The EU has allocated 7.2 million euros ($ 7.8 million) to Azerbaijan within the framework of its Rural Development Support Programme (RDSP), Trend reports.

The program aims at supporting and developing the regional and rural reforms of the Azerbaijani government. Main objective of the program is provision of sustainable development of agricultural sphere and regions of the country through ensuring food security and sanitary control.

RDSP in Azerbaijan was launched in 2012 to expand the access to safe and high-quality food provisions and encourage entrepreneurship in the sphere of agriculture in the country's rural areas by means of improvement of business environment.

The overall budget of the program is 13 million euro ($ 14.3 million). As much as 1 additional million euro ($ 1.1 million) was budgeted for technical assistance to complement the activities.

Currently, the bilateral relations between the EU and Azerbaijan are regulated on the basis of a partnership and cooperation agreement, which was signed in 1996 and came into force in 1999. The agreement provides for wide-range cooperation in the areas of political dialogue trade, investment, in economic matters, legislation and culture. Since then, the European Union has gradually expanded the scope of its assistance and cooperation with Azerbaijan.

The European Neighborhood Instrument (ENI) is currently the key EU financial instrument for the period 2014-2020. Regional and rural development is one of the priority sectors of assistance for 2014-2017 alongside with the justice sector reform and education and skills development.

The main objective of technical and financial cooperation between the EU and Azerbaijan for the period 2014-2017 is to support Azerbaijan's ambitious reform agenda, promote the diversification of the country's economy and bring Azerbaijan closer to the EU.

Source: Azer news