IPA Component IV offers support in the following areas of human resources development: employment, education, science and research, and societal development. The right to use the Component IV 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 IV. Similar to projects under Component III, the basis for using Component IV funds is an operational programme, usually 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 employment, education, science and research, and social inclusion. The document was then submitted to the European Commission, which adopted it on 18 October 2012.
The overall value of the Operational Programme is 6.568.240 EUR, of which 85% is IPA funding and 15% is national co-financing, meaning that IPA support amounts to 5.583.000 EUR, whereas national co-financing will amount to 985.240 EUR.
The main objective of the Operational Programme is to promote sustainable development of human resources, modernisation and development of education systems and research in accordance with national policies and EU standards, with a special emphasis on youth employment, in order for Montenegro to prepare for implementing and managing the EU Cohesion Policy. The planned funds within the Component IV will be used for projects within the following priority axes:
Priority axis I: Effective and inclusive employment policy measures;
Priority axis II: Improving knowledge, skills, and competences for employability and competitiveness;
Priority axis III: Improving social inclusion;
Priority axis IV: Technical support.
Accreditation for de-centralised management of IPA funds was awarded on 28 July 2014.
The final phase of the programme preparation is the signing of a financial agreement, which was signed on 31 October 2014 by the Commission's Director General for Employment, Social Affairs, and Inclusion 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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