Wednesday, December 21, 2011

EU: EU to invest almost EUR 1 billion to foster reforms in the Western Balkans, Turkey and Iceland

European Commission

Reference: IP/11/1570 Date: 20/12/2011

Brussels, 20 December 2011 - The European Commission has today finalised a series of aid programmes to support reforms in countries wishing to join the EU. The funding, totalling almost EUR 1 billion, comes under the 2011 budget of the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA), and will be available to Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, as well as Kosovo1, Turkey, and Iceland.

"All these programmes have been designed to achieve concrete results in terms of better public administration, more efficient judiciary and law enforcement, stable economy as well as safer environment. This is good news both for the recipient countries and the EU: we all face common challenges that do not stop at EU borders and we need to tackle them together", said European Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle.

These actions are funded through IPA 2011, under the Transition Assistance and Institution Building and Cross-Border Cooperation Components. They are based on the priorities set out by the EU and have been designed together with the governments concerned, local stakeholders and other donors.

This year's funding focuses on better governance, with projects aiming at further reinforcement of administrative capacity, more efficient use of EU assistance, adoption and enforcement of EU standards, further support to reforms in public administration, as well as in the judiciary and fundamental rights and the continued support to the fight against organised crime and corruption.