The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is the European Union’s answer to issues concerning food security, the sustainable use of natural resources and the balanced development of rural areas. Its main objectives are to ensure a decent standard of living for farmers and to provide stable and diverse protection of citizens.
The common agricultural policy should contribute to job creation and economic growth, the fight against climate change and the promotion of sustainable development.
“Serbia’s goal, on the path of European integration, which requires a lot of adjustment, is to help domestic farmers to start applying the elements of the CAP as much as possible, which not only requires great changes but also provides great opportunities for those who are ready to change,” said the Head of the Department for European Integration in the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management Milanka Davidović, while opening the round table “For successful and strong agriculture in Serbia”.
At the round table, organised by the Ministry, the EU Delegation and the project titled “Strengthening the capacity to align with the acquis communautaire in the field of agriculture, rural development, food safety, the veterinary and phytosanitary policy”, a promotional film was shown, featuring five agricultural producers from different sectors, who talked about how they founded their family farms, their achievements so far, as well as the obstacles and successes along the way.
At the event, the film’s participants, in a conversation with the representatives of the Ministry and the EU Delegation, stated where they saw opportunities and obstacles for further development, what support they expected from the state, and talked about the significance of the help they received through domestic incentives or direct EU support for agriculture and rural development – IPARD funds.
Farmers, among whom were several beneficiaries of European funds, as well as those who made the initial steps with the help of national incentives, agree that such help is not only welcome but also necessary. They stated that family farms cannot survive on their own, that they need to work together, but that they also need help with marketing their products.
Program Manager of the EU Delegation for Agriculture and Rural Development Laszlo Arendas emphasised that the goal is to bring the EU agenda closer to farmers in Serbia in order for them to adjust as easily as possible in the EU accession process. Arendas stated that the goal of the EU representatives in Serbia was to devise a way to reach all farmers, to explain to them all the benefits they would have, as well as the benefits that were already available, such as funds from the IPARD instrument.