On the 11th of December the European Parliament adopted a Resolution approving the next round of the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA II).
The EP’s Resolution made several amendments to the initial Commission proposal and focused primarily on further strengthening the proposed principles for a more flexible and tailored approach and a performance component with newly introduced performance rewards, increased donor coordination, and increased transparency and accountability in the delivery of assistance.
The proposed financial envelope of EUR 14.11 billion has been lowered down to EUR 11.697 billion for the 2014-2020 period, while the proposed 3% allocation to cross-border cooperation programmes was increased to 4% of total IPA assistance.
While Civil Society Development and social dialogue have been specific objectives within the initial Commission proposal of IPA II, The European Parliament has further strengthened the role and aim to support civil society where the “improvement of social dialogue and strengthening of the capacities of social partners” is included as one of the objectives of the support for political reforms. Additionally the Resolution stresses that “for assuring better co-ordination and complementarity, the role of civil society should be enhanced both in programmes implemented through government bodies and as a direct beneficiary of Union assistance.”
Before IPA II enters into force it should be approved by the Council and amendments can still be made, however, it is expected that the Council regulation will not bring major changes in the approach. For more detailed information on the novelties introduced with IPA II you can read the background paper BCSDN prepared earlier this year.