Workshop on EU Sector Budget Support
Budget Support is an important tool in EU development cooperation. It involves the direct transfer of financial resources to a partner country’s budget to be managed using national public financial management systems.
The EU has enabled the use of Budget Support through the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA-II) 2014-2020. The countries of the Western Balkans, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*
Under the original IPA, Budget Support was limited to “exceptional cases”, whereas the rules for IPA II allow for broader and more systematic use of Budget Support, provided the eligibility conditions are in place. IPA II targets reforms in pre-defined sectors, which cover areas closely linked to the EU enlargement strategy, including democracy and governance, rule of law, growth and competitiveness. , Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia are potential beneficiaries of the Sector Reform Contract (formerly known as Sector Budget Support) modality of Budget Support. The programmes will be directed to supporting reforms set in the partner country sector development strategic framework in sectors earmarked in Country Strategy Papers.
In September 2012, the European Commission issued new Budget Support Guidelines that set out the process of programming, design and implementation of the programmes. Specific Guidelines were developed in 2014 to reflect the programming, design and implementation processes in pre-accession countries.
The objectives of the workshop are to raise awareness of government officials of the EU budget support cooperation instrument, and help them understand the specific technical aspects of the Sector Reform Contract. At the end of the workshops, officials are expected to understand the requirements behind the formulation of programmes as well as understand the intricate management of a SRC. In addition to providing the general aspects of EU Budget Support and the SRC, the workshops will be custom-made to the context each of the six Western Balkan countries involved.
The target group is composed of civil servants from the NIPAC offices, ministries of finance (central fiscal authorities) and planning ministries of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia. Civil servants from relevant line ministries are also expected to take part in the workshops.
Yiannis Hadziyiannakis and Gnel Sedrakyan have extensive experience in the EU Budget Support instrument. They have been involved in design, implementation, review and evaluation of several programmes and operations.
They have worked for several years in EU Sector Budget Support programmes in EU Neighbourhood countries, Armenia, Moldova and Ukraine where they have also delivered several trainings, seminars and workshops on the subject matter.
They have also worked in EU Sector Budget Support programmes outside the EU Neighbourhood, such as Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Most recently they were involved in the successful design of the EU Budget Support programme for Sierra Leone for years 2015-2017.
The methodology will aim at transferring practical skills to the participants for design, implementation and evaluation of EU Sector Reform Contract programmes.
The workshop will be delivered through power-point presentations accompanied by case-study handouts and further reading. The approach will be participatory with discussions and analytical engagement being rigorously encouraged.
In particular, participants will be encouraged to reflect on how governments set priorities and achievable objectives in their sector policy documents, how they plan, finance and execute sector policy over the medium-term, and ultimately how an EU Sector Reform Contract programme(s) may contribute to this process. Specific case studies from EU Neighbourhood country with long experience in Budget Support will be presented to aid analysis and discussion.