Beyond 2013: integrated pre-accession assistance
The European Commission presented today its financial priorities for the years 2014-2020. The proposal sets aside 12.5 billion* for the EU enlargement policy, allowing for a continuation of the current levels of support for candidate and potential candidate countries.
Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Štefan Füle said: "The Commission's proposal to maintain the current levels of pre-accession assistance will allow the EU to continue strong support for our partners' efforts to prepare for accession and advance their reforms. This will ultimately benefit all of us through greater security and prosperity".
The EU will continue its financial assistance to enlargement countries through an integrated pre-accession instrument, building on the positive experience from the current Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA). Rules will be simplified to facilitate delivery, with a renewed focus on the reform needs in individual countries. The instrument will reward efforts of EU candidates to meet accession benchmarks and will encourage them to integrate the strategic Europe 2020 objectives into their national priorities.
The assistance will be implemented on the basis of comprehensive reform strategies, with emphasis on regional cooperation, implementation of EU laws and standards, capacity to manage the Union's internal policies upon accession, and delivery of tangible socio-economic impacts in the beneficiary countries. More use will be made of innovative financing arrangements set up with international financial institutions, with EU funds acting as a catalyst for leveraging investment in infrastructure.
The Commission will table a detailed regulation on the new pre-accession instrument towards the end of the year.