Reform Agenda in the Western Balkans and Turkey
On 29 May, the European Commission published its annual assessment of the reform agenda in the Western Balkans partner countries and Turkey. This is an exercise carried out by the Commission on an annual basis to assess concrete progress and commitment towards European integration and to provide key recommendations.
In the coming days, Schuman Associates will start with a series of articles analyzing the different country reports in order to understand how the Commission measures policy progress and the impact of the financial assistance. The recommendations will show where the countries stand and will feed into the IPA II performance monitoring. Most importantly, they will provide the basis for the Commission's future financial planning and are therefore an insightful tool for mid/long-term business development strategy.
Under the IPA II instrument 2014-2020 the EU provides these partner countries with financial assistance to invest in public administration reform, rule of law, sustainable economy, human development and agriculture and rural development. For the current seven year funding period the Commission has allocated the following amounts:
• Turkey: 4.453 MEUR
• Serbia: 1.508 MEUR
• North Macedonia: 664.2 MEUR
• Albania: 649.4 MEUR
• Kosovo: 645.5
• Bosnia Herzegovina: 552.1 MEUR
• Montenegro: 270.5 MEUR
For the Commission, the key outcome of this year evaluation is the progress achieved by Albania and North Macedonia and consequently it recommends that the Council opens accession negotiations with these countries.
In parallel, also on 29 May, Warsaw hosted the conference "Western Balkans: Infrastructure and Energy from a Geopolitical Perspective". The objective of the conference – co-organized by the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Warsaw Institute Review– was to discuss EU integration in the areas of infrastructure and energy which are eligible for substantial funding under the Western Balkans Investment Facility. The event was a part of the official program of Polish presidency of the Berlin Process and served as a preparatory meeting for the 2019 Western Balkans Summit, which will take place in Poznań in July.