Political agreement reached on seven-year funding for candidate countries

On Wednesday, Parliament and Council negotiators reached an agreement on the instrument governing the 2021-2027 funding of countries in the process of joining the EU.

The co-legislators agreed on the priorities, objectives and governance of the modernized financing of the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA III). It will amount to € 14.2 billion and will support the implementation of EU-related reforms in the seven partner countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia and Turkey.

Stronger conditionality, more impact and visibility of Parliament

The improved pre-accession instrument strengthens conditionality related to democracy, human rights and the rule of law, considering the suspension of aid in the event of government backtracking in these areas. The IAP III will strengthen strategic communication and the fight against disinformation and will contribute to the cross-cutting objectives of climate and environmental protection, human rights and gender equality. The revised fund envisages better donor coordination and enhanced consultations with civil society organizations and local and regional authorities. During the negotiations, the Parliament obtained improvements in the governance of the instrument through the extended use of the delegated acts procedure and an enhanced geopolitical dialogue with the European Commission. These mechanisms will allow the Parliament to define the broad strategic orientations and to monitor the decisions taken under the instrument.

The Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee David McAllister (PPE; DE): “A long-awaited political agreement is excellent news for the beneficiaries of IPA III and the European Union. It paves the way for improved governance, coherence and transparency of external funding at a time of critical importance for our enlargement policy, in the face of post-pandemic recovery ”. Co-rapporteur eljana zovko (PPE, HR): “The agreement guarantees the continued funding of enlargement policy, the EU’s most effective foreign policy tool, supported by reconciliation, regional cooperation and good neighborly relations. The modernized IPA has the capacity to facilitate far-reaching reforms in the enlargement countries and bring them closer to the EU, notably through the ambitious economic and investment plan and the green agenda for the Western Balkans ”. Co-rapporteur Tonino picula(S&D, RH): “The new generation of IPA will strengthen the democratic, normative and socio-economic transformation of candidates for EU membership. It enables smarter, better targeted, more visible and more sustainable support for candidate and potential candidate countries on their way to the EU. With today’s agreement, we have succeeded in securing strategic, conditional and visible funding that will help and help transform the enlargement countries in the face of common challenges ”.

The political agreement will be converted into the final legal text of the regulation, still subject to formal approval by the European Parliament and the Council. The IAP III is expected to be adopted and become law in early fall.

The first generation of the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance was put in place in 2007, followed by IPA II in 2014. The same countries covered by the instrument will also be eligible for funding under the Instrument. neighborhood, development and international cooperation (NDICI / World Europe). Additional public and private investment in the region can be leveraged through EU guarantees under the Western Balkans Guarantee Facility of the Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF).

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