Agriculture: Cornerstone of European Economic Reforms

EuEastern Partnership: EU support for agriculture could become cornerstone of economic reforms, Commissioner says

Support for agriculture could become a cornerstone of economic reforms in the Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries, on which stronger economic and trade relations with the EU could be built, European Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighborhood Policy Štefan Füle has told the EaP Ministerial Conference on Agriculture and Rural Development in the Moldovan capital Chisinau.
Addressing the first EaP ministerial meeting after the Vilnius summit last November, Füle touched upon the political framing of the Partnership, and its agriculture and rural development component.
The Eastern Partnership supports deep political, structural and economic reforms that are needed for achieving stability and prosperity in the Neighborhood, Füle underlined.
The more ambitious partner countries are in the run-up to signing far-reaching Association Agreements” and Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) Agreements with the EU sometime this year, the Commissioner went on to say, which present an important challenge for them to adopt and fully apply a broad range of EU standards and rules.
In particular, he cited the need to gradually align food safety, veterinary and plant protection standards to EU norms. These and other challenges will require sustained political commitment, which will be rewarded by concrete economic benefits, the Commissioner stressed.
The EU has made available considerable assistance to put these Agreements in place, Füle said,including a broad set of programs, ranging from specific technical assistance to very large sector programs to support in-depth reforms in the areas of agriculture, rural development or food safety.
Source: ENPO Info