Tag Archives: Stabilisation and association agreement

Accession Partnership with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

Accession Partnership with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Accession Partnership with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

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

Accession Partnership with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

Document or Iniciative

Council Decision 2008/212/EC of 18 February 2008 on the principles, priorities and conditions contained in the Accession Partnership with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and repealing Decision 2006/57/EC.

Summary

The Accession Partnership with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia is the main instrument for helping the Government of the FYROM to realise the country’s prospect of joining the European Union (EU). After submitting its application for membership on 22 March 2004, the FYROM was granted candidate-country status by the European Council on 17 December 2005.

The Accession Partnership with the FYROM is an instrument of the stabilisation and association process set up under the Thessaloniki agenda (2003) for the western Balkan countries. The European Partnerships and the Accession Partnerships for the western Balkan countries have Regulation (EC) No 533/2004 as their legal basis.

OBJECTIVE

The objective of the Partnership is to register in a common reference framework:

  • the priority areas where reforms and efforts are required; these are identified according to the country’s requirements and involve the adoption and implementation of appropriate legislation;
  • guidelines for financial assistance for taking action in these priority areas;
  • the principles and conditions governing implementation of the Partnership.

The Council of the European Union adopts the Accession Partnership, as well as its subsequent amendments, by a qualified majority on the basis of a proposal from the Commission.

The current Partnership supersedes the Partnership of 2006 and updates it by identifying new priorities. European Partnerships are flexible instruments designed to reflect the progress made by the countries concerned and to highlight the efforts still required in other areas as identified by the Commission’s evaluations.

With a view to achieving the objectives identified in the Accession Partnership, the FYROM must adopt an action plan setting out procedures and a programme for implementing the priorities of the Partnership.

Implementation of the Partnership is monitored within the framework of the stabilisation and association process and its mechanisms, in particular the annual evaluation report presented by the Commission.

PRIORITIES

The Accession Partnership establishes priorities which are both realistic and attainable goals. In this regard, a distinction is made between short-term and medium-term priorities, which are expected to be achieved within one to two years and within three to four years respectively.

The priorities identified for the FYROM relate to its capacity to meet:

  • the Copenhague criteria of 1993;
  • the conditions set for the Stabilisation and Association Process (Council conclusions of 27 April 1997 and 21 and 22 June 1999);
  • the Zagreb declaration of 2000;
  • the Thessaloniki agenda of 2003.

The short- and medium-term priorities are classified as follows:

  • the key priorities are short-term priorities. They focus on the application of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA), the establishment of a constructive political dialogue, the implementation of the police law, the demonstration that sustainable progress has been made in implementing judicial reforms and anti-corruption legislation, the civil service, including the prevention of political interference in the recruitment and the career of officials, the creation of jobs and the consolidation of the rule of law in order to improve the business climate;
  • the requirements relating to the political criteria cover democracy and the rule of law (implementation of the Ohrid Framework Agreement, the electoral process, the public authorities, the administration, the judicial system, the fight against corruption); respect for human rights and the protection of minorities (through compliance with international and European standards, such as those of the Council of Europe; the creation of law-enforcement bodies and judicial and prison administrations; the fight against discrimination; the protection of human, women’s and children’s rights; the equitable representation of communities and access to education for minorities); regional questions and international obligations (cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY); regional cooperation and dialogue, including the implementation of the Central European Free Trade Agreement; good neighbourly relations, and in particular finding a negotiated and mutually acceptable solution for the country’s name; implementation of cooperation agreements with neighbouring countries, notably on cross-border cooperation, the fight against organised crime, trafficking and smuggling, the management of external borders, readmission and the environment);
  • the requirements relating to the economic criteria for strengthening legal certainty for economic operators (the registration of land and real estate) and the functioning of the market economy; the improvement of public services (creation and modernisation of infrastructures); the viability of the electricity market; the quality of public spending and of education; labour market performance and the reduction of unemployment; the integration of the informal economy into the formal economy and the modernisation of national infrastructures for improving the economy’s competitiveness, particularly with regard to energy and transport;
  • the ability to assume the obligations of membership concerning the adoption and implementation of the Community acquis regarding a certain number of EU policies classified under headings.

FINANCIAL FRAMEWORK

The FYROM receives financial assistance to help it fulfil the accession criteria. The Accession Partnership serves as a reference instrument for determining the different areas where funds are allocated (according to identified priorities). The decisions which establish the various financial instruments and programming documents provide the actual legal framework for the financial assistance.

The Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) is the sole financial instrument for candidate countries and potential candidate countries for the period 2007-2013. It replaces the CARDS Programme, the financial instrument of the stabilisation and association process for the countries of the western Balkans covering the period 2000-2006. Over this period, a total of EUR 298.2 million was allocated to the FYROM under CARDS.

Financial assistance for national programmes under the IPA for 2007-2010 should be EUR 401.1 million, in line with the multiannual indicative financial framework (MIFF) for 2009-2011 (including 2007 and 2008) .

Community assistance is conditional on recipient countries abiding by the essential elements which govern their relations with the EU, particularly the effective implementation of reforms. Under the Accession Partnership, the FYROM is required to comply with the Copenhagen criteria and the priorities defined by the Partnership. Failure to meet these requirements could result in the Council suspending financial assistance.

The FYROM also receives funding from the European Investment Bank (EIB), principally within the framework of the mechanism for granting regional loans to the EU’s south-eastern neighbours. This mandate covers the candidate countries and the countries of the western Balkans. The financing provided by the EIB takes the form of grants and loans.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision 2008/212/EC 22.3.2008 OJ L 80 of 19.3.2008

Related Acts

Communication of 5 March 2008 from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council entitled “Eastern Balkans: Enhancing the European perspective” [COM(2008)127 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Commission Communication of 27 January 2006 entitled “The Western Balkans on the road to the EU: consolidating stability and raising prosperity” [COM(2006) 27 – Not published in the Official Journal].

BILATERAL RELATIONS

Stabilisation and Association Agreement between the European Communities and their Member States, of the one part, and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, of the other part [Official Journal L 84 of 20.3.2004].

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

Council Regulation (EC) No 1085/2006 of 17 July 2006 establishing an Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) [Official Journal L 210 of 31.7.2006].

Multiannual indicative financial framework (MIFF) for:

  • 2008 to 2010 [COM(2006) 672 final – Not published in the Official Journal];
  • 2009 to 2011 [COM(2007) 689 final – Not published in the Official Journal.

Multiannual indicative planning document 2007-2009 for the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (pdf )
.

EVALUATION

The reports are available on the website of the Commission’s Directorate-General for Enlargement.

Accession Partnership with Croatia

Accession Partnership with Croatia

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Accession Partnership with Croatia

Topics

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

Enlargement > Ongoing enlargement > Croatia

Accession Partnership with Croatia

The purpose of the Accession Partnership is to assist the Croatian authorities in their efforts to meet the accession criteria, especially the political criteria (or Copenhagen criteria). It covers in detail the principles and priorities for the country’s accession preparations, with particular reference to implementation of the acquis, and forms the reference framework for programming pre-accession assistance from Community funds.

Council Decision 2008/119/EC of 12 February 2008 on the principles, priorities and conditions contained in the Accession Partnership with Croatia and repealing Decision 2006/145/EC.

Summary

The Accession Partnership is the main instrument intended to provide the Croatian authorities with guidance in their preparations for accession to the European Union (EU) since accession negotiations were started on 3 October 2005. This Accession Partnership is an instrument in the pre-accession strategy.

The legal basis of the Accession Partnership with Croatia is Regulation (EC) No 533/2004 establishing partnerships with countries of the western Balkans. The partnerships are flexible instruments modified according to progress achieved and tasks remaining. The priorities identified are thus defined by the Commission’s opinion on the accession request. They are modified, if necessary, on the basis of reports.

The Council of the EU adopts the Accession Partnership, and any subsequent amendments, by a qualified majority on the basis of a proposal from the Commission.

OBJECTIVE

The objective of the partnership for accession is to register in a single legal framework:

  • the priorities for reform;
  • guidelines for financial assistance with a view to implementing these priority areas;
  • the principles and conditions for implementing the Partnership.

In order to achieve the priorities identified in the Accession Partnership, Croatia is adopting a national programme for transposing the Community acquis (NPAA). This includes the procedures and programme for implementing the Partnership.

The follow-up to the Partnership implementation is ensured within the framework of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA), notably the Commission’s annual follow-up reports.

PRIORITIES

The priorities are both realistic and attainable goals relating to legislation and its implementation. They are based principally on Croatia’s ability to comply with:

  • the Copenhagen criteria laid down in 1993;
  • the conditions set for the stabilisation and association process (Council conclusions of 27 April 1997 and 21 and 22 June 1999);
  • the Zagreb declaration of 2000;
  • the 2003 Thessaloniki agenda;
  • the negotiation framework adopted on 3 October 2005.

The Accession Partnership with Croatia includes:

  • key priorities, which are short-term priorities. They relate to: commitments made under the SAA; reform of public administration and the judicial system; the fight against corruption; application of the Constitutional Law on National Minorities; completion of the refugee return and integration process; reconciliation among citizens in the region; cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY); resolution of outstanding bilateral issues, particularly in fields relating to borders and fishing; and improvement in business and economic growth potential;
  • political criteria, most importantly democracy and the rule of law (public administration, judicial system, fight against corruption), human rights and the protection of minorities, regional issues and international obligations (protecting the environment and fishing, refugee return, reintegrating returnees, criminal proceedings as regards war crimes, judicial, police and regional cooperation, and border and bilateral issues);
  • economic criteria aiming to guarantee macroeconomic stability, budgetary transparency and management of public debt, to improve management of the health sector, the social welfare system and pensions, to facilitate business entry, to improve the institutional framework for privatisation and restructuring of public enterprises, and to strengthen the labour market;
  • the ability to assume the obligations of membership, namely adoption and implementation of the acquis for 33 of the 35 chapters (thematically arranged by EU legislation policy) to which the accession negotiations apply.

The priorities identified in this Partnership will constitute the basis for future evaluations by the Commission, which regularly evaluates the progress made by Croatia on compliance with the accession criteria, including on the adoption and effective implementation of the acquis.

FINANCIAL FRAMEWORK

Croatia has benefited from financial assistance intended to support it in preparing for accession with the pre-accession financial instrument (IPA) for the period 2007-2013. The IPA replaces the instruments Phare, ISPA and SAPARD and CARDS, from which Croatia benefited in the period 2000–2006.

The assistance planned for Croatia under the IPA includes the multiannual indicative financial framework (MIFF link to related MIFF acts) for the period 2009–2011 and the aid planned for Croatia, namely around EUR 749.8 million (including 2007 and 2008). The country is also eligible for funding (including loans and grants) from the European Investment Bank (EIB) under its external lending mandate for the EU’s south-eastern neighbours.

In this context, the accession partnership for Croatia serves as a reference framework for determining the different areas to which funds will be allocated. However, the decisions instituting the financial instruments and the programming documents form the legal framework for financial assistance. Failure to comply with the SAA, the Copenhagen criteria and the priorities defined by the Partnership may result in financial assistance being suspended.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision 2008/119/EC 19.2.2008 OJ L 42 of 16.2.2008

Related Acts

Commission Communication of 20 April 2004: Opinion on Croatia’s Application for Membership of the European Union [COM(2004) 257 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Conclusions of the Brussels European Council of 16 and 17 December 2004 (FR ) (pdf).
The European Council decided to open accession negotiations with Turkey.

BILATERAL RELATIONS

Stabilisation and Association Agreement between the European Community and its Member States, on the one part, and the Republic of Croatia, on the other: [Official Journal L 26 of 28.1.2005].

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

Council Regulation (EC) No 1085/2006 of 17 July 2006 establishing an instrument for pre-accession assistance (IPA) [Official Journal L 210 of 31.7.2006].

Multi-annual indicative financial framework (MIFF) for:

  • 2008–2010 [COM(2006) 672 final – Not published in the Official Journal];
  • 2009–2011 [COM(2007) 689 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Multiannual indicative planning document 2007–2009 for Croatia [EN ] [PDF].

EVALUATION

The Reports (EN) are available on the website of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Enlargement.

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