The European Commission has allocated EUR 65 million to support Kosovo's efforts to implement its EU-reform agenda. The funds will be used for reforms of the justice and public administration systems, investments in education and regional development, and to provide housing and job opportunities for Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian families who are currently living in lead-contaminated camps. They will also help boost private sector development by providing support for SMEs and strengthening Kosovo's trade capacities.
"These new funds reflect our commitment to assist Kosovo on its path towards the European Union. More effective public administration and judiciary, better integration of minorities and education, as well as economic development are key priorities in this regard. Our funding will support the necessary reforms, bringing tangible benefits to citizens," said Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle.
The funding earmarked today comes under the 2013 Annual Programme for Kosovo of the EU's Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA), and will be topped up with an additional EUR 12.5 million of co-financing by Kosovo authorities and other donors.
The programme will also help respond to political priorities that need financial support for their implementation, such as the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue, the strategic review of EULEX, and the visa dialogue.
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 EUR 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.
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