Former Croatian Agricultural Negotiator and expert in that area, Ružica Gelo, stated that the EU's common agricultural policy has been significantly simplified over the last few years and there is no longer any limit on production because all production quotas have been abolished.
"On this side, the fears are completely unjustified. However, the question of the competitiveness of national products in relation to products coming from other member states deserves all attention and it is very important to approach it as soon as possible," said Gelo.
According to her, the advantages of membership in the EU are numerous, and most importantly, they include access to EU funds and a unique Union market.
She reminded that negotiations on chapter 11 in the case of Croatia started among the first and ended among the last.
"From screening to the temporary closing of the chapter, it's been around 5.5 years. The reasons for this are many, primarily because the legal process in chapter 11 is indeed extensive, the agricultural sector is generally sensitive to the candidate countries, but also to the member states," said Gelo for the Government’s magazine Eurokaz. Montenegro has officially opened all three chapters in the field of agriculture (11 - Agriculture and Rural Development, 12 - Food Safety, Veterinary and Phytosanitary Supervision, 13 - Fisheries) in 2016. A member of the Negotiating Group for Chapters 11, 12, 13 Radana Damjanovic states that the opening of the chapter preceded the work on meeting the benchmarks, which implied the adoption of strategic documents and plans for harmonization with the EU legal framework in these areas.
Now, as she adds, she works to meet the finishing criteria for closing the chapter.
She pointed out that EU agricultural policy was complex but was designed to provide producers with a stable income and a decent living standard.
According to her, the application of European agricultural policy will not call into question the traditional and specific Montenegrin production.
The Chamber of Commerce (PKCG) states that membership opens up great opportunities to producers who have ideas, knowledge, innovativeness and capabilities, but can also be a threat to those who cannot face the competitive market challenges of the big market.
"That is why it is very important for manufacturers to know the benefits of EU membership in advance, but also the challenges and constraints that are an integral part of this policy," said PKCG.
The PKCG argues that the benefits that farmers bring to EU membership will improve living conditions in rural environments that will enable the longer stay of young people in the village through greater employment opportunities, farmers' income growth, restructuring and modernization of agricultural holdings.
Text by Biljana Matijasevic, on August 6th 2018, read more at Vijesti