Workshop on Window 4 of IPA III brought together European Commission and Western Balkans administrations aiming to improve programming of EU assistance

26 September 2022 News

The Regional Workshop on Window 4 of IPA III “Competitiveness and inclusive growth”, organized by ReSPA in partnership with GIZ, brought together the IPA III responsible officials of the DG NEAR (EC), representatives of NIPAC Offices and various Ministries from the Western Balkans (Economy and Trade, Agriculture, Employment, Health, etc.) while colleagues from Turkey attended the workshop online.

Representatives of the DG NEAR, European Commission: Ritva Heikkinen, Team Leader for Programming, Sandro Ciganović from Internal Control Unit, Ivica Lekić, Team Leader for Monitoring and Evaluation, Jelena Miloš, Policy Officer for green agenda and Nicola Bertolini, Head of Cooperation in EU Delegation Belgrade, shed more light into the programming of IPA III instrument for Window 4 “Competitiveness and inclusive growth”. Key novelties of IPA III were presented as well as main differences among IPA II and IPA III were explored. Clear message was delivered by DG NEAR team that in order to succeed with IPA planning, a stronger linkage should be ensured among teams dealing with IPA programming and those covering good governance, PAR and strategic planning. The IPA III Programming guidance shall be ready in the following weeks, as an effort to include in a single document the whole programming philosophy and process of the IPA instrument.

Administrations from the region, in a lively session, presented the challenges that they have faced in programming actions for 2021, 2022 and 2023, and exchanged among each other project ideas that could be relevant also at regional level. Maturity of actions was highlighted as a key element from the DG NEAR practitioners, appealing to administrations to carefully self-assess the actions before proposing them for funding, based on a set of criteria that were presented during the workshop.

DG NEAR presented the new management structures for the management of IPA III that the administrations need to establish soon. They emphasised that the new institutional architecture for IPA III is a good preparation for accession since IPA III structures are very similar to those existing in EU member states. The workshop also tackled upon the IPA III result framework as well as the necessity to implement, through IPA actions, the Green Agenda for Western Balkans.

The next workshop targeting the IPA instrument will be the one planned for 12-13 October, in Skopje, North Macedonia, focused on Window 2 “Good governance, acquis alignment, good neighbourly relations and strategic communication”.

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