Brussels, 21 December 2012
Renewed EU funding to support on-going reforms in Serbia
The European Commission announced that it has allocated €171,6 million today to support Serbia's efforts to implement its EU reform agenda. The funding will focus on increasing the efficiency of the judicial system, developing asylum capacities and the fight against organised crime, including trafficking in human beings and firearms. Measures to support the fight against corruption are also foreseen.
"Serbia has been going in the right direction, adopting new laws and implementing strategic reforms. I am confident this funding will allow Serbia to keep a steady pace of reforms, helping the country to meet necessary commitments in order to move closer towards the EU. Changes and improvements in the judiciary will bring direct benefits to Serbian citizens," said Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Štefan Füle.
The programme, adopted through the EU Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA), will also support the country's social development. The funds will improve social inclusion, (in particular of the Roma population), employment and human resources development, human rights, protection of minorities, anti-discrimination policies and education.
The funding also includes measures to sustain other crucial areas, such as environmental and energy reforms, as well as civil service reform at local and central government level. It will be topped up by an additional €19 million allocated through other financial instruments in the field of research and education, civil society support and regional housing for refugees.
The IPA money is allocated based on the actual needs of the countries to implement reforms necessary for entering the EU (political reforms such as judicial reform, human rights etc.; economic, social and territorial development with a view to smart, sustainable and inclusive growth; ability to fulfil the obligations of membership and alignment with EU law; regional integration and cross border cooperation). With this funding, the aspiring countries can carry out the necessary reforms and get ready for implementing European standards and policies.
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, and the setting of 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:
Overview of IPA
Anca Paduraru (+32 2 296 64 30)
Peter Stano (+32 2 295 74 84)