Articles taggés avec ‘Acquis communautaire’

EU Funding: EU trade with Bosnia and Herzegovina enters new phase

Mercredi 2 juillet 2008

 European funds

Related EU Grant Loans Programme(s):
 Assistance to the Candidate countries to support their progressive compliance with EU rules and policies, including the acquis communautaire if necessary, in preparation for their accession

The European Commission has welcomed on july 1st the entry into force of the Interim Agreement (IA) with Bosnia and Herzegovina

The IA effectively creates a free trade area, with progressive opening of the market of Bosnia and Herzegovina facilitating economic and social development. The two sides signed the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) and the IA on 16 June in Luxembourg. Until the ratification process is finalised the trade provisions of the SAA are applied through the IA.

The agreement allows free access to EU markets for almost all goods from Bosnia and Herzegovina, which in turn will gradually open its market to the European products and services. Bosnia and Herzegovina will also introduce standards from the EU, progressively aligning its legislation in a number of areas such as competition, intellectual property, investment, public procurement or protection of personal data. This process will facilitate economic and social development in Bosnia and Herzegovina and will encourage proceeding with further economic reforms. Finally, the institutional set-up foreseen in the SAA/IA will constitute a forum of extensive dialogue and cooperation in trade related matters and beyond.

The latest Commission Communication on Western Balkans from 5 March 2008 notes that the region has a clear European perspective. In this regard, a successful implementation of the IA and SAA is a key and essential factor in assessing Bosnia and Herzegovina’s readiness to further advance relations with the EU.

Background

The EU is Bosnia and Herzegovina’s biggest trading partner, with total trade of around 5 billion euros in 2007. In 2007, imports coming from the EU made up 66.7% of total imports by Bosnia and Herzegovina, while exports to the EU accounted for 71.4% of its total exports. In 2007, EU imports from grew by 6.1% year on year to reach over 1.8 billion euros, while exports to Bosnia and Herzegovina grew by 8.3%, reaching over 3 billion euros.

 
  Source:
Press room - European Commission

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Good headway being made on entrepreneurship key competence

Lundi 19 mai 2008

 European funds

Related EU Grant Loans Programme(s):
 Assistance to the Candidate countries to support their progressive compliance with EU rules and policies, including the acquis communautaire if necessary, in preparation for their accession

The ETF has just completed an interim assessment of the EU’s pre-accession countries’ performance on the human resource dimensions of the European Charter for Small Enterprise. Three countries in particular stand out for their efforts in promoting entrepreneurship as a key competence

Firstly, Montenegro has elaborated a national entrepreneurial learning strategy which is expected to go for Government approval in late spring 2008. The strategy covers all parts of the education system and is intended to provide a comprehensive framework for lifelong entrepreneurial learning development with a particular emphasis given to key competence development. While the strategy awaits adoption, however, the education authorities have already moved on introducing the key competence within some 38% of secondary schools with where teachers have been trained and new pedagogic-didactic materials introduced. Lola Radulović of the SME authority underlines the wider value of the entrepreneurship key competence, ‘employers need enterprising workers, people who are spot opportunities and who are not frightened of taking an initiative’, she says.

Serbia is also forging ahead with key competence development but specifically in the vocational training areas e.g. agriculture, mechanical engineering and health care with additional occupational areas to be included in 2008 (e.g. electrical engineering, tourism). These developments follow the adoption of the national vocational training strategy adopted in late 2006 and demonstrate a commitment by the Belgrade authorities to see through the reforms outlined in the strategy.

For its part, Kosovo has elaborated an entrepreneurial learning strategy which covers all parts of the education system, where the entrepreneurship key competence is a primary pillar to envisaged reforms. Kosovo has additionally defined a series of standards for entrepreneurial learning to ensure appropriateness of the teaching and learning processes.

Meanwhile, two neighbouring countries have taken important steps to address the key competence policy concerns. Croatia is revisiting its national curriculum strategy with a view to incorporating the key competence provisions within pre-school, primary and secondary education. And fYR of Macedonia has signalled intentions to move forward strategically on key competence developments with a specific request for support from the European Union through its IPA Programme. This will build upon harder entrepreneurship knowledge and skills promotion which is now mandatory for all secondary level schooling.

Reflecting on the key competence developments of the four countries, Anthony Gribben points to good policy motivation by the countries to accommodate the education guidelines within the SME Policy Index.

The ETF works with the European Commission (Directorate General for Enterprise & Industry), OECD and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is supporting the EU pre-accession region in meeting the policy requirements of the European Charter for Small Enterprise.

 
  Source:
Education and Training Agency (ETF)