A new 45 million euros are ready from the EU, and 70 million for the energy sector is also coming to Bosnia and Herzegovina
Večernji list from the Delegation of the European Union in Bosnia and Herzegovina found out what the amounts are from IPA III from 2021 to today and what additional mechanisms are being activated as part of dealing with the energy crisis.
By obtaining candidate status for Bosnia and Herzegovina, new opportunities open up in the context of more effective attraction of available financial resources, so even though IPA funds are equally available to candidates and potential candidates, progress towards the EU brings better competitiveness in use, writes Večernji list BiH.
Because, as confirmed, as the country progresses on its way to the EU and implements reforms, it gets more opportunities to use pre-accession funds, especially from the IPA III framework, which is more competitive and rewards results.
A series of reforms
The Communications Department of the Delegation of the European Union and the Office of the Special Representative of the EU in Bosnia and Herzegovina presented to Večernji list the data on the use of funds from the IPA II instrument so far, as well as on the funds approved so far from the IPA III instrument, with special emphasis on support of the European Union in dealing with the energy crisis.
Of course, the key financial mechanism that should help Bosnia and Herzegovina in the implementation of economic, but also political and institutional reforms and push it in the direction of approaching the standards of the member countries is the IPA framework – IPA III for the period from 2021 to 2027. The instrument was designed with the aim of existed in the context of earlier IPA mechanisms, which are reform processes in accordance with EU values and with the aim of gradual harmonization with EU rules, standards and policies. The Delegation of the EU in BiH explained to Večernji list that the novelty in the mentioned financial framework is that there is no defined allocation of funds per country in advance for each year, but it is done on the basis of the relevance of policies and the maturity of the proposed projects per country on an annual basis.
“The method of allocation of funds also seeks to ensure a balance between results and the effort to distribute funds to countries in accordance with the principles of “fair distribution”, added the EU Delegation. When it comes to existing funds, as well as those that will soon be in circulation, in the first year of IPA III (IPA 2021), the Commission allocated 73 million euros for BiH. On December 5, 2022, the Commission adopted the IPA 2022 annual action plan, with a total budget of EUR 45.5 million. IPA III also includes 70 million euros for the energy budget support package for BiH, for which there is already a purpose and whose goal is to help in dealing with the energy crisis.
In the context of the method of distribution of funds, it is clear that the absence of a predetermined amount for each subsequent year for each country individually means that in order to attract funds more effectively, and a prerequisite for which are well-written programs, it is necessary to relax the political atmosphere in the country, as well as to achieve closer communication among all relevant actors.
Otherwise, the Delegation reminds that BiH continues to use and implement projects financed from EU funds that are implemented through the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance II (IPA II) – funds for the period from 2014 to 2020. BiH has felt the great benefits of the European Union’s funds, and the proof is the fact that support through IPA II for BiH has been allocated in the amount of EUR 552.1 million for several priority sectors. Among them are democracy and governance, rule of law and fundamental rights, competitiveness and innovation, education, employment and social policies, transport, energy, environment and climate action.
In addition to these funds, BiH also benefits from regional IPA II (2014 – 2020) funds. These projects support financially demanding infrastructure projects in the transport, energy and environment sectors, which are mostly realized through the Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF) in cooperation with the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development ( EBRD). Only for the construction of the corridor, Vc BiH received 542 million euros in grants.