Regional meeting on DIS under IPA Component II
Upon the request of Western Balkan beneficiaries and in close cooperation with the European Commission, CBIB organised the regional meeting on decentralised management under IPA Component II in the Western Balkans. The meeting took place in Podgorica, gathering more than 60 representatives of national structures and EU Delegations from the Region.
Given that Croatia is the only country in the Western Balkans operating under decentralised set up for IPA cross-border cooperation, while other countries are in various stages of their efforts towards achieving the conferral of management, a need for a regional platform which would allow for consultations with the Commission and among beneficiaries became obvious. In addition, the possible impact on the management and implementation of programmes under IPA once countries switch to DIS also needed to be discussed and explored.
When preparing the meeting, all this was taken into consideration by CBIB and the European Commission and the Agenda was structured around the need to exchange experience and joint concerns as well as to extract valuable lessons learned from the experience of Croatia.
The meeting was opened by welcome addresses from Mr Nicola Bertolini, Head of Operations in EUD Podgorica, and Ms Ratka Sekulovic, Head of Sector for CBC in the Montenegrin Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration. Mr Giannatonio Ballette, Deputy Head of Unit D1, Financial Instruments and Contracts, and Mr Vesa-Pekka Poutanen, Head of Sector, System audits, Unit E4, DG ELARG, co-chaired the meeting and provided guidance and answers to the questions of the participants.
After EC representatives presented a brief reminder on EC requirements regarding decentralised management and its specific aspects under IPA Component II, the meeting continued with state-of-play presentations by representatives of beneficiary countries. This was followed by a lively discussion on the roles and set up of various bodies under decentralised management and potential solutions applied across the Region.>
Croatian Operating Structure, the Ministry of Regional Development, Forestry and Water Management, and the Implementing Agency – Agency for Regional Development, presented their experience and lessons learned in the process of accreditation and conferral of management. This was complemented by the presentation of the EUD Zagreb on the specifics of management of IPA CBC programmes under DIS.
The regional meeting was preceded by a coordination meeting between EC, EUDs and CBIB that took place in the premises of EUD Podgorica on 11 April 2011 and served as the occasion to discuss technical points related to the management and implementation of ongoing programmes in the Region.
Furthermore, in order to profit from the presence of beneficiaries, EC initiated and held consultations on IPA CBC post-2013, continuing discussions that first took place during the Specialist meeting on IPA CBC between WB countries in December 2010 in Brussels. Potential modifications to the programming, management and implementation mechanisms in the next financial perspective were discussed.