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Minister Židan and the Minister of Montenegro for enhanced cooperation – the Action Plan signed by the two Ministries

Ljubljana, 11 April 2017 – Today, the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Food of the Republic of Slovenia, Dejan Židan, received Montenegrin delegation headed by Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Policy and Financial System and Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of Montenegro, Milutin Simović At a bilateral meeting the two Ministers signed an Action Plan on Cooperation between the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Montenegro and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food of the Republic of Slovenia for the 2016–2021 period.

Bilateral cooperation between Slovenia and Montenegro is very intensive in all fields. Mutual cooperation in the broader area of agriculture, forestry and safe food is traditionally good. Montenegro was one of the first countries to have supported the World Bee Day initiative and it also belongs to a group of countries that signed a special declaration on the margins of the international apicultural fair ''ApiSlovenia", held in Celje. Minister Židan and the then Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of Montenegro signed a Memorandum of Cooperation in Agriculture, Forestry and Food at the Green Week fair in Berlin in January 2016. This set a foundation for cooperation between the two countries during Montenegro’s accession process to the European Union.

 

To implement the commitments from the Memorandum, today the two Ministers signed a detailed Action Plan on Cooperation between the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Montenegro and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food of the Republic of Slovenia for the 2016-2021 period. It includes certain areas for a transfer of knowledge and experiences of Slovenia for the contents of negotiations for Chapter 11 – Agriculture and rural development, Chapter 12 – Food safety, veterinary and phytosanitary policy and Chapter 13 – Fisheries. Thematic areas of cooperation defined in the Action Plan include agriculture and rural development, agroindustry, food safety, beekeeping, and national and international forest policy, new technologies, and achievements in science and research in agriculture and fisheries.

 

Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Food, Dejan Židan emphasised that the cooperation between the two countries has been excellent for many years. "We see Slovenia and Montenegro as friendly states that always help each other when this is needed. Montenegro was one of the first countries to support Slovenia’s World Bee Day initiative. When the FAO accepts the initiative as final and is considered by the United Nations Organisation, Montenegro will be a co-sponsor and active partner in the initiative." Minister Židan also mentioned that Minister Simović and his delegation would visit Slovenia in August when the Meeting of Ministers for Agriculture 16+1, one of the most important events in Slovenia this year, is to be held at Brdo pri Kranju and Gornja Radgona. Minister Židan added that the signed Action Plan on Cooperation was extremely operational and that it coordinated work in five areas and, at the same time, opened Slovenia's door to the experts from Montenegro and offered all the necessary assistance and knowledge that were needed.  

 

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of Montenegro Milutin Simović said that he is very satisfied with his visit to Slovenia and congratulated Minister Židan on that successes Slovenia has achieved in agriculture. These are expressed through a variety of indicators together with the growth in common agricultural production, in particular, in the food production sector and export. "The visit provided an exceptional opportunity to get acquainted with the experience of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food of the Republic of Slovenia. I am grateful for the selfless presentation of a formula leading to those exceptional results. This experience and assistance are valuable in solving the difficulties that the agriculture sector in Montenegro has been tackling. We are also grateful to Slovenia for offering us a helping hand in setting up a system for drawing on the EU funds, in particular, in the part related to strengthening the administrative capacities of the Ministry of Agriculture." He also stressed that Montenegro finds the exchange of all experience in the areas included in the Action Plan signed by the two Ministers to be of significant importance. At the end of his visit Minister Simović congratulated Minister Židan on the initiative for the proclamation of World Bee Day and added that the two Ministers agreed for Slovenia and Montenegro to jointly make the final steps to the proclamation and to promote the initiative as a joint initiative. 

 

In accordance with the signed Memorandum, the Action Plan defines a Steering Group, which, once a year, is to control the activities carried out and define the cooperation activities for the next year.