IPA 2011

The European Union identified strengthening the rule of law and public administration, overcoming the economic  crisis and improvement of competitiveness and support of social inclusion and reconciliation as main priorities for IPA  assistance over the period 2011-2013.

The 2011 allocation for IPA component I is EUR 190.5 million. In addition to the assistance identified in this programme, EUR 12 million is provided to support activities in the areas of Education (Tempus programme with EUR 7 million) and Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection (EUR 5 million). These projects are coordinated and implemented under the relevant Multi-beneficiary programme and will be adopted by separate financing proposals. Consequently, the 2011 National Programme for Serbia amounts to EUR 178.5 million.

The consultation process for the MIPD 2011-2013 was held simultaneously with the preparation of the 2011 National Programme. The national, regional and local authorities, the donor community in Serbia, civil society organisations as well as other relevant stakeholders were invited to take part and actively participated in the consultative meetings.

Justice and Home Affairs

Justice and Home Affairs is of crucial importance to Serbia’s EU integration. As highlighted in the 2010 Progress Report, serious efforts are needed from the Serbian authorities to guarantee the existence of an effective and independent judiciary in line with EU standards. A strategic framework for this policy area has been developed, as a good basis for implementation of a sector wide approach in this field.

The present programme encompasses the first activities identified for funding under the sectoral approach in the field of the judiciary. The EU will participate in a “Multidonor trust fund” (MDTF) under the auspices of the World Bank, together with a number of other donors. The participation of the EU in this fund will contribute to increasing synergies through the reinforcement of donor coordination, led by the Ministry of Justice.

Public Administration Reform

Despite the good overall capacity of Serbia’s public administration, reforms in this area are advancing at a slow and uneven  pace. Further improvements are key for further progress towards EU accession. Moreover, DIS accreditation and activation of IPA components III to V are foreseen during the 2011-2013 period and require an improvement in the capacity of Serbia’s public administration in the relevant fields.

Six projects in the Public administration reform sector will be supported under this programme. These projects will aim at: building administrative capacity at the central level; supporting the Commission for the protection of competition; modernising tax and customs administrations; strengthening capacities of the audit institution and audit authority; and, strengthening the enforcement of intellectual property rights.

Social Development

Livelihood and living conditions of vulnerable groups, including internally displaced persons (IDPs), refugees and returnees is  a pressing problem in Serbia and in the region as a whole. The main goals of the programme in this sector are to align Serbia’s social policies with EU standards and to support the country’s efforts to meet the Europe 2020 targets in terms  of poverty and social exclusion, and in particular, to adhere to the objectives and actions of the European Platform against Poverty and

Social Exclusion

Four projects in the Employment and social development sector will be supported under this programme. These projects will aim at: supporting the implementation of strategies for IDPs and refugees; supporting human capital development and research; supporting deinstitutionalisation and social inclusion of persons with mental disabilities and mental illness; and, the preparation of labour market institutions for the implementation of European employment policy.

Private Sector Development

Despite positive developments over recent years, Serbian companies still face large challenges in improving their competitiveness and export potential. Support is needed in order to help Serbia improve its business environment, attract foreign direct investments and increase exports. Support should also be given to help Serbia move to an innovation driven economy and align with Europe 2020 targets for smart growth, including transition to a low-carbon economic development.

The main goal in this sector is to increase Serbia’s integration and competitiveness in the European market. Priority will be given, over the programming period 2011-2013, to the promotion of entrepreneurship and SMEs, stimulating green entrepreneurship, Research & Development, tourism, rural economy, an improved business regulatory environment and infrastructure.


Restoration and development of the country’s infrastructure network is one of the Serbian government’s priorities. The development of Pan-European Corridors VII – the Danube River – and Corridor X – which runs between Austria and Greece – is a priority for both the EU and Serbia. A good strategic framework is in place for multidonor support and for a sector wide approach. The main goals in the field of transport are to promote integration of Serbia into the European transport network in a way to generate sustainable economic growth. Over the programming period 2011-2013 focus will be placed on rail and road transport, as well as inland waterways.

Two projects in the Transport sector will be supported under this programme. Their aim is to modernise railways and to build access roads to the Žeželj Bridge on Corridor X.

Environment, Climate change and Energy

Environment, Climate change and Energy are not only important areas for Serbia but also for its neighbouring countries. Serbia is one of the most industrialised countries in the region and a potential energy hub. Reform of the overall energy policy is crucial in order to attract foreign investment. In the environmental field, implementation of the acquis entails large investments. Support for these fields can be provided through a sector wide approach based on Serbia’s national strategies and in cooperation with the donor community, so as to maximise impact.

The main goal of EU support for this section is to promote sustainable growth. Over the programming period 2011-2013 focus will be given to water and air quality, waste management, renewable energy resources, energy efficiency and security. In addition, support needs to be offered for measures to promote transition to a low-carbon development, climate mitigation and adaptation.

Four projects in the environment, climate change and energy sector will be supported under this programme, with the aim of: constructing waste water treatment facilities; supporting municipal environmental investment; enforcing environmental law and establish Eco Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) system; and, increasing the capacity of the Energy agency, including strengthening its ability to promote and implement measures to encourage energy efficiency and use of renewables.

Agriculture and rural development

Agriculture and rural development is an important sector in the Serbian economy with a direct social dimension, as approximately half the Serbian population live in rural areas. This sector, which includes food safety, veterinary and phytosanitary issues, is therefore a key challenge for Serbia in the pre-accession period. Alignment and implementation of the acquis in this sector is a demanding exercise and a key part of Serbia’s preparations to assume the obligations of EU membership.

The main objective of EU assistance in this field is to support the development of a sustainable and competitive agricultural sector and to address the challenges of alignment with the CAP. Consequently, support for this sector will particularly focus on the implementation of EU standards as well as increasing the capacity of Serbia’s administration to utilise pre-accession assistance under Component V.

One project in the agriculture and rural development sector will be supported under this programme, with the aim of improving the animal health status in Serbia and surrounding countries vis-à-vis classical swine fever and rabies in addition to improving food and feed safety and animal welfare. The project also aims to assure consumer protection, improve public health and support the sustainable development of agriculture. Financial assistance (EUR  9.5 million) will be provided for Serbia’s agricultural census in a separate project covered by the sector ‘other EU acquis and horizontal activities’ through direct support to Serbia’s statistical office.