BRUSSELS – The European Commission has unveiled details of how the EU will support reform efforts in the Western Balkans and Turkey for the next 7 years. The funding, agreed by the EU last year, totals €11 billion and will be available through the new Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA II). Today’s announcement provides an indicative split of the funding among the countries and defines the policy priorities to be funded. Authorities of the countries concerned were involved in identifying the key areas that will most benefit from the assistance. The European Parliament and EU Member States, as well as civil society organisations, international organisations and financial institutions were consulted.
“This renewed assistance is very good news for the enlargement region. It will help support those countries with a European perspective to implement reforms that will directly impact citizens, help them move forward on their path to the EU and build bridges with their neighbours”, said European Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle.
Financial assistance will target strategic priorities for the countries wishing to join the EU as well as strengthening regional and territorial cooperation and investments. Key areas include governance and public administration reform, rule of law and fundamental rights, as well as support to economic growth and competitiveness.
Financial assistance in these areas will be oriented to support national sector reforms that target specific results. While ensuring continuity with the former IPA, the new instrument IPA II will operate under simplified rules to facilitate access to the funding for beneficiaries and allowing it to be more result-oriented, flexible and tailored to specific needs.
A well-defined set of indicators and targets will allow accurate monitoring and evaluation of the programmes. Performance rewards will take place in 2017 and in 2020.
*These allocations include funds for the multi-country activities, as well as for information and communication, audit, monitoring and evaluation, Office of the High Representative expenses and unallocated funds for Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Figures for Bosnia and Herzegovina will be published at a later stage this year, the delay being due to a lack of the necessary coordination structures country-wide.