European Western Balkans
European Integration

Funding to main migration-related activities in the Western Balkans and Turkey

BRUSSELS – For candidate countries (Albania, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey) and potential candidates (Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo), the EU provides both financial and technical support.

The aim of this support is to help the beneficiaries make political and economic reforms and to help them meet the obligations necessary for membership of the EU.

This is done primarily through the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA).

The IPA funds are a sound investment into the future of both the enlargement countries and the EU itself. The investments already made in these countries as well those to come over the next few years, have gone and will go also to projects such as integrated border management (IBM), reception centres for asylum seekers and refugees and support to help counter the trafficking of human beings.

For the period 2007-2013 IPA had a budget of €11.5 billion; its successor, IPA II, will build on the results already achieved by dedicating €11.7 billion for the period 2014-2020.

Pre-accession support for migration–related activities in the Western Balkans and Turkey since 2007, amounts to around €600 million.



Overall pre-accession support for migration-related activities (both past and planned):

€ 54 million

Since 2007, €45.6 million have been committed for Serbia in the area of home affairs. The assistance concentrates on the technological upgrade of equipment at border posts and infrastructures; upgrade and extension of asylum facilities; drafting of the new law on asylum and reform of the national asylum system. Within this amount, a total of €13 million has been earmarked under IPA II for the construction of the ‘Common Crossing Points’ (Mucibabe, Jarinje, Konculj).

The EU Delegation to Serbia is currently providing €240 000 from IPA II for additional needs, such as waste disposal, water and sanitation and other needs to be identified in cooperation with the Ministry of Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Policy as well as theCommissariat for Refugees.

In addition to this money, the EU will continue supporting the reform of Serbia’s asylum system in the medium and long-term. Some €8.2 million have already been set aside from IPA funds for Serbia for projects, which are either being implemented or will start within the next year:

  • €3.2 million will be used to expand existing accommodation capacities for migrants in Serbia;
  • an EU twinning project of €1 million is already ongoing with a focus on drafting a new law on asylum and stepping up the reform of the asylum system;
  • €4 million have been allocated to further develop Serbia’s border surveillance systems.


The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

Overall pre-accession support for migration-related activities (both past and planned): €24 million

€12 million have been committed under IPA I for renovation of border police stations, fight against trafficking in human beings and strengthening police capacities for border management.

Under IPA II for 2016 the EU intends to provide €12 million to support the Government of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The money will help with the implementation of its migration policy through a number of different activities, including through improving infrastructure, equipment and IT support for the proper functioning of its asylum and migration policy; strengthening the functioning of visa policy; combating trafficking of human beings and support to victims of trafficking and violence; improving conditions in police stations; and strengthening of capacities for training and education in the area of home affairs.

Bosnia & Herzegovina (BiH)

Overall pre-accession support for migration-related activities (both past and planned): €10.5 million

In BiH €8.5 million of EU assistance has been disbursed covering technical assistance for effectively managing migration and asylum (€4 million), supply of equipment (€3.5 million) and the construction of a reception facility for migrants (€1 million). For 2015, under IPA II, €2 million are foreseen to support border police.


Overall pre-accession support for migration-related activities (both past and planned): €22.6 million

€2.63 million have been committed between 2008-2013 under IPA I, including for actions to ensure that asylum seekers and vulnerable migrants have access to adequate protection and fair treatment (€250 000); and a twinning contract of €1 million to support the adoption of the Schengen acquis.

The amount of €20 million is planned to be committed in 2015 under IPA II. This will go to support ‘Integrated Border Management’.


Overall pre-accession support for migration-related activities (both past and planned): €4.5 million

For 2012 under IPA I, €3 million were allocated for the reconstruction of border crossing points, with the aim of improving Albania’s focus on, inter alia, illegal migration and human trafficking. The planned programme for 2015 under IPA II includes a strong component on capacity building of law enforcement agencies, which covers, inter alia, Integrated Border Management (IBM) with the aim of improving the border security system to achieve full compliance with the EU and Schengen Acquis further. The indicative budget for IBM is €1.5 million for 2015.



Overall pre-accession support to migration-related activities (both past and planned): €7.1 million

Under IPA I funding since the 2007 related to migration amounts to €4.6 million.

The assistance was provided mainly through twinning. It focuses, among other things, on strengthening Kosovo’s effective management system, readmission and sustainable reintegration of returned migrants. In addition IPA funding supports the construction of facilities for asylum seekers.

Under IPA II €2.5 million is planned for strengthening Kosovo institutions in effective management of migration.


Overall pre-accession support for migration-related activities (both past and planned): €469 million

A number of structural actions have been undertaken to underpin Turkey’s efforts on the visa roadmap. Funding from IPAI in the area of home affairs is increasing from €130 million to an indicative allocation amount of €245 million for the period 2014-2016.

The bulk of the assistance goes to:

integrated border management with a focus on land borders and sea borders;

  • support the construction of removal centres for illegal migrants and reception centres for asylum seekers;
  • support to the international protection system;
  • support to anti-trafficking of human beings.

 €94 million of IPA has also been mobilised to assist Turkey in coping with the influx of Syrian migrants.


Assistance to more than one country

As of November 2015, the multi-country IPA II programme ‘Regional support to protection-sensitive migration management in the Western Balkans and Turkey’ will be implemented for 3 years with a budget of €8 million. The programme will improve the capacity of the beneficiaries to offer protection-sensitive responses to migration flows by strengthening identification of migrants, improving information exchange and laying the groundwork for sustainable return solutions. The Commission will implement this project through the relevant EU agencies including Frontex as well as the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

Humanitarian funding for refugees and asylum seekers

On 26 of August 2015 the European Commission allocated €1.5 million in humanitarian funding to assist refugees and migrants in Serbia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The aid will support humanitarian partners in helping with the provision of basic emergency services such as drinking water, hygiene, health care, shelter, and protection to refugees and migrants, improvement of the reception centres, and coordination and reporting on migration issues in the region.

Recently the European Commission allocated €90 000 in EU humanitarian assistance to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (on July 31, 2015) and €150 000 to Serbia (on August 20, 2015) in response to this emergency situation. The funding was channelled through the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and went directly to the two national Red Cross Societies of the two countries. With the new funding, overall EU humanitarian aid to support vulnerable refugees and migrants in Serbia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia amounts to €1.74 million.


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