Statement by the Press Office of Commissioner Füle

“The Press Office of Commissioner Füle informs that the Commissioner has sent today a letter to the Chairman of the Council of Ministers, Nikola Spiric, informing him that he will reallocate the funds (€ 96 million) from the IPA programme for BiH to the IPA Multi-Beneficiary Programme for the Western Balkan region unless an agreement on the programme for BiH is notified to the Commission in the coming days. The Commissioner will have to act to ensure that the € 96 million from IPA can still be committed before the end of the year and be used for the Western Balkan region. The Commission has always stressed that it can proceed with the adoption for Pre-accession Assistance programmes once it receives the confirmation that all projects have been agreed by all stakeholders and the reassurance that the Financing Agreement between the Commission and BiH can be subsequently ratified, signed and the corresponding projects properly implemented.

Despite the considerable efforts made in the last months, an agreement by all stakeholders does not exist yet, which could put into question the signature of this Financing Agreement with the European Commission and implementation of the projects.

If BiH authorities agree on a reduced package for the National Programme, the difference will be allocated to the Multi-Beneficiary Programme. The Commissioner needs a formal agreement either on the entire package of € 96 million or on a smaller package of projects. At this late stage, the final package cannot include any new projects and funds cannot be shifted from one project to another.

The Commissioner regrets that BiH is the only country in the region that has not been able to finalize an IPA national programme which would be extremely important to assist the country in its European Integration path, and stands ready to support the BiH authorities to develop a more efficient coordination mechanism on IPA and other EU matters, for the future, but within one single coordination mechanism.”