Azerbaijan, Baku, 20 February / Trend corr I. Khalilova / The European Commission plans to continue its discussions with the Azerbaijani Government over the directions in the indicative program for 2008- within the framework of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), at the end of February or at the beginning of March, Rufat Mammadov, the Executive Director of Technical Assistance for Commonwealth of Independent States (Tacis) Azerbaijan Office, said on 18 February. The budget of the program comprises €21-22mln.
Out of the two directions considered (justice and agrarian sector); the actions were specified only on the first one. The first direction envisages support to the penitentiary system, regional courts, Academy of Justice attached to the Justice Ministry and bringing the national legislation more close to the European standards.
The arrangements in the agrarian sector are also being specified. Initially, it is planned to cover reforms in the agricultural sector- before Azerbaijan's enters the World Trade Organization (WTO), improvement of the legislation in this field and assimilation of the norms close to the international practice.
According to the budget policy of the European Commission, each program must cover one sector. Therefore, after the arrangements on each of the directions are defined, one of them will be selected.
The ENP budget envisaged for Azerbaijan, for 2007-2010, totals €92mln.
The priority directions of the ENP action plan for Azerbaijan (2007-2013), adopted in Brussels in November 2006, are the strengthening of democracy in the country, improvement of business and investment climate, support for sustainable economic development, adjusting the economic legislation and management practices, strengthening of cooperation between the EU and Azerbaijan in the energy and transport sectors, regional cooperation and the cooperation in border governance.
There arrangements fall into three priority directions - improvement of legislation; economic and social reforms; energy, transport, ecology and infrastructure.