The bilateral relations of the Greek Ministry of Rural Development and Food are following the commonly accepted principles set by the EU and the international community. They are aligned with the priorities set by the Greek foreign policy and they respond to the aims of the development policy of the international organizations.
While planning our bilateral relations, we take into account, first, the technical, administrative and financial capacity of the Ministry, where the latter mainly operates as a donor Institution for the recipient country, and second, the needs and the problems of the Greek agriculture, where the Ministry considers that those issues could be better addressed in the framework of close relations and fruitful cooperation with the partner Ministries of third countries. Therefore, the bilateral relations of the Ministry contribute decisively in broadening and promoting the country's foreign relations, as they deal with the so called issues of "low diplomacy" at strictly technical level.
On this basis, objectives and targets, identified at international and regional level, are endorsed to the best interest of the recipient country. Reduction of poverty, economic and social progress, inequalities' mitigation, social prosperity, environmental sustainability and fair trade, are some of the long-run aims of the international community which are reflected in the bilateral relations of the Ministry.
Within the framework of our bilateral development assistance, in particular, action is undertaken and programmes are scheduled on the basis of a rich institutional framework. Given that agricultural sector plays a crucial role in most countries' economy, the Ministry has signed Protocols or Memoranda or Co-operation Agreements in Agriculture with a large number of third countries.
Special attention is given to the exchange of information and experience, the mutual transfer of expertise and know-how, the participation of women and young farmers to the process of agricultural development, as well as upgrading their economic role and contribution to the rural development, which constitute a focal issue of the relevant EU policy and the Development Assistance Committee (D.A.C.) of OECD.
The Ministry of Rural Development and Food implements programmes of development cooperation with less developed and developing countries, after submitting them to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, in the beginning of each year. These programmes, aiming to fight poverty and assisting disadvantaged regions, are tailored to priority countries, defined by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In case these programmes are adopted by the latter, the necessary financial sources are transferred to the Ministry of Rural Development and Food, which undertakes to implement relevant actions.
In this section, the institutional framework regulating the Ministry's bilateral relations with the relevant Authorities in partner countries is presented, as well as the evolution of these relations during the last decade.