Ministers have agreed on new financial tool to help potential EU members to get ready for accession.
The Council of Ministers on 17 July agreed to get a new Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) underway. This IPA will be open to candidate, as well as potential candidate countries: Croatia, Turkey and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, as well as Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia including Kosovo.
The financial tool will replace the five existing pre-accession assistance instruments (PHARE, ISPA, SAPARD, Turkey pre-accession instrument and CARDS) as of 1 January 2007.
The funding will amount to 11.468 billion euros for 2007-2013, and is intended to help potential EU Members to prepare for accession and fulfil the Copenhagen criteria. The new IPA will provide more targeted and coherent assistance through a single financial instrument, while taking into account the special needs of each country.