A two-day conference, held in Tirana, organized by the Regional School of Public Administration (ReSPA) and GIZ in coordination with the Directorate-General for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR) brought together representatives of public administration from the Western Balkans dealing with the coordination of EU financial assistance and representatives of the European Commission and EU Delegations to reveal all the aspects related to the Instrument of Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) III.
Through a set of presentations by representatives of the European Commission and renowned experts, the Conference practically brought closer the new financial perspective IPA III (2021-2027) to the Western Balkans public administrations to smoothly fulfil the EU accession criteria through deep and comprehensive reforms.
The ultimate goal is to ensure smooth utilization of resources for achieving the reforms and development goals in line with the EU enlargement strategy and along the line of commitment of the Western Balkan countries regarding future membership in the European Union.
Focusing on the Legal framework, Financial Framework Partnership Agreement, and presentation on the process and methodology of Action Documents for 2021 and 2022 presented by the Western Balkans respective administrations, the Conference tackled the challenges. It envisaged the future steps on all the aspects related to IPA III to ensure further, smooth implementation of defined goals and priorities of the Western Balkans public administrations. The Conference also served as a forum for discussion and brainstorming among the participants from the administrations of the Region and the officials of the European Commission on topics of mutual interest related to IPA III.
ReSPA Programme Manager Mr Gentian Xhaxhiu, emphasized that the Conference comes at a absolutely crucial moment since the strategic approach of the administrations via-a-vis IPA III is towards the finalization (through the submission to EC of the Strategic Responses). In addition, the programming of the two first years of IPA III (2021, 2022) is towards the finalization, while their implementation will start soon. Mr Xhaxhiu stated that the Conference clarified important aspects of IPA III, mainly related to the novelties that have been introduced under this instrument, that need to be absorbed and understood well ahead by the respective administrations in the Region to succeed with the proper utilization of IPA III resources.