Pannon EGTC

Crossmarkets 2.0

Status: lead partner
Duration: April 1, 2023 - June 30, 2023.
Awarded support: expert
Source: b-solutions

Thanks to AEBR, we have been given the opportunity to continue our project, which aims to outline possible solutions that simplify access to fresh, local produce for people on both sides of the border, while providing a framework for producers' sales opportunities. The expert work in the project was carried out by CESCI, which resulted in a proposal for the implementation of a roadmap that provides a common basis and a solution to the current situation of divergent regulations, while reducing legal and administrative barriers.

In the framework of the project, based on the legal, administrative and other obstacles collected by the local and regional actors of the border region, we make joint proposals, which we discuss with the agreement of the local level (chambers of agriculture, LEADER groups) with the relevant authorities and the legislators responsible for regulation. Progress requires a bottom-up initiative, in which as many local political forces as possible (mayors, county presidents, representatives of agricultural producers' organizations) express their political will to promote cross-border sales in the form of a joint statement of intent, which we then send to the competent Hungarian and Croatian ministries, and of the co-chairs of the intergovernmental joint commissions (economic and minority joint commissions) between the two countries. In the letter of intent, based on the experience gained so far, we propose a multi-level solution schedule. While the legislators of the two countries are examining in a joint committee the possibility of creating a national law/regulation containing specific rules for cross-border sales, the relevant authorities and organizations (LEADER, EGTC) can make proposals to reduce administrative obstacles and ensure bilingualism in as many places as possible.

The report recommends that the ETTs operating in the region provide assistance to the local product communities, producers and consumers to meet regularly in order to alleviate the lack of information. In the case of harmonized standards that are applied by both Member States based on the relevant EU legislation, the application of interoperability/mutual recognition is recommended (operating conditions of markets, records to be kept by producers, mandatory registration and the scope of official certificates, etc.), the elimination of administrative obstacles (bilingual forms, conditions for online sales, standardization of forms and records, etc.) could be financed from other, additional EU funds.

The cross-border distribution of local products is an unsolved problem not only on the Hungarian-Croatian border, but in all border regions of Hungary, but there is also a lack of harmonization in the European Union as a whole. By creating a regulatory framework within the framework of this project, it would be possible to develop best practices that can be applied to other border sections as well.