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EU Twinning Project “Further support to Agriculture, Rural Development and Food Safety in the Republic of Moldova” finalised its activities

As the Twinning Project “Further support to Agriculture, Rural Development and Food Safety in the Republic of Moldova” finalised its activities in December 2022, these two last months it implemented its last missions through which it continued assisting the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry (MAFI) and Agency for Payments and Interventions in Agriculture (AIPA) on topics regarding Data Management and Institutional Development in line with EU standards for a paying agency. Short-Term Experts from Austria and Poland fruitfully engaged in trainings and meeting which ensured a constant exchange of expertise and transfer of know-how. 

For safeguarding that the agricultural and rural development information is efficiently collected, of high quality, reliable, and accessible to the relevant stakeholders, the Twinning Project equipped the relevant staff in MAFI with templates, examples of data collection and comparative analysis, excel tables and specifics about the required IT systems. Furthermore, trainings were organised for relevant staff in MAFI and AIPA during which the importance of data management systems were explained and the participants were trained on the elaboration of standard reports, the tools which can be used, data interpretation and description. The participants communicated that these sessions were very helpful in the context of advancing capacity building and digitalization processes in the institutions. Since Moldova became an EU candidate country, it is imperative to improve the operating structures’ monitoring and evaluation capacity and advance on evidence-based policy making.

Additionally, during this period, two workshops were conducted on LEADER administration and documentation as well as on Simplified Costs Options. Discussions were held with the Beneficiaries on how to optimise essential processes and improve implementation. The EU methodology was explained and working examples from Austria were provided. Representatives from MAFI and AIPA were advised on how to reduce bureaucracy in the future and recommendations were given on how to adapt the LEADER regulation for the next years.

The team of Polish and Austrian experts finalised the second accreditation audit in AIPA and all their findings and recommendations were included in an Audit Report. The implementation of recommendations was constantly tracked and support in reviewing AIPA’s procedure and policies was provided as needed. The Final Audit Report was presented during a high-level meeting attended by the Minister, representatives of AIPA, MAFI, State Chancellery, Ministry of Finance, and the Parliament. The participants reiterated their commitment towards strengthening AIPA since a strong Paying Agency is imperative for Moldova to have access to pre-accession EU funds. The Twinning Project is confident that AIPA was equipped with the needed expertise and know-how for it to continue its institutional development in line with EU standards. 

As stated before, the Twinning Project finalised its activities in the end of December 2022. During the closing meeting on 15 December, the completed goals and objectives were presented to honourable guests. The Ambassadors of Austria, Poland and Lithuania as well as the Head of EU delegation to the Republic of Moldova reiterated their commitment to further support the country in its reform process. The Beneficiary Institutions reported tangible results achieved with the support of the RTA and short-term experts and highlighted their willingness to continue to progress and continue the adjustment to EU standards of the elaborated policies. The Twinning Team and the EU delegation representatives stressed their appreciation for the dedication and work done by their counterparts and expressed their believe in a European future for Moldova.