Brussels, 14 December 2012
Renewed EU financial support to reforms in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
The European Commission has earmarked €56 million to support reforms in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia that are key for its EU accession process, including in the justice system, the economy, the agricultural sector and the environment. The funding comes under a two year national programme of the instrument for pre-accession assistance (IPA).
"These funds are designed to help achieve real change through further modernising the country and improving citizens' lives. I hope many will seize the new opportunities, such as the country's participation in the Erasmus programme", said EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle.
The decision comes only a few days after the General Affairs Council adopted Conclusions on enlargement giving clear framework for the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to move to another stage of the accession process. The allocated funding will also support reforms of the public administration, and help upgrade two border crossings: with Serbia and with Albania. This will result in a more efficient processing of commercial and non-commercial traffic between the countries. Citizens will further benefit from the country's participation in a number of EU actions in the fields of research, energy, education and business development. The IPA money is allocated based on the actual needs of the countries to implement reforms necessary for entering the EU (political reforms, such as judicial reform, human rights etc.; economic, social and territorial development, with a view to a smart, sustainable and inclusive growth; ability to fulfil the obligations of membership and alignment with EU law; regional integration and cross border cooperation). With this funding, the aspiring countries can carry out the necessary reforms and get ready for implementing European standards and policies.
Since 2007, countries wishing to join the EU have received focused EU funding and support through a single channel – the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA). The total pre-accession funding for the period 2007-2013 is €11.5 billion. IPA consists of five components:
Component I: Transition Assistance and Institution Building - yearly National Programme
Component II: Cross-Border Cooperation
Component III: Regional Development
Component IV: Human Resources Development
Component V: Rural Development
The execution of EU pre-accession aid begins with the definition of the Commission's intentions in terms of indicative financial allocations. This is followed by the adoption of the IPA strategic document, i.e. the Multi-annual Indicative Planning Document, based on the countries' specific needs and setting out the priorities for EU financial assistance for the period 2011-2013. The next step is the preparation, along with the beneficiaries, of programmes to set the frame for the yearly financial allocation. Finally, the programmes are implemented through specific projects on the country or at the regional level.
For more information:
The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia country profile:
Anca Paduraru (+32 2 296 64 30)
Peter Stano (+32 2 295 74 84)