16th Annual Working Meeting of the Ministers of Agriculture from SEE organized in Montenegro

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Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management of Montenegro and the Regional Rural Development Standing Working Group (SWG) in South Eastern Europe are the hosts of the 16th Annual Working Meeting of the Ministers of Agriculture from SEE.

The Ministers of Agriculture from South Eastern Europe (SEE) and the Heads of Delegations gather in Budva to discuss the future developments for agriculture and rural development sectors in SEE region and to review the process of the regional cooperation in the given field. The significance of the European Union (EU) integration process for the Western Balkan countries/territories, reflecting the agriculture and rural development progress will be also addressed during the Ministers Meeting in Budva, Montenegro. The Ministers elaborated  the implementation of IPARD in the WB countries and the importance of IPARD III which should be used as tool for implementation of the Green Agenda for the Western Balkans as well as the importance of free trade and commitments and measures for assuring the free movement of agricultural goods, inputs, and supplies in the light of the current geopolitical developments and the impacts of the war in Ukraine.

”Today we will need to discuss and make decisions related to the reforms in the agriculture and rural development in the region of South Eastern Europe, as well as to hear about the upcoming reform of the Common Agriculture Policy of the European Union and IPARD, Food security in the European Union and in context of global challenges and long-term threads and the EU integration process in general. Also, today we would need to discuss our regional cooperation in agriculture and rural development, primarily in the field of competence of our institutions as an instrument for addressing the issues jointly” stated Mr. Boban Ilic, SWG Secretary General.

The Prime Minister of Montenegro, Mr. Dritan Abazovic officially opened the Ministerial Meeting and he stated that during the Covid_19 pandemic, the people of Montenegro returned to rural and agricultural production. As well he stated that we need to work together to promote green policies, agriculture and rural development. “This year, our exports for the first nine months increased by 72 percent compared to the same period last year. The largest part of that export is related to food production,” emphasized the Prime Minister of Montenegro, Dritan Abazovic, in his welcoming speech at the 16th Annual Working Meeting of the Ministers of Agriculture and Head of Delegations from the South East Europe.

This year Minister Mr. Vladimir Jokovic,  Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management of Montenegro took over the Presidency of the SWG Assembly for the year ahead and strives towards regional cooperation and integration in the field of agriculture and rural development of the entire Western Balkan region.

Communiqué/Memorandum of Understanding on Soil Partnership of the Western Balkan Ministers/Heads od Delegation was officially signed during the Ministerial Meeting.

Mr. Cem Özdemir, Minister of the Federal German Ministry of Food and Agriculture attended the 16th Annual Working Meeting of the Ministers of Agriculture. In his official addressing he pointed out that “Sustainability is an essential yardstick for actions in our respective countries and we must incorporate adaptation strategies in our policies. Therefore, I much appreciate that you have agreed to the Green Agenda for the Western Balkans. The Tirana Agenda points out priority areas and provides policy recommendations for next year. Together with many other German authorities at federal state level, will provide you with long-term support on this path through the working groups of our Agricultural Policy Dialog (APD)”.

Federal Minister made an official visit to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Albania, had a chance to taste local products and brief exchange with young agriculture entrepreneurs and Albanian chefs and visited Mrizi i Zanave the most famous agritourism in the South East Europe. In Montenegro he visited Lustica peninsula and good examples of organic oil producer Moric farm and tourism complex Klinci village.

The Conclusions of the Meeting of the Ministers of Agriculture and Head of Delegations summarize the discussions on commonalities in the regional agriculture and rural development in the face of the changing  international dynamics that are reshaping our economies, environment and social conditions. The Annual Meeting of the Ministers reconfirmed that agriculture and rural development remain a priority on the EU integration agenda of the SEE countries, and an important part for SEE sustainable growth and economic prosperity.

Conclusions from the 16th Annual Ministerial meeting you can find here: Conclusions-of-the-16th-Ministers-Meeting-2022

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