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Croatia – 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.

ACT

Commission Report [COM(2010) 660 final – SEC(2010) 1326 - Not published in the Official Journal].

SUMMARY

In its 2010 Report, the Commission reviews the progress made in the agricultural sector, in particular the establishment of standards, checks and a payment system compatible with the common agricultural market. In the fisheries sector, progress remains to be made in the area of fleet management, inspection and implementation of international agreements. Finally, in the area of food safety, a programme of action has been adopted to improve the quality of products of animal origin.

EUROPEAN UNION ACQUIS (according to the Commission’s word’s)

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. This includes the setting up of management systems such as a paying agency and the Integrated Administration and Control System, 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. Finally, this chapter covers detailed rules in the veterinary field, which are essential for safeguarding animal health and food safety on the internal market, as well as in the area of plant health, which covers aspects such as seed quality, plant protection products and harmful organisms.

The fisheries legislation 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 action and state aid). In some cases, existing fisheries agreements or conventions with third countries or international organisations need to be adapted.

Regarding 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 word’s)

Good progress can be reported in the field of agriculture and rural development, in particular on establishment and implementation of the paying agency and of the integrated administration and control system and on the common market organisation.

However, considerable efforts in these key areas of the Common Agricultural Policy need to be sustained. Croatia also needs to align the agricultural support system fully with the acquis and to increase absorption capacity for rural development funds.

Croatia has made good progress in aligning with the acquis in the field of fisheries. Preparations for applying fisheries policy are well advanced. Croatia needs to improve implementation of the legislation, in particular with regard to fleet management, inspection and control and structural policy.

Good progress has been made in alignment in the field of food safety, veterinary and phytosanitary policy, in particular with the adoption and implementation of secondary legislation. Transposition of the acquis is well advanced in all sectors. Significant progress has been made through the adoption of the national programme for upgrading establishments for food of animal origin and animal by-products. Continued efforts are required regarding the programme's implementation, as well as on strengthening administrative and control capacity, and setting up border inspection posts.

RELATED ACTS

Commission Report [COM(2009) 533 final – SEC(2009) 1333 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Commission Report [COM(2008) 674 final – SEC(2008) 2694 final – Not published in the Official Journal].br/>The November 2008 Report stated uneven progress in the area of agriculture and rural development. Progress in quality policy and organic farming were already satisfactory. Efforts had to be stepped up concerning the Paying Agency, IACS and the LPIS. Moreover, support linked to production had to be progressively aligned with the Single Payment Scheme, pursuant to the CAP reform. In the area of fisheries, efforts had to be maintained to close gaps concerning fleet management, inspections and controls, structural action and state aid.

Commission Report [COM(2007) 663 final – SEC(2007) 1431 – Not published in the Official Journal].
The November 2007 Report concluded that Croatia had continued to make progress on organic farming, quality policy and rural development. Preparations for implementing the instrument for pre-accession assistance for rural development (IPARD) for 2007-2013 needed to be intensified. Greater efforts were also needed in setting up the IACS and the Land Parcel Identification System (LPIS) and applying the post-reform common agricultural policy (CAP).

Commission Report [COM(2006) 649 final – SEC(2006) 1390 – Not published in the Official Journal].
The December 2006 Report noted that progress had been made by Croatia in the implementation of programmes on rural development, quality policy and organic farming.
On fisheries, some progress had been made on the management of resources and the fishing fleet, and the strengthening of the departments responsible for inspections. Lastly, while pointing to some improvements in veterinary, plant health and food policy, the Report stressed that major efforts were needed, in particular as regards the adoption of an overall strategy on food safety.

Commission Report [COM(2005) 561 final – SEC(2005) 1424 – Not published in the Official Journal].
The November 2005 Report noted that there had been little progress in the preparatory work on putting in place the instruments necessary for managing the common agricultural policy. Moreover, farming was still experiencing major structural problems.
In the field of fisheries, the legislative framework and the structure for the central administration of fisheries had been improved. Nevertheless, the legislation had incorporated only part of the acquis, and the administrative structures did not yet satisfy the requirements of the common fisheries policy.

Commission Opinion [COM(2004) 257 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
In its Opinion of April 2004 the European Commission concluded that considerable efforts were required by Croatia to align its agricultural legislation with the EU’s legislation and to apply it in the medium term. This would require the phasing out of the various measures not in line with EU law and the creation of the basic instruments for managing the common agricultural policy, including an EU-approved paying agency and an integrated administration and control system (IACS). As regards fisheries, Croatia had to continue adapting its legislation in line with the body of EU law by putting in place the necessary structures for managing market instruments and Community funds and appropriate controls.

Last updated: 03.12.2010

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