NEWS

Better use of CSF resources

In the 37 months we have been in government, the Ministry for Agricultural Development and Food has begun to simplify procedures, chiefly with regard to measures provided for in the 3rd Community Support Framework, such as the Improvement Plans (Measure 1.1, for the modernization of farms) and investment in the manufacture and trade of farm products (Measure 2.1) have considerable reduced – within the framework of legality – the number of documents required to apply for inclusion. Specifically, for animal products, livestock farms have been given legal status and installation plans have been approved without the need for new construction permits. The procedure for evaluating and approving applications has been simplified, as there is now an expert committee in each region. Also, wherever necessary, the committees have been enlarged to ensure transparency. By speeding up and simplifying procedures, shortening deadlines for issuing approval and changing the organizations that receive the proposals and applications, we have achieved a more efficient use of resources. So the ministry’s programs are now being completed more quickly. From the 17 percent completed in March, 2004, 60 percent have now been completed. Greece has laid strong foundations within the general competitive environment of the European Union. (1) Evangelos Bassiakos is agriculture minister.