How IPA works

Similar to Structural Funds, as of 1 January 2007 pre-accession funds underwent a significant policy reform. The most visible effect of this reform was the replacement of several European Union programmes and financial instruments (PHARE, PHARE CBC, ISPA, SAPARD, CARDS and the financial instrument for Turkey) with one single instrument and legal framework- the Instrument for the Pre-Accession Assistance.

The legal framework for this new instrument was established under Council Regulation (EC) 1085/2006 of 17 July 2006 and its implementation provisions in Commission Regulation (EC) 718/2007
Financing under this single umbrella is provided through five components:

  1. Transition Assistance and Institution Building : EC Directorate General for Enlargement
  2. Cross-BorderCo-operation (with EU Member states and other countries eligible for IPA)
  3. Regional Development (providing support to transport, environment infrastructure and enhancing competitiveness and reducing regional disparities);
  4. Human Resources Development  (strengthening human capital and combating exclusion) : EC Directorate General for Employment and Social Affairs
  5. Rural Development  (rural development type of measures) : EC Directorate General for Agriculture.

The European Commission Directorate General for Regional Policy is responsible for the implementation of Component III and Component II in the part concerning Member States.

Components I and II are open to all beneficiary countries whereas Components III, IV and V are open to the Candidate Countries only (current Candidate Countries are: Croatia, Turkey and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia). They are designed to mirror closely structural, cohesion and rural development funds, in preparation for the management of such funds upon accession. Thus, IPA allows beneficiary countries to prepare themselves for the successful participation in the Community's Cohesion Policy and its instruments upon accession, with a view to a  better and more effective absorption of these funds once they become available.

Current potential Candidate Countries eligible for IPA founding are: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia and Kosovo under UNSC Resolution 1244/99.

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