What is IPA?
The Instrument for Pre–accession Assistance (IPA) is EU funded instrument for Western Balkan Countries. IPA aims to support candidate countries and potential candidates in implementing the political, institutional, legal, administrative, social and economic reforms required to bring the countries closer to EU.
From January 2007 onwards, the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) replaces a series of European Union programmes and financial instruments for candidate countries or potential candidate countries, namely PHARE, PHARE CBC, ISPA, SAPARD, CARDS and the financial instrument for Turkey.
The IPA 2007-2013/IPA I is made up of five different components:
- Assistance for transition and institution building;
- Cross-border cooperation (with EU Member States and other countries eligible for IPA);
- Regional development (transport, environment, regional and economic development);
- Human resources (strengthening human capital and combating exclusion);
- Rural development.
The IPA Regulation for the period 2007-2013 expired on 31 December 2013, but implementation of IPA I programmes/projects are still underway.
Albania benefited only from two first components with a value 595 million EURO.
In March 2014 the European Commission conferred management powers for decentralize management under the component I for IPA 2013 programmes (seven projects).
The IPA 2014-2020/IPA II is the main financial instrument provided by EU to support the Western Balkan countries in implementing reforms with a view to European Union Membership.
IPA II funds will be allocated to beneficiaries through five policy areas:
- Reforms in the context of preparation for the EU membership, institution and capacity building;
- Socio-economic and regional development;
- Employment, social policy, education, promotion of gender equality, and human resources development;
- Agriculture and rural development;
- Regional and territorial cooperation.
Albania is planned to absorb 649 million EURO.