European Commission’s Mission to Hold Consultations with Azerbaijani Government on ENP Indicative Programs

Business Materials 1 April 2008 16:26 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, 1 April / Trend corr I. Khalilova/ The European Commission's mission will include the representatives of the EUROPEAD and of the EU Directorate General for Foreign Affairs - Caydo Serel and Anjelo Borgoni - which will commence its visit to Azerbaijan on 1 April to discuss with the Azerbaijani Government the project on indicative action program for 2007 within the framework of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), Rufat Mammadov, the Executive Director of the coordination office of the EU Technical Assistance for Azerbaijan program (Tacis) said on 30 March.

EU has already submitted for consideration of the Government the draft program with the budget of €19mln. €6mln is envisaged for twinning program and €13mln for budget support in the energy field. Development of the funds will be commenced by mid 2008.

A preliminary discussion of the program for 2008 costing €21-22mln will be held with the EU mission. According to Mammadov, right now the directions of assistance are being discussed with the EU. The Azerbaijani Government has not yet selected the direction

Two directions are being considered - justice and agrarian sector. The suggestions in the justice field were developed in December 2007. They envisage support to the penitentiary system, regional courts, Justice Academy attached to the Justice Ministry, as well as bringing the country's legislation closer to the European standards. The second direction will envisage agricultural reforms in the light of Azerbaijan's entering the World Trade Organization (WTO).

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 -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 cooperation in border governance.

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