Brussels, October 31, 2013
The European Commission will allocate additional funding under the EU’s Instrument for Pre-Accession (IPA) to support the implementation of the ‘First agreement of principles’ governing the normalisation of relations between Kosovo and Serbia.
The special IPA programme will help address the needs of Serb majority municipalities throughout Kosovo, with a specific emphasis on the northern municipalities. Funding will focus on municipal infrastructure, public administration, rural and regional development, employment and environmental protection.
The decision is to allocate initially €15m. Possible further additional funding will be determined on the basis of an on-going needs assessment. This money will be allocated to Kosovo in addition to its €65-70 million annual budget under the EU’s IPA programme for this year. Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Stefan Füle said:
“The implementation of the Agreement of 19 April is vital to the normalisation of Kosovo-Serbia relations and to the EU prospects of both. The agreement confirmed that Kosovo and Serbia are committed to advance on their respective EU paths. The EU needs to show it is serious in its support to this process, in the interest of peace, stability and the well-being of the region. I am therefore delighted that we are able to provide additional funding in support of the April agreement.”
On 19 April this year Kosovo and Serbia reached a first agreement of principles governing the normalisation of their relations. The agreement was reached within the framework of the dialogue as facilitated by HRVP Catherine Ashton and complemented in May by a comprehensive implementation plan.
The agreement provides for the organisation of local elections in Kosovo on 3 November, the establishment of an association of Kosovo-Serb majority municipalities, and the progressive integration of justice and police structures in northern Kosovo into the Kosovo legal and administrative framework. /ibna/