08. July 2019
Present analysis presents comparative study of EU financing instruments available to EU Accession countries and to EU Eastern partners. In general the conclusion is that EU considers Eastern candidates as not candidates for accession to the EU and therefore provides less money for their development than it does for Accession countries in Western Balkans. For example in present EU ENI instrument the funding for Eastern partners is approximately 5 billion Euros for the period 2014–2020, while funding in IPA II instrument for Western Balkan countries is 11.7 billion Euros for the period 2014–2020. Projects for both group countries can be financed from Erasmus+, TAIEX, Twining, SIGMA programmes. Presently projects of both groups of countries are managed in complementary way by EU COM DG Near. However this arrangement could come under question with new financing arrangement in the next EU Financial Perspective (2021-2027) where financing for Neighbourhood becomes just one part of The Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI), although financing for Eastern Partnership countries will probably raise slightly. From the point of view of having strong Eastern partnership it is necessary for the EU to continue with separate Neighbourhood Instrument and also retain the united management for Eastern Partners and Accession countries in DG Near. Also, the possibility of financing projects in associated Eastern Partners from funds presently reserved only for Accession countries should be considered.
The full report by ECEAP Senior Research Fellow Mr Aap Neljas can be read here: Overview of EU Financial instruments for supporting Eastern Partnership and Accession countries.