EU member states gave the final green light to almost 14.2 billion euro of pre-accession financial assistance for the period 2021–2027 for Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iceland, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia and Turkey on Tuesday, the EU Council said.
The funds are meant to help beneficiaries carry out reforms with a view to future Union membership, it said, adding that “the beneficiaries will be supported in conducting the necessary political, institutional, legal, administrative, social and economic reforms in order to comply with Union values and to progressively align themselves with Union rules, standards, policies and practices.”
The assistance under IPA III will be based both on a performance-based approach and the fair share principle, which means that assistance will be “differentiated in scope and intensity according to performance of the beneficiaries.”
“Particular attention will be paid to efforts made in the fundamental reform areas (the rule of law and fundamental rights, democratic institutions and public administration reform, as well as economic development and competitiveness). At the same time, a fair share principle will be applied to ensure that the scope and intensity of the funding takes into account not only the performance of the beneficiaries but also their needs and capacities in order to avoid a disproportionately low level of assistance when compared with others and to ensure progress by all beneficiaries,” the statement said.
It also said that it is foreseen that the scope and intensity of the assistance “can be modulated in case of significant regression or persistent lack of progress by a beneficiary in the fundamental reform areas.”
“In such cases funds could be reduced proportionally and redirected without compromising support for improving fundamental rights, democracy and the rule of law, including support to civil society,” it said.