Brussels, 9 November 2012
EU allocates €63 million to bring Kosovo* closer to Europe
The European Commission today announced that it has allocated €63 million to support Kosovo's efforts to implement its EU-reform agenda. The funds will be used for reforms of the justice and public administration systems, to support the readmission and reintegration of refugees and to improve correctional and probation services. It will also help boost private sector development through the modernisation of Kosovo's power supply, its infrastructure, and investment in education and regional development.
The funding earmarked today is included in the 2012 annual programme for Kosovo under the EU's Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA), and will be topped up with an additional €20 million of co-financing by Kosovo authorities and other donors.
"Reforms to increase the efficiency of the judicial system, improve public administration and promote a more dynamic and resilient private sector are the key priorities of our assistance in Kosovo. This not only helps Kosovo move closer to the EU, but it also aims to bring about real change in Kosovo society for the benefit of all its citizens", said European Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle.
The 2012 Annual IPA programme for Kosovo also includes provisions that will allow the Commission to respond quickly to political priorities that need financial support for their implementation, such as the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue, the strategic review of EULEX, and the visa dialogue.
The Commission will continue to consult closely with the Kosovo authorities and other donors to ensure the efficiency and effectiveness of EU assistance in Kosovo. As a recent report of the European Court of Auditors highlighted, close coordination between the Commission and the EU Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX) is particularly important when it comes to supporting the rule of law in Kosovo, which is a complex and lengthy process. The Commission's recent feasibility study for a Stabilisation and Association Agreement and the visa roadmap should encourage Kosovo to enact the necessary reforms.
-more follows –
Since 2007, countries wishing to join the EU have received focused EU funding and support through a single channel – the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA). The total pre-accession funding for the period 2007-2013 is €11.5 billion. IPA consists of five components:
Component I: Transition Assistance and Institution Building
Component II: Cross-Border Cooperation
Component III: Regional Development
Component IV: Human Resources Development
Component V: Rural Development
The execution of EU pre-accession aid under the IPA programme begins with the definition of the Commission's intentions in terms of indicative financial allocations. This is followed by the adoption of the strategies, based on the countries' specific needs, which have been adopted over the last few weeks setting out the priorities for EU financial assistance for the period 2011-2013. The next step is the preparation, along with the beneficiaries, of programmes to set the frame for the yearly financial allocation. Finally, the programmes are implemented through specific projects on the country or at the regional level.
For more information:
Anca Paduraru (+32 2 296 64 30)
Peter Stano (+32 2 295 74 84)