IPA Component III offers support in regional development in the following areas: environmental protection, sustainable development, transport and SMEs, and competitiveness. The right to use the Component III funds is reserved only for candidate countries, following adoption of certain policy documents and the decentralisation of management systems. By receiving a candidate status in 2010, Montenegro qualified for Component III. Unlike the projects under Component I, which are drafted as individual project forms, the basis for using Component III funds is an operational programme, drafted each two years and offering a comprehensive overview of IPA spending through various priorities, measures, and operations.
The work on the Operational Programmes started in March 2010, and after broad local and national consultations on 29 March 2012 the Government of Montenegro adopted this document, which envisages support for the implementation of projects in the areas of environmental protection and transport. The document was then submitted to the European Commission, which adopted it on 7 December 2012.
The total value of the Operational Programme is 26.169.624 EUR, of which 85% is IPA funding and 15% is national co-financing, meaning that IPA support amounts to 22.235.679 EUR, whereas national co-financing amounts to 3.923.947 EUR. The main objective of the Operational Programme for Component III is the living standard and environment improvement in Montenegro, in accordance with national policies and strategies, as well as EU standards and policies. The planned funds within the Component III will be used for projects within the following priority axes:
Priority axis I: Improve environmental management systems;
Priority axis II: Improve the transport system, achieving ecologically acceptable transport modes with a special emphasis on rail infrastructure with the view to providing better services;
Priority axis III: Technical support in OPRR implementation.
Accreditation for de-centralised management of IPA funds was awarded on 25 April 2014.
The final phase of the programme preparation is the signing of a financial agreement, which was signed on 28 October 2014 by the Commission's Director General for Regional and Urban Policy and on 5 December 2014 by Montenegro's National IPA Coordinator. The signing of the agreement means that all the formal conditions have been met for using the funds from this Component.
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