EU mulls agriculture-related cooperation with Eastern Partnership states
Azerbaijan, Baku, Nov. 1 / Trend /
Efforts to bring the laws of the Eastern Partnership countries closer to European Union legislation in the fields of veterinary and phytosanitary issues as well as food safety and quality topped the agenda at a two-day conference in Cracow last week, ENPI Info Center reported.
Speaking at the event, Poland's Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Marek Sawicki said food safety and quality were priorities for the EU.
"Those priorities are interdependent, and the European Union is making an effort to preserve their top quality. As we have opened up to and begun working together with Eastern Partnership countries, we decided to present them with our standards and ways of achieving them, "Sawicki said.
The two-day session focused on a review of Eastern Partnership solutions in the area of plant and animal safety and food safety and quality. It aimed to discuss the results attained so far from agriculture-related cooperation with the Eastern Partnership states in fields such as veterinary and phytosanitary issues and food safety and quality.
The Eastern Partnership states were provided with an opportunity to offer direct comments concerning the workings of the Partnership to date, and to table their needs and expectations with regard to the Programme in the area of agriculture.
The Eastern Partnership is a European Union initiative addressing Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine. The Partnership project was co-drafted in 2008 by Poland and Sweden. In March 2009, the European Council expressed its unanimous support for the initiative, which had then also become part of the European Neighbourhood Policy.
The Partnership's priorities include that of associating the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Areas in Partnership states with the European Union. Agricultural issues are crucial from the economic and financial perspective.