Tag Archives: Accession to the European Union

Enlargement strategy 2009-2010

Enlargement strategy 2009-2010

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Enlargement strategy 2009-2010

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Enlargement > The stabilisation and association process: the western balkans

Enlargement strategy 2009-2010

This Communication sets out the progress made and the reforms to be implemented by countries engaged in the European Union (EU)’s enlargement process. It also presents the European Commission’s priorities in supporting these countries’ efforts.

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament –Enlargement Strategy and Main Challenges 2009-2010 [COM(2009) 533 – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

Candidates and potential candidates for European Union (EU) membership have been affected by the international economic crisis. However, their economic and fiscal stability has been maintained through reforms supported by the enlargement process.

The situation of candidates for membership

Turkey has made progress in new areas. In particular, at national level, the Government has launched an initiative concerning the rights of the Kurdish minority. Nevertheless, the country should make further efforts to improve the safeguarding of fundamental rights (for example concerning the press, trade unions and women) and to control the army through civil institutions.

At external level, the country participates in negotiations under the auspices of the UN in order to resolve the Cypriot conflict. In 2009, Turkey contributed to stabilisation initiatives concerning the Middle East and the Southern Caucasus. The country has also signed an agreement on the construction of the Nabucco gas pipeline which should contribute to a secure energy supply in Europe.

Croatia has made steady progress. Accession negotiations could be concluded in 2010 if the country continues with reforms according to the planned timetable. Croatia also has to resolve its border issue with Slovenia.

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia has made progress in its reforms. The country has made particular efforts in the areas of democracy, justice and the fight against corruption. Discussions have also taken place under the auspices of the United Nations (UN) in order to resolve this country’s border issue with Greece.

The situation of potential candidates for membership

Bosnia and Herzegovina has not made sufficient progress at political level, in particular due to the unstable political climate and the unsatisfactory functioning of institutions. In view of this situation, the European presence in the country has been strengthened. Furthermore, the country was strongly affected by the crisis and turned to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for assistance.

In Kosovo, stability has been maintained but remains fragile. The European EULEX Mission has therefore been deployed throughout the territory. In addition, progress should be made to improve the functioning of justice and the administration, as well as to reconcile the different communities in the country. Finally, European financial aid has been increased since 2008, and EUR 500 million was earmarked for the country for the years 2007-2010.

Reforms in Montenegro have progressed at political and democratic levels. However, shortcomings in the judiciary and in administrative capacity still remain. Moreover, the country concluded an agreement with Croatia to resolve the border issue between them.

Serbia should continue its reforms, particularly with regard to the economy. In addition, the country requested specific assistance from the EU and the IMF to recover from the economic crisis. The country should also improve its relations with Kosovo. Administrative capacity has been improved. Furthermore, the country is cooperating in a satisfactory manner with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), but some war criminals have still not been arrested.

In 2009, the European Union received two new applications for membership from Albania and Iceland.

Albania has made satisfactory progress. Parliamentary elections organised in 2009 met with international standards. However, efforts are still required to guarantee the smooth functioning of the judiciary.

Iceland applied for membership in July 2009, in particular due to the financial crisis which has strongly affected it. This country is thoroughly integrated in the European internal market: it participates in the European Economic Area (EEA) and the Schengen Area.

Priorities of the 2009 – 2010 strategy

In order to foster economic recovery following the international financial crisis, the enlargement process supports the adoption of:

  • short term measures to fight unemployment and poverty;
  • medium-term measures to strengthen the stability of public finances and fiscal policies on the one hand, and to improve social protection and increase investment on the other.

In this context, European aid amounts to EUR 200 million in the form of grants, under the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA). The aid aims at strengthening:

  • the banking sector,
  • infrastructures,
  • small and medium-sized enterprises,
  • employment, particularly in rural areas.

The development of the rule of law and good governance is an essential priority for the EU. In 2009, EUR 80 million of IPA assistance were allocated for strengthening the judiciary and administration of partner countries.

Candidate countries should resolve conflicts with neighbours and maintain good relations with neighbouring States.

Increased regional cooperation is essential for economic development in the Balkans. In this regard, progress has been made in the areas of energy and transport. The Commission encourages cooperation under the South East European Cooperation Process.

Priorities for the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA)

The IPA has a budget of EUR 1.5 billion for the period 2009 – 2010. As a priority it finances:

  • the visa liberalisation regime for the Western Balkans, which is being completed in line with commitments under the Thessaloniki Agenda. All of the agreements aimed at facilitating the granting of visas and the readmission of persons residing without authorisation to their State have entered into force. In this spirit, the Commission has proposed a visa-free regime, applicable by 2010, for citizens from the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia;
  • the improvement of the quality of the pre-accession process through regular political dialogue and the monitoring of partners’ reforms;
  • the inclusion of civil society and administrations in the enlargement process to facilitate, in particular, their participation in EU agencies and programmes;
  • the fight against climate change, in particular by establishing the Regional Environmental Network for Accession (RENA) and by funding projects aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions;
  • improving communication about the enlargement process, directed at the populations of partner countries and European Union countries.

Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance

Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance

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Agriculture > Agriculture: enlargement

Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA)

Document or Iniciative

Council Regulation (EC) No 1085/2006 of 17 July 2006 establishing an Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) [See amending act(s)].

Summary

The Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) is the financial instrument for the European Union (EU) pre-accession process for the period 2007-2013. Assistance is provided on the basis of the European Partnerships of the potential candidates and the Accession Partnerships of the candidate countries, which means the Western Balkan countries, Turkey and Iceland. The IPA is intended as a flexible instrument and therefore provides assistance which depends on the progress made by the beneficiary countries and their needs as shown in the Commission’s evaluations and strategy papers.

Nature of the IPA

The beneficiary countries are divided into two categories, depending on their status as either candidate countries under the accession process or potential candidates under the stabilisation and association process, namely:

  • candidate countries (Annex I to the Regulation): the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Croatia, Turkey;
  • potential candidate countries as defined at the Santa Maria da Feira European Council of 20 June 2000 (Annex II to the Regulation): Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iceland, Montenegro, Serbia including Kosovo as defined by the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244/1999.

The annexes will be amended as and when changes in the status of the countries occur, pursuant to a Council decision adopted by qualified majority on a proposal from the Commission.

Exceptionally, and in the interests of coherence and efficiency, other countries may benefit from measures financed by the IPA. Provided these measures form part of a regional, cross-border, trans-national or worldwide framework and do not duplicate other programmes under Community external aid instruments.

The IPA was designed so as to address the needs of the beneficiary countries within the context of pre-accession policy in the most appropriate way. Its main aim is to support institution-building and the rule of law, human rights, including the fundamental freedoms, minority rights, gender equality and non-discrimination, both administrative and economic reforms, economic and social development, reconciliation and reconstruction, and regional and cross-border cooperation.

To ensure targeted, effective and coherent action, the IPA is made up of five components, each covering priorities defined according to the needs of the beneficiary countries. Two components concern all beneficiary countries:

  • the “support for transition and institution-building” component, aimed at financing capacity-building and institution-building;
  • the “cross-border cooperation” component, aimed at supporting the beneficiary countries in the area of cross-border cooperation between themselves, with the EU Member States or within the framework of cross-border or inter-regional actions.

The other three components are aimed at candidate countries only:

  • the “regional development” component, aimed at supporting the countries’ preparations for the implementation of the Community’s cohesion policy, and in particular for the European Regional Development Fund and the Cohesion Fund;
  • the “human resources development” component, which concerns preparation for participation in cohesion policy and the European Social Fund;
  • the “rural development” component, which concerns preparation for the common agricultural policy and related policies and for the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD).

Candidate countries are therefore prepared for full implementation of the Community acquis at the time of accession. While potential candidates shall benefit from support to progressively align themselves to the Community acquis. Potential candidates may however benefit from similar measures as those provided under the last three components under the framework of the first component. The difference is essentially in the way these measures are implemented, since for the three components preparing for implementation of the structural and agricultural funds the beneficiary country is required to manage Community funds in a decentralised manner.

Management and implementation of the IPA

The IPA is based on strategic multi-annual planning established in accordance with the broad political guidelines set out in the Commission’s enlargement package, which now includes a Multi-annual Indicative Financial Framework (MIFF). The MIFF takes the form of a table presenting the Commission’s intentions for the allocation of funds for the three forthcoming years, broken down by beneficiary and by component, on the basis of the needs and the administrative and management capacity of the country concerned and compliance with the Copenhagen accession criteria.

The strategic planning is made up of multi-annual indicative planning documents, with the MIFF constituting the reference framework. They are established for each beneficiary country and cover the main intervention areas envisaged for that country.

As regards action on the ground, annual or multi-annual programmes (depending on the component) based on the indicative planning documents, are adopted by the Commission. They are implemented following three management methods: by centralised, decentralised or shared management.

Assistance under the IPA can take, inter alia, the following forms:

  • investment, procurement contracts or subsidies;
  • administrative cooperation, involving experts sent from the Member States;
  • participation in Community programmes or agencies;
  • measures to support the implementation process and management of the programmes;
  • budget support (granted exceptionally and subject to supervision).

The rules of participation for implementing the different programmes launched under the IPA are flexible enough to ensure that the instrument is effective. Participation in the award of procurement or grant contracts is open to all natural and legal persons and international organisations. As such, natural persons must be nationals of, or legal persons established in:

  • a Member State of the EU or the European Economic Area (EEA);
  • a country that is a beneficiary of the IPA or a country that is a beneficiary of the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI).

Moreover participation is also open to natural and legal persons from countries other than those mentioned above where these countries enjoy reciprocal access to Community external assistance. Reciprocal access is based on a country’s or regional group of countries’ status as a donor and is subject to a Commission decision adopted after consulting the IPA Committee.

All supplies and materials needed to implement such contracts must comply with the rules of origin, in other words they must originate in the EU or a country eligible under the previous paragraph. Experts are not subject to the nationality condition.

However, in exceptional cases, the Commission may depart from these rules. Moreover, operations may be co-financed by the EU and a regional organisation, a Member State or a third country (subject to reciprocity), or financed by the EU and implemented via an international organisation. In this case the natural or legal persons eligible for co-financing are also entitled to IAP financing.

The management of funds granted under this Regulation complies with the general management conditions for Community funds set out in Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002, which the Commission is responsible for implementing (management, monitoring, evaluation, reporting). Such management must also comply strictly with the rules on the protection of the Community’s financial interests. In this context the Commission and the Court of Auditors have the power of audit over all contractors and subcontractors, on the basis of documents and on the spot, ex ante and ex post.

The Commission is also assisted by committees. The purpose of the IPA Committee set up by the Regulation is to ensure coordination and coherence between assistance granted under the different components. However, for implementing the “regional development”, “human resources development” and “rural development” components, the Commission is assisted by committees established within the framework of each structural fund.

The application of the IPA is also subject to a suspension clause, which applies to all beneficiary countries that fail to comply with the principles of democracy, the rule of law, human rights and minority rights, and the commitments contained in the partnership (accession partnership or European partnership). It also applies to countries that fail to make sufficient progress towards fulfilment of accession criteria or, for the Western Balkan countries, towards the reform process. The Council may then take appropriate measures, acting by qualified majority on a proposal from the Commission, after informing the European Parliament.

Background

This Regulation forms part of the revised external aid framework for the 2007-2013 financial perspective, in particular in terms of efficiency and coherence, while taking into account the specific features of pre-accession aid. The IPA must be consistent with development aid, but its primary aim is to prepare the beneficiary countries for accession in the not too distant future. One of the main characteristics of pre-accession aid is its bridging function, since it is designed to prepare countries for the period after accession.

The IPA therefore provides a unique and rationalised framework. As such it will replace, from 1 January 2007, the programmes for the period 2000-2006, namely:

  • the programmes for candidate countries, namely Phare, SAPARD and ISPA, Phare Cross-Border Cooperation (CBC) and Coordination, pre-accession financial assistance for Turkey;
  • the programmes for potential candidate countries, namely CARDS.

References

Act Entry into force – Date of expiry Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 1085/2006

1.8.2006 – 31.12.2013

OJ L 210, 31.7.2006

Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Regulation (EU) No 540/2010

14.7.2010

OJ L 158 of 24.6.2010

Related Acts

IMPLEMENTATION OF THE IAP

Commission Regulation (EU) No 80/2010 of 28 January 2010 amending Regulation (EC) No 718/2007 implementing Council Regulation (EC) No 1085/2006 establishing an instrument for pre-accession assistance (IPA)
This Regulation clarifies the rules on granting and evaluating pre-accession assistance. Furthermore, it establishes Community rules for the five thematic IPA components. It also includes the potential for funding granted under cross-border cooperation.

Commission Regulation (EC) No 718/2007 of 12 June 2007 implementing Council Regulation (EC) No 1085/2006 establishing an instrument for pre-accession assistance (IPA) [Official Journal L 170 of 29.6.2007].

Decision 2007/766/EC of 14 November 2007 drawing up the list of regions and areas eligible for financing under the Cross-border Cooperation Component of the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance for the purpose of cross-border cooperation between Member States and beneficiary countries for the period 2007 to 2013 [Official Journal L 310 of 28.11.2007].

PLANNING

Communication from the Communication to the European Parliament and the Council of 12 October 2011 – Instrument for pre-accession assistance (IPA). Revised multi-annual indicative financial framework for 2012-2013 [COM(2011) 641 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 14 October 2009 – Instrument for pre-accession assistance (IPA) – Multi-annual indicative financial framework for 2011-2013 [COM(2009) 543 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 5 November 2008 – Instrument for pre-accession assistance (IPA) multi-annual indicative financial framework for 2010-2012 [COM(2008) 705 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament – Instrument for pre-accession assistance (IPA) – Multi-annual indicative financial framework for 2009-2011 [COM(2007) 689 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Communication from the Commission of 8 November 2006 to the Council and the European Parliament – Instrument for pre-accession assistance (IPA). Multi-annual indicative financial framework for 2008-2010 [COM(2006) 672 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

REPORT

Report from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament and the European Economic and Social Committee of 23 December 2009 – 2008 ANNUAL Report on the implementation of the instrument for pre-accession assistance (IPA) [COM(2009) 699 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Report from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament and the European Economic and Social Committee of 15 December 2008 – 2007 Annual IPA Report [COM(2008) 850 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – Information society and media

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – Information society and media

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – Information society and media

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These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Audiovisual and media

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – Information society and media

acquis) and, more specifically, the priorities identified jointly by the Commission and the candidate countries in the analytical assessment (or ‘screening’) of the EU’s political and legislative acquis. Each year, the Commission reviews the progress made by candidates and evaluates the efforts required before their accession. This monitoring is the subject of annual reports presented to the Council and the European Parliament.

Document or Iniciative

Commission Report [COM (2011) 666 final – SEC(2011) 1203 – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia was granted candidate country status for European Union (EU) membership in 2005. The Accession Partnership, adopted by the Council in 2008, supports the country’s preparations in view of its future membership and the alignment of its legislation with the Community acquis. In 2008, the accession negotiations had not yet been opened, as some progress still needed to be made on the objectives and conditions set out in the partnership.

The 2011 Report notes progress with regard to the alignment of the legislation with the acquis, although the capacities of the Broadcasting Council to monitor the market remain inadequate.

EUROPEAN UNION ACQUIS (according to the Commission’s words)

The acquis includes specific rules relating to electronic communications, information society services, particularly e-commerce and services based on conditional access, and to audiovisual services. In the field of electronic communications, the acquis aims at removing the obstacles preventing the smooth running of the internal market of telecommunications services and networks, at encouraging competition and at protecting consumers’ interests, specifically by guaranteeing the universal availability of modern services.

In terms of audiovisual policy, the acquis requires legislative alignment with the Television without Frontiers Directive which creates the conditions for the free movement of television programmes in the European Union. The acquis intends to define a transparent, reliable and efficient regulatory framework for public and private broadcasting which meets European standards. It also estimates the capacity for participating in the Community programmes Media Plus and Media Training.

EVALUATION (according to the Commission’s words)

Progress was made in the field of information society and media. Alignment with the EU acquis is advancing and most of the key competitive safeguards were introduced. The capacity of the Broadcasting Council to monitor the market effectively remains inadequate.

Related Acts

Commission Report [COM(2010) 660 final – SEC(2010) 1327 – Not published in the Official Journal].
The 2010 Report presents advancements concerning alignment with the acquis and liberalisation of the Information Society and Media sector. In particular, progress must be made to ensure the proper functioning of public service broadcasters.

Commission Report [COM(2009) 533 final – SEC(2009) 1334 – Not published in the Official Journal].

The October 2009 report indicates that the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia has progressed on audiovisual policy, having partly met its objectives. However, while the administrative capacity of the Broadcasting Council was strengthened, no efforts were made to ensure the sustainability of the public service broadcaster. Also, both still face political interference. In the field of culture, the country has made some progress and its preparations now meet the EU requirements.

Commission Report [COM(2008) 674 final – SEC(2008) 2699 – Not published in the Official Journal].
The November 2008 report noted that some progress had been achieved in the field of audiovisual policy and that preparations in the media sector were advanced. However, certain concerns remained, in particular with regard to the financial situation of the Broadcasting Council and the public service broadcaster. In the area of culture, progress had been good. The country has been participating in the Community programme on culture.

Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – External relations, Common Foreign and Security Policy

Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – External relations, Common Foreign and Security Policy

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – External relations, Common Foreign and Security Policy

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Enlargement > Ongoing enlargement > The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – External relations, Common Foreign and Security Policy

acquis) and, more specifically, the priorities identified jointly by the Commission and the candidate countries in the analytical assessment (or ‘screening’) of the EU’s political and legislative acquis. Each year, the Commission reviews the progress made by candidates and evaluates the efforts required before their accession. This monitoring is the subject of annual reports presented to the Council and the European Parliament.

Document or Iniciative

Commission Report [COM(2011) 666 final – SEC(2011) 1203 – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia was granted the status of candidate country for accession to the European Union (EU) in 2005. The Accession Partnership, adopted by the Council in 2008, supports the country’s preparations for its future accession and the aligning of its legislation with the Community acquis. In 2008, negotiations for accession had not yet started since some progress still needed to be made with regard to the objectives and conditions defined within the framework of the Partnership.

In its 2011 Report, the European Commission states that alignment with the acquis on the common commercial policy has progressed. Advancements in the field of foreign and security policy are also adequate.

EUROPEAN UNION ACQUIS (according to the Commission’s words)

In this field the Community acquis mainly comprises directly binding legislation which does not require transposition into national law. EU legislation results from the Union’s multi-lateral and bi-lateral agreements on matters of trade policy as well as from a certain number of autonomous preferential trade measures. In the fields of development and humanitarian aid, Member States must comply with the relevant EU legislation and international commitments and equip themselves with the capacities required to participate in EU policies in these sectors. Candidate countries are invited to progressively align their policies with regard to third countries, and their positions within international organisations, with the policies and positions adopted by the Union and its Member States.

The Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) are based on legal acts, legally binding international agreements in particular, and on policy documents. The acquis comprises declarations, actions and policy agreements. Member States must be in a position to conduct political dialogue under the framework of the CFSP, to align with the EU’s declarations, to take part in EU action and to apply the appropriate sanctions and restrictive measures. Candidate countries are invited to progressively align with the EU’s declarations and to apply sanctions and restrictive measures if required.

EVALUATION (according to the Commission’s words)

Progress was made in the area of external relations, notably in the alignment towards the common commercial policy.

There was also progress in the area of foreign, security and defence policy. The country took measures to ensure better coordination between the competent authorities in the implementation of international restrictive measures. It aligned with all EU declarations and Council decisions and showed continued commitment to participate in civil and military and crisis management operations.

Related Acts

Commission Report [COM(2010) 660 final – SEC(2010) 1327 – Not published in the Official Journal].
The situation presented by the 2010 Report is satisfactory. The country cooperates fully with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and the International Criminal Court. Furthermore, the country plays an active part in bilateral and regional cooperation initiatives, including for maintaining good neighbourly relations.

Commission Report [COM(2009) 533 final – SEC(2009) 1334 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Commission Report [COM(2008) 674 final – SEC(2008) 2699 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – Regional policy

Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – Regional policy

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – Regional policy

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Enlargement > Ongoing enlargement > The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – Regional policy

acquis) and, more specifically, the priorities identified jointly by the Commission and the candidate countries in the analytical assessment (or ‘screening’) of the EU’s political and legislative acquis. Each year, the Commission reviews the progress made by candidates and evaluates the efforts required before their accession. This monitoring is the subject of annual reports presented to the Council and the European Parliament.

Document or Iniciative

Commission Report [COM(2011) 666 final – SEC(2011) 1203 – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia was granted the status of candidate country for accession to the European Union (EU) in 2005. The Accession Partnership, adopted by the Council in 2008, supports the country’s preparations for its future accession and the aligning of its legislation with the Community acquis. In 2008, negotiations for accession had not yet started since some progress still needed to be made with regard to the objectives and conditions defined within the framework of the Partnership.

In its 2011 Report, the Commission states that the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia has progressed in implementing the operational programme for regional development and human resources development.

EUROPEAN UNION ACQUIS (according to the Commission’s words)

In the field of regional policy, the acquis essentially comprises framework regulations and implementing regulations which do not require transposition into national law. They define the rules applicable to the development, approval and implementation of the Structural Funds and the Cohesion Fund, which each reflect the territorial organisation of the country. These programmes are negotiated and agreed with the Commission, but their implementation is the responsibility of the Member States. When choosing and implementing projects, Member States must comply with Community legislation in general, for example in the areas of public procurement, competition and the environment. They must have a suitable institutional framework and administrative capacities to ensure that the programming, implementation, monitoring and assessment of projects are carried out in a rational and cost-effective manner with regards to management and financial control.

EVALUATION (according to the Commission’s words)

Some progress was noted in the area of regionaldevelopment and coordination of structural funds. There has been some progress in the implementation of the IPA components concerning operational programme for the regional development and human resources development. Inadequate expertise and insufficient institutional coordination has led to considerable delays. It is necessary to strengthen ownership of the programme implementation by the authorities.

Related Acts

Commission Report [COM(2010) 660 final – SEC(2010) 1327 – Not published in the Official Journal].
In its 2010 Report, the Commission indicated that additional efforts were required with regard to regional development and the coordination of structural funds. Implementation of the regional development programme had been significantly delayed.

Commission Report [COM(2009) 533 final – SEC(2009) 1334 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Commission Report [COM(2008) 674 final – SEC(2008) 2699 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – Employment and Social Policy

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – Employment and Social Policy

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – Employment and Social Policy

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Employment and social policy > Employment and social policy: international dimension and enlargement

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – Employment and Social Policy

acquis) and, more specifically, the priorities identified jointly by the Commission and the candidate countries in the analytical assessment (or ‘screening’) of the EU’s political and legislative acquis. Each year, the Commission reviews the progress made by candidates and evaluates the efforts required before their accession. This monitoring is the subject of annual reports presented to the Council and the European Parliament.

Document or Iniciative

Commission Report – [COM(2011) 666 final – SEC(2011) 1203 – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia was granted candidate country status for European Union (EU) membership in 2005. The Accession Partnership, adopted by the Council in 2008, supports the country’s preparations in view of its future membership and the alignment of its legislation with the Community acquis. In 2008, the accession negotiations had not yet been opened, as some progress still needed to be made on the objectives and conditions set out in the partnership.

In its 2011 Report, the European Commission outlines the limited progress made towards aligning the national legislation with the acquis. Unemployment remains high and social inclusion policies are still ineffective.

EUROPEAN UNION ACQUIS (according to the Commission’s words)

The acquis in the social field includes minimum standards in areas such as labour law, equal treatment of women and men, health and safety at work and anti-discrimination. The European Social Fund (ESF) is the main financial tool through which the EU supports the implementation of its Employment Strategy and contributes to social inclusion efforts in the fight against social exclusion (implementation rules are covered under Chapter 22, which deals with all structural instruments). The Member States participate in social dialogue at European level and in EU policy processes in the areas of employment policy, social inclusion and social protection.

EVALUATION (according to the Commission’s words)

Limited progress was noted in aligning with the acquis on social policy and employment. The implementation of the framework law on anti-discrimination has commenced. Full alignment with the acquis remains to be achieved. The high unemployment rate and the low labour market participation remain worrying. Inclusion of Roma, people with disabilities and other socially excluded people is slow. Effective employment and social inclusion policies are should be further implemented, and the social dialogue should be further strengthened. The overall administrative capacity is not sufficient.

Related Acts

Commission Report [COM(2010) 660 final – SEC(2010) 1327 – Not published in the Official Journal].
The 2010 Report notes the adoption of a law framing the fight against discrimination. However, it does include all of the EU acquis in this area. In addition, progress is still inadequate with regard to social dialogue and social inclusion strategies.

Commission Report [COM(2009) 533 final – SEC(2009) 1334 – Not published in the Official Journal].

The October 2009 report gives an account of progress made in the reforms. However, additional efforts should be made, in particular to improve the quality of social dialogue and the employment of persons excluded from the labour market. The administrative capacity of the State has been strengthened, but it remains insufficient to implement the legislative and political reforms.

Commission Report [COM(2008) 674 final – SEC(2008) 2699 – Not published in the Official Journal].

In its Report of November 2008 the Commission considers that the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia must make significant efforts to align its legislation with the Community acquis in the field of social policy and employment. In this respect, the introduction of laws and policies should be accelerated and the country’s administrative capacity reinforced.

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – Research and new technologies

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – Research and new technologies

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – Research and new technologies

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Research and innovation > Research and innovation: international dimension and enlargement

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – Research and new technologies

acquis) and, more specifically, the priorities identified jointly by the Commission and the candidate countries in the analytical assessment (or ‘screening’) of the EU’s political and legislative acquis. Each year, the Commission reviews the progress made by candidates and evaluates the efforts required before their accession. This monitoring is the subject of annual reports presented to the Council and the European Parliament.

Document or Iniciative

Commission Report – [COM(2011) 666 final – SEC(2011) 1203 – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia was granted candidate country status for European Union (EU) membership in 2005. The Accession Partnership, adopted by the Council in 2008, supports the country’s preparations in view of its future membership and the alignment of its legislation with the Community acquis. In 2008, the accession negotiations had not yet been opened, as some progress still needed to be made on the objectives and conditions set out in the partnership.

The 2011 Report outlines progress, particularly in implementing the 2011-2020 Strategy. However, the administrative capacities remain limited.

EUROPEAN UNION ACQUIS (according to the Commission’s words)

Due to its specificity, the acquis in the field of science and research does not require any transposition in the national legal order. Implementation capacity does not relate to the application and enforcement of legal provisions but rather to the existence of the necessary conditions for effective participation in the framework programmes. In order to ensure the successful implementation of the acquis in this domain, notably successful association to the framework programmes, Turkey will need to create the necessary implementing capacities in the field of research and technological development including an increase of the personnel assigned to framework programme activities.

The acquis in the field of telecommunications is aimed at the elimination of obstacles to the effective operation of the single market in telecommunications services and networks, and the deployment of universally available modern services. A new regulatory framework on electronic communications was adopted by the European Union (EU) in 2002. As regards postal services, the objective is to implement the single market by opening up the sector to competition in a gradual and controlled way, within a regulatory framework which assures a universal service.

EVALUATION (according to the Commission’s words)

Concerning European standards on science and research progress was noted. The national strategy for 2011 – 2020 was adopted. The participation rate in the Seventh EU Framework Research Programme has further increased. The administrative capacity to support participation in the framework programmes is weak.

Related Acts

Commission Report [COM(2010) 660 final – SEC(2010) 1327 – Not published in the Official Journal].
The 2010 Report notes an increase in the level of participation in EU programmes on research matters. However, the capacities of research institutes need to be strengthened, and also their cooperation with industry.

Commission Report [COM(2009) 533 final – SEC(2009) 1334 – Not published in the Official Journal].

Commission Report [COM(2008) 674 final – SEC(2008) 2699 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

The November 2008 report notes significant progress in the area of electronic communications. The sector is more competitive. However, the financial situation of the Broadcasting Council and the Public Service Broadcaster is to be improved.

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – Agriculture, fisheries and food safety

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – Agriculture, fisheries and food safety

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – Agriculture, fisheries and food safety

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Agriculture > Agriculture: enlargement

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – Agriculture, fisheries and food safety

acquis) and, more specifically, the priorities identified jointly by the Commission and the candidate countries in the analytical assessment (or ‘screening’) of the EU’s political and legislative acquis. Each year, the Commission reviews the progress made by candidates and evaluates the efforts required before their accession. This monitoring is the subject of annual reports presented to the Council and the European Parliament.

Document or Iniciative

Commission Report [COM(2011) 666 final – SEC(2011) 1203 – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia was granted candidate country status for European Union (EU) membership in 2005. The Accession Partnership, adopted by the Council in 2008, supports the country’s preparations in view of its future membership and the alignment of its legislation with the Community acquis. In 2008, the accession negotiations had not yet been opened, as some progress still needed to be made on the objectives and conditions set out in the partnership.

The 2011 Report notes progress made with regard to alignment with the acquis, although the administrative capacities are not yet fully operational. Furthermore, the report notes satisfactory progress on food security matters.

EUROPEAN UNION ACQUIS (according to the Commission’s words)

The agriculture chapter covers a large number of binding rules, many of which are directly applicable. The proper application of these rules and their effective enforcement by an efficient public administration are essential for the functioning of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). The CAP includes the setting-up of management and control systems such as a paying agency and the Integrated Administration and Control System (IACS), and also the capacity to implement rural development measures. EU accession requires integration into the common market organisations for a range of agricultural products, including arable crops, sugar, animal products and specialised crops. Member States must also be able to apply EU legislation on direct aid for farmers and to manage the common market organisations for various agricultural products.

The fisheries
acquis consists of regulations, which do not need to be transposed into national legislation. However, it requires the introduction of measures to prepare the administration and operators for participation in the Common Fisheries Policy (in the areas of market policy, resource and fleet management, inspection and control, structural actions and State aid). In some cases, existing fisheries agreements or conventions with third countries or international organisations need to be adapted.

This chapter covers detailed rules in the area of food safety. The general foodstuffs policy sets hygiene rules for foodstuff production. Furthermore, the acquis provides detailed rules in the veterinary field, which are essential for safeguarding animal health, animal welfare and safety of food of animal origin in the internal market. In the phytosanitary field, EU rules cover issues such as quality of seed, plant protection material, harmful organisms and animal nutrition.

EVALUATION (according to the Commission’s words)

Further progress was achieved in the field of agriculture and rural development. Key support policies for agricultural and rural development are gradually being aligned with EU requirements. Alignment with the acquis requires continuing sustained efforts. Administrative capacity remains a concern throughout the sector.

There was good progress in the area of food safety, veterinary and phytosanitary policy, in particular with respect to the adoption of new framework legislation. Administrative capacity of the Food and Veterinary Agency remains however insufficient to ensure proper implementation of the acquis.

Related Acts

Commission Report [COM(2010) 660 final – SEC(2010) 1327 – Not published in the Official Journal].

In its 2010 Report, the Commission noted the country’s progress towards alignment in the field of agricultural policy and rural development. Similarly, the country had also made progress on food security matters. Strengthening administrative capacity in these two areas remains essential. Furthermore, preparations have begun on the implementation of the Fisheries policy.

Commission Report [COM(2009) 533 final – SEC(2009) 1334 – Not published in the Official Journal].

Commission Report [COM(2008) 674 final – SEC(2008) 2699 – Not published in the Official Journal].

In its November 2008 report, the Commission notes that considerable efforts are required by the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) to align its agricultural legislation with EU legislation. There has been progress in the field of agriculture and on rural development. In the field of food safety, the administrative capacity has been strengthened in terms of both the number and competence of staff. Preparations for implementation of the common fisheries policy are at an early stage.

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – Economic and monetary affairs

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – Economic and monetary affairs

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – Economic and monetary affairs

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Enlargement > Ongoing enlargement > The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – Economic and monetary affairs

acquis) and, more specifically, the priorities identified jointly by the Commission and the candidate countries in the analytical assessment (or ‘screening’) of the EU’s political and legislative acquis. Each year, the Commission reviews the progress made by candidates and evaluates the efforts required before their accession. This monitoring is the subject of annual reports presented to the Council and the European Parliament.

Document or Iniciative

Commission Report [COM(2011) 666 final – SEC(2011) 1203 – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia was granted candidate country status for European Union (EU) membership in 2005. The Accession Partnership, adopted by the Council in 2008, supports the country’s preparations in view of its future membership and the alignment of its legislation with the Community acquis. In 2008, the accession negotiations had not yet been opened, as some progress still needed to be made on the objectives and conditions set out in the partnership.

The 2011 Report states that some progress has been made on economic and monetary policy matters. The country has made good progress in establishing a functioning market economy and has improved dialogue with the business community. However, weaknesses in the rule of law continue to impede the proper functioning of the internal market of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. In addition, financial supervisory bodies still lack independence.

EUROPEAN UNION ACQUIS (according to the Commission’s words)

EU legislation on economic and monetary policy contains specific rules requiring the independence of central banks in Member States, prohibiting direct financing of the public sector by the Central Bank and prohibiting privileged access of the public sector to financial institutions. Upon accession, new Member States will be expected to coordinate their economic policies and will be subject to the provisions of the Stability and Growth Pact on budget monitoring matters. These States are also committed to complying with the criteria laid down in the Treaty in order to be able to adopt the euro. Until their adoption of the euro, they will participate in Economic and Monetary Union as a Member State with derogation and will treat their exchange rates as a matter of common concern.

EVALUATION (according to the Commission’s words)

The economy of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia started to recover in the second half of 2010, benefitting from external demand and increased investment, in particular in construction. In late 2010, the government agreed with the IMF on a pre-cautionary credit line. This should strengthen international markets confidence. Structural reforms have continued. However, high structural unemployment, in particular among the young and poorly educated, remains a major cause of concern. Institutional capacities of the public administration and of regulatory and supervisory agencies are still inadequate.

As regards the economic criteria, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia continues to be well advanced. In some areas, it has made further progress towards becoming a functioning market economy, notably by facilitating company registration, accelerating judiciary procedures, improving the functioning of financial markets, further simplifying the regulatory framework and improving communication with the business community. The country should be able to cope with competitive pressures and market forces within the Union in the medium term, provided that it vigorously implements its reform programme in order to reduce significant structural weaknesses.

The country has maintained a broad consensus on the essentials of economic policies. The economic dialogue with the business community has improved. The stance of monetary policy, based on the de facto peg to the euro, supported growth and contributed to macroeconomic stability. Fiscal policy maintained its stability orientation. Some further progress has been achieved in facilitating market entry and in simplifying the regulatory framework. The duration of bankruptcy procedures has been further reduced and real estate registration is practically completed. The financial sector started to recover from the global financial crisis. Competition in this sector has slightly improved, as well as the level of financial intermediation.

Weaknesses in the rule of law continue to impede the proper functioning of the market economy. Public administration efficiency is still low, reflecting heavy procedures, weaknesses in staffing and a high turnover of officials. Some regulatory and supervisory agencies continue to lack the necessary independence and resource allocation to fulfil their functions effectively. Contract enforcement is still difficult, which hampers the business environment, in particular for small and medium sized enterprises. The quality of education and of the human capital is low. Physical capital needs further modernisation and deepening.

There was significant progress in the area of economic and monetary policy, especially in adoption of the relevant central bank legislation. The quality of the pre-accession economic programme has improved. There was good progress in several areas of statistics; substantial efforts are still needed to improve in particular economic statistics.

Progress in the area of financial control was related mainly to legislative alignment, and efforts are called for to ensure its implementation, especially in relation to the establishment of Financial Management and Control systems. The State Audit Office’s administrative capacity has been further strengthened; however its independence remains to be anchored in the Constitution. There is no particular progress to report under financial and budgetary provisions. The administrative framework for the application of the own resources framework is still not in place.

Related Acts

Commission Report [COM(2010) 660 final – SEC(2010) 1327 – Not published in the Official Journal].

The 2010 Report indicates that the country suffered little from the economic and financial crisis, due to its low level of exposure to the international economy. Structural reforms were therefore able to continue. However, the progress is inadequate for reducing the levels of unemployment and improving the business environment.

Commission Report [COM(2009) 533 final – SEC(2009) 1334 – Not published in the Official Journal].

Commission Report [COM(2008) 674 final – SEC(2008) 2699 – Not published in the Official Journal].

In its 2008 Report, the Commission presented encouraging results achieved by the country concerning the financial and economic stability of the market. However, the reform process had slowed down in 2007 and little new progress had been recorded with regard to alignment with the acquis. The administrative capacity remained inadequate, particularly at local level.

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – Justice and security

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – Justice and security

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – Justice and security

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Enlargement > Ongoing enlargement > The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – Justice and security

acquis) and, more specifically, the priorities identified jointly by the Commission and the candidate countries in the analytical assessment (or ‘screening’) of the EU’s political and legislative acquis. Each year, the Commission reviews the progress made by candidates and evaluates the efforts required before their accession. This monitoring is the subject of annual reports presented to the Council and the European Parliament.

Document or Iniciative

Commission Report [COM(2011) 666 final – SEC(2011) 1203 – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia was granted candidate country status for European Union (EU) membership in 2005. The Accession Partnership, adopted by the Council in 2008, supports the country’s preparations in view of its future membership and the alignment of its legislation with the Community acquis. In 2008, the accession negotiations had not yet been opened, as some progress still needed to be made on the objectives and conditions set out in the partnership.

The 2011 Report states limited progress concerning the independence and efficiency of the judicial system, and regarding anti-corruption policy. The freedom of expression of the media remains a concern. However, the Report highlights satisfactory progress made concerning the external borders and Schengen, and on matters of judicial cooperation and customs cooperation.

EUROPEAN UNION ACQUIS (according to the Commission’s words)

EU policies in the area of justice and home affairs aim at maintaining and developing the Union as an area of freedom, security and justice. On issues such as border control, visas, migration, asylum, police cooperation, combating organised crime and cooperation with regard to drug trafficking, customs cooperation and judicial cooperation in civil and criminal matters, Member States need to be equipped to ensure that they are able to implement adequate standards and an increasing number of common rules. In order to do this, it is important first and foremost that the bodies responsible for applying the law and other competent bodies have robust and integrated administrative capacities which comply with the set standards. The setting up of a professional, reliable and efficient police force is of paramount importance. The Schengen acquis, which entails the lifting of internal border controls in the EU, is the most detailed element of the EU’s policies on justice, freedom and security. However, substantial parts of the Schengen acquis are implemented by the new Member States, following a separate decision taken by the Council after their accession.

EU policies relating to the judicial system and fundamental rights aim at pursuing and aiding the development of the Union as an area for freedom, security and justice. The establishment of an independent and efficient judicial system is of paramount importance. Impartiality, integrity and a high level of competency regarding the rulings made by courts are essential in maintaining the rule of law. This requires a firm commitment to eliminate all external influences on the judicial system and to dedicate the appropriate financial resources and training facilities to it. It is necessary to offer the necessary legal guarantees to ensure fair judicial procedures. Member States must also tackle corruption effectively insofar as it represents a risk to the stability of democratic institutions and the rule of law. It is necessary to establish a solid judicial framework and reliable institutions to which a coherent policy for preventing and dissuading corruption may be applied. Member States must ensure that the fundamental rights and the rights of EU citizens, as guaranteed by the acquis and the Charter for Fundamental Rights, are respected.

EVALUATION (according to the Commission’s words)

Some limited progress can be reported on independence and efficiency of the judiciary, including the amendment of the Minister of Justice’s role on the Judicial Council and the establishment of the High Administrative Court. Further efforts are needed as regards the evaluation and security of tenure of judges.

Some limited progress was made on anticorruption policy. Legislative alignment has continued and systematic verification of assetdeclarations was introduced. A track record in handling high level corruption cases has yet tobe established.

As regards fundamental rights, while the legal and institutional framework is broadly in place, better implementation is needed. A dialogue has been launched to address serious concerns regarding freedom of expression in the media. Some progress was made as regards cultural rights and minorities. The Ohrid Framework Agreement remains an essential element for democracy and rule of law in the country.

In the area of justice, freedom and security, good progress can be reported on external borders and Schengen, judicial cooperation and customs cooperation. The border police still lack adequate technical equipment, budgetary means. Some progress has been achieved on migration, visa policy, police cooperation and the fight against organised crime. The implementation of the police reform has continued, however structural problems, understaffing and lack of budgetary provision still persist. Implementation in the field of asylum remains insufficient, including on the provision of legal aid, interpretation and access to social rights.

Related Acts

Commission Report [COM(2010) 660 final – SEC(2010) 1327 – Not published in the Official Journal].
The 2010 Report presents progress made concerning police cooperation, the management of external borders and the Schengen agreement. In the area of asylum and visa policy, visa liberalisation has been established.

Commission Report [COM(2009) 533 final – SEC(2009) 1334 – Not published in the Official Journal].

The October 2009 report notes that the country has made good progress on the fight against organised crime and drugs. To reform the police, it has improved its administrative capacity; yet, further efforts are still needed to develop human resources management. International police cooperation at regional and EU level is being strengthened. In general, the country’s legislative and administrative capacity is now better aligned with the acquis.

Commission Report [COM(2008) 674 final – SEC(2008) 2699 – Not published in the Official Journal].
The November 2008 report indicated that there had been progress in particular in the fight against organised crime and in the field of police cooperation. In addition, there had been improvements in the operational capacity of the competent authorities. Nevertheless, efforts needed to be made to strengthen the country’s administrative capacity and to further fight organised crime.