As part of the process of EU accession, harmful policies are being introduced in southeast Europe and Turkey. Helped along by a very limited view of ‘modern’ agriculture, it seems few of the hard lessons from previous enlargements have been learned. Although the EU harmonization process offers the prospect of support mechanisms for traditional farmers and artisanal producers, they still need to be activated and effectively delivered.

Challenging the policy juggernaut is tricky for many, especially for marginalized farmers in the mountains and other disadvantaged areas. As the EU recognizes, this problem becomes even more difficult in southeast Europe and Turkey, where civil society organizations are often smaller and weaker, and where governments have no tradition of constructive engagement with NGOs.

Working simultaneously in eight countries in the region, analysing the policy issues that are likely to affect their production, not only works in parallel with capacity building and advocacy on relevant legislation and policy processes, but also provides real world examples, which illustrate the regulatory and support issues. The ESSEDRA metwork is a strongly involved to advocate for the role of small-scale farmers in biodiversity protection and to promotes concrete models and actions to preserve biodiversity.

Events

EU food hygiene regulations and “slow” cheese production: Principle and practice – 22 September 2013, House of Biodiversity, Bra, Italy
SE Europe roundtable – Best practices for sustainable use of common grasslands in the Western Balkans and in Europe – 15 April 2013, Sofia, Bulgaria
SEE Regional HNVF policy workshop – Policy opportunities and challenghes in view of EU accession and CAP post-2013 – 3-4 November 2011, Zagreb, Croatia
Networking meeting – High nature value farming in SE Europe, 6-8 December 2010, Sofia, Bulgaria