The Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) between Kosovo and the European Union was signed in October 2015 and entered into force on the 1st of April 2016. By signing this Agreement Kosovo, for the first time, entered into a contractual agreement with EU, where it is now committed to fulfil the obligations deriving from the SAA (alignment of legislation, trade issues etc.)
With a view to support implementation of the reforms, in complementary to other EU financial support, a Framework Agreement (FWA) between Kosovo and the European Commission on general principles for participation in EU Programmes was signed on the 25thNovember 2016. The FWA includes a list of the 17 EU Programmes in which Kosovo is eligible to participate.
EU Programmes are multi-annual (7 year) programmes dedicated to promote and support EU policies and strengthen cooperation between EU Member States (and other members) in certain areas such as research & innovation, education, culture, health, environmental protection, custom and taxation, justice etc.
In order to better fulfil the responsibilities arising from the participation in the SAA, the Government of Kosovo decided to use the opportunity of participating in EU Programmes to continue the development of technical and administrative capacities in line with EU standards. Private sector organisations and businesses, and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), could benefit from the use of EU Programmes in preparing the ground for the accession standards, along with public administrations and agencies from EU Programmes.
What are EU Programmes?
Initially the EU Programmes (ex-Community Programmes) were only available for EU Member State Countries. In 2003 during the European Council meeting in Thessaloniki, the decision was made to open the European Union Programmes to countries outside the EU and EEA, who were in the Stabilisation and Association Process.
The objective of participation of candidate countries and potential candidates on EU Programmes is to support their accession to the EU, to make them acquainted with the methods and policies of the EU, and to strengthen cooperation between countries in different areas: research & innovation, education, culture, health, environmental protection, custom and taxation, justice etc...
Each Programme is managed by EC services or executive agencies in Brussels with dedicated structures normally established at national level.
To participate in EU programmes the following steps need to be taken:
• Framework Agreement between candidate or potential candidate countries and EC needs to be signed
• Express interest for each EU Programme by the Government
• International Agreement between EC and beneficiary institution needs to be signed
Kosovo and EC signed the FWA on general principles for participation in EU Programmes on the 25th November 2016.
• Fee "entry ticket" to EU budget for each EU Programme where International Agreement is signed
• The fees are different for the various Programmes and various countries, as each programme has its own rules for participation.
• The fees can be reimbursed partially through IPA National Programmes (but may be for limited number of years)
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