Since 1991, through different assistance programs, the European Union has given 6.8 billion Euros to West Balkans. Some of those programs no longer exist: CARDS, ISPA, PHARE and SAPARD, which have been transformed by the Union into the new instrument of the Pre-Accession Assistance – IPA, opened for the countries candidates, as well as for the countries of the Stabilization and Association Process, such as BiH.
Bosnia and Herzegovina, according to the data of the Directorate for European Integrations can currently participate in 24 programs of the Community and on the basis of the Framework agreement between the European Community and BiH on general principles of participation of BiH in the programs of the Community, which has been inuring since January 2007. In continuation, there is an overview of assistance programs. They can be used by institutions, citizens or economists from BiH. With each assistance program, there is also the most significant data and links of the websites, at which you can find more information on these funds.
IPA – the most significant instrument of the Pre-Accession Assistance, which consists of five components:
- Assistance for transition and building institutions
- Cross-border and regional cooperation
- Regional development
- Human resources development
- Rural development
The countries candidates can use all five components, while the countries, which do not have this status yet (BiH), can only use first two components. The general rule is that for the project of the Pre-Accession Assistance, for which co-financing has been requested, the government institutions and non-government sector of countries users can apply, while at the contests, at which the consultant services, procurement of equipment and work execution are being requested, can also apply the companies from the private sector. According to the data of the European Commission in BiH, in the frame of the IPA program there will be 11.468 million Euros available for the period 2007-2013. Each year the Commission informs the European Parliament and the Council on ways it will distribute the annual budget, which has been created on the basis of the three-year financial frame for each country and component. The audit of financial frame is being done yearly.
With the IPA, BiH institutions can use two more assistance programs: TAIEX and Twining. TAIEX is an instrument of assistance in harmonization and application of the EU legislation. In a frame of the Twining program, countries users can receive the assistance from experts, who work on some project, in certain institution. Projects from this program should give concrete results in the areas of “acquis”- legal heritage of the Union, and they are directed towards establishing relations between the current and future Member States.
In the area of education, BiH is currently a possible user of several funds, and one of the most significant is the ERASMUS MUNDUS program.
The purpose of this program is improving the quality of higher education and inter-cultural understanding. The program implies assigning the stipends for post-graduate studies, partnership of higher-education institutions, exchange of experiences… users of program are students, higher-education institutions, professors, scientists, as well as private and public institutions, which deal with higher education.
The University in Sarajevo is already a user of the project BASILEUS which is also a part of the Erasmus mundus program. Eight universities of the Union and 12 from West Balkans participate in this project. The program fosters mobility of students and scientists from countries of West Balkans and the EU and opposite. This is a chance for studying at some of the European universities, especially for the students of post-graduate and doctoral studies, as well as for doctors from the area of agriculture, architecture, urbanism and planning, law, languages, mathematics, informatics, natural sciences, psychology, social sciences…
The TEMPUS program is practically a plan of mobility of European students and a support to modernization of education in many countries, (countries of West Balkans as well), and it includes financing two types of the activities: joint projects in the frame of which it is possible to modernize and distribute new academic plans, methods or materials, modernize management and coordination of institutions of higher education. Second part of the assistance relates to structural measures, which contribute to strengthening and reforms of institutions and the higher education system, improving their quality and harmonization with the events in the Union. In the frame of the Tempus there is also a program of life-long learning. The program promotes cooperation between the Union countries and their partners outside the EU.
Seventh framework program – FP7 relates to the area of research and technology development. Goal of the program is fostering cooperation between universities, research institutes, industry, and small and middle corporations, public administration, as well as individuals. Part of funds from the IPA 2008 has been used for paying the entering ticket of BiH for the FP7 program. This is one of the programs, for which the countries must pay a ticket, but that is not a guaranty that the funds from the program will be assigned to the users of that country. Usually, this program has been planned for the period 2007-2013, and its budget is more than 50 billion Euros. Goal of the program is strengthening scientific and technological basis of the European industry, and fostering its international competitiveness. Research groups of universities or institutes, companies which deal with innovations, students of post-graduate studies, who deal with research, organization of civil society, and organizations and researchers from third countries (BiH belongs to this category), can apply for the funds of this program.
The LIFE LONG LEARNING PROGRAM from 2007 encompasses the programs Sokrat II, eLearning and Leonardo da Vinci and, as its title says, it is intended for support for learning and professionalization of knowledge regardless the age. In the frame of this program, there are: COMENIUS (intended for schools), ERASMUS (for higher education), LEONARDO DA VINCI
(for professional education and training) and GRUNDTVIG (for education of adults). In the frame of this program, there is also the Jean Monnet program, intended for universities, with a goal to deepen the knowledge on European integrations through classes, researches and debates on issues of the Union.
CULTURE is the program established due to improvement of the joint European cultural space through cooperation of cultural workers from the countries – program members. Users of this program can be public or private institutions, which deal with cultural activities. The program budget is around 400 million Euros. Program promotes the cross-border cooperation of institutions, which deal with culture.
MEDIA is the program intended for the European audio-video industry. Its budget is 755 million Euros, and its intention is development of audio-video sector by respecting the heritage of the European multiculturalism. This program is generally a support for the film industry, and it promotes strengthening cultural and commercial relationships between the European film industry and the ones from the third countries. Condition for participation in this program is harmonization of state legislation with the EU regulations.
Besides the Member States, YOUTH program can also be used by third countries, among which BiH is. This program is intended for support of informal educational activities of youth, in a sense of exchange of groups (for example: joint learning about another culture), support for projects of youth on national and local level, and the projects between different countries, support for individual voluntary work inside and outside of the Union… The program budget is 885 million Euros.
BiH has a right to access the MARCO POLO II program, which encompasses the area of transport, and it is intended for financing the projects envisioned as to replace the growth of transport by road by the transport by sea, railway transport or transport by river. The program budget is 450 million Euros and it is also stipulated for the period 2007-2013. Public institutions do not have a right to apply for these projects, but can do so over commercial companies, whose 100% owners they are themselves.
One more program, significant for BiH is the CIP program, which finances improving competitiveness of companies, especially the small and middle companies, supports innovations, development of information society and using of recursively energy sources… CIP consists of three programs: EIP (strengthening of small and middle companies), ICT PSP (improving innovations and competitiveness), and IEE (for the area of energy). The program of support for policies of information and communication technologies – ICT PSP has been replaced by the program eContentplus for the period 2009- 2013. The Economy and Innovations Program (EIP) finances strengthening small and middle companies, and it encompasses innovations in companies and the cross-border cooperation. This program finances companies in all phases of establishing and development, offers support to regional centers for services in business and innovations, trans-national networking of companies and others in the area of innovations, supports the activity of more responsible usage of natural resources, suppresses pollution and offers support to decision makers and strengthening cooperation among the Member States.
IEE program consists of four sub-programs: SAVE – improving the rational usage of energy, especially in the area of industry; ALTENER – promotion of new forms of energy; STEER – support to self-recursively sources of energy and gas, which are being used in transport and COOPENER – support for sources of resourcing energy in developing countries.
DAPHNE III program is continuation of program “Basic rights and jurisdiction” and it will be financed in the period 2007-2013. Its goal is the combat against all types of violence against children, youth and women. It is also intended for non-profit and private organizations, local governments and institutions as are universities and research centers, which fight against violence, and then to the unions, religious communities, and families.
PROGRES program is directed towards providing financial assistance for fulfilling the aims of the EU in the area of employment, social policy and achieving the equal chances. By this program the EU wants to achieve a progress in five areas: employment, social inclusion and protection, better working conditions, non-discrimination and gender equality. Users of this program can be the employment bureaus, local and regional institutions, social partners, non-government organizations…
CONSUMERS program should ensure a high level of protection of consumers (especially by providing the information and better representation of consumer interests), and more efficient application of rights of consumers (through cooperation of government and organizations, informing, education and solving the issues). Users of this program are institutions, non-profit organizations, higher-education institutions, students and professors, who participate in the European post-graduate studies from the area of consumer policy, and servants competent for application of consumer policy and organization for protection of consumers at the level of Europe.
EUROPE FOR CITIZENS is the program, whose goal is to strengthen the European identity and mutual understanding of Europeans. Program encourages the citizens to actively participate in the process of European integrations, inter-cultural dialog, development of democracy… Users of this program can be the government and organizations, institutions for research of European public policies, non-government organizations, educational institutions…
COST – program of European cooperation in science and technology is the instrument of assistance for inter-government cooperation of scientists and researchers from the area of science and technology from Europe. It contributes to development of European research space through strengthening the research activities and cooperation between the scientists, who work on the joint projects. The program increases mobility of researchers, especially in the area of bio-medicine and molecular biology, food and agriculture, forestry, its products and services, chemistry, information and communication technologies, urban development, culture…
EUREKA program contributes to improving the European competitiveness and creativity through international cooperation of companies, research centers and universities, which work on joint projects. Program assists the companies in introducing innovations and increasing competitiveness, and that way it helps increasing prosperity, hiring, environment protection…
The program called LIFE + supports the projects from the area of environment and nature preservation. It encompasses three components: nature and bio-diversity (implementation of the Directive on preserving wild birds, Directive on preserving natural sources and wild fauna and flora, Naturi 2000, and documents of the European Commission, which relate to preventing loss of bio-diversity); environment policy and management – (implementation of environment policy of the Community, development of innovative technologies, implementation of environment monitoring, including non-government organizations in preparation and implementation of environment policy); information and communication – (campaigns on raising awareness on environment problems, caring about nature and preserving bio-diversity, and projects related to preventing from forest fires). Value of this program is around 250 million Euros.
FISCALIS 2013 program offers the assistance to taxation authorities, planned for the period 2008-2013. This program stipulates cooperation between taxation institutions, introduction of trans-European computer systems for better exchange of information in taxation services.
Communication and cooperation between custom officials is one of the basic goals of the CUSTOMS 2013 program, in which the institutions specialized for this area, can participate. It is intended for the countries of West Balkans as well, especially in strengthening their custom authorities.
Goal of the HERCULE II program is protection of financial interests of the Community by improving the cooperation between the EU countries, the European Commission and OLAF, and establishment of network of cooperation with countries candidates and potential candidates. Program can be used by state and regional government institutions, research and educational institutes, non-profit organizations.
INTERNETPLUS program has been created in order to support a safer usage of Internet and other communication technologies, especially due to the protection of children in the EU. Program supports the combat against illegal content on the Internet, and it encompasses organizing the info-sessions for children, parents and professors, preparation of reports on illegal contents on Internet and cooperation with international organizations, such is the Interpol. This program is intended for European countries, but cooperation with third countries is possible as well.
Program for improvement of health insurance of citizens and improvement of HEALTH CARE promotes health and knowledge, with a goal to improve the health. It is intended for countries of the Union, but is open for third countries as well.