Brussels, 27 March 2013
EU invests €272.75 million to promote regional cooperation in the Western Balkans
The European Commission has finalised a series of measures to promote regional cooperation between Western Balkan countries totalling €272.75 million for the period 2012-2013.
"These funds are good news as regional cooperation is a central element of the EU's efforts to bring forward the reform process of the countries in the Western Balkans and help the region achieve economic prosperity and political stability", said European Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle.
The funds will support cooperation with international financial institutions to mobilise funding, help develop civil society, support education schemes such as student mobility programmes, and help beneficiaries meet the requirements for EU membership and align their standards with the EU. This will complement the funding of individual national programmes by focusing on regional aspects and helping countries to learn from each other's experience.
The funding earmarked today comes under the 2012-2013 Multi-beneficiary and Cross-Border programmes of the EU's Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA).
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.
Multi-Beneficiary Programmes 2012/13:
Cross-Border Cooperation Programmes 2012/13
For more information: