The comprehensive agricultural policy of Slovenia during the setting-up of its agricultural institutional system for implementation of the Common Agricultural Policy has enabled the setting-up and design of the Paying Agency system to handle national and EU subsidies according to schedule. The country has acted on the advice of the European Uni
...on to use the introduction of SAPARD measures as a preparatory and experimental field for utilising subsidies after EU accession. Moreover, in addition to the importance of gaining practical experience in the field of implementation of rural development measures, Slovenia has recognised the necessity to become familiar with the application procedures for obtaining direct payments relevant for the largest group of beneficiaries, farmers. Accordingly, farmers have been practicing for 3 years how to fill in application forms, and have gained important experience before opening the most relevant resources. Also, the advisers supporting farmers to obtain subsidies have been trained during the last 3 years, in order to provide real assistance. EU agricultural subsidies are not divided among the Member States; there will be a strong competition not only with the new Member States, but also with the farmers of the more developed EU-15. Slovenia has done its best in order to launch its farmers – due to the different development levels of the EU-25 Member States – into this very strong competition not like pupils, but at least like mature secondary school students.