Regional Office

About FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia

FAO's presence in Europe dates back to 1961, when a Regional Office for Europe was set up in Geneva. This was subsequently moved to Rome in 1970. Activities in the 1970s and 1980s focused on the exchange of information within the Region and cooperation among member countries on specific aspects of agricultural and rural development.
At the end of the 1980s, the immediate effect of the political changes in Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) on FAO was the rise in the number of its members in the European Region. Membership rose from 29 Members in 1990 to 53 in 2010, plus one Member Organization (the European Union).

In response to the changes in Europe and the emergence of transition economies, FAO has taken a number of important steps to increase its presence and to broaden the range of its activities in the Region. A key move was the establishment of the Subregional office for Central and Eastern Europe (SEU) in Budapest in 1996, staffed with a core team with expertise in various areas, all directly relevant to the development and transition needs of Central and Eastern European Countries (CEECs).
As a result of the reform proposals submitted by the Director-General to the 33rd Session of the FAO Conference (November 2005) aimed at improved services to member countries, particularly in the light of accelerated actions needed to implement the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and in recognition of FAO's role as a knowledge organization, a Subregional Office for Central Asia was established in Ankara in November 2006.

Another important step was the transfer of the Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia from Rome to Budapest in 2007. This office has been also reinforced by setting up of a core unit for administrative and operational support for projects in the region.

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