The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – Agriculture, fisheries and food safety
Candidate countries conduct negotiations with the European Union (EU) in order to prepare themselves for accession. The accession negotiations cover the adoption and implementation of European legislation (acquis) and, more specifically, the priorities identified jointly by the Commission and the candidate countries in the analytical assessment (or ‘screening’) of the EU’s political and legislative acquis. Each year, the Commission reviews the progress made by candidates and evaluates the efforts required before their accession. This monitoring is the subject of annual reports presented to the Council and the European Parliament.
Commission Report [COM(2011) 666 final - SEC(2011) 1203 - Not published in the Official Journal].
The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia was granted candidate country status for European Union (EU) membership in 2005. The Accession Partnership, adopted by the Council in 2008, supports the country’s preparations in view of its future membership and the alignment of its legislation with the Community acquis. In 2008, the accession negotiations had not yet been opened, as some progress still needed to be made on the objectives and conditions set out in the partnership.
The 2011 Report notes progress made with regard to alignment with the acquis, although the administrative capacities are not yet fully operational. Furthermore, the report notes satisfactory progress on food security matters.
EUROPEAN UNION ACQUIS (according to the Commission’s words)
The agriculture chapter covers a large number of binding rules, many of which are directly applicable. The proper application of these rules and their effective enforcement by an efficient public administration are essential for the functioning of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). The CAP includes the setting-up of management and control systems such as a paying agency and the Integrated Administration and Control System (IACS), and also the capacity to implement rural development measures. EU accession requires integration into the common market organisations for a range of agricultural products, including arable crops, sugar, animal products and specialised crops. Member States must also be able to apply EU legislation on direct aid for farmers and to manage the common market organisations for various agricultural products.
The fisheries acquis consists of regulations, which do not need to be transposed into national legislation. However, it requires the introduction of measures to prepare the administration and operators for participation in the Common Fisheries Policy (in the areas of market policy, resource and fleet management, inspection and control, structural actions and State aid). In some cases, existing fisheries agreements or conventions with third countries or international organisations need to be adapted.
This chapter covers detailed rules in the area of food safety. The general foodstuffs policy sets hygiene rules for foodstuff production. Furthermore, the acquis provides detailed rules in the veterinary field, which are essential for safeguarding animal health, animal welfare and safety of food of animal origin in the internal market. In the phytosanitary field, EU rules cover issues such as quality of seed, plant protection material, harmful organisms and animal nutrition.
EVALUATION (according to the Commission’s words)
Further progress was achieved in the field of agriculture and rural development. Key support policies for agricultural and rural development are gradually being aligned with EU requirements. Alignment with the acquis requires continuing sustained efforts. Administrative capacity remains a concern throughout the sector.
There was good progress in the area of food safety, veterinary and phytosanitary policy, in particular with respect to the adoption of new framework legislation. Administrative capacity of the Food and Veterinary Agency remains however insufficient to ensure proper implementation of the acquis.
- Website of the Directorate General for Enlargement: Enlargement Strategy and Progress Reports 2011