News archive - Proposal for Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA II) published

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:

2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2014-2020
1898.0 1935.9 1974.6 2014.1 2054.4 2095.5 2137.4 14110.1

 *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

http://wbc-inco.net/goto/134563.html

http://ec.europa.eu/enlargement/press_corner/whatsnew/news/111207_en.htm

Geographical focus
  • International; Other
  • WBC

Entry created by Elke Dall on December 15, 2011
Modified on December 15, 2011