More Grant Schemes, not TA for Civil Society under IPA Macedonia

DG Enlargement Published Implementation Schedule for IPA Aid Transparency
July 9, 2013
MCIC Report: Trust in Civil Society 2013
July 12, 2013

Tanja Hafner Ademi, Executive Director of BCSDN was a witness at an oversight hearing on IPA funds at the Macedonia Parliament taking place on 11th July, 2013. The hearing that was organized by the Committee for European Affairs featured accounts of Mr. Fatmir Besimi, National IPA Coordination (NIPAC), Zoran Stavreski, Minister of Finance, Ivica Bocevski, former NIPAC (2008-2011), Leposava Apostolovski Velinov, Head of IPA Audit body and witnesses-experts from civil society. Ms. Hafner Ademi focused her presentation on the IPA Civil Society Facility support concluding that Macedonia has allocated smaller amounts of IPA to other IPA countries (0,8% of IPA Macedonia 2007-2013) to the proposed 2% by the EC and has furthermore used this mainly for building capacities of the Government not CSO (i..e. 67% of funds by 2011 were used for TA and only 33% for grant scheme).In answering to questions from the MPs, she further elaborated that CSO from Macedonia have a good track record (3rd only after CSOs from Croatia and Serbia) in raising funds from IPA CSF. Moreover, a structured approach from an ad-hoc one is needed in terms of involving CSO in IPA programming at the time when IPA 2014-2020 programing has started. Full written contribution (in Macedonia) is available here. The overall discussion was tense as the Government argued that the volume and pace of absorbing IPA funds is that of other accession countries, while the opposition MPs tried to argue that the Government is manipulating the data (i.e. showing contracted as implemented) and using more loans then IPA money which is free (i.e. no interest rates to be paid back). The hearing will continue after summer break with special sessions on each IPA component.

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