Minister Ivanović in Brussels: Montenegro moves step closer to opening agriculture negotiations

    Brussels, Belgium (4 March 2015) — Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Petar Ivanović started his working visit to Brussels by meeting with EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Phil Hogan.

    The 2015 objective is to open the negotiating chapter 11 – Agriculture and Rural Development, Commissioner Hogan noted after having been informed about the situation in fulfilling initial benchmarks in that area.

    Minister Ivanović thanked Commissioner Hogan and the members of his cabinet for their close cooperation and continued support.

    “We have established excellent cooperation with your team and we expect you to understand specificity of Montenegrin agriculture and the process of adapting to EU standards through permitted derogation forms, “Minister Ivanović underlined.

    As a key link for further development of the sector, Commissioner Hogan highlighted multiple significance of farmer associations, their training and organic agriculture. In that regard, he said the Government of Montenegro adopted the Law on Cooperatives in 2013 and submitted it to the Parliament for approval.

    The two officials also discussed development of land registers, organisation of the common market and possible inclusion of Montenegro in EU initiatives on the eve of the Lisbon conference.

    Director for Western Balkans at the Directorate General for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy Jean Eric Paquet stressed that agriculture is considered as one of the priority sectors, adding that the finalisation of the accreditation process of the IPARD programme, as well as education and preparation of agricultural producers for entering the EU, should be continued.

    During this meeting with Minister Ivanović in Brussels, Head of Unit for Montenegro in the Directorate General for European Neighbourhood Policy Dirk Lange voiced satisfaction with the activities and results achieved in the water management sector, and thanked Minister Ivanović for the submitted strategy of approximation for this area.

    Minister Ivanović confirmed the Montenegro’s government full commitment to the negotiation process and fulfillment of the criteria in all three chapters in the field of agriculture, as well as to the implementation of the framework and specific directives in the field of water management.

    Source: Government of Montenegro