14 May 2019 - Montenegro, through the Agro Budget and European Union funds, has the financial resources that will enable the country to further agriculture development, it was noted during the public debate on Chapter 11 - Agriculture and Rural Development.
The Secretariat-General of the Government, within the EU-funded project EU4ME, implemented by UNDP, organised this public debate, bearing in mind the importance of EU support for producers and the stability of the market provided by the membership, in which it discussed the conditions that Montenegro has so far fulfilled in negotiations, but also the upcoming obligations in this demanding process.
Chief Negotiator Aleksandar Drljević pointed out that the common agricultural policy, as one of the most complex policies of the Union, aims to maintain the EU at the top of the most serious players in the field of production and processing of agricultural products, as well as a stable market characterized by high-quality and healthy products and facilitated placement and promotion for producers.
He reminded that Montenegro has 39 million EUR in EU funds through IPARD, and 52.4 million EUR through 2019 Agro Budget, urging all citizens of Montenegro to use the benefits of Montenegro and the available financial support to improve their business or to launch a business in agriculture.
Within the panel on "European standards for better quality of products", the Negotiator for chapters 11, 12 and 13 Radana Damjanović assessed that Montenegro has so far achieved good results when it comes to harmonizing Montenegrin legislation with Europe, stressing that the most demanding job is the establishment of administrative structures that will implement a common agricultural policy on the day of accession, which implies the establishment of the Payment Agency and the Integrated Administration and Control System.
Ružica Gelo, Negotiator for chapters 11, 12 and 13 from Croatia, presented Croatia's experience and challenges in the negotiations in this area. "Administrations of all small countries find it very difficult to bear the burden of the negotiation process and, unfortunately, it is only a small part of the story. The burden for administration starts only after joining," she said. Gelo said that the pre-accession years should be used to prepare the sector.
Nadia Kyuchukova of the EU Delegation to Montenegro expressed her satisfaction with the situation in this area.
"I see that the administration is aware of what it is supposed to do in this process, but also that the producers are aware and ready to work. These are young people, which is not always the case in other countries, and it is good that you have young people ready for investment, as this will have a positive impact on the process. However, the process of implementing legislation in this area needs to be strengthened," she added.
Agricultural producer Dejan Jovović, who has used pre-accession funds for the development of his business, presented his farm, which continues to develop thanks to the financial support from Agro Budget, MIDAS and IPARD.
Today, his entire family is involved in the development of the business, and they produce more than a million kilos of vegetables annually.
Vice President of the Chamber of Commerce of Montenegro Ljiljana Filipović said that the chamber is an active partner that contributes to the readiness of the economy to take advantage of the EU membership.