pre-accession structural instrument
Community aids for the environment
in the candidate countries of Central and Eastern Europe
(EC) no.1267/1999 of 21 June 1999 establishing a pre-accession structural instrument.
To provide financial assistance for economic and social
cohesion, particularly in the area of the environment and transport infrastructures,
in order to prepare the Central and East European countries (CEECs) for accession
to the European Union.
The ISPA instrument is intended for the
10 Central and East European applicant countries:
- the Czech Republic.
The aids earmarked
for the ISPA instrument 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 programmes for the adoption
of the acquis communautaire.
Public bodies or like bodies whose activities are
carried out in an administrative or legal framework, entrusted by the national
authorities of the applicant countries with the task of implementing the projects.
for ISPA is granted during the period from 2000 to 2006.
However, once it
joins the European Union, the former applicant country and new Member State loses
the right to benefit from the aids earmarked for ISPA but should then be able
to benefit from the aids under the economic and social cohesion policy.
assistance provided under ISPA includes projects, stages of a project that are
technically and financially independent (e.g. preliminary studies, feasibility
studies, technical assistance studies), groups of projects in the fields of the
environment or transport infrastructures.
Measures eligible in the environment
- able the beneficiary countries to comply with the requirements
of the acquis communautaire and the objectives of the Accession Partnerships;
- be substantial enough to have a significant impact on environmental
Measures eligible in the transport field must:
enable the beneficiary countries to comply with the objectives of the Accession
- promote sustainable means of travel;
up projects of common interest and therefore target the interconnection and interoperability
of national networks as well as with the trans-European networks, including access
to such networks.
A balance must be struck between the environmental measures
and the transport infrastructure measures.
The total cost of each measure
may not, in principle, be less than 5 million euros.
may also be granted for preliminary studies and technical support measures (including
information and publicity actions).
Nature and amount of aids
Community assistance may take the form
of non-repayable direct assistance, repayable assistance or any other form of
The Community contribution may cover as much as 75% of the public
or equivalent expenditure (up to 85% if the Commission so decides after the opinion
of the Management Committee). The rate of assistance may also be modulated depending
on the availability of match funding (international financial institutions or
banks) or the capacity to generate income.
With regard to the preliminary
studies and technical assistance measures undertaken at the initiative of the
Commission, the Community subsidy may cover 100% of the total eligible cost.
European Union Financial support
Community assistance granted for the period 2000-2006 provides for an amount of
1040 million euros per year (1999 prices) for the 10 applicant countries.
Commission decision on the indicative breakdown of the ISPA per beneficiary country
(% band of the total) is as follows:
Country || % of
tha total |
Bulgaria || between 8 et 12
| Estonia ||
between 2 et 3.5 |
Hungary || between 7 et 10
| Latvia ||
between 3.5 et 5.5 |
Lithuania || between 4 et
| Poland ||
between 30 et 37 |
Czech Republic || between
5.5 et 8 |
|| between 20 et 26 |
| Slovakia ||
between 3.5 et 5.5 |
Slovenia || between 1 et 2
The financial allocation, determined
for each applicant country, is based on the following criteria:
- gross domestic product (GDP) per capita in purchasing power parity;
- the respective lackings of the countries with regard to environmental
and transport infrastructures.
The Commission approves the decisions on the ISPA
measures to be financed after the opinion of the Management Committee.
Management Committee is composed of representatives of the Member States and is
presided over by the Commission.
The beneficiary countries submit applications
for the financing of measures to the Commission. The Commission may, however,
of its own initiative grant assistance in the case of preliminary studies and
technical support measures where there is a prevailing common interest.
must contain at least the following information:
- the name of the
body responsible for implementation, the nature of the measure and a description
- the cost and location of the measure;
- the timetable
for the implementation of the work;
- a cost-benefit analysis;
an environmental impact assessment;
- the financing plan;
for the environment measures: the place and priority of these measures within
the national environmental strategy;
- for the transport infrastructure
measures: the place and degree of priority of these measures within the national
transport development strategy.
The Commission examines the applications
in order to evaluate the measures.
The Commission’s decisions approving
the measures also include the amount of financial assistance, a financial plan
and any necessary provision for the completion of the measures. All of these provisions
are contained in a financial memorandum.
The applicant countries are responsible
for the implementation of the projects under the Commission’s supervision.
each beneficiary country, a central entity is designated to handle the transfer
of Community funds granted under the ISPA. The person in charge of this entity
is responsible for the management of the funds in the beneficiary country in question.
beneficiary countries must establish the required management and control systems
as from 1 January 2000, and in any event no later than 1 January 2002.
mechanisms to monitor and evaluate the ISPA must be overseen jointly by the beneficiary
country and the Commission. The mechanisms are operated by the Monitoring Committees
which convene regularly. Monitoring is carried out using physical and financial
indicators in relation to the precise nature of the project in question and its
Within the Commission, the ISPA structural instrument is managed
by DG “Regional Policy”.
Each year, the Commission submits to the European
Parliament, the Council, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of
the Regions, a report on the Community assistance granted to the applicant countries
under the ISPA.
last update: 07/2000