Croatian MEP Tonino Picula has been appointed Rapporteur of the European Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee for the Instrument of Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA III), which is designed to help EU membership candidates to meet the necessary accession criteria, his office announced in a press release on Wednesday.
On behalf of the European Parliament, he will negotiate with the Council of the EU and the Commission, the terms for the allocation of IPA III funding in the next seven-year EU budget period 2021-27.
The instrument was originally established for the budget period 2007-13, and currently IPA II is being implemented until the end of 2020. The beneficiaries of the IPA II programme are Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Turkey, and its budget is €11.7 billion.
"It is of strategic interest for Croatia to have other EU members on its external borders one day. The EU's enlargement policy, which offers membership candidates the prospect of future economic development and security, is inseparably linked to the conditions of adherence to values such as liberal democracy, respect for human rights and rule of law, from which we as the Union must not depart. That's why it is good that the new IPA III will put special emphasis on that," Picula said on his appointment.
Compared with IPA II, the IPA III budget is expected to increase by about 13 percent, to €14.5 billion in current prices.