The European Union and Bosnia and Herzegovina review implementation of EU funding

The annual meeting of the Monitoring Committee for the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA), which supports Bosnia and Herzegovina on its EU integration path, was held on 17 May 2022. The meeting was opened by the Head of the EU Delegation/EU Special Representative Ambassador Sattler. The meeting was co-chaired by Mr Vassilis Maragos, Head of Unit for Bosnia and Herzegovina in the European Commission’s Directorate General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations, and Mr Edin Dilberovic, Director in the Directorate for European Integration and National IPA Coordinator, on Bosnia and Herzegovina’s side.

The purpose of the meeting was to review the implementation of ongoing EU support in Bosnia and Herzegovina and to plan implementation of forthcoming IPA III funds.

In the IPA Monitoring Committee meeting, it was emphasised that the effective use of IPA assistance is of great importance in supporting the implementation of sectoral reforms and advancing BiH’s European path. It was furthermore underlined that projects are designed to make concrete steps towards essential reforms that aim at improving the life of BiH citizens and enabling BiH to take on the rights, duties, responsibilities and pressures of EU membership.

The difficulties in the implementation of IPA projects were discussed. IPA assistance requires BiH to amend legislation and adopt countrywide sector strategies defining key priorities and the way towards the full readiness for accession. A number of countrywide strategies are missing and important laws need to be prepared. The IPA Monitoring Committee urged to adopt the missing legislation and strategies and to revise and adopt the strategies that have expired or are about to expire.

The issue of the coordination mechanism of IPA was discussed in the meeting. Lack of an effective coordination mechanism affects both programming and effective implementation of IPA assistance. The ineffectiveness of IPA programming and implementation will become even more pertinent under IPA III. In case the BiH authorities are not able to produce relevant and mature project proposals, the funding for BiH will be significantly affected.

A large number of officials from all levels of governance of BiH, as well as Civil Society Organisations participated in the meeting.