EU invests €272.75 million to promote regional cooperation in the Western Balkans
Brussels, 27 March 2013 - The European Commission has finalised a series of measures to promote regional cooperation between Western Balkan countries totalling €272.75 million for the period 2012-2013. "These funds are good news as regional cooperation is a central element of the EU's efforts to bring forward the reform process of the countries in the Western Balkans and help the region achieve economic prosperity and political stability", said European Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle.
The funds will support cooperation with international financial institutions to mobilise funding, help develop civil society, support education schemes such as student mobility programmes, and help beneficiaries meet the requirements for EU membership and align their standards with the EU. This will complement the funding of individual national programmes by focusing on regional aspects and helping countries to learn from each other's experience.
The funding earmarked today comes under the 2012-2013 Multi-beneficiary and Cross-Border programmes of the EU's Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA).