Tag Archives: Pre-accession strategy

The 2004 enlargement: the challenge of a 25-member EU

The 2004 enlargement: the challenge of a 25-member EU

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about The 2004 enlargement: the challenge of a 25-member EU

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Enlargement > Enlargement 2004 and 2007

The 2004 enlargement: the challenge of a 25-member EU

This historic enlargement of the EU from 15 to 25 members is the culmination of a long accession process leading to the reunification of a Europe that had been divided for half a century by the Iron Curtain and the Cold War. It is therefore worth briefly reviewing the preparations for this fifth enlargement of the EU, and the challenges and prospects it brings with it.

Preparations for the fifth EU enlargement

The fall of the Berlin Wall on 9 November 1989 marked the disintegration of the entire Communist bloc in the East. This event was the starting point for the process of European reunification. From then on the EU and the candidate countries worked tirelessly together to prepare the enlargement within the framework of bilateral accession partnerships between the EU and each candidate country. The partnerships set the priorities and precise timetables for the ground which needed to be covered to enable each country to take on the obligations involved in accession.

From 1987 to 1996 thirteen countries submitted applications to join the EU: Cyprus, Estonia, Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Romania, Slovakia and Turkey. The Luxembourg European Council of 12 and 13 December 1997 launched the EU enlargement process, in which “each of the applicant States would proceed at its own rate, depending on its degree of preparedness”.

To prepare for EU membership, the candidate countries first signed Europe Agreements (in the case of Central and Eastern European countries) or Association Agreements (Turkey, Cyprus and Malta). The EU supported their work to adopt the Community’s rules through its pre-accession strategy. It gave them financial assistance for developing their institutions, infrastructure and economies.

Country Signing of Europe Agreement or Association Agreement Date of application for accession Association Agreement OJ Reference
Bulgaria

01.03.1993

14.12.1995

OJ L 358 of 31.12.94

Cyprus

19.12.1972

03.07.1990

OJ L 133 of 21.5.77

Estonia

12.06.1995

24.11.1995

OJ L 68 of 9.3.98

Hungary

16.12.1991

31.03.1994

OJ L 347 of 31.12.93

Latvia

12.06.1995

13.10.1995

OJ L 26 of 2.2.98

Lithuania

12.06.1995

08.12.1995

OJ L 51 of 20.2.98

Malta

05.12.1970

03.07.1990

OJ L 61 of 14.3.71

Poland

16.12.1991

05.04.1994

OJ L 348 of 31.12.93

Czech Republic

06.10.1993

17.01.1996

OJ L 360 of 31.12.94

Romania

08.02.1993

22.06.1995

OJ L 357 of 31.12.94

Slovakia

06.10.1993

27.06.1995

OJ L 359 of 31.12.94

Slovenia

10.06.1996

10.06.1996

OJ L 51 of 26.2.99

Turkey

12.09.1963

14.04.1987

OJ 217 of 29.12.64

Accession negotiations began on 31 March 1998 with the six best-prepared countries (Cyprus, Estonia, Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovenia), and on 15 February 2000 with all the other candidate countries (Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Romania and Slovakia) except Turkey. They were based on the principle of “differentiation”, i.e. each country’s progresses at its own pace according to its level of preparation for accession. The length of the negotiations therefore varied according to each country’s progress.

From 1998 the Commission published regular reports every year on the progress of each candidate country. The priorities for each candidate country and the specific support this required were defined in the accession partnerships adopted in 1998 and revised in 1999 and 2002. These documents were the basis for “screenings” (sector-by-sector evaluation) to establish a “roadmap” for each candidate specifying the legislation that needed to be adopted or amended to comply with the Community acquis.

The Copenhagen European Council of December 2002 found that 10 of the 13 candidate countries (Cyprus, Estonia, Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta and Slovakia) fulfilled the conditions necessary for joining the EU. They therefore signed their Accession Treaty on 16 April 2003 in Athens and officially joined the EU on 1 May 2004 after the ratification procedures were completed.

To become part of the EU, the ten candidate countries had first and foremost to be recognised as European States (Article 49 of the EU Treaty) and secondly to comply with the principles of freedom, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and the rule of law (Article 6 of the EU Treaty). They also had to fulfil the economic and political conditions known as the Copenhagen criteria, according to which a candidate country should:

  • be a stable democracy, respect human rights and the rule of law and protect minorities;
  • have a working market economy;
  • adopt the common rules, standards and policies which make up the body of EU law.

The challenges of the fifth EU enlargement

The driving force behind the fifth EU enlargement has been the desire to ensure peace, stability and economic prosperity in a re-unified Europe. Nevertheless, this entails both costs and benefits that it is important to quantify.

Peace, stability and economic prosperity in Europe

The objectives of European unification include:

  • ensuring peace and political stability throughout the continent;
  • securing greater prosperity for Europe’s citizens by extending the European socio-economic model and the euro-zone, while at the same time protecting the environment;
  • furthering democracy through compliance with the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights, which is based on the principles of dignity, equality, solidarity and justice;
  • reinforcing Europe’s role internationally, particularly in trade matters;
  • cultural enrichment.

To guarantee that enlargement does not undermine the economic and social achievements of the first forty years of the European project, the EU insisted in its negotiations with the candidate countries on the importance of:

  • liberalising economic and agricultural sectors;
  • reforming the judicial system and the police and combating corruption;
  • applying the rules on food safety;
  • combating organised crime, economic and financial crime, drug trafficking and trafficking in women, while upholding children’s’ rights;
  • upholding minority rights;
  • improving and protecting the environment, particularly in terms of waste management and the safety of nuclear power stations.

The cost and advantages of enlargement

The increase in the number of Member States with differing economic situations, the size of the EU’s population and the number of languages spoken calls for some effort to be made by Member States, particularly in financial terms.

As part of its pre-accession strategy, the EU set up a number of financial instruments (Phare, Ispa and Sapard) to help the candidate countries become members.

From 2000 to 2003 the European Commission devoted 13.2 billion euros to pre-accession expenditure. More than 41 billion euros were released for the period 2004-2006 (40.8 billion for the new Member States: agricultural subsidies, regional and infrastructure assistance, nuclear safety, public administration and border protection; 540 million for all Member States: research, culture and education).

When the ten new Member States joined the EU on 1 May 2004 the pre-accession strategy no longer applied to them, but they still benefit from the pre-accession financial instruments for projects presented before 2005 and are now eligible for the Structural Funds and the Cohesion Fund.

However, along with these costs go advantages, since the enlargement from 15 to 25 countries has made it possible to extend the area of stability and peace to the whole European continent, and so avoid the recurrence of conflicts such as that in the former Yugoslavia; to stimulate economic growth and trade by expanding the single market from 378 million to 453 million consumers in 2004, with a prospect of more than 480 million by 2007; and to acquire a greater role for Europe on the international stage, particularly in trade negotiations.

The new Member States have also contributed 15 billion euros to the EU budget. As not all the funds made available have been used, the European Commission has calculated that the net budget cost of the fifth enlargement will not exceed 10 billion euros for the period up to 2006.

The outlook for the fifth enlargement: towards an EU of 30 Member States

Having successfully grown from six members to twenty-five, the EU is now preparing for its next enlargement. Bulgaria and Romania signed their accession treaty on 25 April 2005. They should become members of the EU on 1 January 2007.

Turkey submitted its application for membership on 14 April 1987 and officially obtained the status of accession candidate at the Helsinki European Council of December 1999. In its recommendation of 6 October 2004 the Commission said that it considered that Turkey sufficiently fulfilled the Copenhagen political criteria. It therefore recommended commencing accession negotiations (subject to certain conditions) with Turkey. The European Council of December 2004 therefore programmed the commencement of negotiations for October 2005.

Croatia applied for EU membership on 21 February 2003. The June 2004 European Council officially recognised the country as an accession candidate and in November 2004 the Commission recommending opening negotiations. The December 2004 European Council then concluded that accession negotiations with Croatia should start on 17 March 2005 provided that Croatia fully cooperated with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), particularly regarding the arrest of General Gotovina and his transfer to the Hague. However, finding that Croatia had not fully cooperated, on 16 March 2005 the Council of Ministers decided to postpone the commencement of accession negotiations with Croatia indefinitely. It announced that a bilateral inter-governmental conference would be called by common agreement once it was found that Croatia was fully cooperating with the ICTY.

The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia submitted its accession application on 22 March 2004 but has not yet obtained the official status of candidate country.

The EU is thus working resolutely for new enlargements in the western Balkan region. It believes that these countries are destined to become members of the EU when they are ready.

This summary is for information only and is not designed to interpret or replace the reference document.

Kosovo – Towards European integration

Kosovo – Towards European integration

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Kosovo – Towards European integration

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Enlargement > The stabilisation and association process: the western balkans

Kosovo – Towards European integration

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council of 17 December 2009 – Kosovo – Fulfilling its European Perspective [COM(2009) 534 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

According to the status defined by United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244, Kosovo has made progress towards accession to the European Union (EU). Kosovo participates in the EU’s stabilisation and association process for the Western Balkans.

The progress made relates in the first instance to the adaptation of legislation to European standards and the establishment of a viable fiscal framework. However, Kosovo still faces major challenges on political, economic and social levels.

The EU provides technical and financial assistance to support the reforms. Among other things, Kosovo benefits from the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance, the CARDS programme and the Instrument for Stability.

Accelerating reforms

In 2008 and 2009, Kosovo adopted plans for measures corresponding to the objectives of the European Partnership. In particular, the reforms are intended to improve the following:

  • the functioning of the State, the judiciary and public administration;
  • fiscal policy and economic stability;
  • public procurement and the business environment;
  • the fight against corruption, money laundering and organised crime;
  • social cohesion;
  • the protection of minorities, in particular Serbs, and reconciliation between the communities.

Free movement of persons

Kosovo citizens now benefit from simplified procedures for obtaining short-stay visas in EU countries. Visa requirements are to be relaxed further if Kosovo makes progress concerning:

  • readmission arrangements for Kosovo citizens,
  • the fight against organised crime,
  • the security of identity documents,
  • the monitoring of migration and border security.

Kosovo is also to participate in the judicial cooperation work of Europol, Eurojust and Frontex.

Kosovo’s socio-economic development

Kosovo has been relatively little affected by the international economic crisis due to its limited integration into global trade. However, remittances and inflows of foreign investment decreased in 2009. In addition, Kosovo’s budget and trade deficits are considerable.

The EU supports Kosovo in several sectors:

  • trade – the Commission proposes a regime of exceptional trade measures which may be replaced in due time by another preferential regime for products from Kosovo (Pan-Euro-Mediterranean cumulation of origin);
  • macro-economic and fiscal stability – in the context of the EU-Kosovo economic dialogue and Kosovo’s membership of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF);
  • the private sector – to benefit small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and to promote privatisation and innovation;
  • social policies and employment – to strengthen job centres, work incentive and social inclusion schemes. In particular, Kosovo is associated with the European PROGRESS programme;
  • education, training and research – in particular through European student exchange programmes and the 7th Framework Programme for Research;
  • culture and civic life – for the benefit of civil society organisations in particular.

Kosovo’s efforts should be extended to new sectors:

  • energy – in order to privatise the sector, to increase energy efficiency and the use of renewable energies;
  • transport – to improve the rail and road infrastructure, and with regard to Kosovo’s participation in the European Common Aviation Area;
  • environment – measures should be taken to protect public health (drinking water, air quality, etc.), and to implement European legislation effectively.

Regional cooperation

Kosovo’s cooperation with the other countries of Southern Europe is essential for its commercial development, economic growth and political stability. However, its participation in regional forums remains a sensitive political issue. Similarly, a blockade has been maintained on Kosovo’s exports to Serbia and on transit trade with Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Kosovo’s external representation is carried out by UNMIK (United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo).

EU-Kosovo dialogue

Kosovo conducts a regular dialogue with the EU on the themes of innovation, the internal market, good governance, agriculture, the economy and infrastructures.

EU financial assistance

Aid allocated by the EU is targeted to a limited number of priorities. The funding allocated under the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA) amounts to EUR 359 million for the period 2007-2009 and EUR 206 million for 2010-2012. These funds are to be used to finance cross-border activities.

Context

Kosovo’s independence has been recognised by 22 out of 27 EU countries. This lack of a shared position does not prevent the EU from adopting measures to support its economic and political development.

In addition, the EU supports Kosovo’s stability through:

  • the presence of a civilian mission in the context of European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP),
  • the appointment of a Special Representative for political reform,
  • the establishment of the European EULEX mission for the rule of law (police, the judiciary and customs).

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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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 – Taxation

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – Taxation

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

Topics

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

Taxation

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – Taxation

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 legislativeacquis. 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 received 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.

The 2011 Report notes improvements concerning the operational capacities of the tax authority. However, improvements to combat tax fraud are required.

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

The acquis on taxation essentially covers the area of indirect taxation, which comprises VAT (value-added tax) and excise duties. It lays down scope, definitions and principles for VAT. Excise duties on energy products, tobacco products and alcoholic beverages are regulated by EU legislation. With regard to direct taxation, the acquis covers some aspects of the taxation of individuals’ savings and corporate taxes. Furthermore, Member States are required to comply with the principles of the code of conduct relating to corporate taxes, which seeks to abolish harmful tax measures. Administrative cooperation and mutual assistance between Member States aims at ensuring the smooth running of the internal market in the field of taxation and provides instruments for preventing intra-Community fraud and tax evasion. Member States must ensure that they have the necessary implementation capacities, specifically connectivity with the EU’s IT taxation systems.

EVALUATION (according to the Commission’s words)

Limited progress can be reported in the field of harmonisation of taxation legislation
with the acquis. Operational capacity for the administration of taxes continued to improve. Effective means to combat tax fraud have yet to be introduced and a code of conduct for business taxation is not yet in place.

Related Acts

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

In its 2010 Report, the Commission regrets the low level of harmonisation made with regard to direct and indirect taxation. However, the operational capacities of the tax authority have been strengthened.

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].
The November 2008 report
notes progress made in terms of the administrative capacity of the Public Revenue Office. However, no improvements have been seen with regard to legislative alignment, particularly in the area of direct taxation.

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.