IPA II is a new framework for using EU’s pre-accession assistance in the period of 2014-2020.
The most important IPA II novelty is its strategic focus. The Indicative Strategy Papers are specific planning documents drafted for seven-year periods. They will enable a tighter ownership by the beneficiaries by integrating their internal reforms and development plans into the priorities covered by EU support.(Multi-Country Indicative Strategy Paper) will address priorities for regional and territorial cooperation.
IPA II’s objective is implementation of reforms within pre-set sectors. The sectors are tightly intertwined with the enlargement strategy, and they are, e.g. democracy and governance, rule of law, or growth and competitiveness. Sector-based approach promotes structural reforms aimed at assisting alignment with EU standards. It enables for a targeted support, ensuring efficiency, sustainability, and focus on results. It also enables for a more systematic use of sector-based budgetary support. Finally, it puts more emphasis on measuring success: indicators that are agreed on with beneficiaries will help assess to what degree the expected results have been achieved.
Montenegro and IPA II
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration, in cooperation with line ministries and EU Delegation to Montenegro has initiated a process of strategic planning of financial means available to Montenegro through the 2014-2020 IPA II.
ISDCG envisages redirecting 2014-2020 accession assistance to Montenegro through eight sectors:
• Democracy and governance;
• Rule of law and fundamental rights;
• Environment and Climate Action;
• Competitiveness and Innovation;
• Education, employment, and social policies;
• Agriculture and rural development;
• Regional cooperation and territorial cooperation.
Within the 2014-2020 financial perspective, Montenegro will participate in nine cross-border and trans-national programmes:
• Four bilateral (with Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, and Serbia)
• Two trilateral (Croatia – Bosnia and Herzegovina – Montenegro and Italy – Albania – Montenegro);
• Three transnational (Danube, Mediterranean, and Adriatic-Ionian)
With the view to establishing IPA II and defining financial objectives, specific rules, general provisions, and procedures for the implementation of this programme, the European Parliament and the European Commission adopted a set of legal documents necessary for the implementation of the programmes.
The Parliament and the Council adopted on 11 March 2014 the Regulation no. 231/2014, which has officially established the 2014-2020 IPA II. It defines the general objective of IPA II to be “support the beneficiaries… in adopting and implementing the political, institutional, legal, administrative, social and economic reforms… in order to comply with the Union’s values and… rules…”
The Parliament’s and Council’sImplementing Regulation no. 447/2014 which determines specific rules for realising Regulation no. 231/2014 of the Parliament.
The basis for using the IPA funds is the Framework Agreement concluded between the Commission and the beneficiary country and is related to the whole seven-year period and all five areas of support, and it defines the principles of financial cooperation between the beneficiary and the Commission within this Regulation.
The operationalisation of the financial support is based on the annual or multi-annual signing of the Financial Agreement between the Commission and the IPA II beneficiary.