Otar Shamugia participates in the ENPARD Steering Committee meeting
The Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture, Mr. Otar Shamugia attended the 30th meeting of the Steering Committee of the European Union Program "European Neighborhood Program for Agriculture and Rural Development" (ENPARD).
The Minister showed appreciation to the European Union for its long-standing cooperation and financial support in the rural/agricultural development and environmental protection areas.
"Many important initiatives contributing to our country's progress and enhancement were supported within the framework of the ENPARD program, embracing both agricultural and rural development areas. Today, when Georgia's relationship with the European Union has entered a new phase - we have a European perspective and are working actively to obtain the status of a candidate country, therefore, collaboration with our partners and their support is crucial for us.
We have already made significant progress in many areas, nevertheless, challenges remain, and the Ministry, in cooperation with the Agencies within its system, is striving to overcome them. Under the Association Agreement with the European Union, we agreed to harmonize our legislation with the EU legal acts. We imply that around 200 regulations, directives, and decisions should be approximated within 2015 – 2028. Moreover, we should admit, that our legislation has already approximated to more than 180 European Union legislative acts, and most of them have already been enacted. The enforcement of certain acts remains a challenge, which requires the preparation of the private sector and the strengthening of the capacities of state institutions, in addition to huge financial resources.
We have received technical assistance from the European Union and other partners, for which we are grateful. We are ready to carry out all reforms necessary to shape the European Union integration process effectively ", said Mr. Otar Shamugia
During the meeting, the members of the Steering Committee discussed the fulfillment of obligations for 2022-2023 foreseen under the budget support component of ENPARD 4th phase.
The conversation touched upon the certification of nurseries, the strengthening of the National Food Agency, also indicators addressing the quality management system in the Agency, the effective functioning of local action groups (LAGs) under the European LEADER approach, the development of laboratory capabilities, food safety/ security issues.
The meeting of the ENPARD Steering Committee was held with the support of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
The Heads of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture and relevant agencies included within the system of the Ministry, representatives of the European Union, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the Czech Development Agency (CzDA), the Swedish International Development and Cooperation Agency ( SIDA) attended the meeting).
The supervisory board of the EU-FAO project " Ensuring further progress of SPS and food safety system in Georgia’’, which is a part of the fourth phase of the European Neighborhood Plan for Agricultural and Rural Development (ENPARD), held a session followed by the ENPARD Steering Committee meeting.