IPA Component III

IPA Component III offers support in regional development in the following areas: environmental protection, sustainable development, transport and SMEs, and competitiveness. The right to use the Component III funds is reserved only for candidate countries, following adoption of certain policy documents and the decentralisation of management systems. By receiving a candidate status in 2010, Montenegro qualified for Component III. Unlike the projects under Component I, which are drafted as individual project forms, the basis for using Component III funds is an operational programme, drafted each two years and offering a comprehensive overview of IPA spending through various priorities, measures, and operations.

The work on the Operational Programmes started in March 2010, and after broad local and national consultations on 29 March 2012 the Government of Montenegro adopted this document, which envisages support for the implementation of projects in the areas of environmental protection and transport. The document was then submitted to the European Commission, which adopted it on 7 December 2012.

In March 2010 three interactive workshops were organized for thematic work groups as the starting point for identifying the major problems and analyze of socio-economic situation in the relevant sectors (transport and environment) in order to get the final result of SWOT analysis.

In April 2010, the second round of four interactive workshops helped to identify the first preliminary list of priorities and measures. The priorities were identified on the basis of relevant criteria such as limitation of financial resources, compliance with EU policies, coordination with other donors, the balance between the regions, respect for the environment and a high level of global influence.

We have organized three consultation processes in order to discuss the previously identified goals and priorities, and to verify the established base projects.

We organized special workshops of focus groups for each of the thematic areas (environment and transport). At each meeting attended the representatives of the thematic work groups from appropriate field, including assistant ministers. For the environmental sector, the participants were representatives of the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism. For the transport sector, representatives were from Ministry of Transport and Maritime Affairs, Department for Maritime Safety, Marine Bar and Railway infrastructure of Montenegro. All the meetings were attended and coordinated by representatives of Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration and sectoral referents from the EU Delegation in Montenegro.

Focus groups were organized in order to further discuss the measures that have been provisionally identified, analyzed the database of projects and coordinate synergies and complementarity with other donors. The focus group component of transport was organized on June 24, 2010, a focus group for the Environment June 30, 2010. The second meeting was conducted for each of the thematic areas in the last week of July 2010 in order to continue the analysis and better defining the base of projects in accordance with the identified measures and types of operations.

OPRD was again presented at the third public discussion held on 28 February 2011. Beside of representatives from the main OS, meeting was attended by representatives of several ministries, such as. Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Human and Minority Rights; NGOs such as MANS, Forum MNE and Green Home; associations and public and private organizations such as the Montenegro Business Alliance, Union of Free Trade Unions, the Center for Entrepreneurship and Regional Development and Business Incubator "Inventiveness".

The fourth public discussion which was held from 19.09. to 20.09.2011 year. , In Bijelo Polje, Podgorica and Bar OPRD was finalized. We held public hearings on the report on strategic assessment on the environment OPRR 2012-2013, which were aimed at providing the necessary information on the draft OP, and the potential impacts of its implementation to all segments of the environment. In addition to representatives from the main OS, there were representatives of ministries, local administrations, representatives of the Agency for Environmental Protection, representatives of the Office for youth and development programs in the municipality of Mojkovac.

During the drafting process OPRD 2012-2013 Operational structure was in constant communication with the European Commission services where with joint efforts we upgraded the document.

The total value of the Operational Programme is 26.159.626 EUR, of which 85% is IPA funding and 15% is national co-financing, meaning that IPA support amounts to 22.235.679 EUR, whereas national co-financing amounts to 3.923.947 EUR. The main objective of the Operational Programme for Component III is the living standard and environment improvement in Montenegro, in accordance with national policies and strategies, as well as EU standards and policies. The planned funds within the Component III will be used for projects within the following priority axes:

Priority axis I: Improve environmental management systems;

Priority axis II: Improve the transport system, achieving ecologically acceptable transport modes with a special emphasis on rail infrastructure with the view to providing better services;

Priority axis III: Technical support in OPRR implementation.

Accreditation for de-centralised management of IPA funds was awarded on 25 April 2014.

The final phase of the programme preparation is the signing of a financial agreement, which was signed on 28 October 2014 by the Commission's Director General for Regional and Urban Policy and on 5 December 2014 by Montenegro's National IPA Coordinator. The signing of the agreement means that all the formal conditions have been met for using the funds from this Component.