News archive - Proposal for Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA II) publishedBack
The European Commission adopted budget proposals for its external instruments from 2014-2020 - among which a renewed Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA), support to enlargement countries, building on the positive experience from the current instrument. IPA will help these countries implement the comprehensive reform strategies needed to prepare for future membership, with emphasis on regional cooperation, implementation of EU laws and standards, capacity to manage the Union's internal policies upon accession, and delivery of tangible socio-economic benefits in the beneficiary countries. More use will be made of innovative financing arrangements set up with international financial institutions, with EU funds acting as a catalyst for leveraging investment in infrastructure.
This proposal should be viewed in the context of all proposed financial instruments for the financial perspective 2014-2020 as outlined in the Communication 'A Budget for Europe 2020'. The Communication sets the budgetary framework for EU external action instruments under the Heading 4 (Global Europe), including the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA). On this basis, the Commission is presenting a draft regulation laying down the legislative framework for the new IPA, together with an assessment of the impact of alternative scenarios for the instrument.
Currently, the EU is dealing with 5 candidate countries (Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Iceland, Montenegro and Turkey) and 4 potential candidates (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia as well as Kosovo under UNSCR 1244/99). By 2014, only Croatia is foreseen to become a Member State. Socio-economic indicators show that, with the exception of Iceland, enlargement countries are still well below the EU average and even below the level of the weakest Member States. This low level of socio-economic development calls for substantial investments to bring these countries closer to EU standards and allow them to take on board the obligations of membership and to withstand the competitive pressures of the single market. Furthermore, these countries need to be prepared to withstand global challenges such as climate change and to align with the EU's efforts to address this complex issue. The EU 2020 Strategy for smart, sustainable, and inclusive growth includes addressing climate change and renewable energy targets among its 5 headline objectives. The EU has confidence in the low-carbon growth model and this must be projected externally, also in the process of enlargement.
Technical and financial assistance to the Enlargement countries is currently provided through the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA). This instrument will expire at the end of 2013. With a view to future accessions, the EU should continue to offer candidate countries and potential candidates technical and financial assistance to overcome their difficult situation and develop sustainably.
The new pre-accession instrument should continue to focus on delivering on the Enlargement Policy, which is one of the core priorities of EU External Action, thus helping to promote stability, security and prosperity in Europe. To that end, the new instrument should continue to pursue the general policy objective of supporting candidate countries and potential candidates in their preparations for EU membership and the progressive alignment of their institutions and economies with the standards and policies of the European Union, according to their specific needs and adapted to their individual enlargement agendas. In doing so, the coherence between the financial assistance and the overall progress made in the implementation of the pre-accession strategy should be strengthened.
Through its Stabilisation and Association Agreements and other agreements with candidate countries and potential candidates, the EU actively encourages enlargement countries to establish competition regimes. Future pre-accession assistance will also be devoted to strengthening research and innovation capacity as well as information and communications technologies (ICTs), which in turn will facilitate realisation of the Innovation Union, underpin the other Europe 2020 strategy objectives and support compliance with EU technical requirements and standards in many other policies (e.g. public health, food security, climate action and the environment, including biodiversity and eco-systems).
The proposal is the result of different consultation processes.
The following financial frame is proposed:
*Current prices in million
The document also discusses the measures for simplification, e.g. through streamlining the component structure around principal policy areas, a sector-based approach, alignment with the Structural Funds approach, etc.
The delivery of assistance will be made more coherent, strategic and result-oriented, e.g. by a addressing policy areas through comprehensive multi-annual country (and multi-beneficiary) strategy papers reflecting the political priorities of the Enlargement Strategy and covering, for each policy area, all necessary institution building, acquis compliance and investment actions.
To better translate political priorities into key actions which can receive IPA funding, a Common Strategic Framework for the instrument will be introduced. The IPA Common Strategic Framework will include criteria for the allocation of funds to beneficiary countries and to multi-country and territorial cooperation actions. To reduce the administrative burden, assistance programmes will become multi-annual, reviewed once at mid-term (compared to the current system of annual revisions and programming). And to leverage more funds and exploit synergies to enable necessary investments to be made, the new instrument will provide for increased cooperation with international financial institutions and other donors, and for the use of innovative financial instruments.
The proposal for the regulation is available from
- International; Other
Entry created by Elke Dall on December 15, 2011