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P2P study tour on organic agriculture, Brussels, 18-21 January 2011

From 18-21 January 2011 Serbian Center for Cooperation President Borka Tomic participated in the Brussels study tour on organic agriculture organized by the European Commission People to People(P2P) program.

P2P study tour on organic agriculture, European Parliament

Serbian participants with the Chair of the study tour Mr Panos Gredis

Flemish organic farm Den Diepen Boomgaard

100% organic plant protected by safety net from pigeons

Almost 30 civil society representatives (a mix of technical experts in organic farming and policy oriented participants) from the Western Balkan countries and Iceland  were selected through TACSO regional offices for this tour entitled "The role of civil society in developing organic agriculture".

The program included four intensive days of workshops and seminars immaculately organized by GTZ featuring the European DG Enlargement and DG Agriculture experts, as well as European Organic Certifiers Council, French Chambers of Agriculture, International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements and Tech & Bio Show representatives. In addition, the group paid a visit to the European Parliament and a Flemish organic farm Den Diepen Boomgaard.
General conclusion was that the knowledge coming from this P2P visit presents a solid starting point for active involvement of civil society in agriculture in EU candidate and potential candidate states.

All participants seem willing to commit their skills and expertise to provide continuity for the EU vision and raise issues to be included on the agricultural agenda in their countries.

Various ideas were shared during the visit, and lessons learnt from the high quality speakers and knowledgeable participants. Serbian Center for Cooperation is looking forward to establishing cooperation on concrete projects with its counterparts in other Western Balkan countries and Iceland.

In order to meet the needs of “real” people, in “real environments”, a follow-up Balkans conference was proposed in the conclusion of the study tour. While addressing the key agriculture challenges this event would lead to systemic solutions with concrete usability perspective and development of sustainable business and societal models, deployable with the help of EU partners.