EU Funding Sources for the South East Europe

April 5 – 7, 2017ILjubljana, SloveniaIRegistration deadline: March 10, 2017IBudget Preparation and Execution

Governments in South East Europe receive external funds from several sources to realize their policies. Whereas the importance of bilateral donor-funded projects has been decreasing, the relative importance of EU funding sources, both from EU budget and EU institutions, has been increasing. For example, EU candidate countries are increasingly using sector-budget support under the EU’s revised Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA). They are also eligible to both, direct EIB financing as well as financing from WBIF. To absorb external funding, governments need to fulfill a range of pre-conditions and develop programming, implementation and monitoring capacities. With further EU integration, the scale of EU funding and the related absorption requirements increase. Whereas such capacities remain underdeveloped in some EU candidate countries, some countries have gained valuable experience and developed good practice that others could adapt.

What you will learn

We will facilitate the regional knowledge exchange, e.g. between EU member countries and EU candidate countries. We will introduce EU’s financial framework and evolving approach to strengthen economic governance. Moreover, we will look into a range of practical aspects needed to effectively program, implement and monitor externally funded projects and policies.

How you will benefit

In order to successfully manage EU funding sources, the workshop will help you understand EU financial tools and processes of establishing IPA-related structures for its functioning. 

Participatory approach, based on case studies and practical problem solving, will enable you to immediately apply cutting-edge knowledge. Sufficient time will be allotted to questions and answers to enable participants to benefit from the exchange of professional experiences and practical examples.

Learning from good and not so good experiences of other beneficiaries could result in higher awareness of possible risks and mistakes to be avoided.  

Who should attend

Public officials from countries of South East Europe (candidates, potential candidates, members)  who are working in ministries of finance, line ministries, central planning agencies, and EU integration offices, and who are involved in programming, implementing and monitoring policies and projects that are funded from the EU funding sources.

Project beneficiaries are Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Turkey (SAFE trust fund), Armenia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Georgia, Moldova, Romania, Ukraine (MoF of the Netherlands).

Costs of travel and accommodation for selected participants will be covered by SAFE** trust fund and Ministry of Finance of the Netherlands.


*This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/99 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence. 

** SAFE means Strengthening Accountability and the Fiduciary Environment. It is a Trust Fund program administered by the World Bank and was established by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) and the European Commission with the aim of improving public financial management in the Europe and Central Asia region. 


MOJMIR MRAK, Professor of International Finance, University of Ljubljana, and CEF Associate Fellow

Mojmir Mrak is a Jean Monnet Chair professor of international finance at the University of Ljubljana and a regular visiting professor at post-graduate programs of the universities of Siena and Vienna. His main research fields include capital flows, trade and project finance, and EU institutional and public finance issues. Professor Mrak is author of numerous books and articles.

Mr. Mrak has more than 20 years of experience in designing and implementing the Slovenian government's policy in areas of international finance and EU accession. In the first five years following independence in 1991, he was the chief external debt negotiator of Slovenia. In addition, he was responsible for the early credit arrangements of Slovenia with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the World Bank. Between 1998 and 2002, he was chief advisor of the Slovenian government on financial aspects of the country’s EU accession. Within this framework, he was responsible for negotiations about the financial package of Slovenia’s accession. Between 2003 and early 2006, he coordinated the Slovene government’s activities with respect to the 2007-2013 financial perspective of the EU, and is currently involved in negotiations about the 2014-2020 financial perspective of the EU.

Mr. Mrak has served as a consultant to numerous international organizations and several governments in South East Europe. He is a CEF Associate Fellow.

SUZANNE FLYNN, IMF PFM Advisor for South Eastern Europe

Suzanne works for the IMF and has been based at the CEF since October 2016. She is technical advisor for public financial management in South East Europe. At the CEF, Suzanne helps deliver learning programs related to her work. She joined the IMF five years ago after six years working in East Africa with PwC and in the Ugandan treasury. She started her career in the UK public service in 1987, starting in central government, and qualifying as a CIPFA accountant in local government in 1991. Before embarking on her career in Africa, she spent 3 years working for CIPFA in London. She has also worked in a number of Asian and Central Asian countries, and worked with several governments in South East Europe.

PETER JACOBS, Head of European Investment Bank (EIB) Office in Ljubljana, Slovenia

Peter Jacobs has been working for the EIB since year 2000. He started as a Senior Loan Officer and Deputy Head of Benelux Division in Operations Directorate and worked on structuring of debts across the public, corporate, and banking markets in the Benelux. From 2008 to 2011 he worked as a Head of Western Europe Implementation Division. From 2011 to 2016 he headed Structured and Project Finance Division of Western Europe. This division has been a leading multi-billion euro underwriter of greenfield transactions in its markets and a prominent contributor to EIB/EFSI in 2015 and 2016.

He has Masters in Economics and Accountancy. 

PETER WOSTNER, Head of Smart Specialization Coordination Service, Government Office for Development and European Cohesion policy, Slovenia

First-hand experience on the functioning of the EU from the level of EU multiannual financial framework negotiations, to negotiations of EU cohesion policy regulations and operational programs. For over a decade directly involved in EU cohesion policy formulation, implementation and evaluation. Headed the preparation and negotiations of EU cohesion policy operational programs and their modifications for three times (app. €5 billion worth of programs). As a deputy director of the managing authority in Slovenia gained direct knowledge and experience on cohesion policy implementation systems. Have published research on cohesion policy, EU budget and regional development.

Since 2014 head of the Slovenian Smart Specialization Strategy, S4, coordinating team, i.e. focused on innovation and structural transformation. Chairman of OECD's Working Party on Rural Policy and Vice-Chairman of the OECD's Regional Development Policy Committee.

Lecturer and moderator at various professional and expert meetings, conferences, trainings and seminars (e.g. in Bulgaria, Czech Republic, France, Iceland, Germany, Montenegro, Serbia, Macedonia, Turkey, etc.), including visiting lecturing at the Faculty of Economics and Faculty of Social Sciences, both University of Ljubljana.

TOMISLAV BELOVARI, Head of Sector at Ministry of Regional Development and EU Funds, Ministry of Regional Development and EU Funds, Croatia

Tomislav Belovari, M.A. received his master in European Studies at the Bonn Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms University, Germany. 

He has more than 15 years’ experience in European union topics with special focus on EU pre-accession and post accession funds. Since 2001 he has been responsible for supporting Croatian state administration in the programming and the preparation of project proposals for EU pre-accession and post accession funds.

He was also involved in implementation, systematic monitoring and evaluation of EU funded programmes and projects in Croatia.

Mr. Belovari has respectable experience and skill as a trainer, lecturer, and moderator on various EU funds topics. 


This learning activity for Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Turkey is financed with SAFE support under the program Strengthening Financial Management Functions of Line Ministries. It assists line ministries strengthen capacities for efficient delivery of their financial management function. Complementary financial support for Armenia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Georgia, Moldova, Romania, Ukraine is provided by the Ministry of Finance of Netherlands.

Ministry of Finance, the Netherlands Safe & WB & EC