The EU has a financing instrument to fund assistance to countries on their way to membership. Candidate countries and potential candidate countries will be aided, for the period 2007-2013, by the single Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance - IPA. One of its components is IPARD - the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance
Priorities for agriculture and rural development
In the framework of IPA component 1 (Transition Assistance and Institution Building) the priorities for assisting national administrations in the area of agriculture and rural development are diversified and depend largely on the specific context of each country.
The Commission's official documents, such as the MIPD (Multi-Indicative Planning Documents) and the Accession/European Partnerships define the priorities for each area of the acquis, including agriculture and rural development.
For candidate countries (in particular Turkey), the main focus is put on legislative alignment and building up of administrative capacity to implement the acquis communautaire that constitutes the Common Agricultural Policy. This can be divided in three main areas:
- horizontal issues,
- single common market organisation and
- rural development.
In the area of rural development the main priority of component 1 assistance at this stage is to support the effective implementation of pre-accession assistance for rural development (IPARD programmes).
For potential candidates, the main priority of institution building assistance is to support the progressive adoption of EU standards. In the field of agriculture and rural development, the following main priorities can be indicated:
- Strengthening of administrative capacity of the agricultural administrations, in particular in the area of agricultural policy formulation, analysis, implementation and control.
Development of reliable agricultural statistics and registers (land, crop, animal and farmer) are main priorities at an early stage.
- Building up of administrative capacity for future implementation of pre-accession rural development measures (IPARD). This includes among other issues:
- the development of programming and analytical capacity,
- paying structures to be accredited according to EU standards,
- conditions of access to affordable credit by farmers/rural businesses,
- effective research,
- extension and advisory services,
- effective inspection structures.
With the Rural Development component (5) of the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance - IPA, candidate countries will be assisted through a particular instrument called IPARD - Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance in Rural Development.