BELGRADE (Serbia), September 16 (SeeNews) - The European Parliament has adopted a 14.2 billion euro ($16.7 billion) budget of the 2021-2027 Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA III) to support the implementation of the Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans and develop relations with Turkey, the European Commission said.
The plan will boost the long-term economic recovery of the Western Balkans, support a green and digital transition, and foster regional integration and convergence with the European Union, the Commission said in a statement on Wednesday.
IPA III will also underpin the evolving relations with Turkey, in particular through support to people to people contacts, civil society, fundamental rights, the good functioning of the EU-Turkey Customs Union and the green and digital agendas.
"Together, we shaped an instrument that has a great potential and sends a strong signal that the European Union is committed to support the enlargement region. IPA III is definitely an investment into the future," EU Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Oliver Varhelyi noted.
The general objective of IPA III is to support the countries in adopting and implementing the political, institutional, legal, administrative, social and economic reforms required to comply with Union values and to progressively align with the EU's rules, standards and policies, the European Parliament said in a separate statement.
The first generation of the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance was put in place in 2007, followed by IPA II in 2014. The countries covered by the instrument will also be eligible for funding under the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument.
($ = 0.84829 euro)