26 agosto 2008

IPA - Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance - European Commission

The EU provides focussed pre-accession financial aid to the candidate countries (currently: Croatia, Turkey and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia) and to the potential candidate countries (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, Kosovo under UN Security Council Resolution 1244). The Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA) replaced CARDS in 2007 and will cover the period 2007 – 2013. The main objective of IPA is to help Serbia to face the challenges of European Integration. The Multi-annual Indicative Planning Document (MIPD) 2007 – 2009 is the key strategic planning document for assistance to Serbia in the framework of IPA.

Focus areas for financial assistance under IPA include political requirements covering, inter alia, democratic institutions, public administration reform, rule of law, reform of the judiciary, fight against corruption, human rights and protection of minorities. Other focus areas are socio-economic requirements and European Standards, as well as cross-border co-operation.
In 2007, the first year of the new Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA), the national assistance program for Serbia amounted to €164.8 million. In addition to this, assistance in the areas of nuclear safety, customs, education and cross-border co-operation brings the total assistance budget allocated to Serbia for 2007 to €189.7 million. The overall financial scope of the 2007-2009 MIPD amounts to EUR 572.4 million.

Overview of past and ongoing assistance
The EC has provided support to Serbia under a variety of financial instruments, including CARDS assistance, macro-financial support and humanitarian aid. In recent years, the emphasis has shifted away from reconstruction and is now more concentrated on institution-building, economic development and reform in line with the European Partnership recommendations.
On-going EC assistance under the CARDS instrument amounts to some € 311.8 million and involves over 100 projects.
In the period 2005-2006 the EU supported regional priorities in areas of institution building, justice and home affairs, cross border cooperation, private sector development and infrastructure development.
In addition to CARDS assistance, Serbia is also a priority country for the European Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights and benefits from the LIFE environmental program, as well as from the 6th Framework Program for Research and Development. In May 2007, Serbia was admitted to the EC Seventh Research Framework Program. The related memorandum of understanding was signed in June 2007.
The main EC financial instrument in Serbia the CARDS program is managed by the European Agency for Reconstruction. Preparations are ongoing for the transfer of responsibilities to the Commission delegation in Belgrade.
-Transition Assistance and Institution Building
-Cross-Border Co-operation (with EU Member States and other countries eligible for IPA)

-Regional Development (transport, environment and economic development)

-Human Resources Development (strengthening human capital and combating exclusion)

-Rural Development


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