of Representatives of Managing Authorities from SEE, June 15 – 17, 2011, Zagreb, Croatia

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Representatives of the Managing Authorities from SEE countries (existing and future Managing Authorities) and representatives of structures for preparation and creation of these structures/bodies for implementation of the IPARD recently gathered in Zagreb and conducted their first working meeting.

The aim of this Working Meeting, organized by the SWG, was for the participants to present and discuss their practical experiences in the establishment of the Managing Authority as a body responsible for the implementation of the IPARD, according to the principles of effective and quality utilization of the IPA Funds of the EU, as well as discuss and exchange experiences in implementation of the steps and main problems in the accreditation and implementation process.

The discussion was focused on implementation of the IPARD and the different steps, procedures and analysis in creation of the Managing Authority. It was stressed that experiences of the candidate countries (Macedonia, Croatia) showed that the IPARD program should be defined for each country based on the actual/specific situation of agriculture and rural areas.

The role of the Monitoring Committee was also discussed, especially issues related to the process of formation, selection of its members, rules and procedures. Participants supported the idea of including representatives of important structures and high level officials in the Monitoring Committees in order to provide political support, too.

As for the publicity and promotion of the IPARD, all participants agreed it is crucial and needs to be maintained in all SEE countries.

At the end of the working meeting, the present participants agreed to continue their collaboration and work as an Expert Advisory Group which will meet again in November 2011, hosted by the representatives of the Managing Authority of the Republic of Macedonia.

Note: The idea for establishment of Expert Advisory Groups as part of the operational bodies within the organizational structure of the SWG was promoted in front of the participants during the meeting in Zagreb by Mr. Boban Ilic, Secretary General of the SWG. The role and the tasks of these Expert Advisory Groups include support to the SWG in development /implementation of specific activities. According to Mr. Ilic, these Expert Advisory Groups will be mobilized upon a specific need expressed by SWG Member institutions and/or other stakeholders. They will be included in the SWG and the SWG annual work program and will be facilitated, managed or sometimes chaired by SWG staff.