The Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA) is a new instrument for pre-accession assistance for the period 2007 – 2013, which will replace the currently available programmes PHARE, PHARE CBC, ISPA, SAPARD, CARDS and the financial instrument for.
The IPA programme was established by the EU Council Regulation 1085/2006, and its financial value for the period of seven years amounts to EUR 11.468 billion.
The main objectives of the IPA programme include assistance to candidate countries and to countries potential candidates in their harmonisation and implementation of the acquis communautaire as well as in preparing for the use of the Structural Funds.
This unique instrument for pre-accession assistance differentiates between two groups of countries:
1. countries having the status of potential candidates for the Union membership (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia)
2. countries having the candidate status for the European Union membership (Croatia, Macedonia, Turkey).
In the case of candidate countries, besides the mentioned forms of assistance, the European Union provides also the funds for financing the projects relating to the complete harmonisation of national legislations with the Union’s acquis communautaire, full application of harmonised legislation, as well as preparation of the programme beneficiaries for implementation of the cohesion and agricultural policy of the Union.
The IPA programme consists of the following five components:
I. Assistance in transition and institution building
II. Cross border cooperation
III. Regional development
IV. Human resources development
V. Rural development