Brussels, 20 December 2013
Additional funding to support the normalisation between Kosovo and Serbia
The European Commission has approved additional funds to support the normalisation of relations between Kosovo and Serbia. Following its announcement at the end of October to allocate at least €15m under the Instrument for Pre-Accession (IPA) to address the needs of Serb majority municipalities throughout Kosovo, in particular the northern municipalities, the European Commission eventually adopted a package totalling €38,5m today. The special additional funding will focus on municipal infrastructure, public administration, rural and regional development, employment, education and environmental protection. It comes on top of the €70 million available under the 2013 IPA programme for Kosovo.
Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle said: "At the foreign ministers meeting this week, the EU Member States recognised yet again efforts made by the leadership of Serbia and Kosovo in normalisation of their relations. And we are committed to help them move forward on their respective EU paths. The new €38,5 million approved today should serve as a support in strengthening peace and stability in the region and will have direct impact on life of the citizens."
On 19 April this year, Kosovo and Serbia reached the First agreement of principles governing the normalisation of relations. The agreement was reached within the framework of the dialogue facilitated by the EU and covered the organisation of local elections in Kosovo, the establishment of an association of Kosovo-Serb majority municipalities, and the progressive integration of justice and police structures in northern Kosovo into Kosovo's legal and administrative framework. The local elections were successfully held in two rounds in November and December.
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This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo Declaration of Independence.