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Focus Group Meeting in Bulgaria: Exploring policy choices supporting tools

Feb 15, 2024 | Tools4CAP Focus Groups

Author: Vanya Manolova (IAE-BG)

Editor: Miranda García (AEIDL)

On 20 October 2023, the Institute of Agrarian Economics in Bulgaria hosted a significant Focus Group meeting centred on exploring Policy choices supporting tools in the framework of the Tools4CAP project.

The discussion was kicked off by Assoc. Dr. Bozhidar Ivanov, the Institute’s Director, who set the stage by outlining the objectives of the Tools4CAP project. The meeting convened 11 key stakeholders, including policy-makers, representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture, and members of the research community.

The core agenda of the meeting revolved around enhancing decision-making tools for more effective planning, management, and implementation of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and the Strategic Plan.

Key discussions centred on the application of CAP financial instruments to meet the specific needs across sectors and sub-sectors, with particular emphasis on smaller farms and producers. The group emphasized the need for effective operational annual communication and result traceability, ensuring that allocated funds address real needs rather than self-interests.

A highlight of the session was the presentation of a SWOT analysis for the CAP and agriculture, developed by the scientists from the Institute of Agrarian Economics. This analysis serves as an anticipatory expert assessment for Strategic planning, offering insightful foresight into the sector’s future.

The meeting also delved into the role of the Focus Group in discussing the legislative framework and strategic planning priorities, resulting from a clearly articulated Strategy for the development of agriculture and rural areas in the country.

The group extensively debated the potential impact of the Focus Group’s contribution in assessing the impact of European mechanisms and the CAP in the context of recent challenges, including the Covid pandemic, geopolitical conflicts, and the crises affecting prices, markets, and food chain security.