EU adopts €1 billion package to support reforms and regional cooperation in the Western Balkans and Turkey

European Commission; Photo: European Union

BRUSSELS – The European Commission has adopted its 2015 package of pre-accession assistance programmes to support reforms and regional cooperation in countries wishing to join the EU, totalling approximatively €1 billion.

 “This package expresses our strong commitment to the EU perspective for the Western Balkans and Turkey. It is a long-term investment in the EU’s own stability, security and prosperity and will support the political and economic reform process of the countries on their EU accession path“, said Johannes Hahn, European Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations.

Support for reforms

The funding comes under the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA II), and will be available to Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey. It will support further democratic and economic reforms, the modernisation of the judiciary and of public administration, as well as regional cooperation.

Investment in Connectivity

The package notably includes a €155 million programme to help fund major regional infrastructure projects in the energy and transport sectors in the Western Balkans: four power interconnections, two road projects and two rail projects, all of which will bring economies and societies closer together. The EU contribution is expected to trigger loans from partner financial institutions totalling €540 million.

Improving connectivity within the Western Balkans, as well as between the Western Balkans and EU, is a key factor for the economic development of the region. The Commission has made the connectivity agenda one of its highest priorities in this region, with the full support of the Western Balkans governments. Special emphasis is given on preparing and financing concrete regional infrastructure investment projects, but also on implementing technical standards and soft measures (e.g. simplifying border crossing procedures or unbundling utilities, and third party access to networks).

More about the eight projects:

http://ec.europa.eu/enlargement/pdf/publication/2015/2015-connectivity-package.pdf

Details per country:

Country Amount in EUR Main sectors financed
Albania 89,900,000 Democracy and Governance, Rule of Law and Fundamental Rights, Education, Employment and Social Policies
Bosnia and Herzegovina 37,200,000 Democracy and Governance, Rule of Law and Fundamental Rights
The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia 24,126,000 Democracy and Governance, Agriculture and Rural Development
Kosovo 78,000,000 Democracy and Governance, Rule of Law and Fundamental Rights, Energy, Agriculture and Rural Development.
Montenegro

2015 national programme

 

2015-2017 multi annual action programme

25,135,000

 

 

15,300,000

Democracy and Governance, Rule of Law and Fundamental Rights

 

Education, employment and social policies

Serbia 196,600,000 Democracy and Governance, Rule of Law and Fundamental Rights, Transport policy
Turkey 255,100,000 Democracy and Governance, Rule of Law and Fundamental Rights, Energy, Agriculture and Rural Development
Multi-Country 2015 – part I

 

 

Multi-Country 2015-2016 – Connectivity

122,555,000

 

 

 

155,254,000

Horizontal support to sector policies and reforms;Regional structures and networks; Regional investment support.

 

Regional investment support.

Support measures 71,557,000 Audit 2015 (2,000,000); Evaluation and Monitoring 2015 (2,000,000); Information and Communication 2015-2016 (20,000,000); 2015-2018 support to OHR in Bosnia and Herzegovina (9,557,000); TAIEX 2015 (38,000,000)