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  1. An institution, body, office or agency established by or based on the Treaty on European Union and the Treaties establishing the European Communities.

    All education and training facilities for people of different age groups.

    An intergovernmental organization having legal personality under public international law or a specialized agency established by such an international organization. An international organization, the majority of whose members are Member States or Associated Countries and whose main objective is to promote scientific and technological cooperation in Europe, is an International Organization of European Interest.

    A person with legal rights and obligations. Unlike a legal entity, a natural person does not have a legal act (e.g. association, limited liability company, etc.).

    An NPO is an institution or organization which, by virtue of its legal form, is not profit-oriented or which is required by law not to distribute profits to its shareholders or individual members. An NGO is a non-governmental, non-profit organization that does not represent business interests. Pursues a common purpose for the benefit of society.

    A partnership, corporation, person, or agency that is for-profit and not operated by the government.

    Any government or other public administration, including public advisory bodies, at the national, regional or local level.

    A research institution is a legal entity established as a non-profit organization whose main objective is to conduct research or technological development. A college/university is a legal entity recognized by its national education system as a university or college or secondary school. It may be a public or private institution.

    A microenterprise, a small or medium-sized enterprise (business) as defined in EU Recommendation 2003/361. To qualify as an SME for EU funding, an enterprise must meet certain conditions, including (a) fewer than 250 employees and (b) an annual turnover not exceeding EUR 50 million and/or an annual balance sheet total not exceeding EUR 43 million. These ceilings apply only to the figures for individual companies.

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  1. Governance, partnership: Projects aimed at increasing the application of multilevel and transnational or cross-border governance, designing and testing appropriate governance structures and mechanisms. Also cooperation between public institutions on any theme.

    Innovation capacity and awareness-raising: Actions that increase a person’s or organisation’s capacity for innovation (not innovation as such), and that establish the capacity to diffuse and apply innovation; projects that stimulate innovation in different areas and innovation capacities; strengthening and empowering of innovation networks.

    Institutional cooperation and cooperation networks: Projects working on the improvement of institutional cross-border co-operation and capacities, on renewing and simplifying administrative management through long term cooperation between institutions (e.g. Euregion), on establishing and sharing regional knowledge and intercultural understanding and cohesion. It also deals with cooperations between universities, health care facilities, schools and sports organisations, as well as with management and capacity building.

    Activities focussing on agricultural products, organic farming, horticulture, as well as forest management and wood products; furthermore the development of the food sector, food chains, organic food production, and seafood products and any topics related to animals and fishing.

    Agriculture and fisheries and forestry: Projects focussing on agricultural products (i.e. fruits, meat, olives, etc.), organic farming, horticulture, as well as forest management and wood products. Also the development of the agro-food sector, food chains, organic food production, and seafood products. Any topics related to animals (i.e. health, management) and fishing (i.e. sustainable fishery, aquaculture).

    Soil and air quality: Projects that deal with any topic against soil and air pollution, except water pollution, for example, reduction of soil and air contamination, pollution-management systems, but also prevention and eradication of soil erosion, new ways of improving air quality (also indoors) and soil/air knowledge in general.

    Climate change and biodiversity projects assisting mitigation and adaption to climate change and environmental impacts of climate change. Development of low carbon technologies and strategies, reduction of CO2 emissions from all sectors. Promotion of biodiversity, new instruments to enhance biodiversity and natural protection.

    Soil and air quality projects that deal with any topic against soil and air pollution, except water pollution, for example, reduction of soil and air contamination, pollution-management systems, but also prevention and eradication of soil erosion, new ways of improving air quality (also indoors) and soil/air knowledge in general.

    Water management projects about management and distribution of drinking water, integrated sustainable water management, monitoring systems for water supply and improving drinking water quality; also water treatment (wastewater), in particular, innovative technologies to improve wastewater, treatments in the purification of industrial and domestic wastewater and water reuse policies. Waterways, lakes and rivers: This deals with any topics on waterways, lakes and rivers, from improving water quality, protecting and developing of ecosystems or sustainable wetland management.

    Activities that protect, promote and enhance cultural and natural heritage, increase the attractiveness through preservation and valorisation of common cultural and natural heritage in a sustainable manner, and improve and develop cultural and natural heritage objects, services and products. Cultural heritage management, art and culture, (maritime) heritage routes, access to cultural and natural heritage. Also all topics on cultural services such as festivals, concerts, art workshops.

    Cultural heritage and arts projects that protect, promote and enhance cultural and natural heritage, increase the attractiveness through preservation and valorisation of common cultural and natural heritage in a sustainable manner, and improve and develop cultural and natural heritage objects, services and products. Cultural heritage management, art and culture, (maritime) heritage routes, access to cultural and natural heritage. Also all topics on cultural services such as festivals, concerts, art workshops.

    Tourism projects dealing with the promotion of natural assets, and the protection and development of natural heritage, as well as increasing the touristic attractiveness through the better use of natural, cultural and historical heritage. Also projects about improved tourist services/products, development of ecotourism models, tourism development strategies.

    Sustainable management of natural resources projects focussing on the protection, promotion and valorization, and sustainable management and conservation of natural areas (habitats, geo parks, protected areas, etc.). Also projects focussing on preserving and enhancing cultural and natural heritage and landscape, as well as protecting the marine environment.

    Projects on waste management (innovative services and strategies), ecological waste treatment, treatment techniques/systems; waste disposal and recycling (improvement of recycling, innovative recycling technologies, recovery of organic waste, repair & re-use centres and networks); also prevention of pollution and pollution control (ecological and circular economy, marine littering, etc.).

    Labour market and employment: creating employment opportunities and/or optimising jobs, academic (un)employment and job mobility, workforce attraction and improvement of employment conditions for different groups.

    SME and entrepreneurship: strengthening SME capacities, boosting entrepreneurial activities in different sectors and for different groups, supporting social entrepreneurship, creating business support/advisory systems for start-ups/spin-offs/incubators, improving the competitiveness of SMEs, and promoting new business processes.

    Community integration and common identity projects that build identity, create a more cohesive society, promote positive relations through an increased provision of shared spaces and services.

    Demographic change and immigration is about projects tackling major societal challenges like demographic change in different areas and migration, in particular, aging society (active aging, best agers, silver economy strategies) and related new public services (adaptation of key services and infrastructure), social and spatial segregation, and brain drain. Also all topics on migration (policy tools, strategic planning, integration).

    All projects where ICT has a significant role, including tailor-made ICT solutions in different fields, as well as digital innovation hubs, open data, Internet of Things; ICT access and connecting (remote) areas with digital infrastructure and services; services and applications for citizens (e-health, e-government, e-learning, e-inclusion, etc.); services and applications for companies (e-commerce, networking, digital transformation, etc.).

    This is about the mitigation and management of risks and disasters, and the anticipation and response capacity towards the actors regarding specific risks and management of natural disasters, for example, prevention of flood and drought hazards, forest fire, strong weather conditions, etc.. It is also about risk assessment and safety.

    Education and training projects on expanding educational opportunities, reducing barriers in the field of education, improving higher education and lifelong learning, training and labour mobility, educational networks, higher vocational education, common learning programmes.

    Topics on energy management, energy-saving methods, evaluating energy efficiency measurements, energy rehabilitation/efficiency in buildings / public infrastructure, promotion of energy efficiency, cooperation among experienced energy efficiency firms, institutions and local administrations, co-generation.

    Projects focussing on wind, solar, biomass, hydroelectric, geothermal and other renewable energy, increasing the production of sustainable renewable energy and improving research capacities in biomass. Also projects focussing on storage and management of renewable energy, new technologies, sustainable regional bioenergy policies and financial Instruments for investments on renewable energy.

    Social projects concerning people with disabilities and excluded groups; enhancement of the capacity of children, young people, women and elderly; creation of infrastructure to improve access for disabled people, integration of socially vulnerable people; innovate in the care of victims of gender violence, social inclusion of women, etc.

    This deals with the development of health and social services and improved accessibility and efficiency for different groups (elderly, children, etc.). It is also about new healthcare models and medical diagnosis and treatments (dementia, cancer, diabetes, etc.), hospitals, care management, and rare diseases, as well as improving wellbeing and promoting sports.

    Projects about (organised) crime, efficient and secure borders, such as enhancing the effectiveness of the police in the prevention of drug crimes, the development of safety services, or tackling security and organised crime issues.

    Activities related to:

    • Transport and mobility covering all sorts of transport (incl. urban transport) and mobility.
    • Improving transport connections dealing with traffic and/or transport connections, rehabiliation/modernisation, better connectivity, improving accessibility/connections, but also public transport.
    • Multimodal transport and logistics and freight transport focusing on using different means of transport, developing multimodal connections, optimising intermodal transport chains; offering multimodal logistics solutions and providing access to clean, efficient and multimodal transport corridors and hubs; establishing cooperation among logistic centres and developing multimodal mobility strategies.

    Activities related to:

    • urban development, such as planning and design of cities and urban areas, urban renewal, urban-rural links (climate, sustainable mobility, water efficiency, participation, sustainable land use, smart cities, public urban areas, regeneration)
    • regional planning and development, such as the implementation of regional development policies/instruments and programmes, sustainable land use management plans, integrated regional action plans, spatial planning, and marine protected area management.
    • rural and peripheral development, referring to remote, sparsely populated areas, rural community development, and rural economics, in particular access to remote areas and policies for rural areas.
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Program key data

Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance

Link to the

Content of program

short description

The general objective of the IPA III instrument is to support the beneficiaries in adopting and implementing the political, institutional, legal, administrative, social and economic reforms required by those beneficiaries to comply with Union values and to progressively align to Union rules, standards, policies and practices with a view to Union membership, thereby contributing to their stability, security and prosperity.

program objectives

The IPA III Programming Framework identifies five thematic windows: 

  • Window 1- Rule of law, fundamental rights and democracy: The overall objective of IPA III under this window is to strengthen the rule of law, democracy, the respect of human rights and international law, civil society and security as well as to improve migration management including border management. 
  • Window 2- Good governance, EU acquis alignment, good neighbourly relations and strategic communication: The overall objective of the EU’s assistance under Window 2 is to promote good governance, increase the compliance with Union’s values and their alignment with the Union’s rules, standards and practices in the relevant areas. EU assistance will also foster peace and stability across the region.
  • Window 3- Green agenda and sustainable connectivity: The overall objectives of the EU’s assistance under Window 3 are to promote the green agenda by reinforcing environmental protection, contributing to mitigation, increasing resilience to climate change, accelerating the shift towards a low-carbon and circular economy and develop the digital economy and society. This approach shall apply on land but also at sea with a new approach for a sustainable blue economy. It will contribute to boosting resilience and preventing the emergence and spread of future health crises.
  • Window 4- Competitiveness and inclusive growth: The overall objective of the EU’s assistance under Window 4 is to strengthen economic and social development, including through education, competitiveness, research and innovation, social inclusion, industrial and employment policies, with a specific focus on private sector development as well as agriculture, rural and industrial development. Gender equality, reduction of inequalities and enhancing of social cohesion need to be taken into account, for example by greening enterprises for job creation, with focus on women, youth and refugees.
  • Window 5- Territorial and cross border cooperation: The strategic objectives of the cross-border cooperation programmes between IPA III beneficiaries are: 
    • Promotion of reconciliation and confidence building and good neighbourly relations
    • Economic, social and territorial development of border areas, fostering the cooperation among national local/regional authorities, associations, non-governmental organisations and enterprises from neighbouring regions
    • Building the capacities of local, regional and national institutions to manage EU programmes and to prepare them for the management of future Structural Funds under the territorial cooperation goal, which will be implemented upon accession.
In addition, a number of cross cutting themes, such as climate change, environmental protection, , civil society, gender equality, rights-based approach, will be mainstreamed and therefore implemented under the five windows.

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Expected results

Each window identified several key priorities for IPA III support: 

Window 1: Rule of law, fundamental rights and democracy

  • Judiciary: Further improve the independence, accountability, quality and efficiency of the judicial systems of each beneficiary. IPA III will also contribute to improve the professionalization of judges and of the justice system as a whole, including the skills and capacities of officers concerned in the administration of justice.
  • Fight against corruption: Establish, and strengthen when already existing, track-records of investigation, prosecution and conviction for highlevel corruption cases, as well as robust anti-corruption institutional framework.
  • Fight against organised crime/security: Set up effective systems to establish and strengthen existing track-records of proactive investigation, prosecution and conviction for organised crime as well as to counter radicalisation and combating all forms of violent extremism. Particular attention will be paid to providing increased support to capacity-building in the area of cybersecurity and fight against cyber-crime. Continuous support will be offered to reach the above strategic objectives on counterterrorism as well as on the prevention and countering of violent extremism and radicalisation.
  • Migration and border management: Further step up strategic and operational cooperation on migration, along different pillars: irregular migration, border management, international protection and legal migration. 
  • Fundamental rights: Ensure the alignment of the legal framework with EU and international standards as well as to establish a solid track-record in respecting fundamental rights.
  • Democracy: Ensure democratic institutions are properly resourced and function in line with constitution, principles of effective government as well as recommendations of the Venice Commission.
  • Civil Society: Strengthen the enabling legal and policy environment and support the basic needs of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), to increase CSOs’ role in decision and policy making in partnership with public authorities based on trust and mutual recognition and around common interests, to strengthen CSOs skills and capacities, as well as to increase public awareness on CSOs’ needs and role.

Window 2: Good governance, EU acquis alignment, good neighbourly relations and strategic communication

  • Good governance: Modernise public administrations at all levels of government, strengthen statistical systems and economic governance, and hence contribute to sustainable growth and to improve competitiveness.
  • Administrative capacity and EU acquis alignment: Bring beneficiaries’ policies and legislation in line with the EU policies and the EU acquis, and to build administrative capacity to fully and effectively implement sector policies and the adopted legislation, building the ability of beneficiaries to take on the obligations of membership as well as the digitalisation efforts. This objective constitutes a crosscutting priority and complements administrative capacity building under other Windows in line with the sector approach.
  • Good neighbourly relations and reconciliation: Contribute to societal cohesion and resilience by addressing the legacy of the conflicts of the past and bringing justice to all victims of the conflicts.
  • Strategic communication, monitoring, evaluation and communication activities: Ensure public support for the EU values, policies and to necessary reforms entailed by the accession process by explaining 1. How the EU and the EU accession process work and 2. What the benefits and implications of the process are for citizens of candidate countries and potential candidates as well as for the EU Member States.

Window 3: Green agenda and sustainable connectivity

  • Environment and climate change: Support the protection of the environment, improve its quality and contribute to actions and policies against climate change to accelerate the shift towards a low-carbon economy.
  • Transport, digital economy and society, and energy: Promote smart, sustainable, inclusive, safe and resilient transport and to remove bottlenecks in key network infrastructures, to improve access to digital technologies and services, to accelerate the shift towards a low-carbon, climate resilient economy, promote clean energy transition and a European integrated energy market.

Window 4: Competitiveness and inclusive growth

  • Education, employment, social protection and inclusion policies, and health: Strengthen access to and quality of inclusive education, including vocational education and training, participation in Early Childhood Education and Care and lifelong learning opportunities at all levels. IPA III will also contribute to fostering quality employment and access to the labour market, reducing the proportion of people engaged in informal employment as well as promoting equality and nondiscrimination, social protection and inclusion and combating poverty.
  • Private sector development, trade, research and innovation: Improve the business environment, innovation ecosystem and investment climate of the beneficiaries, promoting integration with EU industrial value chains, in view of supporting the socio-economic recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic and increasing the competitiveness of these economies.
  • Agriculture and rural development: Gradually building an agricultural sector capable of competing with market forces, while progressively aligning with the EU legal framework in the field of agriculture and rural development and the relevant veterinary, food safety and phytosanitary standards (SPS standards). Major efforts are still necessary for food safety, animal welfare and the transition towards sustainable food systems, being increasingly important in view of the necessary alignment with the EU food safety acquis and the EU Farm to Fork Strategy, which is at the heart of the EU Green Deal aiming to make food systems fair, healthy and environmentally friendly. IPA III will also contribute to ensuring food security in the region, improve the life of rural residents through the economic and social development of rural areas and to build resilience to adverse effects of climate change.
  • Fisheries: Increase the ability to cope with competitive pressure and market forces, and to progressively align with the Union rules and standards and to promote aquaculture.

Window 5: Territorial and cross border cooperation

  • Promoting employment, labour mobility and social and cultural inclusion across borders through, inter alia: integrating cross-border labour markets, including cross-border mobility; joint local employment initiatives; information and advisory services and joint training; gender equality; equal opportunities; integration of immigrants' communities and vulnerable groups; investment in public employment services; and supporting investment in public health and social services 
  • Protecting the environment and promoting climate change adaptation and mitigation, risk prevention and management through, inter alia: joint actions for environmental protection; promoting sustainable use of natural resources, coordinated maritime spatial planning, resource efficiency and circular economy, renewable energy sources and the shift towards a safe and sustainable low-carbon, green economy; promoting investment to address specific risks, ensuring disaster resilience and disaster prevention, preparedness and response 
  • Promoting sustainable transport and improving public infrastructures by, inter alia, reducing isolation through improved access to transport, digital networks and services and investing in cross-border water, waste and energy systems and facilities 
  • Promoting the digital economy and society by inter alia the deployment of digital connectivity, the development of interoperable eGovernment services, digital trust and security as well as digital skills and entrepreneurship 
  • Encouraging tourism and cultural and natural heritage 
  • Investing in youth, education and skills through, inter alia, developing and implementing joint education, vocational training, training schemes and infrastructure supporting joint youth activities 
  • Promoting local and regional governance and enhancing the planning and administrative capacity of local and regional authorities 
  • Enhancing competitiveness, the business environment and the development of small and medium-sized enterprises, trade and investment through, inter alia, promotion and support to entrepreneurship, in particular small and medium-sized enterprises, and development of local cross-border markets and internationalisation 
  • Strengthening research, technological development, innovation and digital technologies through, inter alia, promoting the sharing of human resources and facilities for research and technology development 

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Regions / countries for fundingAlbania (Shqipëria), Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosna i Hercegovina / Босна и Херцеговина), Kosovo (Kosova/Kosovë / Косово), Montenegro (Црна Гора), North Macedonia (Северна Македонија), Serbia (Srbija/Сpбија), Türkiye
eligible entities
Private institution, incl. private company (private for profit),  Other,  Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) / Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO),  Small and medium-sized enterprise (SME),  Research Institution incl. University,  EU Body,  International organization,  Public Body (national, regional and local; incl. EGTCs),  Education and training institution
Mandatory partnershipNo
other eligibility criteria

For the multiannual financial framework period 2021-2027, the IPA III budgetary envelope is €14.162 billion.

The current beneficiaries are: 

  • Albania
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Kosovo
  • Montenegro
  • North Macedonia
  • Serbia
  • Turkey

Assistance is also provided through multi-country / regional programmes. 

Additional information

Topics Administration & Governance, Institutional Capacity & Cooperation,  Agriculture & Forestry, Fishery, Food, Soil quality,  Air Quality, Biodiversity & Environment, Climate & Climate Change, Water quality & management,  Arts & Culture, Cultural Heritage, Tourism,  Circular Economy, Natural Resources,  Competitiveness of Enterprises, Employment/Labour Market, SME & entrepreneurship,  Demographic Change, European Citizenship, Migration,  Digitalisation, Digital Society, ICT,  Disaster Prevention, Resilience, Risk Management,  Education & Training, Children & Youth, Media,  Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy ,  Equal Rights, Human Rights, People with Disabilities, Social Inclusion,  Health, Social Services, Sports,  Justice, Safety & Security,  Mobility & Transport,  Rural & Urban Development/Planning
Relevance for EU Macro-RegionEUSAIR - EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region, EUSDR - EU Strategy for the Danube Region
UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDGs)
Program documents IPA III Programming Framework 2021-2027 EN (1652kB)
Contact Infocentre and Contacts - EU Regional Policy

Open calls

Air quality and environment
20.10.2023 - 15.01.2024

Civil Society Organisations
04.09.2023 - 23.10.2023

Complementary Assistance SBS Integrated Border Management
02.04.2024 - 18.06.2024

EU Civil Society Facility for the Republic of Serbia 2023-2024
26.03.2024 - 10.05.2024

EU4 Inclusion - Access to social inclusion services at local level
03.10.2023 - 08.01.2024

EUPA4BiH - European Union Police Assistance for Bosnia and Herzegovina
17.07.2023 - 20.10.2023

Further development of National Fisheries Legislation
30.01.2024 - 26.03.2024

Further enhancing the functioning of Montenegrin AFCOS system with the aim of efficient protection of EU financial interests
20.02.2024 - 18.04.2024

Further strengthening the capacity of the Serbian Audit Authority
04.10.2023 - 04.12.2023

Implementing Effective Supervision over Non-bank Financial Institutions
12.03.2024 - 07.05.2024

Institutional Support to the State Service for Maritime, Inland Waterway Transport and Shipping of Ukraine in the Implementation of the EU Acquis, Norms and Standards on Maritime Safety
25.01.2024 - 28.03.2024

Reforming Audiovisual Media Regulation in Ukraine in line with EU standards and international best practices
15.03.2024 - 14.05.2024

Strengthen capacity related to quality of poultry in the Republic of Serbia
08.11.2023 - 09.01.2024

Strengthening Capacities in Agricultural and Rural Development Sector for CAP Implementation
27.07.2023 - 29.09.2023

Strengthening the administrative capacity of the Institute for Medicines and Medical Devices of Montenegro regarding the requirements of the EU accession process
04.03.2024 - 10.05.2024

Strengthening the institutional capacities of the Competition Council to enforce the competition and state aid policy in line with the EU best practices
30.04.2024 - 25.06.2024

Strengthening the institutional capacities of the State Labour Inspectorate to enforce the labour standards in the Republic of Moldova in line with the EU best practices
03.07.2024 - 10.09.2024

Support for the Media and Building Public Resilience to Disinformation - for the Republic of Moldova
15.03.2024 - 03.05.2024

Support to Civil Society Organisations in the Republic of Moldova
09.04.2024 - 28.05.2024

Support to civil society organisations: Civil Society Facility 2023
27.02.2024 - 27.05.2024

Support to regional thematic networks of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs); Regional networks promoting independent pluralistic media and freedom of expression; and EU Award for Roma Integration
09.11.2023 - 29.12.2023

Support to the independent media sector in Serbia
12.03.2024 - 26.04.2024

Thematic Programme on Human Rights and Democracy 2023
28.02.2024 - 28.05.2024

Twinning Agrifood - Strengthening sector monitoring, data management, statistics and payment administration
21.12.2023 - 04.03.2024

Twinning – Strengthening the Capacities of the Moldovan Parliament and its role in the EU Accession Process
01.07.2024 - 16.09.2024