Political agreement on seven-year funding of accession countries (IPA III)
Political deal on the seven-year funding for accession countries
● 14.2 billion euro for EU-related reforms in the Western Balkans and Turkey
● Suspension of assistance in case of democratic backtracking
● Stronger political steer by the Parliament
On 2 June, the Parliament and the Council have reached an agreement on the Instrument which will govern the pre-accession funding in the period 2021-2027.
The co-legislators have agreed on the priorities, objectives and the governance of the modernised financing Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA III) It will be worth 14.2 billion euro and will support the implementation of EU-related reforms in the seven beneficiary countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, and Turkey.
The IPA III shall support the enlargement countries in their political, institutional, legal, administrative, socio-economic reforms, needed to comply with EU values, rules, standards, policies and practices, contributing to the mutual stability, security, peace and prosperity
Stronger conditionality, more impact and visibility of funds
The upgraded pre-accession instrument strengthens conditionality related to democracy, human rights and rule of law, envisaging the suspension of assistance in case of backtracking in those areas.
IPA III will step up strategic communication and the fight against disinformation and shall contribute to the horizontal goals of climate and environmental protection, human rights and gender equality. It envisages improved donor coordination and enhanced consultations with civil society organisations and local and regional authorities.
During negotiations the Parliament ensured improved governance of the instrument under the extended use of the delegated acts procedure and an enhanced geopolitical dialogue with the European Commission, enabling the Parliament to define the main strategic orientations and scrutinise decisions made under the instrument.
The Chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs David McAllister (EPP; DE): “A long-awaited political agreement is excellent news for the IPA III beneficiaries and the Union. It paves the way to improved governance, coherence and transparency of the external funding in a period of a critical importance for the EU’s enlargement policy, in the face of post-pandemic recovery”.
Co-rapporteur Željana Zovko (EPP, HR): „The deal safeguards continued funding of the EU’s most successful foreign policy tool, the enlargement policy, underpinned by reconciliation, regional cooperation and good neighbourly relations. The modernised IPA has capacity to facilitate the in-depth reforms of the enlargement countries and bring them closer to the EU, including through the ambitious Economic and Investment Plan and the Green Agenda for the Western Balkans”.
The political agreement will be converted into the final legal text of the Regulation, subject to formal approval by the European Parliament and the Council. The IPA III is set to be formally approved and signed into law in early autumn.
The first generation of the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance was put in place in 2007, followed by IPA II in 2014. The enlargement countries will also be eligible for the funding under the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI/Global Europe) .
Additional public and private investment in the region would be mobilised through the EU guarantees under the Western Balkans Guarantee Facility of the Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF).