The Council of the European Union (EU) in 2006 established the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance to the candidate countries for EU membership and potential candidate countries for EU membership (Regulation No 1085/2006).
The Regulation was adopted in order to improve the efficiency of the Community's External Aid. With this Regulation a new framework has been envisaged for programming and delivery of assistance to candidate countries for EU membership and potential candidate countries for EU membership. The present instrument constitutes one of the general instruments directly supporting European External Aid policies.
According to this Regulation, the assistance to candidate countries and potential candidate countries should support their efforts towards strengthening of:
- democratic institutions and the rule of law,
- public administration reform,
- implementation of economic reforms,
- respect for human and minority rights,
- promotion of gender equality,
- support of the development of civil society and promotion of regional co-operation, as well as reconciliation and reconstruction, and contribute to sustainable development and poverty reduction in these countries.
To implement the Council Regulation (EC) No 1085/2006 establishing an instrument for pre-accession assistance (IPA), the Commission of the European Communities on 12 June 2007 has adopted the Regulation No 718/2007.
RULES FOR USING EU ASSISTANCE
This Regulation concerns the candidate countries - Croatia, Turkey and the Republic of Macedonia, and the potential candidate countries - Albania, Bosnia, Montenegro, Serbia including Kosovo.
Community assists the countries in their alignment with the standards and policies of the European Union, through allocation of funds from EU funds according to IPA.
- CROATIA-on 17 and 18 June 2004 the European Council in Brussels recommended starting negotiations with Croatia for accession to EU.
- TURKEY- application for EU membership was accepted by the European Council in Helsinki in 1999. On 16 and 17 December 2004 the European Council in Brussels recommended starting negotiations with Turkey for accession to EU.
- MACEDONIA –on 15 and 16 December 2005 the European Council in Brussels has granted the Republic of Macedonia candidate status for accession to EU membership.
Assistance shall be used in the beneficiary countries to support the following areas:
(а) strengthening of democratic institutions, as well as the rule of law, including its enforcement;
(b) promotion and the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms and enhanced respect for minority rights, promotion of gender equality and non-discrimination;
(c) public administration reform, including the establishment of a system enabling decentralisation of assistance management to the beneficiary country in accordance with the rules laid down in Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002
(d) economic reform;
(e) the development of civil society;
(f) social inclusion;
(g) reconciliation, confidence-building measures and reconstruction, and
(h) regional and cross-border cooperation.
In the case of candidate countries for EU membership (among which is the Republic of Macedonia) assistance should additionally focus for support of following areas:
(а) adoption and implementation of the acquis communautaire.
(b) support of the development of policies, as well as of preparation required for implementation of the Community's agricultural and cohesion policy.