Enlargement of the EU

The Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) is there to help non-EU countries that aspire to join the Union to prepare their societies and economies for membership. The fund can be accessed by a number of Balkan countries as well as Turkey, and is an important instrument in the EU's external policy.

Specifically, the IPA helps candidate and potential candidate countries with institution building, development of civil society and economic and administrative reform.

Although the IPA is an external policy instrument, it is also considered a special part of regional policy as it is targeted at potential EU Member States.