The European Commission, DG Enlargement organized a stakeholders’ meeting on the future pre-accession instrument post-2013 on 10th to 11th of May in Zagreb. The meeting involved over 100 participants including representatives from IPA beneficiary countries, EU Member States, international financial institutions and other donors, civil society organizations, and European Commission directorates. BCSDN was represented on the meeting by Ilina Nesik EO and Ana Novakovic ED of CRNVO, Montenegro. Several other CSOs were also present to the meeting.
The Commission is currently in the process of preparing the multi-annual financial framework post 2013, under which DG Enlargement will propose a follow-up instrument for pre-accession assistance. A stakeholders’ consultation was launched with a questionnaire posted on the Enlargement web site in March. The meeting in Zagreb reflected on the results of the questionnaire and of an on-going evaluation on the future of IPA. On the first day, two key sessions focused on proposals for the future and the lessons learned. On the second day, three working groups discussed various aspect of a draft Concept for the future assistance instrument and convened in a final plenary session to report on the main findings.
The concept for the new instrument proposed by the EC was presented. The main points shared were: there is no need to radical change the instrument, continuity should be expected but with improvements.
The guiding principles taken into account are: efficiency and effectiveness of assistance, the lessons learned from previous rounds of Enlargement and simplification of the structures and rules.
The main changes will consist in:
– Removing the current distinction between candidate and potential candidate countries;
– Re-examine the current component structure: introduce a common country strategy addressing policy objectives supported by sector strategies;
– Approach will be in phases (central management by the EC, decentralized management with or without ex–ante control. Move towards a logic of policy strategies financing instead of individual projects;
– Multi-annual strategic framework per country for the entire period, with one mid-term review (+annual meetings);
– Increased flexibility: introduction of a performance reserve, as well as the possibility to shift allocations between policy objectives and countries (depending on performance);
– More freedom to frontload or backload spending, introduce the possibility to transfer uncommitted funds from one year to the other;
– Incentives: link progress in the accreditation of management structures to progress in the political agenda;
– As far as possible, reduce the number of accreditation processes for conferring decentralized management powers, and ensure continuity;
– Further alignment of CBC with Structural Funds rules or simplification;
– Introduce innovative financing instruments and more blending of grants and loans
– Innovative financing instruments and more blending of grants and loans.
You can read the full report here.