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The project entitled: ‘Preparatory measures for the future participation of relevant IPA III beneficiaries in the European Maritime Safety Agency’ has its legal basis in the Commission Implementing Decision C(2021)9716 on the financing of the multi-country multiannual action plan in favour of the Western Balkans and Turkey for 2021-2022, under Action 08 – “EU Integration Facility, including EU support for the participation of IPA III beneficiaries in EU agencies and TAIEX support to Western Balkans and Turkey”, carried out by way of indirect management.

EMSA was selected to implement the above project because of its technical competence and high degree of specialisation. EMSA successfully implemented similar projects, not only in the Western Balkans and Turkey (e.g. contracts no. 2011/272-315, 2015/364-928, 2017/391-240, 2019/410-086), but also in EU Member States prior to their accession (e.g. Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia), and the proposed action builds upon these past experiences.  

The Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA) provides the means by which the EU has been supporting reforms in the enlargement region with financial and technical assistance since 2007. IPA funds build up the capacities of the IPA Beneficiaries throughout the accession process, resulting in progressive, positive developments in the region.

The DG NEAR financed action “Preparatory measures for the future participation of relevant IPA III Beneficiaries in the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA)” is the sixth project implemented by EMSA within the context of the Instrument for Pre-Accession with the following beneficiaries: Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, and Türkiye.

 The Action started on 1 September 2023 and lasts for a period of 48 months.

Taking into consideration the maritime aspects of the EU acquis in the domains of sustainability, safety, security, surveillance and simplification, the Action shall prepare the beneficiaries for the sound implementation of EU legislation and for future participation in EMSA’s work and by doing so shall contribute to the achievement of the:

    • high-level priorities set up by the European Commission such as the establishment of a climate-neutral continent through the European Green Deal and a Europe fit for the digital age,
    • general objectives linked to the IPA III thematic window 2 - Good governance, EU acquis alignment, good neighbourly relations and strategic communication and thematic window 5 - Territorial and cross border cooperation.

The technical support shall focus on the transposition of the EU maritime acquis into the beneficiaries’ national legislative systems. This will be agreed on a bilateral approach with each one of the beneficiaries taking into consideration, inter alia, the Association Agreements signed between the beneficiaries and the European Union.

The IPA III project is divided into five technical areas, with a communication component supporting each area, and an action plan which outlines each concrete action within every area.