Among most important goals of sector approach to EU integration is adjustment of strategies and spending of donor funds with results. This is one is the main conclusions of three day workshop on sector approach to the EU integration, held from March 22-24 in Sarajevo.
Accompanying objectives are increasing sense of ownership over transition in every one of the states, potential candidates for EU membership, or those states which that status already have and harmonization of system of international assistance and national public administrations, which should result in decrease of total costs of euro integration process.
Sector approach is innovation in programming of pre accession assistance within IPA programme. Donors and representatives of the Directorate General for Enlargement in European Commission consider that it could increase efficiency of international assistance in relation to project oriented approach by primarily taking into account needs of given state and strength of its administrative structures. In cases when real needs of a country have not been taken into account, donors until now have financed the status quo, and beneficiaries, not having a sector vision of development, could not recognise areas for primary intervention of pre-accession assistance.
In development sector approach, it is necessary to convert the mid term priorities into long term priorities, taking into account socio-economic development needs, to allocate money from the budget for implementation of sector strategies, ensure that leading institutions in the country have enough capacities for their implementation and establish precise progress indicators.
On the workshop, there was also a discussion on the advantages and deficits of four main methods of accepting the donor assistance – project, group, programme and budget and in what kind of correlation the sector strategies necessarily must be in relation to the national development strategy.
In terms of sector approach, the Western Balkans countries’ experiences are very similar. All of them are facing insufficient knowledge of the approach itself, lack or shortcomings of link between sector strategies and budget planning and insufficient capacities for their implementation. Among donors, representatives of the SIDA, the UNDP, the DFID, the World Bank and the EU countries Governments attended the workshop, while among the beneficiaries of the pre-accession assistance, besides the representatives of states of western Balkans countries, representatives of Turkey were present at this workshop. The Ministry of Finance and Treasury of BIH and the Directorate General for Enlargement were organisers of this workshop.