Georgia and Moldova evaluate reform progress in food safety and consumer protection after Association Agreements with the EU (28/07/2016)

International conference on "Improving Food Safety and Consumer Protection Following the EU Association Agenda: Experience of Georgia and Moldova" brought together European, Georgian, and Moldovan experts who looked at the progress of implementing their Association Agreements (AA) with the EU in the area of food safety and consumer protection.

As a reflection of the needs in Georgia and Moldova, the discussions focused on food safety control systems, transparency of food enterprise inspections, civil society participation in the reforms, risk assessment in the sanitary and phyto-sanitary (SPS) field, and cooperation between public institutions working on food safety and consumer protection issues. The challenges and opportunities posed by SPS reforms were outlined by the conference speakers from the European Commission, European Food Safety Authority, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Estonian Dairy Association, and others.

The event was opened by Ms. Cristina Casella, Programme Manager at the EU Delegation to Georgia, Mr. Gustaf Winstrand, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Sweden, and Ms. Nino Khurtsidze, Vice President of Europe Foundation. 

This conference is part of the project Transparent Convergence to the EU Policies in Sanitary Issues: the Case of Georgia and Moldova, funded by the EU and Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), and was organized by the Europe Foundation in Georgia. 

Background:
By signing the Association Agreements, relations of Georgia and Moldova with the European Union have moved into a new phase, as the AAs and the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) envision comprehensive legal and economic reforms so as to bring the two countries closer to Europe.  Food safety and consumer protection field have been greatly impacted by these developments, with both Georgia and Moldova implementing reforms to approximate SPS legislation and practices with those of the EU.

For more information on the conference and the project, please contact:
Lela Berdzuli, Program Associate, Europe Foundation. E-mail: lberdzuli@epfound.ge Tel.: 225-39-42/43. 

Delegation of the European Union to Georgia: Communications Manager, Mikolaj Bekasiak, Mikolaj-Swietopelek.BEKASIAK@eeas.europa.eu.