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Procedure : 2018/0247(COD)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A8-0174/2019

Texts tabled :

A8-0174/2019

Debates :

PV 26/03/2019 - 20
CRE 26/03/2019 - 20

Votes :

PV 27/03/2019 - 10.5
CRE 27/03/2019 - 10.5
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2019)0299

Texts adopted
PDF 306kWORD 93k
Wednesday, 27 March 2019 - Strasbourg Final edition
Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA III) ***I
P8_TA(2019)0299A8-0174/2019
Resolution
 Consolidated text

European Parliament legislative resolution of 27 March 2019 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA III) (COM(2018)0465 – C8-0274/2018 – 2018/0247(COD))

(Ordinary legislative procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(2018)0465),

–  having regard to Article 294(2) and Article 212(2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C8‑0274/2018),

–  having regard to Article 294(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee of 12 December 2018(1),

–  having regard to the opinion of the Committee of the Regions of 6 December 2018(2),

–  having regard to Rule 59 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and also the opinions of the Committee on International Trade, the Committee on Budgets, the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, the Committee on Regional Development and the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (A8-0174/2019),

1.  Adopts its position at first reading hereinafter set out;

2.  Calls on the Commission to refer the matter to Parliament again if it replaces, substantially amends or intends to substantially amend its proposal;

3.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council, the Commission and the national parliaments.

(1) OJ C 110, 22.3.2019, p. 156.
(2) OJ C 86, 7.3.2019, p. 8.


Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 27 March 2019 with a view to the adoption of Regulation (EU) .../… of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA III)
P8_TC1-COD(2018)0247

THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,

Having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and in particular Article 212 (2) thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the European Commission,

After transmission of the draft legislative act to the national parliaments,

Having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee(1),

Having regard to the opinion of the Committee of the Regions(2),

Acting in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure(3),

Whereas:

(1)  Regulation (EU) No 231/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council(4) expires on 31 December 2020. In order to maintain the Union's effectiveness in external actions, a framework for planning and delivering external assistance should be maintained.

(2)  The objectives objective of an instrument for pre-accession are substantially distinct from the general objectives of Union external action as this instrument aims is to prepare the beneficiaries listed in Annex I (“beneficiaries”) for future membership of the Union and support their accession process. It is therefore essential to have, in line with the general objectives of the Union’s external action, including respect for fundamental rights and principles as well as the protection and promotion of human rights, democracy and the rule of law as laid down in Article 21 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU). While the distinct nature of the accession process warrants a dedicated instrument in support of enlargement, while ensuring its complementarity with the objectives and functioning of this instrument should be consistent with and complementary to the general objectives of Union external action and in particular with the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI). [Am. 1]

(3)  Article 49 of the Treaty on European Union ( TEU ) provides that any European state State which respects the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities, and commits to promote these values, may apply to become a member of the Union. A European State which has applied to join the Union can become a member only when it has been confirmed that it meets the membership criteria established at the Copenhagen European Council in June 1993 (the ‘Copenhagen criteria’) and provided that the Union has the capacity to integrate the new member. The Copenhagen criteria relate to the stability of institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law, human rights and respect for and protection of minorities, the existence of a functioning market economy as well as the capacity to cope with competitive pressure and market forces within the Union, and the ability to assume not only the rights but also the obligations under the Treaties, including adherence to the aims of political, economic and monetary union Those values are common to Member States in a society in which pluralism, non-discrimination, tolerance, justice, solidarity and equality between women and men prevail. [Am. 2]

(4)  The enlargement process is built on established criteria and fair and rigorous conditionality. Each beneficiary is assessed on the basis of its own merits. The assessment of progress achieved and the identification of shortcomings aim to provide incentives and guidance to the beneficiaries listed in Annex I to pursue the necessary far-reaching reforms. For the prospect of enlargement to become a reality, a firm commitment to the principle of the 'fundamentals first'(5) remains essential. Progression Good neighbourly relations and regional cooperation based on a definitive, inclusive and binding resolution of bilateral disputes are essential elements of the enlargement process and critical for security and stability of the Union as a whole. Progress towards accession depends on each applicant's respect for the Union's values and its capacity to undertake and implement the necessary reforms to align its political, institutional, legal, social, administrative and economic systems with the rules, standards, policies and practices in the Union. The Negotiating Framework sets out requirements against which progress in the accession negotiations with each candidate country is assessed. [Am. 3]

(4a)  Any European State which has applied to join the Union can become a member of the Union only where it has been confirmed that it fully meets the accession criteria established at the Copenhagen European Council in June 1993 (the ‘Copenhagen criteria’) and provided that the Union has the capacity to integrate the new member. The Copenhagen criteria relate to the stability of institutions which guarantee democracy, the rule of law, human rights and respect for and protection of minorities, the existence of a functioning market economy as well as the capacity to cope with competitive pressure and market forces within the Union, and the ability to assume not only the rights but also the obligations under the Treaties, including the pursuit of the aims of political, economic and monetary union. [Am. 4]

(5)  The Enlargement policy of the Union is an investment in integral part of the Union’s external action, contributing to peace, security, prosperity and stability in Europe both within and outside the Union's borders. It provides increased economic and trade opportunities to the mutual benefit of the Union and the aspiring Member States, while respecting the principle of progressive integration to ensure a smooth transformation of the beneficiaries. The prospect of Union membership has a powerful transformative effect, embedding positive democratic, political, economic and societal change. [Am. 5]

(6)  The European Commission reaffirmed the firm, merit-based prospect of EU membership for the Western Balkans in its Communication 'A credible enlargement perspective for and enhanced EU engagement with the Western Balkans'(6). This is a strong message of encouragement for the whole Western Balkans and a sign of the EU's commitment to their European future.

(7)  Assistance should also be provided in compliance with the international agreements concluded by the Union, including with the beneficiaries listed in Annex I. Assistance should mainly focus on assisting the beneficiaries listed in Annex I to strengthen democratic institutions and the rule of law, reform the judiciary and public administration, respect fundamental rights, including those of minorities and promote gender equality, tolerance, social inclusion respect for international labour standards on workers’ rights and non-discrimination of vulnerable groups, including children and people with disabilities. Assistance should also support adherence by the beneficiaries to the key principles and rights as defined in the European Pillar of Social Rights. (7) as well as to the social market economy and convergence towards the social acquis. Assistance should continue to support their efforts to advance regional, macro-regional and cross-border cooperation as well as territorial development, including through implementation of Union macro-regional strategies, with the aim to develop good neighbourly relations and enhance reconciliation. It should also promote sectoral regional co-operation structures and enhance their economic and social development and economic governance, foster economic integration with the Union single market, including customs cooperation, and promote an open and fair trade, underpinning a smart, sustainable and inclusive growth agenda, including through implementation of regional development, cohesion and inclusion, agriculture and rural development, social and employment policies and the development of the digital economy and society, also in line with the flagship initiative Digital Agenda for the Western Balkans. [Am. 6]

(7a)   Taking into consideration the transformatory nature of the reform process during the enlargement process in the candidate countries, the Union should enhance its efforts in prioritising key areas for Union funding, such as institution and security building, and enhance its support to candidate countries when implementing projects with a view of protecting those candidate countries from non-EU influences. [Am. 7]

(7b)   The Union's efforts to support reform progress in candidate countries through IPA funding should be well communicated in candidate countries, as well as in the Member States. The Union, in that regard, should enhance communication and campaign efforts in order to ensure visibility of the IPA funding, as the main EU instrument of peace and stability in enlargement area. [Am. 8]

(7c)   The importance of the facilitation and implementation of the budget is recognised as regards institution building, which will in return help in anticipation of possible security issues, and prevent possible future illegal migratory flows towards the Member States. [Am. 9]

(8)  The Union should provide support to the transition towards accession for the benefit of the beneficiaries listed in Annex I, based on the experience of its Member States. This cooperation should focus in particular on the sharing of experience acquired by the Member States in the reform process.

(9)  Enhanced strategic and operational cooperation between the Union and the beneficiaries listed in Annex I on security and defence sector reform is pivotal to addressing effectively and efficiently security, organised crime and terrorism threats. [Am. 10]

(9a)  Actions under the instrument established by this Regulation should also contribute to assisting the beneficiaries in the progressive alignment with the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), and the implementation of restrictive measures as well as the Union's broader external policies in international institutions and multilateral fora. The Commission should encourage the beneficiaries to uphold a rules- and values-based global order and cooperate on the promotion of multilateralism and the further strengthening of the international trading system, including WTO reforms. [Am. 11]

(10)  It is essential to further step up Cooperation on migration including border management and control, ensuring access to international protection, sharing relevant information, strengthening the development benefits of migration, facilitating legal and labour migration, enhancing border control and pursuing our effort in the fight against efforts to prevent and discourage irregular migration, and forced displacement, and to fight against trafficking in human beings and migrant people smuggling are an important aspect of cooperation between the Union and the beneficiaries. [Am. 12]

(11)  Strengthening the rule of law, including the independence of the judiciary, fight against corruption, money laundering and organised crime, and good governance, including public administration reform, providing support for human rights defenders, continued alignment on transparency, public procurement, competition, state aid, intellectual property and foreign investment remain key challenges in most of the beneficiaries listed in Annex I and are essential in order for beneficiaries to come closer to the Union and later to prepare to fully assume the obligations of Union membership. In view of the longer-term nature of the reforms pursued in those areas and the need to build up track records, financial assistance under this Regulation should be programmed to address the requirements placed on the beneficiaries listed in Annex I these issues as early as possible. [Am. 13]

(12)  The parliamentary dimension remains fundamental in the accession process. Therefore, in accordance with the principle of participatory democracy, the strengthening of parliamentary capacities, parliamentary oversight, democratic procedures and fair representation in each beneficiary listed in Annex I of the beneficiaries should be encouraged promoted by the Commission. [Am. 14]

(13)  The beneficiaries listed in Annex I need to be better prepared to address global challenges, such as sustainable development and climate change, and align with the Union's efforts to address those issues. Reflecting the importance of tackling climate change in line with the Union's commitments to implement the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), this Programme should contribute to mainstream climate action in the Union's policies and to the achievement of an overall target of 25 % of the EU budget expenditures supporting climate objectives. Actions under this Programme are expected should aim to contribute at least 16 % of the overall financial envelope of the Programme to climate objectives, striving to achieve the goal that climate-related spending reaches 30 % of MFF expenditure by 2027. Priority should be given to environmental projects addressing cross-border pollution. Relevant actions will be identified during the Programme's preparation and implementation execution, and the overall contribution from this Programme should be part of relevant evaluations and review processes. [Am. 15]

(14)  Actions under this Instrument should support implementation of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, as a universal agenda, to which the EU and its Member States are fully committed and which all beneficiaries listed in Annex I have endorsed.

(15)  This Regulation lays down a financial envelope for its period of application which is to constitute the prime reference amount, within the meaning of [reference to be updated as appropriate according to the new inter-institutional agreement: point 17 of the Interinstitutional Agreement of 2 December 2013 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline, on cooperation in budgetary matters and on sound financial management(8)], for the European Parliament and the Council during the annual budgetary procedure.

(16)  The Commission and the Member States should ensure compliance, coherence, consistency and complementarity of their external financing assistance, in particular through regular consultations and frequent exchanges of information during the different phases of the assistance cycle. The necessary steps should also be taken to ensure better coordination and complementarity, including through regular consultations, with other donors. The role of Diverse independent civil society organisations and different types and levels of local authorities should play a meaningful role in the process. In line with the principle of inclusive partnership, civil society organisations should be enhanced both in part of both the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the programmes implemented executed through government bodies and as a be direct beneficiary beneficiaries of Union assistance. [Am. 16]

(17)  The priorities for action towards meeting Specific and measurable objectives in the relevant policy areas which will be supported under this Regulation should be defined for each beneficiary, followed up by priorities for action towards meeting these objectives in a programming framework established by the Commission for the duration of the Union multiannual financial by means of delegated acts. The programming framework for the period from 2021 to 2027 should be established in partnership with the beneficiaries listed in Annex I, based on the enlargement agenda and their specific needs, in line with the general and specific objectives defined by this Regulation and the principles of Union external action, taking relevant national strategies and pertaining European Parliament resolutions into due account. That partnership should include, as appropriate, competent authorities, as well as civil society organisations. The Commission should encourage cooperation among the relevant stakeholders and donor co-ordination. The programming framework should be reviewed following the mid-term evaluation. The programming framework should identify the areas to be supported through assistance with an indicative allocation per area of support, including an estimate of climate-related expenditure. [Am. 17]

(18)  It is in the Union's common interest of the Union and the beneficiaries to assist the beneficiaries listed in Annex I in their efforts to reform their political, legal and economic systems with a view to Union membership. Assistance should be managed with a strong focus on results in accordance with a performance-based approach and with significant incentives for more effective and efficient use of funds for those who demonstrate their commitment to reform through efficient implementation of pre-accession assistance and progress towards meeting the membership criteria. Assistance should be allocated in line with the “fair share” principle and clear consequences in cases of serious deterioration or lack of progress in the respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and human rights. [Am. 18]

(18a)   The Commission should set up clear monitoring and evaluation mechanisms to ensure that the objectives and actions concerning different beneficiaries remain relevant and feasible and to regularly measure progress. To that effect, every objective should be accompanied by one or more performance indicators, assessing the beneficiaries' adoption of reforms and their concrete implementation. [Am. 19]

(19)  The transition from direct management of pre-accession funds by the Commission to indirect management by the beneficiaries listed in Annex I should be progressive and in line with the respective capacities of those beneficiaries. That transition should be reversed or suspended in specific policy or programme areas in the event that the beneficiaries fail to fulfil relevant obligations or to administer the Union funds in accordance with the established rules, principles and objectives. Such a decision should give due consideration to any possible negative economic and social consequences. Assistance should continue to make use of the structures and instruments that have proved their worth in the pre-accession process. [Am. 20]

(20)  The Union should seek the most efficient use of available resources in order to optimise the impact of its external action. That should be achieved, in order to avoid the overlapping with other existing external financing instruments, through coherence, consistency and complementarity among the Union's external financing instruments, as well as the creation of synergies with other Union policies and programmes. This includes, where relevant, coherence and complementarity with macro-financial assistance. [Am. 21]

(21)  In order to maximise the impact of combined interventions to achieve a common objective, this Regulation should be able to contribute to actions under other programmes, as long as the contributions do not cover the same costs.

(21a)   Without prejudice to the budgetary procedure and the provisions on the suspension of aid established in international agreements with beneficiaries, the power to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 290 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) should be delegated to the Commission in respect of amending Annex I to this Regulation in order to suspend or partially suspend Union assistance. That power should be used in cases where there is consistent backsliding on one or more of the Copenhagen criteria or where a beneficiary fails to respect the principles of democracy, the rule of law, human rights and fundamental freedoms or violates the commitments taken in the relevant agreements concluded with the Union. Where the Commission finds that the reasons justifying the suspension of assistance no longer apply, it should be empowered to adopt delegated acts to amend Annex I in order to reinstate Union assistance. [Am. 22]

(22)  Funding from this Regulation should be used to finance actions under the international dimension of Erasmus, the implementation of which should be done according to Regulation (EU) .../... (“Erasmus Regulation”)(9).

(23)  Horizontal financial rules adopted by the European Parliament and the Council on the basis of Article 322 TFEU should apply to this Regulation. These rules are laid down in Regulation (EU, Euratom) 2018/1046 of the European Parliament and of the Council(10) (“the Financial Regulation”) and determine in particular the procedure for establishing and implementing the budget through grants, procurement, prizes, indirect implementation, financial assistance, budget support, trust funds, financial instruments and budgetary guarantees, and provide for checks on the responsibility of financial actors. Rules adopted on the basis of Article 322 TFEU also concern the protection of the Union's budget in case of generalised deficiencies as regards the rule of law in Member States and third countries, as the respect for the rule of law is essential for sound financial management and effective EU funding.

(24)  The types of financing and the methods of implementation execution under this Regulation should be chosen on the basis of their ability to achieve the specific objectives of the actions and to deliver results, taking into account, in particular, the costs of controls, the administrative burden, and the expected risk of non-compliance. This should include consideration of the use of lump sums, flat rates and unit costs, as well as financing not linked to costs as referred to in Article 125(1) of the Financial Regulation. [Am. 23]

(25)  The Union should continue to apply common rules for the implementation of the external actions. Rules and procedures for the implementation application of the Union's instruments for financing external action are laid down in Regulation (EU) .../... (“NDICI Regulation”) of the European Parliament and of the Council. Additional detailed provisions should be laid down for addressing the specific situations in particular for cross-border cooperation, agriculture and rural development policy area. [Am. 24]

(26)  External actions are often implemented in a highly volatile environment requiring a continuous and rapid adaptation to the evolving needs of Union partners and to global challenges such as human rights, democracy and good governance, security, defence and stability, climate change and environment and, economic protectionism, irregular migration and forced displacement and its root causes. Reconciling the principle of predictability with the need to react rapidly to new needs consequently means adapting the financial implementation execution of the programmes. To increase the ability of the Union to respond to unforeseen needs, while respecting the principle that the Union budget is set annually, this Regulation should preserve the possibility to apply the flexibilities already allowed by the Financial Regulation for other policies, namely carry-overs and re-commitments of committed funds while adhering to the goals and objectives laid down in this Regulation, to ensure an efficient use of the EU funds both for the EU citizens and the beneficiaries listed in Annex I, thus maximising the EU funds available for the EU external action interventions. Additional forms of flexibility should be allowed, such as reallocation among priorities, phasing projects and over-contracting. [Am. 25]

(27)  The new European Fund for Sustainable Development Plus (EFSD+), building on its predecessor should constitute an integrated financial package supplying financing capacity in forms of grants, budgetary guarantees and other financial instruments worldwide, including to the beneficiaries listed in Annex I. The governance for the operations carried out under this Regulation, should continue to be ensured by the Western Balkans Investment Framework.

(28)  The External Action Guarantee should support the EFSD+ operations and IPA III should contribute to the provisioning needs in respect of the operations to the benefit of the beneficiaries listed in Annex I, including the provisioning and liabilities arising from macro-financial assistance loans.

(29)  It is important to ensure that cross border cooperation programmes are implemented coherently with the framework established in the external actions programmes and the territorial cooperation regulation. Specific co-financing provisions should be established in this Regulation.

(29a)   Cross border cooperation programmes are the most visible programmes of the Instrument of Pre-Accession Assistance, as well as being well-known by citizens. Cross border cooperation programmes could therefore significantly improve the visibility of Union-funded projects in the candidate states; [Am. 26]

(30)  Annual or multi-annual action plans and measures referred to in Article 8 constitute work programmes under the Financial Regulation. Annual or multi-annual action plans consist of a set of measures grouped into one document.

(31)  In accordance with the Financial Regulation, Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 883/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council(11), Council Regulation (Euratom, EC) No 2988/95(12), Council Regulation (Euratom, EC) No 2185/96(13) and Council Regulation (EU) 2017/1939(14), the financial interests of the Union are to be protected through effective and proportionate measures, including the prevention, detection, correction and investigation of irregularities and fraud, the recovery of funds lost, wrongly paid or incorrectly used and, where appropriate, the imposition of administrative sanctions. In particular, in accordance with Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 883/2013 and Regulation (Euratom, EC) No 2185/96 the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) may carry out administrative investigations, including on-the-spot checks and inspections, with a view to establishing whether there has been fraud, corruption or any other illegal activity affecting the financial interests of the Union. In accordance with Regulation (EU) 2017/1939, the European Public Prosecutor's Office (EPPO) may investigate and prosecute fraud and other criminal offences affecting the financial interests of the Union as provided for in Directive (EU) 2017/1371 of the European Parliament and of the Council(15). In accordance with the Financial Regulation, any person or entity receiving Union funds is to fully cooperate in the protection of the Union’s financial interests, to grant the necessary rights and access to the Commission, OLAF, where applicable the EPPO and the European Court of Auditors (ECA) and to ensure that any third parties involved in the implementation of Union funds grant equivalent rights. Beneficiaries listed in Annex I should also report the irregularities including fraud which have been the subject of a primary administrative or judicial finding, without delay, to the Commission and keep the latter informed of the progress of administrative and legal proceeding. With the objective of alignment to good practices in Member States, this reporting should be done by electronic means, using the Irregularity Management System, established by the Commission.

(31a)   All funding allocations under this Regulation should be carried out in a transparent, effective, accountable, depoliticised and non-discriminatory manner, including by means of an equitable distribution reflecting the needs of the regions and local municipalities. The Commission, the Vice-President/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (“VP/HR”), and in particular Union delegations should monitor closely that those criteria are met and the principles of transparency, accountability and non-discrimination are respected in the allocation of funds. [Am. 27]

(31b)   The Commission, the VP/HR, and in particular Union delegations and the beneficiaries should enhance the visibility of the Union’s pre-accession assistance in order to communicate the added value of the Union’s support. The recipients of Union funding should acknowledge the origin of the Union’s funding and ensure its proper visibility. IPA should contribute to financing communication actions for promotion of the results of the Union’s assistance to multiple audiences in the beneficiaries. [Am. 28]

(32)  In order to take account of changes in the enlargement policy framework or of significant developments in the beneficiaries listed in Annex I, the power to adopt acts in accordance with Article 290 TFEU should be delegated to the Commission in respect of adapting and updating the thematic priorities for assistance listed in Annexes II and III. It is of particular importance that the Commission carry out appropriate consultations during its preparatory work, including at expert level, and that those consultations be conducted in accordance with the principles laid down in the Interinstitutional Agreement on Better Law-Making of 13 April 2016(16). In particular, to ensure equal participation in the preparation of delegated acts, the European Parliament and the Council receive all documents at the same time as Member States' experts, and their experts systematically have access to meetings of Commission expert groups dealing with the preparation of delegated acts.

(33)  In order to ensure uniform conditions for the implementation of this Regulation in particular on specific conditions and structures for indirect management with the beneficiaries listed in Annex I and on the implementation of rural development assistance, implementing powers should be conferred on the Commission. Those powers should be exercised in accordance with [Regulation (EU) No 182/2011(17) of the European Parliament and of the Council]. When establishing the uniform conditions for implementing this Regulation, the lessons learnt from the management and implementation of past pre-accession assistance should be taken into account. Those uniform conditions should be amended if developments so require. [Am. 29]

(34)  The committee established under this Regulation should be competent also for legal acts and commitments under Regulation (EC) No 1085/2006(18), under Regulation (EU) No 231/2014 as well as for the implementation of Article 3 of Council regulation (EC) No 389/2006(19). [Am. 30]

(34a)   The European Parliament should be fully involved in the design, programming, monitoring and evaluation phases of the instruments in order to guarantee political control and democratic scrutiny and accountability of Union funding in the field of external action. An enhanced dialogue between the institutions should be established in order to ensure that the European Parliament is in a position to exercise political control during the application of this Regulation in a systematic and smooth manner, thereby enhancing both efficiency and legitimacy. [Am. 31]

(35)  In order to allow for the prompt application of the measures provided for in this Regulation, this Regulation should enter into force on the [less than twentieth] day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union,

HAVE ADOPTED THIS REGULATION:

CHAPTER I

GENERAL PROVISIONS

Article 1

Subject matter

This Regulation establishes the Programme 'Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance' ('IPA III').

It lays down its objectives, the budget for the period 2021-2027, the forms of Union assistance and the rules for providing such assistance.

Article 2

Definitions

For the purposes of this Regulation, the following definitions apply:

(a)  'cross-border cooperation' means cooperation between member states of the EU and beneficiaries listed in Annex I, between two or more beneficiaries listed in Annex I to this Regulation or between beneficiaries listed in that Annex and countries and territories listed in Annex I to the NDICI Regulation as referred to in point (b) of Article 3 (1) of Regulation (EU) .../... (“ETC Regulation”)(20).

(b)  ‘Fair share principle of assistance’ means complementing the performance-based approach with a corrective allocation mechanism, in cases where assistance provided to the beneficiary would otherwise be disproportionately low or high as compared to the other beneficiaries, taking into account the needs of the population affected and the relative progress on reforms related to the opening of accession negotiations or progress therein. [Am. 32]

Article 3

Objectives of IPA III

1.  The general objective of IPA III shall be to support the beneficiaries listed in Annex I in adopting and implementing the political, institutional, legal, administrative, social and economic reforms required by those beneficiaries to comply with Union values and acquis and to progressively align to Union rules, standards, policies and practices with a view to Union membership, thereby contributing to their peace, stability, security and prosperity as well as to the strategic interests of the Union. [Am. 33]

2.  IPA III shall have following specific objectives:

(a)  to strengthen the rule of law, democracy, the respect of human rights, including those of minorities and children, gender equality, fundamental rights and international law, civil society, academic freedom, peace and security as well as improve migration management including border management, the respect for cultural diversity, non-discrimination and tolerance; [Am. 34]

(aa)   to address forced displacement and irregular migration, ensuring that migration takes place in a safe, orderly and regular manner, and safeguarding access to international protection; [Am. 35]

(b)  to reinforce the effectiveness of public administration and support transparency, structural reforms, judicial independence, fight against corruption and good governance at all levels, including in the field of public procurement, state-aid, competition, foreign investments and intellectual property; [Am. 36]

(c)  to shape the rules, standards, policies and practices of the beneficiaries listed in Annex I in alignment to those of the Union including on CFSP, strengthen the rules-based multilateral international order and to reinforce internal and external reconciliation and good neighbourly relations, as well as peace-building and conflict prevention, including through confidence-building and mediation, inclusive and integrated education people to people contacts, freedom of the media and communication; [Am. 37]

(d)  to strengthen economic, and social and territorial development and cohesion including through increased connectivity and regional development, agriculture and rural development and social and employment policies, to reinforce environmental protection, increase resilience to climate change, accelerate the shift towards a low-carbon economy and develop the digital economy and society. reducing poverty and regional imbalances, promoting social protection and inclusion by strengthening state-level regional cooperation structures, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the capacities of community-based initiatives, supporting investment in rural areas and improving business and investment climate; [Am. 38]

(da)  to reinforce environmental protection, increase resilience to climate change, accelerate the shift towards a low-carbon economy and develop the digital economy and society, thereby creating job opportunities, in particular for the youth; [Am. 39]

(e)  to support territorial and cross-border cooperation including across maritime borders, and enhance trade and economic relations by fully implementing existing agreements with the Union, reducing regional imbalances. [Am. 40]

3.  In accordance with the specific objectives, thematic priorities for providing assistance according to the needs and capacities of the beneficiaries listed in Annex I are set out in Annex II. Thematic priorities for cross-border cooperation between beneficiaries listed in Annex I are set out in Annex III. Each of those thematic priorities may contribute to the attainment of more than one specific objective.

Article 4

Budget

1.  The financial envelope for the implementation of IPA III for the period 2021-2027 shall be EUR 14 500 000 000 13 009 976 000 in 2018 prices (EUR 14 663 401 000 in current prices). [Am. 41]

2.  A set percentage of the amount referred to in paragraph 1 may shall be used for technical and administrative assistance for the implementation execution of the Programme, such as which shall include preparatory, monitoring, control, audit and evaluation activities support for institutional strengthening and administrative capacity-building including corporate information technology systems and any activities related to the preparation of the successor programme for pre-accession assistance, in accordance with Article 20 of [NDICI Regulation]. [Am. 42]

Article 5

Cross-programme provisions

1.  In implementing applying this Regulation, consistency, synergies and complementarities with other areas of Union external action, with other relevant Union policies and programmes, as well as policy coherence for development shall be ensured. [Am. 43]

2.  The NDICI Regulation shall apply to activities implemented executed under this Regulation where referred to in this Regulation. [Am. 44]

3.  IPA III shall contribute to actions established under the Erasmus Regulation . The Erasmus Regulation shall apply to the use of those funds. To that end, the contribution of IPA III shall be included in the single indicative programming document referred to in paragraph 7 of Article 11 of the NDICI Regulation and adopted in accordance with the procedures laid down in that Regulation.

4.  Assistance under IPA III may be provided to the type of actions provided for under the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Cohesion Fund(21), the European Social Fund Plus(22) and, the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development(23) and the Justice, Rights and Values Fund, at national level as well as in a cross-border, transnational, interregional or macro-regional context. [Am. 45]

4a.   The Commission shall allocate a percentage of IPA III resources to prepare the beneficiaries listed in Annex I for the participation in the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF), in particular in the European Social Fund (ESF). [Am. 46]

5.  The ERDF shall contribute to programmes or measures established for cross–border cooperation between the beneficiaries listed in Annex I and one or more Member States. These programmes and measures shall be adopted by the Commission in accordance with Article 16. The amount of the contribution from IPA-CBC shall be determined pursuant to Article 10 (3) of the ETC Regulation, with a maximum threshold for an IPA III contribution set at 85 %. IPA-Cross Border Cooperation programmes shall be managed in accordance with the ETC Regulation. [Am. 47]

6.  IPA III may contribute to transnational and interregional cooperation programmes or measures that are established and implemented under the ETC Regulation and in which the beneficiaries listed in Annex I to this Regulation participate.

7.  Where appropriate, other Union programmes may contribute to actions established under this Regulation in accordance with Article 8, provided that the contributions do not cover the same costs. This Regulation may also contribute to measures established under other Union programmes, provided that the contributions do not cover the same costs. In such cases, the work programme covering those actions shall establish which set of rules shall be applicable.

8.  In duly justified circumstances and in order to ensure the coherence and effectiveness of Union financing or to foster regional cooperation, the Commission may decide to extend the eligibility of action programmes and measures referred to in Article 8(1) to countries, territories and regions other than those referred in Annex I, where the programme or measure to be implemented applied is of a global, regional or cross-border nature. [Am. 48]

CHAPTER II

STRATEGIC PLANNING

Article 6

Policy framework and general principles

1.  The enlargement policy framework defined by the European Council and the Council, the agreements that establish a legally binding relationship with the beneficiaries listed in Annex I, as well as relevant resolutions of the European Parliament, communications of the Commission or joint Communications of the Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, shall constitute the overall comprehensive policy framework for the implementation application of this regulation. The Commission shall ensure coherence between the assistance and the overall enlargement policy framework.

The VP/HR and the Commission shall ensure coordination between the Union’s external action and the enlargement policy within the framework of the policy objectives set out in Article 3.

The Commission shall coordinate programming under this Regulation with appropriate involvement of the EEAS.

The enlargement policy framework shall be the basis on which assistance is provided. [Am. 49]

2.  Programmes and actions under this Regulation shall mainstream climate change, environmental protection, human rights conflict prevention and resolution, migration and forced displacement, security, social and regional cohesion, poverty reduction and gender equality and shall, where applicable, address interlinkages between Sustainable Development Goals(24), to promote integrated actions that can create co-benefits and meet multiple objectives in a coherent way. They shall aim to contribute at least 16 % of the overall financial envelope to climate objectives. [Am. 50]

3.  The Commission and the Member States shall cooperate in ensuring coherence and shall strive to avoid duplication between assistance provided under IPA III and other assistance provided by the Union, the Member States and the European Investment Bank, in line with the established principles for strengthening operational coordination in the field of external assistance, and for the harmonisation of policies and procedures, in particular the international principles on development effectiveness(25) Coordination shall involve regular consultations, frequent exchanges of information during the different phases of the assistance cycle and inclusive meetings aimed at coordinating the assistance and shall constitute a key step in the programming processes of the Union and the Member States. The assistance shall aim at ensuring alignment with the Union strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, effective and efficient implementation of the funds, arrangements for the partnership principle and an integrated approach to territorial development. [Am. 51]

3a.  The Commission shall act in partnership with the beneficiaries. The partnership shall include, as appropriate, competent national and local authorities, as well as civil society organisations, enabling them to play a meaningful role during the design, implementation and monitoring phases.

The Commission shall encourage coordination among the relevant stakeholders. IPA III assistance shall strengthen the capacities of civil society organisations, including, as appropriate, as direct beneficiaries of assistance. [Am. 52]

4.  The Commission, in liaison with the Member States, shall also take the necessary steps to ensure coordination and complementarity with multilateral and regional organisations and entities, such as international organisations and financial institutions, agencies and non-Union donors.

CHAPTER III

IMPLEMENTATION PROGRAMMING FRAMEWORK AND EXECUTION [Am. 53]

Article 7

IPA programming framework

1.  Assistance under IPA III shall be based on This Regulation shall be supplemented by an IPA programming framework for the delivery establishing further provisions on how of the specific objectives referred to in Article 3 shall be pursued. The IPA programming framework shall be established by the Commission for the duration of the Union's multiannual financial framework by means of delegated acts, in accordance with paragraph 3 of this Article.

The Commission shall submit to the European Parliament the relevant programming documents in due time prior to the start of the programming period. Those documents shall lay down the indicative allocations per thematic window and, where available, per country/region, covering expected results and the choice of assistance arrangements. [Am. 54]

1a.  The European Parliament and the Council shall authorise the annual appropriations within the limits of the multiannual financial framework for the period from 2021 to 2027. [Am. 55]

2.  The IPA programming framework shall take relevant resolutions and positions of the European Parliament and national strategies and sector policies into due account. [Am. 56]

Assistance shall be targeted and adjusted to the specific situation of the beneficiaries listed in Annex I, taking into account further efforts needed to meet the membership criteria as well as the capacities of those beneficiaries. Assistance shall be differentiated in scope and intensity according to needs, commitment to reforms and progress in implementing those reforms.

3.  Without prejudice to paragraph 4, of this Article, the Commission shall adopt the IPA programming framework shall be adopted by the Commission , including the arrangements to enact the “fair share” principle, by means of an implementing act. That implementing act shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure of the Committee referred to in Article 16. delegated acts in accordance with Article 14. The IPA programming framework shall expire by 30 June 2025 at the latest. The Commission shall adopt a new IPA programming framework by 30 June 2025, based on the mid-term evaluation being consistent with the other external financing instruments and taking into account relevant resolutions of the European Parliament. The Commission may also review, where necessary, the effective implementation of the IPA programming framework, in particular where there are substantive changes in the policy framework referred to in Article 6 and taking into account relevant resolutions of the European Parliament. [Am. 57]

4.  The programming framework for cross border cooperation with Member States shall be adopted by the Commission in accordance with Article 10 (1) of the ETC Regulation.

5.  The IPA programming framework shall include be based on clear and verifiable performance indicators set out in Annex IV for assessing progress with regard to attainment of the targets set therein., inter alia, progress and results in the areas of:

(a)  democracy, the rule of law and an independent and efficient justice system;

(b)  human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities and vulnerable groups;

(c)  gender equality and women's rights;

(d)  the fight against corruption and organised crime;

(e)  reconciliation, peace-building good neighbourly relations;

(f)  freedom of the media;

(g)  tackling climate change in compliance with the obligations set out in the Paris Agreement.

The Commission shall include progress against those indicators in its annual reports.

The performance-based approach under this Regulation shall be subject to a regular exchange of views in the European Parliament and in the Council. [Am. 123]

Article 7a

Mid-term review and evaluation

1.  The Commission shall adopt a new IPA programming framework based on the mid-term evaluation. No later than 30 June 2024, the Commission shall submit a mid-term evaluation report on the application of this Regulation. The mid-term evaluation report shall cover the period from 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2023 and shall examine the Union contribution to the achievement of the objectives of this Regulation, by means of indicators measuring the results delivered and any findings and conclusions concerning the impact of this Regulation.

The European Parliament may provide input to that evaluation. The Commission and the EEAS shall organise a consultation with key stakeholders and beneficiaries, including civil society organisations. The Commission and EEAS shall give particular attention to ensure that the most marginalised are represented.

The Commission shall also evaluate the impact and effectiveness of its actions per area of intervention, and the effectiveness of programming, by means of external evaluations. The Commission and the EEAS shall take into account proposals and views of the European Parliament and the Council on independent external evaluations. The interim evaluation shall assess how the Union performed on targets established by this Regulation.

2.  The mid-term evaluation report shall also address efficiency, the added value, the functioning of the simplified and streamlined external financing architecture, internal and external coherence, and the continued relevance of the objectives of this Regulation, the complementarity and synergies between the actions funded, the contribution of the measures to consistent Union external action, and the degree to which the public in recipient countries are aware of Union financial support, where appropriate.

3.  The mid-term evaluation report shall be undertaken for the specific purpose of improving the application of Union funding. It shall inform decisions on the renewal, modification or suspension of the types of actions implemented under this Regulation.

4.  The mid-term evaluation report shall also contain consolidated information from relevant annual reports on all funding governed by this Regulation, including external assigned revenues and contributions to trust funds offering a breakdown of spending by beneficiary country, use of financial instruments, commitments and payments.

5.  The Commission shall communicate the conclusions of the evaluations, accompanied by its observations, to the European Parliament, to the Council and to Member States. The results shall feed into programme design and resource allocation.

6.  The Commission shall associate all relevant stakeholders, including civil society organisations, in the evaluation process of the Union's funding provided under this Regulation, and may, where appropriate, seek to undertake joint evaluations with the Member States with close involvement of the beneficiaries.

7.  The Commission shall submit the mid-term evaluation report referred to in this Article to the European Parliament and to the Council, accompanied, if appropriate, by legislative proposals setting out necessary amendments to this Regulation.

8.  At the end of the period of application of this Regulation, but no later than three years after the end of the period specified in Article 1, the Commission shall carry out a final evaluation of the Regulation on the same terms as the mid-term evaluation referred to in this Article. [Am. 124]

Article 7b

Suspension of assistance

1.  Where a beneficiary fails to respect the principle of democracy, the rule of law, good governance, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, or nuclear safety standards, or violates the commitments taken in the relevant agreements concluded with the Union or consistently backslides on one or more of the Copenhagen criteria, the Commission shall be empowered, in accordance with Article 14, to adopt delegated acts to amend Annex I to this Regulation in order to suspend or partially suspend Union assistance. In the event of a partial suspension, the programmes for which the suspension applies shall be indicated.

2.  Where the Commission finds that the reasons justifying the suspension of assistance no longer apply, it shall be empowered to adopt delegated acts, in accordance with Article 14, to amend Annex I in order to reinstate Union assistance.

3.  In cases of partial suspension, Union assistance shall primarily be used to support civil society organisations and non-state actors for measures aimed at promoting human rights and fundamental freedoms and supporting democratisation and dialogue processes in partner countries.

4.  The Commission shall take due account of relevant European Parliament resolutions in its decision-making. [Am. 125]

Article 7c

Governance

A horizontal steering group composed of all relevant Commission and EEAS services and chaired by the VP/HR or a representative of that office shall be responsible for the steering, coordination and management of this instrument throughout the management cycle in order to ensure consistency, efficiency, transparency and accountability of all Union external financing. The VP/HR shall ensure overall political coordination of the Union’s external action. Throughout the whole cycle of programming, planning and application of the instrument, the VP/HR and the EEAS shall work with the relevant members and services of the Commission, identified on the basis of the nature and objectives of the action foreseen, building upon their expertise. The VP/HR, the EEAS and the Commission shall prepare all proposals for decisions in accordance with the Commission’s procedures and shall submit them for adoption.

The European Parliament shall be fully involved in the design, programming, monitoring and evaluation phases of the external financing instruments in order to guarantee political control and democratic scrutiny and accountability of Union funding in the field of external action. [Am. 126]

Article 8

Implementing Executing measures and methods [Am. 62]

1.  Assistance under IPA III shall be implemented executed in direct management or in indirect management in accordance with the Financial Regulation through annual or multi-annual action plans and measures as referred to in Chapter III of Title II of [NDICI Regulation]. Chapter III of Title II of [NDICI Regulation] shall apply to this Regulation with the exception of paragraph 1 of Article 24 [eligible persons and entities] Chapter III a. [Am. 63]

1a.  Indirect management may be reversed if the beneficiary is unable or unwilling to administer the awarded funds in accordance with the established rules, principles and objectives under this Regulation. In the event of a beneficiary’s failure to observe the principles of democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms or in the event of violation of the commitments taken in the relevant agreements concluded with the Union, the Commission may, in specific policy areas or programmes, revert from indirect management with that beneficiary to indirect management by one or more entrusted entities other than a beneficiary or to direct management. [Am. 64]

1b.  The Commission shall hold a dialogue with the European Parliament, and take into account the European Parliament’s views on areas in which the latter is running its own assistance programmes, such as capacity-building and election observation. [Am. 65]

2.  Under this Regulation, action plans may be adopted for a period of up to seven years.

2a.  The Commission shall keep the European Parliament fully involved on issues related to the planning and implementation of measures pursuant to this Article, including any envisaged substantial changes or allocations. [Am. 66]

2b.  Disbursement of the general or sector budget support shall be conditional upon satisfactory progress being made towards achieving the objectives agreed with a beneficiary.

The Commission shall apply the budget support conditionality criteria set out in the Article 23(4) of the NDICI Regulation. It shall take steps to reduce or suspend Union funding through budget support in cases of systemic irregularities in the management and control systems or unsatisfactory progress being made in achieving the objectives agreed with the beneficiary.

The reintroduction of assistance by the Commission following the suspension referred to in this Article shall be accompanied by a targeted assistance to national audit authorities. [Am. 67]

Chapter IIIa

Execution [Am. 68]

Article 8a

Action plans and measures

1.  The Commission shall adopt annual or multiannual action plans or measures. The measures may take the form of individual measures, special measures, support measures or exceptional assistance measures. Action plans and measures shall specify for each action the objectives pursued, the expected results and main activities, the methods of application, the budget and any associated support expenditures.

2.  Action plans shall be based on programming documents, except for cases referred to in paragraphs 3 and 4.

When necessary, an action may be adopted as an individual measure before or after the adoption of action plans. Individual measures shall be based on programming documents, except for cases referred to in paragraph 3 and in other duly justified cases.

In the event of unforeseen needs or circumstances, and when funding is not possible from more appropriate sources, the Commission is empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 34 of the NDICI Regulation laying down special measures not based on the programming documents.

3.  Annual or multiannual action plans and individual measures may be used to execute rapid response actions referred to in Article 4(4)(b) of the NDICI Regulation.

4.  The Commission may adopt exceptional assistance measures for rapid response actions as referred to in Article 4(4)(a) of the NDICI Regulation.

5.  Measures taken under Article 19 (3) and (4) may have a duration of up to 18 months, which may be extended twice by a further period of up to six months, up to a total maximum duration of 30 months, in the event of objective and unforeseen obstacles to execution, provided that there is no increase in the financial amount of the measure.

In cases of protracted crisis and conflict, the Commission may adopt a second exceptional assistance measure of a duration of up to 18 months. In duly justified cases, further measures may be adopted where the continuity of the Union’s action under this paragraph is essential and cannot be ensured by other means. [Am. 69]

Article 8b

Support measures

1.  Union financing may cover expenditure to support the execution of the Instrument and the achievement of its objectives, including administrative support associated with the preparation, follow-up, monitoring, control, audit and evaluation activities necessary for such execution, as well as expenditure at headquarters and Union delegations for the administrative support needed for the programme, and to manage operations financed under this Regulation, including information and communication actions, and corporate information technology systems.

2.  When support expenditure is not included in the action plans or measures referred to in Article 8c, the Commission shall adopt, where applicable, support measures. Union financing under support measures may cover:

(a)  studies, meetings, information, awareness-raising, training, preparation and exchange of lessons learnt and best practices, publication activities and any other administrative or technical assistance expenditure necessary for the programming and management of actions, including remunerated external experts;

(b)  research and innovation activities and studies on relevant issues and the dissemination thereof;

(c)  expenditure related to the provision of information and communication actions, including the development of communication strategies and corporate communication and visibility of the political priorities of the Union. [Am. 70]

Article 8c

Adoption of action plans and measures

1.  The Commission shall adopt action plans and measures by means of a Commission decision in accordance with the Financial Regulation.

2.  The Commission shall take account of the relevant policy approach of the Council and the European Parliament for the planning and subsequent application of such action plans and measures, in the interests of consistency of the Union's external action.

The Commission shall immediately inform the European Parliament about the planning of action plans and measures pursuant to this Article, including the financial amounts envisaged, and shall also inform the European Parliament when making substantial changes or extensions to that assistance. As soon as possible following the adoption or substantial modification of a measure, and in any case within one month thereof, the Commission shall report to the European Parliament and to the Council and give an overview of the nature and the rationale of the measure adopted, its duration, budget and its context, including the complementarity of that measure with other ongoing and planned Union assistance. For exceptional assistance measures, the Commission shall also indicate whether to what extent and how it will ensure the continuity of the policy executed through the exceptional assistance by medium- and long-term assistance under this Regulation.

3.  Before adopting action plans and measures not based on programming documents pursuant to Article 8a(2), other than for cases referred to in Article 8a (3) and (4), the Commission shall adopt a delegated act in accordance with Article 14 in order to supplement this Regulation by setting out the specific objectives to be pursued, the results expected, the instruments to be used, the main activities and the indicative financial allocations of these action plans and measures.

4.  Appropriate human rights, social and environmental screening, including for climate change and biodiversity impacts, shall be undertaken at the level of actions, in accordance with the applicable legislative acts of the Union, including Directive 2011/92/EU(26) of the European Parliament and of the Council and Council Directive 85/337/EEC(27), comprising, where applicable, an environmental impact assessment for environmentally sensitive actions, in particular for major new infrastructure.

Additionally, ex-ante human rights, gender, social and labour impact assessments, as well as conflict analysis and risk assessment shall be conducted.

Where relevant, human rights, social and strategic environmental assessments shall be used in the execution of sectoral programmes. The Commission shall ensure the involvement of interested stakeholders in these assessments and public access to the results of such assessments. [Am. 127]

Article 8d

Methods of cooperation

1.  Financing under this Instrument shall be implemented by the Commission, as provided for by the Financial Regulation, either directly by the Commission itself, by Union delegations and by executive agencies, or indirectly through any of the entities listed in Article 62 (1) c) of the Financial Regulation.

2.  Financing under this Instrument may also be provided through contributions to international, regional or national funds, such as those established or managed by the EIB, by Member States, by partner countries and regions or by international organisations, or other donors.

3.  The entities listed in Article 62(1)(c) of the Financial Regulation and in Article 29(1) of the NDICI Regulation shall annually fulfil their reporting obligations under Article 155 of the Financial Regulation. The reporting requirements for any of these entities are laid down in the framework partnership agreement, the contribution agreement, the agreement on budgetary guarantees or the financing agreement.

4.  Actions financed under this Instrument may be implemented by means of parallel or joint co-financing.

5.  In the case of parallel co-financing, an action is split into a number of clearly identifiable components which are each financed by the different partners providing co-financing in such a way that the end-use of the financing can always be identified.

6.  In the case of joint co-financing, the total cost of an action is shared between the partners providing the co-financing and the resources are pooled in such a way that it is no longer possible to identify the source of financing for any given activity undertaken as part of the action.

7.  Cooperation between the Union and its partners may take the form, inter alia, of:

(a)  triangular arrangements whereby the Union coordinates with third countries its assistance funding to a partner country or region;

(b)  administrative cooperation measures such as twinning between public institutions, local authorities, national public bodies or private law entities entrusted with public service tasks of a Member State and those of a partner country or region, as well as cooperation measures involving public sector experts dispatched from the Member States and their regional and local authorities;

(c)  contributions to the necessary costs of setting up and administering a public-private partnership including support of broad participation by setting up independent third party CSO body to assess and monitor public-private partnership set-ups;

(d)  sector policy support programmes whereby the Union provides support to a partner country's sector programme;

(e)  contributions to the cost of the countries' participation in Union programmes and actions implemented by Union agencies and bodies, as well as bodies or persons entrusted with implementation of specific actions in the Common Foreign and Security Policy pursuant to Title V TEU;

(f)  interest rate subsidies. [Am. 72]

Article 8e

Forms of Union funding and methods of application

1.  The Union funding may be provided through the types of financing envisaged by the Financial Regulation and in particular:

(a)  grants;

(b)  procurement contracts for services, supplies or works;

(c)  budget support;

(d)  contributions to trust funds set up by the Commission, in accordance with Article 234 of the Financial Regulation;

(e)  financial instruments;

(f)  budgetary guarantees;

(g)  blending;

(h)  debt relief in the context of internationally agreed debt relief programme;

(i)  financial assistance;

(j)  remunerated external experts.

2.  When working with stakeholders of partner countries, the Commission shall take into account their specificities, including their needs and the relevant context, when defining the financing modalities, the type of contribution, the award modalities and the administrative provisions for the management of grants, with a view to reaching and best responding to the widest possible range of such stakeholders. That assessment shall take into account the conditions for a meaningful participation and involvement of all stakeholders, in particular local civil society. Specific modalities shall be encouraged in accordance with the Financial Regulation, such as partnership agreements, authorisations of financial support to third parties, direct award or eligibility-restricted calls for proposals, or lump sums, unit costs and flat-rate financing as well as financing not linked to costs as envisaged in Article 125(1) of the Financial Regulation. Those different modalities shall ensure transparency, traceability and innovation. Cooperation between local and international NGOs shall be encouraged in order to bolster local civil society’s capacities with a view to achieving its full participation in development programmes.

3.  In addition of the cases referred to in Article 195 of the Financial Regulation, the direct award procedure may be used for;

(a)  low-value grants to human rights defenders and to mechanisms for the protection of human rights defenders at risk, to finance urgent protection actions, where appropriate without the need for co-financing, as well as to mediators and other civil society actors involved in crisis and armed conflict related dialogue, conflict resolution, reconciliation and peace-building;

(b)  grants, where appropriate without the need for co-financing, to finance actions in the most difficult conditions where the publication of a call for proposals would be inappropriate including situations where there is a serious lack of fundamental freedoms, threats to democratic institutions, escalation of crisis, armed conflict where human security is most at risk or where human rights organisations and defenders, mediators and other civil society actors involved in crisis and armed conflict related dialogue, reconciliation and peace-building operate under the most difficult conditions. Such grants shall not exceed EUR 1 000 000 and shall have a duration of up to 18 months, which may be extended by a further 12 months in the event of objective and unforeseen obstacles to their application;

(c)  grants to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights as well as to Global Campus, the European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights and Democratisation, providing a European Master’s Degree in Human Rights and Democratisation, and its associated network of universities delivering human rights postgraduate diplomas, including scholarships to students, researchers, teachers, and human rights defenders from third countries.

(d)  Small projects as described in Article 23a of the NDICI Regulation.

Budget support as referred to in point (c) of paragraph 1, including through sector reform performance contracts, shall be based on country ownership, mutual accountability and shared commitments to universal values, democracy, human rights, gender equality, social inclusion and human development and the rule of law, and aims at strengthening partnerships between the Union and partner countries. It shall include reinforced policy dialogue, capacity development, and improved governance, complementing partners' efforts to collect more and spend better in order to support sustainable and inclusive socio-economic development which benefits all, decent job creation, with particular attention to young people, the reduction of inequalities and poverty eradication with due regard to local economies, environmental and social rights.

Any decision to provide budget support shall be based on budget support policies agreed by the Union, a clear set of eligibility criteria and a careful assessment of the risks and benefits. One of the key determinants of that decision shall be an assessment of the commitment, record and progress of partner countries with regard to democracy, human rights and the rule of law.

4.  Budget support shall be differentiated in such a way as to respond better to the political, economic and social context of the partner country, taking into account situations of fragility.

When providing budget support in accordance with Article 236 of the Financial Regulation, the Commission shall clearly define and monitor criteria for budget support conditionality, including progress in reforms and transparency, and shall support the development of parliamentary control, national audit capacities, CSO participation in monitoring and increased transparency and public access to information and development of strong public procurement systems that support local economic development and local businesses.

5.  Disbursement of the budget support shall be based on indicators demonstrating satisfactory progress being made towards achieving the objectives agreed with the partner country.

6.  Financial instruments under this Regulation may take forms such as loans, guarantees, equity or quasi-equity, investments or participations, and risk-sharing instruments, whenever possible and in accordance with the principles laid down in Article 209(1) of the Financial Regulation under the lead of the EIB, a multilateral European finance institution, such as the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, or a bilateral European finance institution, such as bilateral development banks, possibly pooled with additional other forms of financial support, both from Member States and third parties.

Contributions to Union financial instruments under this Regulation may be made by Member States as well as any entity referred to in Article 62(1)(c) of the Financial Regulation.

7.  Those financial instruments may be grouped into facilities for application and reporting purposes

8.  The Commission and the EEAS shall not enter into new or renewed operations with entities incorporated or established in jurisdictions defined under the relevant Union policy as non-cooperative, or that are identified as high risk third countries pursuant to Article 9(2) of Directive(EU) 2015/849 of the European Parliament and of the Council(28), or that do not effectively comply with Union or internationally agreed tax standards on transparency and exchange of information.

9.  The Union's funding shall not generate or activate the collection of specific taxes, duties or charges.

10.  Taxes, duties and charges imposed by partner countries may be eligible for financing under this Regulation. [Am. 73]

Article 8f

Carry-overs, annual instalments, commitment appropriations, re-payments and revenue generated by financial instruments

1.  In addition to Article 12(2) of the Financial Regulation, unused commitment and payment appropriations under this Regulation shall be automatically carried over and may be committed up to 31 December of the following financial year. The carried-over amount shall be used first in the following financial year.

The Commission shall submit to the European Parliament and to the Council information on appropriations which were automatically carried over, including the amounts involved, in line with Article 12(6) of the Financial Regulation.

2.  In addition to the rules laid down in Article 15 of the Financial Regulation on making appropriations available again, commitment appropriations corresponding to the amount of decommitments made as a result of total or partial non implementation of an action under this Regulation shall be made available again to the benefit of the budget line of origin.

References to Article 15 of the Financial Regulation in Article 12(1)(b) of the Regulation laying down the multi annual financial framework shall be understood as including a reference to this paragraph for the purpose of this Regulation.

3.  Budgetary commitments for actions extending over more than one financial year may be broken down over several years into annual instalments, in line with Article 112(2) of the Financial Regulation.

The third subparagraph of Article 114(2) of the Financial Regulation shall not apply to these multiannual actions. The Commission shall automatically de-commit any portion of a budgetary commitment for an action that by 31 December of the fifth year following that of the budgetary commitment has not been used for the purpose of pre-financing or making interim payments or for which no certified statement of expenditure or any payment request has been submitted.

Paragraph 2 of this Article shall also apply to annual instalments.

4.  By way of derogation from Article 209(3) of the Financial Regulation repayments and revenues generated by a financial instrument shall be assigned to the budget line of origin as internal assigned revenue after deduction of management costs and fees. Every five years, the Commission shall examine the contribution made to the achievement of Union objectives, and the effectiveness, of existing financial instruments. [Am. 74]

Article 9

Cross border cooperation

1.  Up to 3 % of the financial envelope shall be indicatively allocated to cross-border cooperation programmes between the beneficiaries listed in Annex I and the Member States, in line with their needs and priorities.

2.  The Union co-financing rate at the level of each priority shall not be higher than 85 % of the eligible expenditure of a cross-border cooperation programme. For technical assistance the Union co-financing rate shall be 100 %.

3.  The level of pre-financing for cross-border cooperation with member states shall be determined in the work programme, in accordance with needs of the beneficiaries listed in Annex I and may exceed the percentage referred to in Article 49 of ETC Regulation.

4.  Where cross border cooperation programmes are discontinued in accordance with Article 12 of the ETC Regulation, support from this Regulation to the discontinued programme that remains available may be used to finance any other actions eligible under this Regulation. In such a case, if there are no eligible actions to be financed in the current year, appropriations may be carried over to the following year. [Am. 75]

CHAPTER IV

ELIGIBILITY AND OTHER SPECIFIC PROVISIONS

Article 10

Eligibility for funding under IPA III

1.  Tenderers, applicants and candidates from the following countries shall be eligible for funding under IPA III:

(a)  Member States, beneficiaries listed in Annex I to this Regulation, contracting parties to the Agreement on the European Economic Area and countries covered by the Annex I to the NDICI Regulation, and

(b)  countries for which reciprocal access to external assistance is established by the Commission. Reciprocal access may be granted, for a limited period of at least one year, whenever a country grants eligibility on equal terms to entities from the Union and from countries eligible under this Regulation. The Commission shall decide on the reciprocal access after consultation of the recipient country or countries concerned.

CHAPTER V

EFSD+ AND BUDGETARY GUARANTEES

Article 11

Financial instruments and guarantee for external actions

1.  The beneficiaries listed in Annex I shall be eligible to the European Fund for Sustainable Development Plus (EFSD+) and to External Action Guarantee as provided for in Chapter IV of Title II of the NDICI Regulation. To this end IPA III shall contribute to provisioning related to the guarantee for external actions referred to in Article 26 of the NDICI Regulation proportionally to the investments carried out to the benefit of the beneficiaries listed in Annex I to this Regulation.

CHAPTER VI

MONITORING AND, REPORTING, EVALUATION AND COMMUNICATION [Am. 76]

Article 12

Monitoring, audit, evaluation and protection of the Union's financial interests

1.  Chapter V of Title II of the NDICI Regulation in relation to monitoring, reporting and evaluation shall apply to this Regulation.

2.  Indicators to monitor implementation execution and progress of the IPA III towards the achievement of the specific objectives set out in Article 3 are set in Annex IV to this Regulation. [Am. 77]

3.  For cross-border cooperation with Member States, the indicators shall be those referred in Article 33 of the ETC Regulation.

4.  In addition to the indicators referred to in Annex IV, the enlargement reports and the Commission's assessments of the Economic Reform Programmes shall be taken into account in the results framework of IPA III assistance. [Am. 78]

4a.   The Commission shall submit and present the interim and final evaluation reports referred to in Article 32 of the NDICI Regulation to the European Parliament and the Council. Those reports shall be made public by the Commission. [Am. 79]

5.  In addition to Article 129 of the Financial Regulation on the protection of the financial interests of the Union, under indirect management, beneficiaries listed in Annex I shall report the irregularities including fraud which have been the subject of a primary administrative or judicial finding, without delay, to the Commission and keep the latter informed of the progress of administrative and legal proceeding. Reporting shall be done by electronic means, using the Irregularity Management System, established by the Commission. The Commission shall support the development in the beneficiaries of parliamentary control and audit capacities and increased transparency and public access to information. The Commission, the VP/HR and in particular Union delegations in the beneficiaries shall ensure that all funding allocations under indirect management are carried out in a transparent, depoliticised and non-partial manner, including by equitable distribution, reflecting the needs of the regions and local municipalities. [Am. 80]

CHAPTER VII

FINAL PROVISIONS

Article 13

Delegation of power

The Commission shall be empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 14 to amend Annexes II, III and IV to this Regulation.

Article 14

Exercise of the delegation

1.  The power to adopt delegated acts is conferred on the Commission subject to the conditions laid down in this Article.

2.  The power to adopt delegated acts as referred to in Article 13 7(3), Article 7a, Articles 7b (1) and (2), Article 8c (3), and Articles 13 and 15 shall be conferred on the Commission. [Am. 128]

3.  The delegation of power referred to in Article 13 may be revoked at any time by the European Parliament or by the Council. A decision to revoke shall put an end to the delegation of the power specified in that decision. It shall take effect the day following the publication of the decision in the Official Journal of the European Union or at a later date specified therein. It shall not affect the validity of any delegated acts already in force.

4.  As soon as it adopts a delegated act, the Commission shall notify it simultaneously to the European Parliament and to the Council.

5.  A delegated act adopted pursuant to Article 13 shall enter into force only if no objection has been expressed either by the European Parliament or the Council within a period of two months of notification of that act to the European Parliament and the Council or if, before the expiry of that period, the European Parliament and the Council have both informed the Commission that they will not object. That period shall be extended by two months at the initiative of the European Parliament or of the Council.

Article 14a

Democratic Accountability

1.  In order to enhance dialogue between the institutions and services of the Union, in particular the European Parliament, the Commission and the EEAS, foster the overall coherence of all External Financing Instruments, and to ensure greater transparency and accountability, as well as the expediency in the adoption of acts and measures by the Commission, the European Parliament may invite the Commission and the EEAS to appear before it to discuss the strategic orientations and guidelines for the programming under this Regulation. That dialogue may take place prior to the adoption of delegated acts and of the draft annual budget by the Commission or, at the request of the European Parliament, the Commission or the EEAS, on an ad hoc basis in view of major political developments.

2.  Where a dialogue referred to in paragraph 1 is due to take place, the Commission and the EEAS shall present to the European Parliament all relevant documents in relation to that dialogue. Where the dialogue is related to the annual budget, consolidated information on all action plans and measures adopted or planned in accordance with Article 8 c , information on cooperation per country, region and thematic area, and the use of rapid response actions and the External Action Guarantee shall be provided.

3.  The Commission and the EEAS shall take the utmost account of the position expressed by the European Parliament. In the event that the Commission or the EEAS do not take the European Parliament's positions into account, they shall provide due justification.

4.  The Commission and the EEAS, in particular through the steering group pursuant to Article 7 c, shall be responsible for keeping the European Parliament informed about the state of this Regulation’s application, in particular about ongoing measures, actions and results. [Am. 82]

Article 15

Adoption of further implementing rules [Am. 83]

1.  Specific rules establishing uniform conditions for implementing this Regulation in particular in relation to the structures to be set up in preparation for accession and to rural development assistance, shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 16 by means of delegated acts. [Am. 84]

2.  Where reference is made to this paragraph, Article 5 of The Commission shall adopt action plans and measures by decision in accordance with the Financial Regulation (EU) No. 182/2011 shall apply. [Am. 85]

Article 16

Committee

1.  The Commission shall be assisted by a committee (the ‘Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance Committee’). That committee shall be a committee within the meaning of [Regulation (EU) No 182/2011].

2.  Where the opinion of the committee is to be obtained by a written procedure, the procedure shall be terminated without result when, within the time limit for delivery of the opinion, the chair of the committee so decides or a simple majority of committee members so requests.

3.  An observer from the EIB shall take part in the Committee's proceedings with regard to questions concerning the EIB.

4.  The IPA III Committee shall assist the Commission and shall be competent also for legal acts and commitments under Regulation (EC) No 1085/2006, Regulation 231/2014 and the implementation of Article 3 of Regulation (EC) No 389/2006.

5.  The IPA III Committee shall not be competent for the contribution to Erasmus+ as specified in Article 5(3). [Am. 86]

Article 17

Information, communication, visibility and publicity [Am. 87]

1.  Articles 36 and 37 of [Regulation NDICI] shall apply When providing financial assistance under this Regulation, the Commission, the VP/HR and in particular the Union delegations in the beneficiaries shall take all necessary measures to ensure the visibility of the Union's financial support, including monitoring recipients' compliance with those requirements. IPA-financed actions shall be subject to the requirements set out in the Communication and Visibility Manual for EU External Actions. The Commission shall adopt guidance for Union-funded projects on visibility and communication actions for each beneficiary. [Am. 88]

1a.  The Commission shall take measures to strengthen strategic communication and public diplomacy for communicating the values of the Union and highlighting the added value of the Union’s support. [Am. 89]

1b.  The recipients of Union funding shall acknowledge the origin of the Union funding and ensure its proper visibility by:

(a)  providing a statement highlighting the support received from the Union in a visible manner on documents and communication material relating to the implementation of the funds, including on an official website, where such a website exists; and

(b)  promoting the actions and their results by providing coherent, effective and proportionate targeted information to multiple audiences, including the media and the public.

The Commission shall implement information and communication actions relating to this Regulation, as well as the actions set out by it and the results achieved. Financial resources allocated to this Regulation shall also contribute to the corporate communication of the political priorities of the Union, insofar as those priorities are directly related to the objectives referred to in Article 3 and in Annexes II and III. [Am. 90]

Article 18

Transitional provisions

1.  This Regulation shall not affect the continuation or modification of the actions concerned, until their closure, under Regulation 231/2014 (IPA II) and Regulation (EC) No 1085/2006 (IPA) which shall continue to apply to the actions concerned until their closure. Chapter III of Title II of the NDICI Regulation, formerly under Regulation 236/2014, shall apply to these actions with the exception of paragraph 1 of Article 24.

2.  The financial envelope for IPA III may also cover technical and administrative assistance expenses necessary to ensure the transition between IPA III and the measures adopted under its predecessor, IPA II.

3.  If necessary, appropriations may be entered in the budget beyond 2027 to cover the expenses provided for in Article 4(2), to enable the management of actions not completed.

Article 19

Entry into force

This Regulation shall enter into force on the […] [twentieth] day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.

It shall apply from 1 January 2021 until 31 December 2027. [Am. 91]

This Regulation shall be binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all Member States.

Done at ...,

For the European Parliament For the Council

The President The President

ANNEX I

Albania

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Iceland

Kosovo(29)

Montenegro

Serbia

Turkey

The former Yugoslav Republic of North Macedonia [Am. 129]

ANNEX II

Thematic priorities for assistance

Assistance may, as appropriate, address the following thematic priorities:

(a)  Establishing and promoting from an early stage the proper functioning of the institutions necessary in order to secure the rule of law. Interventions in this area shall aim at: separation of powers, establishing independent, accountable and efficient judicial systems, including transparent and merit-based recruitment and promoting judicial cooperation, evaluation and promotion systems and effective disciplinary procedures in cases of wrongdoing; ensuring the establishment of robust adequate systems to protect the borders, manage migration flows and provide asylum to those in need; developing effective tools to prevent and fight organised crime, trafficking in human beings, migrants smuggling, drug trafficking, money laundering/financing of terrorism and corruption; promoting and protecting human rights, including rights of the child, gender equality, rights of persons belonging to minorities including Roma as well as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons fundamental freedoms, including freedom of the media and data protection; [Am. 92]

(b)  Reforming public administrations in line with the Principles of Public Administration. Interventions shall aim at: strengthening public administration reform frameworks; improving strategic planning and inclusive and evidence-based policy and legislative development; enhancing professionalisation and de-politicisation of public service by embedding meritocratic principles; promoting transparency and accountability; improving quality and delivery of services, including adequate administrative procedures and the use of citizen centred eGovernment; strengthening public financial management and the production of reliable statistics;

(c)  Strengthening economic governance: Interventions shall aim at supporting participation in the economic reform programme (ERP) process and systematic cooperation with international financial institutions on fundamentals of economic policy and strengthening of multilateral economic institutions. Enhancing the capacity to strengthen macroeconomic stability, social cohesion and supporting progress towards sustainable development and becoming a functioning market economy with the capacity to cope with competitive pressures and market forces within the Union; [Am. 93]

(d)  Strengthening the Union and its partners' capacity to prevent conflict, build peace good neighbourly relations and address pre-and post-crisis including through early warning and conflict-sensitive risk analysis; promoting people to people networking, reconciliation, accountability, international justice peace-building and confidence-building measures, including setting up the Regional commission for the establishment of facts about war crimes and other serious violations of human rights committed in the former Yugoslavia (RECOM), as well as supporting capacity building in support of security and development (CBSD) actions, strengthening the capabilities of cyber defence and strategic communication to foster systematic uncovering of disinformation; [Am. 94]

(e)  Strengthening the capacities, independence and plurality of civil society organisations and social partners' organisations, including professional associations, in beneficiaries listed in Annex I and encouraging networking at all levels among Union-based organisations and those of beneficiaries listed in Annex I, enabling them to engage in an effective dialogue with public and private actors. Assistance shall endeavour to be accessible to a variety of organisations in beneficiaries that is as wide as possible;[Am. 95]

(f)  Promoting the alignment of partner countries’ rules, standards, policies and practices to those of the Union, including CFSP, public procurement and state aid rules; [Am. 96]

(g)  Strengthening access to and quality of education, training and lifelong learning at all levels, and offering support to cultural and creative sectors and sport. Interventions in this area shall aim at: promoting equal access to quality inclusive and community-based early childhood education and care, primary and secondary education, improving the provision of basic skills; increasing educational attainment levels, reducing early school-leaving and reinforcing teachers’ training; empowering children and youth and enabling them to reach their full potential. Developing vocational education and training (VET) systems and promoting work-based learning systems to facilitate the transition to the labour market; improving the quality and relevance of higher education; encouraging alumni related activities; enhancing access to lifelong learning and physical activity and supporting investment in education and training and sport infrastructure particularly with a view to reducing territorial disparities and fostering non-segregated education and including through the use of digital technologies; [Am. 97]

(h)  Fostering quality employment and access to the labour market. Interventions in this area shall aim at: tackling high unemployment and inactivity by supporting sustainable labour market integration in particular of young people (especially those not in employment, education or training (NEET)), women, long-term unemployed and all under-represented groups. Measures shall stimulate quality job creation and support the effective enforcement of labour rules and internationally agreed standards across the entire territory including by fostering adherence to the key principles and rights as referred to in the European Pillar of Social Rights. Other key areas of intervention shall be to support gender equality, promoting employability and productivity, the adaptation of workers and enterprises to change, the establishment of a sustainable social dialogue and the modernisation and strengthening of labour market institutions such as public employment services and labour inspectorates; [Am. 98]

(i)  Promoting social protection and inclusion and combating poverty. Interventions in this area shall aim at modernising social protection systems to provide effective, efficient, and adequate protection throughout all stages of a person’s life, fostering social inclusion, promoting equal opportunities and addressing inequalities and poverty, and promoting the transition from institutional to family and community based care. Interventions in this area shall also focus on: integrating marginalised communities such as the Roma; combating discrimination based on sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation; enhancing access to affordable, sustainable and high quality family and community based services, such as inclusive and non-segregated early childhood education and care, housing, healthcare and essential social services and long term care, including through the modernisation of social protection systems. Actions that contribute to any form of segregation or social exclusion shall not be supported; [Am. 99]

(j)  Promoting smart, sustainable, inclusive, safe transport and removing bottlenecks in key network infrastructures, by investing in projects with high EU value-added. The investments should be prioritised according to their relevance to TEN-T connections with the EU, cross-border links, job creation, contribution to sustainable mobility, reduced emissions, environmental impact, safe mobility, in synergy with the reforms promoted by the Transport Community Treaty; [Am. 100]

(k)  Improving the private-sector environment and competitiveness of enterprises, in particular SMEs, including smart specialisation, as key drivers of growth, job creation and cohesion. Priority shall be given to sustainable projects which improve the business environment; [Am. 101]

(l)  Improving access to digital technologies and services and strengthening research, technological development and innovation by investing in digital connectivity, digital trust and security, digital skills and entrepreneurship as well as research infrastructure and enabling environment and promoting networking and collaboration;

(m)  Contributing to the security and safety of food and water supply and the maintenance of diversified and viable farming systems in vibrant rural communities and the countryside; [Am. 102]

(n)  Protecting and improving the quality of the environment, addressing environmental degradation and halting biodiversity loss, promoting the conservation and sustainable management of terrestrial and marine ecosystems and renewable natural resources, promoting resource efficiency, sustainable consumption and production and supporting the transition to green and circular economies, contributing to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, increasing resilience to climate change and promoting climate action governance and information and energy efficiency. IPA III shall promote policies to support the shift towards a resource-efficient, safe and sustainable low-carbon economy and strengthen disaster resilience as well as disaster prevention, preparedness and response. It shall also promote a high level of nuclear safety, radiation protection, and the application of efficient and effective safeguards of nuclear material in third countries as well as the establishment of frameworks and methodologies for the application of efficient and effective safeguards for nuclear material;

(o)  Promoting the highest nuclear safety standards, including nuclear safety culture, emergency preparedness, responsible and safe management of spent fuel and radioactive waste, decommissioning and remediation of former nuclear sites and installations; radiation protection and the accountancy and control of nuclear materials;

(p)  Increasing the ability of the agri-food and fisheries sectors to cope with competitive pressure and market forces as well as to progressively align with the Union rules and standards, with a view to raising the capacity to exports to the Union market, while pursuing economic, social and environmental goals in balanced territorial development of rural and coastal areas; [Am. 103]

(pa)   Promoting activities and improving long-term strategies and policies aimed at preventing and countering radicalisation and violent extremism. [Am. 104]

ANNEX III

Thematic priorities for assistance for cross-border cooperation

Assistance for cross-border cooperation may, as appropriate, address the following thematic priorities:

(a)  promoting employment, labour mobility and social and cultural inclusion across borders through, inter alia: integrating cross-border labour markets, including cross-border mobility; joint local employment initiatives; information and advisory services and joint training; gender equality; equal opportunities; integration of immigrants' communities and vulnerable groups; investment in public employment services; and supporting investment in public health and as well as the transition to family- and community-based social services; [Am. 105]

(b)  protecting the environment and promoting climate change adaptation and mitigation, risk prevention and management through, inter alia: joint actions for environmental protection; promoting sustainable use of natural resources, coordinated maritime spatial planning, resource efficiency and circular economy, renewable energy sources and the shift towards a safe and sustainable low-carbon, green economy; promoting investment to address specific risks, ensuring disaster resilience and disaster prevention, preparedness and response;

(c)  promoting sustainable transport and improving public infrastructures by, inter alia, reducing isolation through improved access to transport, digital networks and services and investing in cross-border water, waste and energy systems and facilities;

(d)  promoting the digital economy and society by inter alia the deployment of digital connectivity, the development of eGovernment services, digital trust and security as well as digital skills and entrepreneurship;

(da)   promoting the removal of unnecessary barriers to trade, including bureaucratic hurdles, tariffs and non-tariffs barriers; [Am. 106]

(e)  encouraging tourism, sport and cultural and natural heritage; [Am. 107]

(f)  investing in youth, sport, education and skills through, inter alia, ensuring skills and qualifications recognition, developing and implementing joint education, vocational training, training schemes and infrastructure supporting joint youth activities; [Am. 108]

(g)  promoting local and regional governance and, including cross-border cooperation between administrations with a view to fostering reconciliation and peace-building, enhancing the planning and administrative capacity of local and regional authorities; [Am. 109]

(ga)   investing in the capacity-building of civil society organisations; [Am. 110]

(gb)  promoting cross-border cooperation between administrations with a view to fostering reconciliation and peace-building, including setting up the Regional commission for the establishment of facts about war crimes and other serious violations of human rights committed in the former Yugoslavia (RECOM); [Am. 111]

(h)  enhancing competitiveness, the business environment and the development of small and medium-sized enterprises, trade and investment through, inter alia, promotion and support to entrepreneurship, in particular small and medium-sized enterprises, and development of local cross-border markets and internationalisation;

(i)  strengthening research, technological development, innovation and digital technologies through, inter alia, promoting the sharing of human resources and facilities for research and technology development;

(ia)   improving cross-border police and judicial cooperation and information exchange to facilitate the investigation and prosecution of cross-border organised crime and linked cases of economic and financial crime and corruption, trafficking and smuggling. [Am. 112]

ANNEX IV

List of Key Performance Indicators

The following list of key performance indicators and their annual evolution shall be used to help measure the Union’s contribution to the achievement of its specific objectives and the progress made by the beneficiaries: [Am. 113]

1.  Composite indicator(30) on the readiness of enlargement countries on fundamental areas of the political accession criteria (including Democracy, Rule of Law (Judiciary, Fight against corruption and Fight against organised crime) and Human Rights) (source European Commission);

1a.  Composite indicator on partners´ efforts related to reconciliation, peace-building, good neighbourly relations and international obligations, gender equality and women's rights; [Am. 114]

1b.  Absence of violence indicator in conjunction with reductions in drivers of conflict (e.g. political or economic exclusion) against a baseline assessment; [Am. 115]

1c.  The share of the beneficiaries’ citizens that think they are well informed about the Union's assistance under this Regulation (source: European Commission); [Am. 116]

2.  Readiness of enlargement countries on public administration reform (source European Commission);

3.  Composite indicator on the readiness of candidate countries and potential candidates to the EU acquis (source European Commission);

3a.  The rate and annual evolution of the alignment with the CFSP decisions and measures (source EEAS); [Am. 117]

4.  Composite indicator on the readiness of candidate countries and potential candidates on fundamental areas of the economic criteria (functioning market economy and competitiveness) (source European Commission);

5.  Public social security expenditure (percentage of GDP) (source, as indicated by ILO ) or, health expenditure, income inequality, poverty rate, Eemployment Rrate (source: and unemployment rate, as indicated by official national statistics); [Am. 118]

5a.  Changes in the GINI coefficient of a beneficiary over time; [Am. 119]

6.  Digital gap between the beneficiaries and the EU average (source: European Commission DESI index);

7.  Distance to frontier (Doing Business) score (source WB);

8.  Energy intensity measured in terms of primary energy and GDP (source EUROSTAT);

9.  Greenhouse gas emissions reduced or avoided (Ktons CO2eq) with EU support;

10.  Number of cross-border cooperation programmes concluded and implemented among IPA beneficiaries and IPA/EU MS (source, as indicated by the European Commission );[Am. 120]

10a.  The number of new organisations participating in actions and programmes over time;[Am. 121]

Indicators will, where relevant, be sex disaggregated at minimum age and gender level. [Am. 122]

(1)OJ C 110, 22.3.2019, p. 156.
(2)OJ C 86, 7.3.2019, p. 8.
(3) Position of the European Parliament of 27 March 2019.
(4)Regulation (EU) No 231/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 March 2014 establishing an Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA II) (OJ L 77, 15.3.2014, p. 11).
(5)The 'fundamentals first' approach links rule of law and fundamental rights with the two other crucial areas of the accession process: economic governance – strengthened focus on economic development and improved competitiveness – and the strengthening of democratic institutions and public administration reform. Each of the three fundamentals is of crucial importance for the reform processes in the candidate countries and potential candidates and addresses key concerns of the citizens.
(6)COM(2018)0065
(7)European Pillar of Social Rights solemnly proclaimed by the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission at the Gothenburg Social Summit for Fair Jobs and Growth, Gothenburg 17 November 2017.
(8)OJ C 373, 20.12.2013, p. 1.
(9)Regulation (EU) .../... of the European Parliament and of the Council of... (OJ ...).
(10) Regulation (EU, Euratom) 2018/1046 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 July 2018 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union, amending Regulations (EU) No 1296/2013, (EU) No 1301/2013, (EU) No 1303/2013, (EU) No 1304/2013, (EU) No 1309/2013, (EU) No 1316/2013, (EU) No 223/2014, (EU) No 283/2014, and Decision No 541/2014/EU and repealing Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 (OJ L 193, 30.7.2018, p. 1).
(11)Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 883/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 September 2013 concerning investigations conducted by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1073/1999 of the European Parliament and of the Council and Council Regulation (Euratom) No 1074/1999,(OJ L 248, 18.9.2013, p. 1.
(12)Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 2988/95 of 18 December 1995 on the protection of the European Communities financial interests (OJ L 312, 23.12.1995, p.1).
(13)Council Regulation (Euratom, EC) No 2185/96 of 11 November 1996 concerning on-the-spot checks and inspections carried out by the Commission in order to protect the European Communities' financial interests against fraud and other irregularities (OJ L 292, 15.11.96 , p. 2).
(14)Council Regulation (EU) 2017/1939 of 12 October 2017 implementing enhanced cooperation on the establishment of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (‘the EPPO’) (OJ L 283, 31.10.2017, p. 1).
(15)Directive (EU) 2017/1371 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 July 2017 on the fight against fraud to the Union's financial interests by means of criminal law (OJ L 198, 28.7.2017, p. 29).
(16) Interinstitutional Agreement between the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the European Commission on Better Law-Making (OJ L 123, 12.5.2016, p. 1).
(17)Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 February 2011 laying down the rules and general principles concerning mechanisms for control by Member States of the Commission's exercise of implementing powers (OJ L 55, 28.2.2011, p. 13).
(18)Council Regulation (EC) No 1085/2006 of 17 July 2006 establishing an Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) (OJ L 210, 31.7.2006, p. 82).
(19)Council Regulation (EC) No 389/2006 of 27 February 2006 establishing an instrument of financial support for encouraging the economic development of the Turkish Cypriot community and amending Regulation (EC) No 2667/2000 on the European Agency for Reconstruction (OJ L 65, 7.3.2006, p. 5).
(20)COM(2018)0374 - Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on specific provisions for the European territorial cooperation goal (Interreg) supported by the European Regional Development Fund and external financing instruments
(21)COM(2018)0372 Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the European Regional Development Fund and on the Cohesion Fund.
(22)COM(2018)0382 Proposal of the European Parliament and of the Council on the European Social Fund Plus (ESF+)
(23)COM(2018)0392 Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing rules on support for strategic plans to be drawn up by Member States under the Common agricultural policy (CAP Strategic Plans) and financed by the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund (EAGF) and by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and repealing Regulation (EU) No 1305/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council and Regulation (EU) No 1307/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council.
(24)https://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/policies/sustainable-development-goals_en
(25)https://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/policies/eu-approach-aid-effectiveness_en
(26)Directive 2011/92/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 December 2011 on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment (codification) (OJ L 26, 28.1.2012, p. 1).
(27)Council Directive 85/337/EEC of 27 June 1985 on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment (OJ L 175, 5.07.1985, p. 40).
(28) Directive (EU) 2015/849 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 May 2015 on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purposes of money laundering or terrorist financing, amending Regulation (EU) No 648/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council, and repealing Directive 2005/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council and Commission Directive 2006/70/EC (OJ L 141, 5.6.2015, p. 73–117).
(29)*This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.
(30)The three composite indicators are elaborated by the European Commission on the basis of the reports on Enlargement, which also draw from multiple, independent sources.

Last updated: 20 April 2020Legal notice - Privacy policy