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Partnership for the accession of Slovenia

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The aim of the Accession Partnership is to assist the authorities in the candidate country in their efforts to comply with the accession criteria. It covers in detail the priorities for accession preparations, in particular implementing the acquis, and forms the basis for programming pre-accession assistance from Community funds such as the Phare programme. Following the signing of the Accession Treaty on 16 April 2003 and the official integration of the country into the European Union on 1 May 2004, the accession partnership has come to an end.

In its communication " Agenda 2000 ", the European Commission has set out a range of proposals for strengthening the pre-accession strategy for all the candidate countries of Central and Eastern Europe. The general objective of this strategy is to offer a coherent programme for preparing these countries for membership of the European Union, and more particularly:

  • to bring together the various forms of aid offered by the European Union within a single framework, the accession partnerships,
  • to familiarise applicants with the European Union's procedures and policies by offering them the opportunity to participate in Community programmes.

1) OBJECTIVE

The objective of the accession partnership (approved in March 1998 and amended in December 1999 and January 2002) is to set down in law the working priorities defined in the Commission opinion on Slovenia's application for membership, the financial resources available to help Slovenia implement these priorities and the conditions attached to this aid. The partnership provides a framework for a range of instruments designed to support candidate countries' efforts to prepare for membership.

These instruments include a national programme for the adoption of the Community acquis (NPAA) (revised in May 2002), joint evaluation of medium-term economic policy priorities, the pact against organised crime, the national development plan and other sectoral programmes necessary for participation in the Structural Funds after accession and implementation of ISPA and SAPARD beforehand. In 2002, the partnership for accession served as the starting point for preparing an action plan to reinforce the administrative and judicial capacity of Slovenia.

Though these instruments will not be an integral part of the partnership, their priorities will be compatible with it.

Implementation of the partnership for accession will be monitored under the Europe Agreement between the European Union and Slovenia.

2) PRIORITIES

There are short- and medium-term priorities. Short-term priorities are issues that Slovenia was likely to resolve or make headway with during 2000. The medium-term priorities should be dealt with fully by the end of 2003.

Slovenia has partly achieved the economic and political criteria priorities. It has totally or largely achieved the priorities linked to the free movement of persons, the free movement of capital, agriculture, social affairs and employment, energy, customs union, foreign affairs and financial control. Most of the other priorities of the partnership have been partly achieved.

The priorities for the accession partnership were revised in December 1999 (see p.3 of the Annex to Decision 1999/859/EC). A final revision was published in February 2002 (Decision 2002/94/EC). This forms the basis of the Commission's evaluation in its 2002 report.

The priority areas are now:
(for up-to-date information on this subject, please refer to the Adoption of the Community acquis section)

3) FINANCIAL FRAMEWORK

Phare

The 2000 Phare programme allocated EUR 33.4 million. A further EUR 7 million were allocated for cross-border cooperation programmes. Phare 2001 allocated EUR 21.3 million for Slovenia. A further EUR 7 million were provided for cross-border cooperation. Phare 2002 allocated EUR 18 million to Slovenia, plus an envelope of EUR 16.9 million under the additional facility to reinforce the institutions. This was supplemented by a further envelope of EUR 7 million for cross-border cooperation with its neighbours.

The partner country's authorities are responsible for aid-related contracts and payments. However, the Financial Regulation of the European Communities requires the Commission to supervise contracting procedures and approve Phare contracts signed by the partner country before they enter into force.

Pre-accession aid

From 2000, financial assistance has included aid for agriculture and rural development (SAPARD) and a structural instrument (ISPA) according priority to transport and environmental measures. The Regulation of June 1999 coordinating aid under Phare, SAPARD and ISPA allows the Commission to exercise ex-post supervision over contracts if dissatisfied with the partner country's own financial control.

Financial assistance for the period 2000-02 was broken down as follows: EUR 25 million a year under Phare, EUR 6.5 million a year under SAPARD and EUR 10.8-21.7 million a year under ISPA. SAPARD 2002 allocated EUR 6.6 million to Slovenia. The ISPA envelope for 2002 was between EUR 10.9 and 21.8 million.

4) REFERENCES

Decision 98/268/EC of 30 March 1998
Official Journal L 121 of 23.04.1998

Decision 1999/859/EC of 6 December 1999
Official Journal L 335 of 28.12.1999

Commission Opinion COM(97) 2010 final
Not published in the Official Journal

Commission Report COM(98) 709 final
Not published in the Official Journal

Commission Report COM(1999) 512 final
Not published in the Official Journal

Commission Report COM(2000) 712 final
Not published in the Official Journal

Commission Report COM(2001) 700 final - SEC(2001)1755
Not published in the Official Journal

Decision 2002/94/EC of 28 January 2002
Official Journal L 44 of 14.02.2002

Commission Report COM(2002) 700 final - SEC(2002)1411
Not published in the Official Journal

Treaty of Accession to the European Union [Official Journal L 236, 23.09.2003]

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

Last updated: 19.11.2004
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