Sélecteur de langues
European Commission adopts first package of financial support programmes for the Western Balkans
Commission Européenne - IP/05/408 11/04/2005
Brussels, 11th April 2005
The European Commission has adopted its Annual Programmes for the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro, and Kosovo (as defined by the UN Security Council 1244). In 2005, within the Community Assistance for Reconstruction, Development and Stabilisation (CARDS) Programme, € 34.5 million will be spent for the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, € 184 million for Serbia and Montenegro (on State Union level and in the two Republics), and € 54 million for Kosovo. The CARDS Annual Programmes for Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and the CARDS Regional Annual Programme are under development and will be approved later this year.
EU assistance to the Western Balkans is adapted as needs and political situation evolve. Now, attention has moved from rebuilding infrastructure and fostering reconciliation, towards developing government institutions and legislation, and gradual approximation with European norms and eventually harmonisation with EU acquis. Financial support is directed at reinforcing democracy and the rule of law, human rights, civil society and the media, and the operation of a free market economy. In addition assistance is offered to help generate sustainable economic recovery, and promote social development and structural reform.
For the period 2000-2006, CARDS assistance to the Western Balkan countries amount to about € 5 billion. The general objective of the CARDS Programme is to support the participation of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Serbia and Montenegro, including Kosovo, in the Stabilisation and Association Process, which is the EU’s policy for the countries of the region until their eventual accession. Croatia, which has been granted candidate country status, is expected to benefit from pre-accession financial assistance while remaining eligible for participation in the CARDS regional programme.
For further information see: