Is the Czech agriculture sector prepared for EU membership?
The agriculture chapter, the biggest and most complicated part of EU legislation, has undoubtedly been the most problematic chapter during accession talks. While the Czech Republic has taken quite a progressive step in the past 1.5 years to adopt hundreds of new or amended laws, it still has its work cut out for itself when it comes to modernising its veterinary system and extracting money from EU funds. Czech farmers too have been anything but silent, protesting against some of these new rules and regulations, which often call for costly investment that many cannot afford. Although much of the agriculture market is already open, small farmers fear they will not be able to withstand the competition from fellow EU countries. The Czech Agriculture Ministry says it has been working around the clock to negotiate the best terms for its farmers but only time will tell whether its efforts have been effective. Hugo Roldan is Press Officer at the Ministry. In this week's Talking Point, Dita Asiedu speaks to Mr Roldan to find out how far the Czech Republic has come in its preparations for EU membership: