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IPA Conference 2013

Bruxelles, Belgium - since 2007, countries wishing to join the EU have received focused EU funding and support through a single channel – the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA). The total pre-accession funding for the period 2007-2013 has been €11.5 billion. The European Commission’s Directorate General for Enlargement hosted a conference in Bruxelles to discuss preparations for the new Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance for the period 2014-2020 (IPA II) on January 25th, 2013. The conference focused on how to provide efficient and constructive support to the Western Balkans, Turkey and Iceland on their path towards EU membership.

The key issues addressed during the conference include the priorities for future assistance and details on the new simplified rules, how to improve ownership by the beneficiary countries, and how best to coordinate with stakeholders. The conference also aims to establish a roadmap for planning and programming under the new instrument.

"When we designed the new Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance, we put a lot of emphasis on increasing its efficiency, by making it more simple to implement, with less red tape and more choices to find the most appropriate form of support," said Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle. "Now we need to sit together and find out how these principles can best be put in practice."

The conference gathered 400 participants, including representatives from all beneficiary countries, Member States and EU institutions, as well as delegates from international organizations, international financial institutions and regional organizations. SEECEL was represented by Ms Efka Heder, SEECEL Director and Ms Sandra Rončević, SEECEL Assistant Director. EU Conference on renewed financial assistance to countries wishing to join was a key event to present the preparations for IPA II so far and the way forward, addressing important aspects such as priorities for the future assistance and the sector approach, partnership and ownership of the beneficiary countries, coordination and consultation with stakeholders.
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