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Public Hearing on Management of IPA-2 Funds at the National Assembly of Republic of Serbia December 23rd 2014, Belgrade, Serbia

Topic: Public Hearing on Management of IPA-2 Funds at the National Assembly of Republic of Serbia

December 23rd 2014, Belgrade, Serbia

On December 23rd 2014, the European Integration Committee in the National Assembly of Republic of Serbia in cooperation and with the support of the Network of Parliamentary Committees for Economy, Finance and European Integration of Western Balkans (NPC) organized a public hearing on the “Management of IPA-2 Funds”.

Over 100 MPs, Bosnian, Macedonian and Montenegrin parliamentarians, representatives of local self-governments in Serbia, international organisations, civil society organisations and experts attended the public hearing.

Opening the public hearing, European Integration Committee Chairman Aleksandar Senic emphasised how important to Serbia is the use of EU pre-accession funds, realised in the period 2014-2020 via IPA-2 funds. Senic pointed out that, out of all the Western Balkan countries, Serbia has so far used IPA funds the most, reaching utilisation levels of up to 92%. The European Integration Committee Chairman also emphasized the importance of cooperation among the Western Balkan countries in their common use of IPA funds.

The Minister without portfolio responsible for European integration and national IPA coordinator, Jadranka Joksimovic, highlighted the importance of raising public awareness and understanding of IPA funds considering the significant role they play in the reform processes in Serbia. Jadranka Joksimovic said that preparations for the use of the new pre-accession assistance instrument IPA-2 for the period 2014-2020 were underway. The IPA-2 funds would be used in accordance with the sector approach, and would be supporting regional and cross-border cooperation, said the Minister without portfolio responsible for European integration and national IPA coordinator. Joksimovic stressed that the two prerequisites for the successful use of IPA-2 funds were a good programming process (defining priorities and creating projects) and improvement of the administrative capacities for their implementation.

In his address, the National Assembly Deputy Speaker Prof.  Vladimir Marinkovic, PhD highlighted the importance of the role the National Assembly, i.e. the European Integration Committee and the Committee on Finance, State Budget and Control of Public Spending, plays in the supervision of the use of IPA-2 funds. The National Assembly Deputy Speaker also pointed out the prospects for the formation of a budget office, such as the ones in the Western European countries, to ensure an efficient control and purposeful use of the pre-accession funds.

The State Secretary at the Ministry of Finance Milovan Filimonovic and the European Integration Office Deputy Director Ana Ilic gave an overview of the situation in regard to pre-accession fund management and the following steps toward creating an institutional framework and improving administrative capacities.

Experts on IPA fund use Ognjen Miric from Serbia  and Malinka Ristevska  from Macedonia  also spoke about the use of pre-accession funds.

The Chairperson of the Macedonian Parliamentary Committee on European Affairs Nora Aliti, the Chairman of the European Integration and Regional Cooperation Committee of the National Assembly of the Republic of Srpska Branislav Borenovic and the Chairman of the Montenegrin Parliamentary Committee on Economy, Finance and Budget Aleksandar Damjanovic shared regional parliamentary experiences.

This is the third hearing of this kind that was organized with the support of NPC and WFD, following the previous two that took place in Macedonia and in Bosnia and Herzegovina earlier this year.

 

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