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“We are actively working on the preparation of the Bulgarian Strategic Plan for the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and in close cooperation with all parties involved.” This was what stated Minister of Agriculture, Food and Forestry Prof. Dr. Hristo Bozukov at the meeting of the EU Council for Agriculture and Fisheries in Luxembourg. He added that so far, most of the interventions have been re-discussed with branch organizations. "Over the past few months, the recommendations of the European Commission for the development of the Strategic Plan, as well as the change in the financial parameters of the increased environmental ambition were considered. New eco-schemes projects were finalized. They will be soon presented and discussed with all the interested parties, with whom we have active communication, as well as the conditionality ", highlighted the Bulgarian Minister of Agriculture.

He pointed out that it is extremely important a flexible approach and assistance to be rendered by the EC services in order to reduce the time pressure on the Member States, in view of the deadline for submission of plans. According to him, it is important transparency to be shown in the approving process of the plans by the Commission, as well as equality and application of uniform criteria to all participants. Minister Bozukov added that it would be useful all countries to exchange information on the progress, as well as regular publications and sharing of information on their Strategic Plans. "It is important to receive timely feedback from the Commission services, including informal, preliminary dialogue. It will be useful, a checklist to be developed where the EC services will evaluate the plan to be presented, "said Prof. Hristo Bozukov.

He reminded that receiving timely feedback and access to the European Commission's answers to questions from Member States is essential for the uniformly and transparently application of the CAP package rules. "According to the Regulation on Strategic Plans, the Commission should evaluate and approve national plans only on the basis of acts that are legally binding for the Member States," said Minister Bozukov.

During the meeting, ministers also discussed a revision of EU marketing standards for agricultural products. The Bulgarian Minister pointed out that new market standards should be devised, as well as attention should be paid to amendments in legislation and changes in current strategies and initiatives at EU level.

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