The 3rd meeting of the Project Steering Committee took place on the 17th of March 2020 at AKIA premises in Baku. A review of the progress of the project was discussed and the 2nd Quarterly Report covering1st of August – 31st October 2019 and 3rd Quarterly Report covering1st of November – 31st January 2020 were presented by the Resident Twinning Adviser, Riccardo Passero, based in Baku. The presentation of the 3rd Work Plan covering 1st of May 2020 – 31st of October 2020 was also performed during the meeting.
BC Project Leader and Junior Project Leaders, based in the EU, were unable to physically attend the SC due to travel restrictions related to the pandemic, so the meeting was successfully organized via video conference.
In terms of project implementation, despite rising restrictions related to the pandemic, missions were resumed at the beginning of March 2020 (from 10th to 13th) concerning Activity 1.1 (Reports on domestic support and gap analysis with EU/AoA) and Activity 3.2 (Gaps/functionality of domestic ISSP and related Action Plan). Further activities were organized for April 2020 (5 missions for a total of 35 working days) and for May 2020 (3 missions for a total of 35 working days) but due to the upcoming coronavirus travel restrictions, the physical presence of STEs in Azerbaijan will not be possible for this period. For this reason, the STEs activities planned for April and May 2020 will be rescheduled both for in the format (teleworking) and contents (priorities for BC).
STEs will participate by teleworking and will be guided by the RTA Mr. Passero, based in Baku, in providing BC with a draft report on alternative subsidy options for the livestock sector by the end of May 2020. For this purpose, the engagement of key BC stakeholders in different sectors of livestock is planned and accordingly, livestock data will be collected and reviewed in April 2020. After May a specific focus will be given to Rural Development measures for finalizing the pilot strategies for Ismayilli and Lankaran regions to provide Azerbaijan with the work plan. The work plan will specify administrative, legal and institutional changes needed to be put in place to establish a sound Rural Development policy in the country. To accomplish this task, an inter-ministerial working group will be involved in Baku by the RTA and technical guidance will be provided on policy delivery from the MS side.