Component I offers transition assistance and institutional capacity building. It is available to candidates and potential candidates. Component I offers technical support to institutions in integration-related reforms.
This type of support transfers the vest practices of countries that already went through the integration process and are now EU members. Montenegro has been using the Component I funds since 2007 through various projects gathered under annual programmes.
So far, Component I funds were used in Montenegro through the following national programmes: IPA 2007, IPA 2008, IPA 2009, IPA 2010, IPA 2011, IPA 2012 i IPA 2013.
Within 2007-2013 IPA Component I programmes, the Commission granted over 165 million EUR in 102 projects. National co-financing for these projects is over 100 million EUR. These amounts include contributions for financing the horizontal project in the area of nuclear security and protection from radiation and TEMPUS and Erasmus Mundus programmes.
Multi-beneficiary IPA programme
The division of Component I was done in article 72 of the IPA Implementing Regulation (no. 718/2007), in which it is stated that Component I is divided into a national programme and regional and horizontal programmes, i.e. multi-beneficiary IPA – MB IPA. The main difference between the national and the multi-beneficiary programmes is that an MB IPA programme is implemented in more than one of the accession countries, whereas the national programme offers assistance to a particular state. Beneficiaries of the MB IPA programmes are: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Croatia, Macedonia, Serbia, Kosovo, and Turkey.
MB IPA programmes are related to the common needs of beneficiary countries and it aims at efficiency and cost-effectiveness. Activities are focused on support which requires regional cooperation, such as regional structures, organisations, or initiatives, expert or civil servants' networks, or issues of cross-border cooperation.
MB IPA projects are prepared centrally by the Commission, with the view to promoting regional cooperation. The programming of MB IPA programmes is based on the preparation of project proposals and financial proposals by the Commission. The Commission initiates and prepares draft project ideas, based on the needs of the region's countries and the priorities of the multi-beneficiary Multi-Annual indicative planning document (MIPD). Proposals are delivered to the beneficiary countries for comments, which is followed by inter-sector consultations within the European Commission's Directorates General (DGs). The final decision on project granting is made by the IPA Committee composed of member-States' representatives. The IPA Committee decision on project proposals is followed by an exchange of letters in which the beneficiary country confirms its participation of the said programme and grants the implementation of the project within the MB IPA programme.
Through 2007-2013 MB IPA programmes, the European Commission is implementing 125 regional projects worth 746.680.150 EUR in total.
Western Balkans Investment Framework
The Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF) was established by the European Commission and several international financial institutions who are the leading stakeholders for offering donations and development investment in the region. The aim of this instrument is to create a greater synergy between donors and investors in order for beneficiary countries to use funds more efficiently. Within the WBIF, it is possible to propose national and regional projects in the areas of environment, energy and energy efficiency, transport, social areas, and development of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The projects are based on the distinction between grants for financing the project documentation drafting, granted by the Commission through the WBIF, and the implementation of the infrastructure projects financed from the loans of one of the international financial institutions.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration is in charge of coordinating the programming and monitoring process for the implementation of all projects financed through the WBIF. The funds are used based on a principle of calls for project proposals. In the process of submitting a proposal, the following is required:
- • Project drafters should actively cooperate with the line ministry in order to define the list of priority projects in accordance with national priorities;
- • Project proposals need to have a financing guarantee from a financial institution (European Investment Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Council of Europe's Development Bank, German Development Bank, or the World Bank);
- • The line ministry needs to perform consultations with the Finance Ministry on budget planning and loan estimates.
Following the activities in the said phases, the proposal is submitted to the Office of the National IPA Coordinator, i.e. the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration, for further processing. The Commission assesses in cooperation with international financial institutions the proposed projects and grants financial means for approved projects.
Within 11 WBIF calls, Montenegro has so far been granted 24 national projects worth 17.448.000 EUR, and Montenegro is a beneficiary of 12 regional projects worth 46.534.600 EUR in total, which are implemented through the Infrastructure Projects Instrument or directly by the financial institutions and beneficiaries.
More info available at: www.wbif.eu