The responsibility for implementation of rural development policy lies with the Ministries of Agriculture, of which the administrative capacity is limited and not appropriately qualified and inexperienced in EU harmonization process. In addition, national policy responses have not always been followed by clear and well established strategies, and policy-making has lacked orientation towards the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).
In parallel to that, a wide range of analyses, reports and studies, including policy recommendations, have been elaborated for the region by national and international academic institutions, universities and development organizations. However, in most cases these documents and knowledge have not been taken into consideration in the course of policy formulation. Thus, there is a common problem in the region: the lack of dialogue between policy makers and academics, on one hand, and the lack of a reliable and well systematized catalogue or database, which collects all the relevant materials in one place for access and ease of use for policy-makers on the other. This situation generates a critical gap that hinders EU integration, based on the fact that academics are not able to write ‘digestible’ papers, while policy makers are not able to understand the academic language and identify the relevant materials for an informed policy making.
Considering the above, the project aims at addressing a closer coordination, and, in the long run, a stable relationship between policy makers and academics, and between the SEE countries, which is essential for an effective administrative system and an accelerated accession process.
As the outcome of the project, governments of the SEE accession countries are streamlining their agriculture and rural development policies with the current and future CAP.
Project duration: June 2012 – July 2014