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Partnership for the accession of Malta

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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.

The Berlin European Council of March 1999 called on the Commission to submit proposals concerning a specific pre-accession strategy for Malta. The Council approved a Regulation in March 2000 on the implementation of operations in the framework of a pre-accession strategy for the Republic of Cyprus and the Republic of Malta [Regulation (EC) No 555/2000 - Official Journal L 78, 16.03.2000]. This strategy is based on:

  • The establishment of the accession partnership;
  • Support for priority operations to prepare for accession, as defined within the partnerships;
  • Participation in certain Community programmes and agencies.

1) OBJECTIVE

The objective of the partnership for accession is to provide a single legal framework for the working priorities identified in the Commission's regular report of 1999 on Malta's progress towards accession, the financial resources available to help Malta implement these priorities and the conditions which apply to this aid. A revised version of the partnership for the accession of Malta was published in February 2002 (Decision 2002/90/EC). This forms the basis for the Commission's 2002 report. The partnership underpins a range of instruments to support applicant countries in their accession processes.

These include a national programme for adopting the Community acquis (NPAA) (revised in December 2001), joint evaluation of medium-term economic priorities, the pact against organised crime, national development plans and other sectoral programmes required for participation in the Structural Funds after accession. In 2002, the partnership for accession served as the starting point for preparing an action plan to reinforce the administrative and judicial capacity of Malta.

Although these instruments will not form an integral part of the partnership, their priorities will be compatible.

The implementation of the partnership will be monitored under the Association Agreement.

2) PRIORITIES

These are divided into two groups: short term and medium term. Malta is capable of resolving or making progress on the priority issues of the first group before the end of 2000. Dealing with the priority issues of the second group should be completed by the end of 2003.

Malta has achieved, to a limited extent, the economic criteria priorities. Those relating to the free movement of goods, the free provision of services, the free movement of capital, competition, statistics, regional policy, consumer protection and health, cooperation in the field of justice and home affairs, customs union, foreign affairs and financial control have largely been achieved. Most of the priorities in the other sectors have only been partly achieved.

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

3) FINANCIAL FRAMEWORK

Pre-accession aid

The fourth financial protocol (1995-1998) was extended by one year, until 31 December 1999. In 1999, the resources available increased to EUR 5 million. Council Regulation (EC) No 555/2000 lays down a financial reference amount of EUR 95 million for the implementation of operations in the framework of the pre-accession strategy for Cyprus and Malta (EUR 38 million of which is for Malta). This amount will be available for the period up to 31 December 2004. In 2001, Malta received pre-accession aid totalling EUR 7.5 million. The amount allocated for 2002 was EUR 9.5 million.

Malta is eligible for loans from the European Investment Bank (EIB) with EUR 30 million available for this purpose under the fourth financial protocol concluded between Malta and the European Union. It is also participating in the MEDA regional programmes.

4) REFERENCES

Regulation (EC) No 555/2000
Official Journal L 68 of 16.03.2000

Decision 2000/249/EC
Official Journal L 78 of 29.03.2000

Commission report COM(2001)700 final - SEC(2001)1751
Not published in the Official Journal

Decision 2002/90/EC
Official Journal L 44 of 14.02.2002

Commission report COM(2002) 700 final - SEC(2002) 1407
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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