Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance

The European Union is the single largest provider of funds and financial assistance in Kosovo.  

The EU uses a variety of financial instruments out of which the most comprehensive one is the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance or IPA. EU pre-accession funds are a sound investment into the future of both the enlargement countries and the EU itself. They help the beneficiaries make political and economic reforms, preparing them for the rights and obligations that come with EU membership. Those reforms simultaneously provide better opportunities to citizens and allow for development of standards equal to the ones enjoyed by citizens of the EU. 

In the framework of IPA I, IPA II and other EU instruments, from 2007 to 2020, the EU has invested more than €1.5 billion in Kosovo. The next phase of IPA – IPA III – will cover the years 2021-2027. In total, IPA III will have a budget of over €14 billion that will benefit the Western Balkans and Turkey. Kosovo will benefit from IPA III on its path towards fulfilling the EU accession criteria through deep and comprehensive reforms. The EU also implements programmes in Kosovo under other instruments such as, the Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP), the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR), the Foreign Policy Instrument and other EU instruments open for Kosovo or other sectors

Kosovo also benefits from participation in EU Programmes, such as Erasmus+, COSME, Europe for Citizens, Creative Europe, Fiscalis, Customs and during IPA III Horizon Europe.

For more detailed information on IPA projects and funding in Kosovo visit our project database.

Infrastructure, environment, climate action and energy

Support to the, environment, climate action, energy and infrastructure is the largest portion of our portfolio of projects in Kosovo and these sectors also include the largest single projects.  

In the energy sector, the EU has contributed to institutional development and reform promotion including energy market regulatory framework development, alignment of the legal framework with the acquis, strategic planning in energy efficiency and renewable energy sources. We are currently investing up to 78 million Euro in installing new filters in the Kosovo B power plant that will lead to a reduction in dust and NOx emissions by end of 2023.  

Support dedicated to waste management includes technical assistance to strengthen the institutional capacity and institutional framework for waste management including improved access to the waste management services by the population in rural and urban areas. Planned support also includes construction of landfills, supporting the transfer stations, purchase of new garbage trucks and supporting the municipalities in improving waste management. 

The EU has also supported the improvement of education infrastructure, by designing and building schools and kindergartens designed to meet modern education standards and provide a sound environment for children, students and teachers, including through energy efficiency and efficient heating.   

The Rule of Law and Fundamental rights

The support under the rule of law and fundamental rights has built on the results and recommendations of previous EU funded and other donors' projects, which have focused on key institutional reforms and stakeholder capacity building in the justice sector. Support was given to strengthen the administrative, policymaking and legal drafting capacities within the Ministry of Justice and to reduce the backlog of cases in courts, as well as fighting corruption and organised crime.  

To this end, the international experts have supported the Constitutional Court. The Kosovo Judicial and Prosecutorial Councils were assisted with the purpose of creating an independent and impartial judiciary. Support was also given to legal education, forensic medicine, and juvenile justice. Ongoing support also includes building a National Criminal Records System (NCCR), support to the Ombudsperson institution and supporting the re-codification of a Civil Code for Kosovo.  

Furthermore, the EU has also provided substantial support to minority and vulnerable groups, contributing to a stable multi-ethnic society in Kosovo by enabling sustainable livelihoods and the durable integration of displaced persons. The EU also supports gender equality by strengthening women’s participation in politics, promoting economic and social rights of women, girls and disadvantaged groups, strengthening institutional capacities as well as mainstreaming gender in interventions, laws and policies.  

Education, Civil Society and Social Development

Over the past few years, the education, employment and social sectors have received substantial EU and other donor (bilateral and multilateral) assistance aiming at the development of the education system and the improvement of social welfare. Kosovo was supported in improving the quality and efficiency of education and training services by integrating information and communication technology into teaching and learning processes, thereby improving lifelong learning and employability perspectives.  

The EU assistance contributed to poverty reduction through the enhancement of economic opportunities for the Kosovo population, especially the most marginalised groups. The EU support has included grants awarded to local organisations (municipalities, universities, NGOs) to support vocational and on-the-job training, first employment, self-employment and entrepreneurship especially for vulnerable groups, such as women and youth.  

The EU has provided substantial support to Civil Society Organisations in Kosovo, which share a commitment to social progress and the fundamental values of peace, freedom, equal rights, and human dignity. Besides financial assistance to civil society under the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA) and the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR), the Commission intends to improve the dialogue between the government and civil society representatives and work towards a more proactive and engaging civil society.  

Democracy and Governance

In the sector of democracy and governance, EU assistance focuses on strengthening the capacity of Kosovo institutions, mainly the public administration. The EU support has been channelled towards reforming the civil service (improving reliability, transparency, accountability), providing more efficient public service delivery, establishing democratic institutions, as well as strengthening existing democracy (local government, the Assembly, and independent oversight bodies).  

Our biggest interventions have been in the areas of public administration reform and public finance management. The EU also helps the institutions in transposing, applying and implementing the EU acquis, especially in areas covered by the Stabilisation and Association Agreement. 

Economic Development

EU assistance under economic development, focusing inter alia on competitiveness and innovation, aims to enhance the competitiveness of the private sector, through digitalisation, increased access to finance and business support. The support under economic development also focuses on improving Kosovo’s internal market and ability to export, to the region, the EU single market and beyond. 

The EU has continuously supported the agriculture and rural development sector since many years now. The support has focused on building a sustainable capacity of the agri-rural sector, as well as through the improvement of natural resource management and development and implementation of an integrated approach to food safety.   

Cross Border Cooperation  

Cross-border Cooperation is an integral part of IPA, co-financed by the cooperating countries. It supports and enables beneficiaries to cooperate with neighbouring countries in the economic, social, environmental, and cultural fields. 

Kosovo is currently engaged in cross-border co-operation with three of its neighbours: