Instrument for Structural Policies for Pre-Accession
Launched in 2000, ISPA is one of the three financial instruments (with Phare and Sapard) to assist the candidate countries in the preparation for accession. Based on the principles that govern the Cohesion Fund, it provides assistance for infrastructure projects in the EU priority fields of environment and transport. Its objectives are the following:
- familiarising the candidate countries with the policies, procedures and the funding principles of the EU
- helping them catch up with EU environmental standards
- upgrading and expanding links with the trans-European transport networks.
For the period 2000-2006, EUR 1 040 million a year (at 1999 prices) has been made available for this instrument. During its first four years of implementation (2000-2003), ISPA grant-aided over 300 large-scale infrastructure investments in the 10 candidate countries of Central and Eastern Europe (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia). Assistance amounted to EUR 7 billion for an investment value of over EUR 11.6 billion (current prices). After the EU enlargement in 2004, the remaining ISPA beneficiary countries were Bulgaria and Romania, the other beneficiary countries having become eligible to the Cohesion Fund.
Since the 1 st of January 2005, Croatia benefits from ISPA as well.
Introduction to pre-accession strategy
3. Who can apply
for Ispa grants - how are Ispa grants decided ?
The candidate countries can propose, via the National Ispa Co-ordinator, projects in the sectors eligible to Ispa. The projects must be part of an Ispa sector investment plan adopted by the candidate countries and endorsed by the Commission.
Applications must be sent to the Ispa directorate of DG Regio. The application will be examined by Commission services and (when necessary) discussed with the applicant country.
When the Commission considers the project acceptable, she will submit the project for opinion to the Management Committee, composed of representatives of the Member States.
After having received the positive opinion of the Management Committee the Commission will adopt the project and submit a Financing Memorandum for signature to the applicant country.
of projects receiving Ispa grants
The beneficiary countries are responsible for the implementation of projects receiving Ispa grants. This means that they, while respecting the rules of the Commission, have to launch call for tenders, to attribute contracts and to follow up the implementation. Commission's services are at all stages consulted on the proceedings.
6. Ispa: projects
and press releases
Here you can find folders and press releases. Folders can be printed
double sided and folded in three.