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SAPARD: the pre-accession agricultural instrument
Measures in favour of agriculture and rural development
SAPARD, Special Accession Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development.
Community aid for pre-accession measures in favour
of agriculture and rural development in the applicant countries of Central and
Eastern Europe during the pre-accession period.
Commission Regulation (EC) no. 2759/1999 of 22 December 1999 laying down rules for the application of Council Regulation (EC) no.1268/1999 on Community support for pre-accession measures for agriculture and rural development in the applicant countries of central and eastern Europe in the pre-accession period.(Official Journal L 331 of 23 December 1999)
Regulation (EC) no.1268/1999 of 21 June 1999 on Community support for pre-accession
measures for agriculture and rural development in the applicant countries of central
and eastern Europe in the pre-accession period. (Official Journal L 161 of 26
Regulation (EC) no. 2222/2000 of 7 June 2000 laying down financial rules for the
application of Council Regulation EC no. 1268/1999. (Official Journal L 253 of
7 October 2000)
These documents follow
on the Commission communication "Agenda 2000" and on the conclusions of the European
Council in Berlin which decided upon the creation of financial aid as structural
and agricultural pre-accession instruments for the CEECs.
The SAPARD instrument is intended for the 10 candidate countries of Central and Eastern Europe:
The aids earmarked for the SAPARD and ISPA (environment and transport) instruments satisfy the conditions laid down in the accession partnerships concluded by the European Union with each of the applicant countries. These aids are also compatible with the principles of the national programme for the adoption of the acquis communautaire.
comply with the provisions of the European agreements, including their application
procedures concerning State aids. In addition, these measures must also comply
with the objectives of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), particularly with
regard to the market organisations, and to the objectives of the Community's structural
measures. They must not cause disruption on the market.
Within the applicant countries, there are two categories of operators, also called "final beneficiaries":
The actions to promote agriculture and rural development shall be the subject of a plan, drawn up at the most appropriate geographical level.
This plan is prepared by the competent authorities designated by the applicant country.
The plan shall include:
In these plans, the applicant countries must give priority to actions whose purpose is to:
The deadline for sending the "SAPARD" plans to the Commission has been set for the end of December 1999 unless otherwise agreed with the candidate countries. The Commission has six months from the date the plan is sent by the applicant country to approve an "agricultural and rural development programme", drown up on the basis of the "SAPARD" plans (the final deadline is 1 July 2000). The Commission approved all programmes during the months of October and November 2000.
This programme covers a maximum period of seven years from the year 2000.
However, once it has joined the European Union, the former applicant country
and new Member State loses the right to benefit from the aids earmarked for SAPARD
but should then be able to benefit from the aids provided under the economic and
social cohesion policy.
Eligible measures / Nature of the activities
The Community aid measures of for agriculture and rural development concern:
Nature and amount of the aids
The Community contribution will not exceed
75% of the total eligible public expenditure.
European Union financial support
The Community action completes the corresponding national actions or contributes to these.
Community assistance is granted for the period 2000-2006; it comes to a total annual amount of 520 million euros (in 1999 inflation-adjusted prices), and this for a period of seven years. The financial allocation has been established for each applicant country on the basis of the following criteria:
In its decision of 20 July 1999, the Commission decided the annual indicative financial allocation for the 10 applicant countries concerned by the SAPARD instrument.
The SAPARD instrument is implemented through a close cooperation procedure between the Commission, the applicant country, the competent authorities and bodies and the economic and social partners at the appropriate level. This cooperation concerns the preparation and implementation, as well as the appraisal, monitoring and evaluation of the measures.
Thus, a monitoring committee is set up for each agricultural and rural development programme.
will be managed in a decentralised manner through SAPARD agencies in each of the
ten Candidate countries. The Commission Regulation No 2222/2000 of 7 June 2000
lays down the conditions under which the management of the aid is conferred to
these agencies. The Commission intends to include these conditions in financing
agreements negotiated with each country.
Each year, the applicant countries must submit to the Commission an annual report on the progress achieved.
The same is true for the European Commission which has to present each year to the European Parliament, the Council, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions a report on the Community aid allocated to the applicant countries under the SAPARD instrument.
Presentation factsheets of the pre-accession instruments, SAPARD and ISPA, are
Legal text concerning
SAPARD can be downloaded from:
The SCADPLUS database, accessible on the Europa site, has an important chapter on the Enlargement process. It contains information listed under the headings:
All this information is available at the address
In addition, DG Agriculture publishes newsletters which include information
on the SAPARD programme. They are available on:
last update: 01/2001