Kosovo and the European Union signed today the first annual financing agreement under the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance III (IPA III) worth EUR 63.96 million.
Following the signing and entry into force of the Financial Framework Partnership Agreement between the EU and Kosovo, this was one of the last formal steps enabling the gradual disbursement of the EU’s financial assistance to Kosovo under the IPA III framework partnership agreement covering the 2021-2027 period. The Assembly of Kosovo will also need to ratify the Agreement.
Through 14 consecutive annual financing programmes from 2007 to 2020, under IPA I and IPA II, the EU has thus far provided Kosovo with more than EUR 1.21 billion in financial assistance.
“The initial 63.96 million euros from IPA III, will be used to enhance the competitiveness of Kosovo’s agri-food sector and to help achieve EU’s economic accession criteria. Funding will further be directed towards improving the protection of human rights and advancing gender equality, as well as improving the provision of municipal services and security and public safety in Kosovo,” said the EU Ambassador in Kosovo, Tomas Szunyog.
“The EU funding will also be used to enhance the environmental protection in Kosovo, in line with the best EU practices, and to strengthen the capacities of the Kosovo administration to comply with EU standards”, added Szunyog.
The annual IPA III funding will be combined with additional EUR 16 million from Kosovo Government and funding by other partners amounting to EUR 3.8 million.
“Today we will begin to concretely benefit from the assistance the EU offers to Kosovo through the IPA III funds. The financing agreement for the IPA 2021 annual programme is the first agreement for projects under the IPA III funds and we are confident that we will use to the maximum all our potential to benefit from IPA III, to promote reforms and achieve the standards necessary to bring Kosovo closer to the EU”, said the First Deputy Prime Minister for European Integration, Development and Dialogue, Besnik Bislimi.
The EU remains Kosovo’s largest trading partner and the largest provider of financial assistance.