IPA - Instrument for pre-accession assistance
European Union has built pre-accession mechanism in order to assist the candidate countries for EU membership, also to potential candidates for membership – Instrument for pre-accession assistance “IPA”. It is a unique instrument which combines all assisting programs to countries who wish to join the EU. This instrument has two main goals: to assist countries in complying with political, economic and legal criteria of EU. Second is building administrative capacities and strengthening the judiciary and preparation processes for using structural fond of EU after joining the Union. Republic of Serbia is user of this instrument since 2007 on basis of framework agreement on the provision of support which National Assembly has ratified in 2007. From 11.5 billion euros of total budget, which was the budget for period of 2007-2013, 1.4 billion was made available for Republic of Serbia. This aid was given to Serbia as a potential member of EU. The aid was defined through realization of project which were recognized, through programing process, as priorities and complied between Government of Republic of Serbia and European Commission in form of financial agreement.
IPA Instrument for pre-accession assistance 2014-2020
European Union in March 2014. established new instrument in order to assist countries which are in process of joining the EU – Instrument for pre-accession II. For period 2014-2020 is assigned total 11.7 billion euros, from which 1.5 billion is assigned to Serbia. It should, however, be taken into account that this is an indicatively determined amount, while the specific amounts on a yearly basis will depend on the readiness of specific programs and projects. By providing this support, the European Union seeks to encourage the implementation of the necessary reforms that are a prerequisite for joining the European Union and economic and social development. Support is most often seen in the provision of training and professional training services, in the procurement of necessary equipment, infrastructure construction, and the like.
As in the previous period, the focus of support will be on the sectors of public administration reform, rule of law, environmental protection, employment, education, entrepreneurship, science and research, transport, energy, agriculture, etc. So far, four annual IPA programs have been agreed in this programming period - for 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017. They, with the support of the IPARD program and support to civil society organizations, represent aid in the total amount of over 780 million euros.
The total value of the EU contribution to the IPA 2014 program is 179.1 million euros. The IPA 2014 program includes interventions in the following sectors: public administration reform, internal affairs, energy, competitiveness, human resources development and social development. In addition, the assistance includes the preparation of project-technical documentation for the implementation of infrastructure projects, support to the European integration process and alignment with the EU acquis and reimbursement of participation costs in Union programs.
The Commissariat for Refugees and Migration, within the interior sector, is implementing a project under this program entitled "Expansion of existing capacities for the accommodation of asylum seekers" and "Improving the living conditions of IDPs and returnees under a readmission agreement". Program activities relate to the expansion of capacities for the accommodation of asylum seekers through the reconstruction of the existing center within the framework of four contracts, and activities that will contribute to improving the living conditions of IDPs and returnees under the readmission agreement will be carried out within the framework of the grant scheme.
The present program has been prepared in close cooperation with the Serbian European Integration Office and national institutions, as well as in close coordination with other donors including international financial institutions, and civil society organizations. In view to move further towards a sector approach, the actions under this program have been selected based on their relevance and their contribution to national sector strategies as well their link to accession negotiations. In addition, actions have been assessed based on key principles of maturity, absorption capacity, adequate sequencing with previously programmed IPA and other donor’s assistance.