European Western Balkans

EU approves 14.2 billion euro of pre-accession financial assistance

European Council meeting room; Photo: European Union

BRUSSELS – The Council of the European Union on Tuesday approved EUR 14.2 billion in financial assistance for the period 2021-2027 for the Western Balkans, Iceland, and Turkey, Exit.al reported. This support is given to countries that carry out reforms in the hopes of joining the European Union.

Beneficiaries over the 7-year period will be Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iceland, Kosovo, Montenegro, Northern Macedonia, Serbia, and Turkey.

The distribution of funds is not defined but will depend on the performance of countries in undertaking reforms, but also taking into account their needs and capacities.

Special attention will be paid to the efforts made in the field of rule of law, fundamental rights, democratic institutions, public administration reform, as well as economic development and competition.

In the event that a country shows regression in undertaking reforms, the funds towards it may be reduced and redirected to another country.

This EU funding comes in the instrument of pre-accession assistance ( IPA III ). The Council adopted its position in March 2019 and the Presidency of the EU Council and Parliament reached a political agreement on June 2, 2021.

Following today’s formal support from the Council, the European Parliament will also have to complete the confirmation process. Its approval is expected in September.

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