For candidate countries (Albania, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey) and potential candidates (Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo), the EU provides both financial and technical support. The aim of this support is to help the beneficiaries make political and economic reforms and to help them meet the obligations necessary for membership of the EU.
This is done primarily through the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA).
The IPA funds are a sound investment into the future of both the enlargement countries and the EU itself. The investments already made in these countries as well those to come over the next few years, have gone and will go also to projects such as integrated border management (IBM), reception centres for asylum seekers and refugees and support to help counter the trafficking of human beings.
For the period 2007-2013 IPA had a budget of €11.5 billion; its successor, IPA II, will build on the results already achieved by dedicating €11.7 billion for the period 2014-2020.
Pre-accession support for migration–related activities in the Western Balkans and Turkey since 2007, amounts to over €600 million.
Overall pre-accession support for migration-related activities (both past and planned):
€ 54 million
Since 2007, €45.6 million have been committed for Serbia in the area of home affairs. The assistance concentrates on the technological upgrade of equipment at border posts and infrastructures; upgrade and extension of asylum facilities; drafting of the new law on asylum and reform of the national asylum system. Within this amount, a total of €13 million has been earmarked under IPA II for the construction of the 'Common Crossing Points' (Mucibabe, Jarinje, Konculj).
The EU Delegation to Serbia is currently providing €240 000 from IPA II for additional needs, such as waste disposal, water and sanitation and other needs to be identified in cooperation with the Ministry of Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Policy as well as the Commissariat for Refugees.
In addition to this money, the EU will continue supporting the reform of Serbia's asylum system in the medium and long-term. Some €8.2 million have already been set aside from IPA funds for Serbia for projects, which are either being implemented or will start within the next year:
- €3.2 million will be used to expand existing accommodation capacities for migrants in Serbia;
- an EU twinning project of €1 million is already ongoing with a focus on drafting a new law on asylum and stepping up the reform of the asylum system;
- €4 million have been allocated to further develop Serbia's border surveillance systems.
The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
Overall pre-accession support for migration-related activities (both past and planned): €24 million
€12 million have been committed under IPA I for renovation of border police stations, fight against trafficking in human beings and strengthening police capacities for border management.
Under IPA II for 2016 the EU intends to provide €12 million to support the Government of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The money will help with the implementation of its migration policy through a number of different activities, including through improving infrastructure, equipment and IT support for the proper functioning of its asylum and migration policy; strengthening the functioning of visa policy; combating trafficking of human beings and support to victims of trafficking and violence; improving conditions in police stations; and strengthening of capacities for training and education in the area of home affairs.
Bosnia & Herzegovina (BiH)
Overall pre-accession support (since 2007) for migration-related activities (both past and planned): €16.8 million
In BiH €8.5 million of EU assistance has been disbursed covering technical assistance for effectively managing migration and asylum (€4 million), supply of equipment (€3.5 million) and the construction of a reception facility for migrants (€1 million).
Regarding border management, €6.3 million of IPA I assistance has been disbursed for infrastructure and capacity building, and an additional €2 million are foreseen to support border police under 2015 IPA II funds.
Overall pre-accession support for migration-related activities (both past and planned): €22.6 million
€2.63 million have been committed between 2008-2013 under IPA I, including for actions to ensure that asylum seekers and vulnerable migrants have access to adequate protection and fair treatment (€250 000); and a twinning contract of €1 million to support the adoption of the Schengen acquis.
The amount of €20 million is planned to be committed in 2015 under IPA II. This will go to support 'Integrated Border Management'.
Overall pre-accession support for migration-related activities (both past and planned): €4.5 million
For 2012 under IPA I, €3 million were allocated for the reconstruction of border crossing points, with the aim of improving Albania's focus on, inter alia, illegal migration and human trafficking. The planned programme for 2015 under IPA II includes a strong component on capacity building of law enforcement agencies, which covers, inter alia, Integrated Border Management (IBM) with the aim of improving the border security system to achieve full compliance with the EU and Schengen Acquis further. The indicative budget for IBM is €1.5 million for 2015.
Overall pre-accession support to migration-related activities (both past and planned): €7.1 million
Under IPA I funding since the 2007 related to migration amounts to €4.6 million.
The assistance was provided mainly through twinning. It focuses, among other things, on strengthening Kosovo's effective management system, readmission and sustainable reintegration of returned migrants. In addition IPA funding supports the construction of facilities for asylum seekers.
Under IPA II €2.5 million is planned for strengthening Kosovo institutions in effective management of migration.
Overall pre-accession support for migration-related activities (both past and planned): €469 million
A number of structural actions have been undertaken to underpin Turkey's efforts on the visa roadmap. Funding from IPA in the area of home affairs is increasing from €130 million over 2011-2013 to an indicative allocation of €245 million for the period 2014-2016.
The bulk of the assistance goes to:
- integrated border management with a focus on land borders and sea borders;
- support the construction of removal centres for illegal migrants and reception centres for asylum seekers;
- support to the international protection system;
- support to anti-trafficking of human beings.
€94 million of IPA has also been mobilised to assist Turkey in coping with the influx of Syrian migrants (the EU total assistance for this purpose in Turkey amounting to over €175 million).
As part of EU's efforts to step up the support to its neighbours in managing the refugee crisis the funding for Turkey could reach up to one billion euros, if Turkey wants and agrees. The funds can come from reallocation from various funding sources, including sectorial programs in support for Syrian refugees crisis/support to host communities/migration related activities.
Assistance to more than one country
As of November 2015, the multi-country IPA II programme 'Regional support to protection-sensitive migration management in the Western Balkans and Turkey' will be implemented for 3 years with a budget of €8 million. The programme will improve the capacity of the beneficiaries to offer protection-sensitive responses to migration flows by strengthening identification of migrants, improving information exchange and laying the groundwork for sustainable return solutions. The Commission will implement this project through the relevant EU agencies including Frontex as well as the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).
The European Commission has detailed on 8 October its new support of €17 million to help Serbia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia cope with the unprecedented refugee flows in these countries. This new funding is part of EU's overall efforts to deal with the consequences of the Syrian crisis announced earlier by the European Commission. Out of the €17 million, €10 million comes from a special measure adopted by the European Commission and €7 million is being allocated to these two countries in humanitarian aid, as part of the Commission's commitment to allocate a further €200 million in 2015 to deal with the consequences of the refugee crisis.
Humanitarian funding for refugees and asylum seekers
Current overall EU humanitarian aid to support vulnerable refugees and migrants in Serbia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia stands at €1.74 million.
On 26 of August 2015, the European Commission allocated €1.5 million in humanitarian funding to assist refugees and migrants in Serbia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The aid will support humanitarian partners with the provision of basic emergency services in view of the upcoming winter, such as drinking water, hygiene, health care, shelter, and protection to refugees and migrants, improvement of the reception centres, and coordination and reporting on migration issues in the region.
Additional funding of €240,000 from the Commission was allocated to the two countries in response to the emergency situation via the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)
€90,000 of EU humanitarian assistance in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, allocated on 31 July: The assistance has been fully implemented and reached more than the initially targeted 3,750 beneficiaries, as a total of 4,600 persons received food and hygiene parcels and other essential items such as blankets and individual first aid kits; 10,000 litres of water were distributed and from July to September medical teams performed over 26,300 interventions, which were partially covered by the EU funding.
€150,000 of EU humanitarian assistance in Serbia, allocated on 20 August. Tens of thousands of food packages, including food parcels for babies, have already been distributed, as well as almost 38,000 hygiene kits. The operation is foreseen to benefit around 67,500 people.
The EU Civil Protection Mechanism
The EU Civil Protection Mechanism can be activated to provide material support to help cope with the influx of refugees and asylum seekers. The mechanism can provide short term emergency material support such as teams and equipment, shelter, medical supplies and other non-food items, as well as expertise. Countries can request assistance via the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, which can be used for both in and outside the European Union. It is coordinated by the European Commission's Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC) and facilitates deployment of material assistance in emergency situations.
Serbia activated the Civil Protection Mechanism on 21 September. The European Commission's Emergency Response Coordination Centre is working closely with the Serbian authorities and the other participating states to coordinate a swift response to the request.