• Narrowing the socio-economic gap between the EU and the Western Balkans

    IPA III in the spotlight

    The Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA) represents one of the most important instruments of the European Union’s enlargement policy. The EU provides financial assistance to candidates and potential candidates through IPA in order to assist the process of implementing the necessary political, economic, legal, and institutional reforms in these countries. Following the IPA I and the IPA II, EU institutions adopted a new, even seemingly more ambitious IPA III, with nearly €14.2 billion in financial support primarily directed towards narrowing the social and economic gap between the EU and the Western Balkans. Through the IPA III fund, in the period between 2021 and 2027, the EU aims to support the long-term economic development of the region, its green and digital transition, as well as foster regional integration and convergence with the EU.

    Considering the importance of the EU’s financial support through IPA III to the overall reform process of the Western Balkan countries, it is necessary to fully clarify all aspects of this instrument and dispel any potential doubts on how it will work in practice. In this regard, the European Policy Centre (CEP) is organising an event in which the representatives of the EU Delegation to Serbia, the Ministry of European Integration (MEI) and the CEP will discuss the importance of IPA III, as well as the Western Balkan’s capacities and capabilities to make the best use of the EU’s financial assistance.

    What makes IPA III stand out from previous instruments? Is the envisioned total sum of funds sufficient to truly narrow the socio-economic gap between the EU and the region? To what extent will the region’s countries be able to absorb new funds, and how experience from the previous two IPA cycles could be used as a guideline for the full realisation of future projects? What is the role of civil society when it comes to programming and implementing IPA-related projects? How is the implementation of IPA III related to the Common Regional Market and the Green Agenda for the Western Balkans?


    • Nicola Bertolini, Head of Cooperation of the EU Delegation to Serbia
    • Jelena Stojović, Consultant, NALED, former State Secretary, Ministry of Finance
    • Ranka Miljenović, Executive Director, CEP

    Moderator: Nebojša Lazarević, CEP

    You can follow the event online via the Facebook pages of the CEP and the EU in Serbia, as well as via Zoom. You can register here. The audience will be able to ask questions in Facebook and Zoom comments.

    The discussion is part of a series of debates organised by the EU Delegation and CEP, which aims to bring topics related to the EU accession process closer to the citizens and give them the opportunity to discuss them themselves. The events are open to the media and the interested public.

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