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Parliamentary questions
13 June 2018
E-001765/2018
Answer given by Mr Hahn on behalf of the Commission

As discussed during the Strategic Dialogue on the mid-term review of the Indicative Strategy Papers under the Instrument for Pre-acession Assistance (IPA II), the priorities identified in 2014 remain overall relevant for the western Balkans until 2020. These focus on the support to addressing the fundamental reforms, as reiterated in the 2018 Communication on EU Enlargement Policy(1), and the Commission's Western Balkans Strategy of 6 February 2018(2). Support will continue to be provided in two main areas: political reforms for EU integration and economic and social development. Specific support will be allocated for the implementation of the six Flagship Initiatives put forward in the western Balkans Strategy.

Assistance will be provided throughout the period 2018-2020 within IPA II, using country-level and multi-country actions. In addition, an indicative amount of EUR 500 million will be re-allocated to reinforce the implemenation of the Flagship Initiatives.

In the abovementioned Strategy, the Commission proposes that needs for accession preparations are taken into account in the next Multi-annual Financial Framework (MFF). Taking into account lessons learned from previous enlargements, a gradual and seamless transition from pre-accession status to that of Member State should be foreseen to allow the necessary absorption capacity to be developed. This should entail a gradual increase in the new Multi-annual Financial Framework of Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance funding before accession, accompanied by a phasing-in of expenditure after accession. As regards volume of IPA funds beyond the current MFF, this will be part of the overall negotiations on the MFF.

(1)https://ec.europa.eu/neighbourhood-enlargement/sites/near/files/20180417_strategy_paper_en.pdf
(2)https://ec.europa.eu/commission/sites/beta-political/files/communication-credible-enlargement-perspective-western-balkans_en.pdf

Last updated: 14 June 2018Legal notice