Important Notice
For more information about the EAAP Researchers' database, please browse here.


This page has been
visited Contatore visite times
since 13 Sept. 2012

Date last up-dating:

Central-East Europe Working Group

In past years, fundamental changes have occurred in the demand for and supply of livestock products in Central and Eastern Europe. In many countries, the decline of consumer purchasing power and changes in marketing systems led to unsatisfactory producer prices for livestock products. At the same time, the restructuring process was accompanied by privatisation of the State and Collective Farms.

Since the first Round Table held in Budapest ten years ago, the main thrust of EAAP activities in support of the restructuring of the animal production sector in Central and Eastern Europe has been the subject of continuous adjustments in line with requirements of member countries concerned. The imminent accession of ten Central and East European countries to the EU imposed the need for changes in the EAAP activities in CEEC.

The European Union has developed a number of programs in support to the adjustment of the animal production sector in ten EU candidate countries from Central Europe. Countries from East European are still struggling with some negative consequences of transition and are still in the search of the most appropriate model of production system and the organisation of the sector.

In view of the fact that the Contact Group has completed its tasks, the EAAP Council decided to phase out the Contact Group for CEEC and to establish a new working group whose task would be primarily to address problems of particular interest of East Europe.

In compliance with the decision of the EAAP Council, the consultative meeting of representatives of EAAP members from Central and Eastern Europe and countries which could be interested in becoming members of the Association was held on 8th May 2002 on the occasion of the 8th Baltic Animal Breeding Conference and the FAO/WAAP Meeting on the preparation of the report on animal genetic resources. Representatives of 16 countries from Eastern Europe and the Central Asia attended the meeting in Kaunas.

The meeting was chaired by A. Svitojus. F. Habe submitted a report on 10 years activities of EAAP in support to transition countries and on experiences of the EAAP Contact Group. He also informed on the decision of the Council regarding the establishment of the new Working Group for CEEC and on the nomination of A. Svitojus as Chairman. M. Zjalic presented structures and programmes of EAAP, ICAR and WAAP.

Participants submitted brief reports on the animal production in their respective countries and expressed the views regarding the future programme and the possible topics for co-operation within the Group.

Participants from the EU candidate countries underlined the need for improvements in the respective agrarian policies. Uncertainties regarding agricultural policies and lack of clear definition of policy objectives and instruments have a negative impact on animal production sector and slow down the process of adjustment to the market requirements. A large portion of the demand is covered by imports, while a part of production potential remains unutilised creating social problems and rural unemployment.

On the other hand, some participants indicated that there was a high level of preparedness for the EU accession (Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia and Slovenia) particularly in the development of breeders association, although the transfer of livestock services from the state to associations has not yet been completed. In this respect, contribution of the BABROC project was mentioned.

Farm structure - a great number of small holders - was mentioned as a serious problem both in countries with traditional small holder systems (Poland, Slovenia, Croatia) and in countries where such systems have been created in the recent decade. The problem of the application of CAP and the level of support (25% of the present level in the present member states) in new (potential) members of the EU was on the agenda of associations and state structures dealing with the livestock sector. The impact on production systems (specialised beef production, milk quotas), market and tasks of associations and research institutions was also mentioned.

Participants from CIS countries said that, in general, the first phase of the privatization process in CIS countries, which covered production and marketing sectors, has almost been completed. The privatization of service sector and transfer of services from the state to association is now at its initial phase.

They expressed the interest for the following themes as the base for the programmatic orientation:

  • Livestock development strategies: definition, role of stake holders - associations, state, science;
  • Organisation of animal breeding and support services in market economy conditions;
  • Transfer of services from the state to associations: structure, funding, functions;
  • Breeding objectives and the role of associations;
  • Legal base and techniques of animal identification and registration;
  • Central and regional data base: functions, co-ordination;
  • Animal recording - purpose, organisation, funding;
  • Milk control laboratories: organisation, funding;
  • Animal science and research in support of restructuring;
  • Livestock sector management in market economy conditions;
  • Analysis and evaluation of the experiences in the past;
  • Analysis and evaluation of experiences of Central European countries;
  • Regional, European and global co-operation, membership in IGOs (FAO) and NGOs (EAAP, ICAR).

The programme of the WG should, as agreed by all participants, pay more attention to problems of the eastern part of Europe, particularly in view of the fact that countries from the central part of the continent are candidates for the EU membership. As it appeared, the institutional building and the support in transferring technical functions (such as breeding objectives and strategies, provision of livestock services) from governments to producers' associations would be the core of the future programme. The upgrading of technical capacities, the exchange of experience and participation of non-member countries in EAAP activities were also highly ranked.

Participants from countries not included in international governmental (IGO) and non-governmental organisations (NGO) considered that their respective countries should join FAO, EAAP and ICAR as soon as possible. In this respect, they were informed on benefits stemming from the membership in these organisations and on formalities required for new members.

In addition to the Kaunas meeting, the Chairman and the Secretary of the group have used 3 regional workshops (Moscow, Kiev and Tashkent) for further contacts with professionals from academic institutions and ministries from East Europe and Central Asia. The workshops were organised by FAO and the WAAP/EAAP Secretariat for the preparation of the country reports on the state of animal genetic resources. Beside positive results related to the preparation of country reports, workshops contributed to the development of international co-operation in the field of animal production. At the Moscow and Tashkent workshops, representatives of participating countries thanked FAO/WAAP/EAAP for giving them an opportunity to meet for the first time after 12 years and to break the isolation from their own neighbours and from the rest of the world. An informal agreement was reached among representatives of participating countries regarding the continuation of regional cooperation in the field of animal production and AnGR. FAO and WAAP/EAAP were invited to support the idea and to assist in the mobilization of external financial resources for this purpose.

The experience gained in these workshops and information on problems of the animal production in these countries will be used in further fine-tuning of the program of the Working Group. The major part of professionals who attended these workshops will act as contact points for the WG and other EAAP activities in the region.