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About IPA assistance programmes

IPA is an instrument of pre-accession assistance which provides assistance to candidate countries and potential candidate countries for the European Union membership. It was established by the European Council Regulation No. 1085/2006 of July 2006.

This is the sole pre-accession instrument of the European Union for the budget period 2007-2013, which encompasses previous pre-accession instruments PHARE, SAPARD, ISPA, CARDS, as well as the pre-accession instrument for Turkey.

Priorities of this programme include assistance to beneficiary countries to fulfil political, economic and other criteria related to adoption of the EU acquis communautaire, administration capacity building and strengthening of the rule of law, as well as assistance in the preparatory process for utilisation of structural and cohesion EU funds that are available upon accession.

The assistance should support candidate countries and potential candidate countries in their efforts to strengthen democratic institutions and the rule of law, reform public administration, carry out economic reform, respect human and minority rights, promote gender equality, strengthen civil society, advance regional cooperation, achieve sustainable development and contribute to poverty reduction.

IPA I (2007-2013)

IPA Component I - Transition Assistance and Institution Building

Goal of the first IPA Component is to support the EU association process and fulfilment of accession criteria and standards, transfer of legislature and particularly in capacity building. It enables the potential EU candidate countries to participate in programmes of the Community and in activities of EU agencies.

IPA Component II - Cross-Border Cooperation

The second IPA Component aims at strengthening of the cross-border cooperation with the countries of the west Balkans, as well as candidate and potential candidate countries for EU membership, reducing disparities in economic development and boosting cooperation between civil society organisation in border areas..

IPA Component III - Regional Development

The main precondition for utilisation of IPA Components III and IV is gaining the status of candidate for membership in the European Union and accreditation of the decentralised management system of the European Union funds.

Component III supports infrastructural projects in the sectors of environmental protection, regional competitiveness and transport.

IPA Component IV - Human Resources Development

The Component is a programme framework for utilisation of resources in the sectors of employment, education, social inclusion and integration, as well as institutional capacity building and efficiency of public administration and public service.

IPA Component V - Rural Development

Through IPA Component V, the European Union supports candidate countries in the process of customisation of agricultural sector and rural areas, as well as in preparing for implementation of the EU legislation and management of the Common Agricultural Policy. It is intended for candidate countries, whereas the Republic of Serbia as a potential candidate still cannot be benefit from this Component.

IPA II (2014-2020)

In the budget period 2014-2020 (IPA II), funds from the Instrument of Pre-Accession assistance will be allocated to countries-beneficiaries through five policy areas:

  • Reforms in the context of preparation for the EU membership, institution and capacity building;
  • Socio-economic and regional development;
  • Employment, social policy, education, promotion of gender equality, and human resources development;
  • Agriculture and rural development;
  • Regional and territorial cooperation.