Agriculture and rural development of the Timok region on the road to EU

RARIS and the National Convention on the EU jointly organized a conference on EU accession referring to agriculture and rural development with emphasis on the Wine and Brandy production, as well as to rural tourism in the process of European integration of Serbia.

The meeting was opened and the theme was introduced by Mayor of Knjaževac Milan Djokic.

At the beginning of the meeting Vladan Jeremić, director of RARIS presented the activities conducted by Regional EU platform of Eastern Serbia. RARIS has formed the "Regional EU platform" as a mechanism formulating attitudes, interests and criticism of local actors related to the accession process and the interests of the region. More than 40 representatives of NGOs, professional associations, development institutions, business sector, local authorities, the media, educational institutions from the Administrative districts of Bor and Zaječar are its members. The Regional EU platform operates through two working groups: (1) Agriculture and Rural Development (2) Environment. With a help of consultants each working group has defined the recommendations of Eastern Serbia in the process of joining the EU. Recommendations for the wine sector and spirits which were presented at the meeting were made within the Working Group on Agriculture.

In the first part of the conference presentations were given by Ivan Knezevic and Dragan Roganović coordinators of the Working Group for Chapters 11,12 and 13, and Dragan Milutinović, director of Agency for development of Knjaževac. Director of RARIS Vladan Jeremić spoke about the project "Eastern Serbia towards the EU" and the results achieved through the implementation of project activities.

The first part of the conference was also dedicated to wine and brandy producers in Eastern Serbia. EU regulations for wine and aromatic wine and brandy products, and the new law on wine and other products of grapes and wine, as well as the implementation of EU commitments and standards in these areas were introduced by Darko Jakšić and Milan Ćuprić, Ministry of Agriculture and Enviromental Protection of Republic of Serbia.

In the second part of the meeting, Ivana Stefanović Ristin from "Leader plus" Banatski Karlovac spoke about the support to rural tourism in Serbia in the scope of the IPARD Programme 2014- 2020. It caused a lot of attention. and many questions regarding the possibilities of access to the source of funding and obligations in that process.

National Convention on the EU is a permanent body for thematically structured debate on Serbian accession into the European Union, consisted of representatives of the governmental bodies, political parties, NGOs, experts, syndicates, private sector and representatives of professional organizations working in working groups.

Regional EU platform for Eastern Serbia was formed in the framework of the project "Eastern Serbia towards the EU" implemented by RARIS. It has defined and shaped recommendations of this region for chapters 11 and 27. The References for Chapter 11 - Agriculture and Rural Development, have been already forwarded to the National Convention on the EU and the Serbian Negotiating Team for negotiations with the EU.




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