IW Learn DEF
The Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe




REPORT TITLE: Recommendations for Policy Reforms and for the Introduction of Best Agricultural Practices in the Central and Lower Danube River Basin countries (February 2004)


  • Introduces the concept and definition of 'Best Agricultural Practices' (BAP) 
  • Summarizes earlier DRP reports related to the use of policy instruments and EU legislation that can be used to promote BAP
  • Presents six Strategic Aims and 11 Policy Objectives to guide policy reform to encourage BAP
  • Advice on how to develop the right 'policy mix' in each DRB country
  • Necessary next steps including demonstration pilot projects


This report is based on the findings of earlier DRP reports, as well as from a DRP workshop held in Zagreb for policy-makers in agriculture and water management from 11 DRB countries. It is in part a collection of summaries of these earlier reports. It also aims to introduce the concept of 'Best Agricultural Practices' (BAP) and opportunities for promoting it through policy reform and select demonstration pilot projects.

It begins with an overview of BAP and the earlier development of a BAP concept for the DRB. This is not a strict definition but rather a 'hierarchy of activities'. Getting the proper 'mix' of policy instruments that can be achieved to promote BAP follows. Regulatory, advisory/informative and economic instruments are examined with an assessment of their current status in DRB countries.

Opportunities for policy reform in relation to EU enlargement include harmonizing national legislation with EU regulatory instruments such as the Water Framework Directive and other listed EU directives. It also includes implementation and reform of the CAP and further developing the concept of 'environmental cross-compliance'.

The report presents six 'Strategic Aims', each with its own 'Policy Objectives', with 11 Objectives in all. The Six Aims are to:
1. Reduce pollution from mineral fertilisers and manure
2. Reduce pollution from pesticides
3. Improve compliance and enforcement of regulatory instruments for agricultural pollution control
4. Develop appropriate economic instruments for agricultural pollution control
5. Develop the capacities of agricultural extension services for agricultural pollution control
6. Promote organic farming and other low input farming systems

Examples of Objectives include improving national research into the relationship between agriculture and pollution, and encouraging proper pesticide use. The Aims and Objectives are designed to encourage farmers to 'move up' the BAP hierarchy and adopt more demanding pollution control practices.

Formulated on a basin-wide context, the above are meant to guide policy reform and the introduction of BAP in the central and lower DRB countries. But these should be adapted to national contexts. Suggestions on how to select recommendations and in developing the right 'policy mix' follow for countries, depending on their relationship with the EU.

The report ends with steps necessary for implementation of the proposed policy reforms and for the introduction of BAP measures at the national level, including demonstrating BAP through pilot projects. Annexes for each of the 11 countries provide country-by-country reviews of current policy objectives and strategies, policy instruments and practical measures, existing programmes and projects promoting BAP, and the overall effectiveness of the 'policy mix'.

To download this information sheet, click HERE.
To view or download the full report, click HERE