Brussels, 21 December 2012
Renewed EU support for reforms in Bosnia and Herzegovina
The EU will invest €84,8 million in Bosnia and Herzegovina to support reforms necessary to help the country move forward on its path towards European integration. The funding will focus on increasing the efficiency of the judiciary, strengthening the country's parliaments, improvements in the transport sector and on inclusion of vulnerable groups, including refugees and internally displaced persons. It will also help strengthen the law enforcement agencies in the fight against organised crime, terrorism and corruption, and will advance Bosnia and Herzegovina's alignment with EU laws and standards.
"The EU continues to prove its commitment to the European perspective for Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is now crucial that an effective coordination mechanism is put in place by the authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina to make the best use of EU support, for the benefit of the country's citizens," stressed Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Štefan Füle.
The funding comes under the 2012 annual programme of the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA). Between 2007 and 2011, the EU already provided €439 million of pre-accession assistance to Bosnia and Herzegovina.
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 a 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, 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 at country or regional level.
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