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EC presents Enlargement Strategy and Progress Reports 2008

On 5 November 2008, the Commission adopted its annual strategy document explaining its policy on EU enlargement. The document includes also a summary of the progress made over the last twelve months by each candidate and potential candidate: Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, as well as Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia and Kosovo.

  • Posted on: 05.11.2008

The Communication on the enlargement strategy at the heart of the package gives an outline of the main challenges in 2009 of the EU's enlargement policy and a summary of progress made over the past twelve months by each of the countries that share a perspective to join the EU.

Furthermore, the 2008 progress reports were published on the same date, where the Commission services monitor and assess the achievements of each of the candidate and potential candidates over the last year. That "enlargement package" of information contains also a multi-annual financial framework setting out the financial assistance available to support the reform efforts of the candidate and potential candidates over the next years.

Financial assistance plans for the Western Balkans and Turkey

The European Commission has completed the strategic planning of EU financial support for 2008-2010 to the candidate countries and potential candidates: Croatia, Turkey, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, and Kosovo. The money is intended to boost political and economic reform and development, so as to help the countries realise their European perspective. The overall indicative amount under the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) is € 4.47 billion. The strategies adopted set out the priorities for EU financial assistance for the period. The next step is to prepare, with the beneficiaries, programmes to implement the assistance.

For Croatia, the pre-accession assistance strategy, funded with € 451.4 million, concentrates on institution building, cross-border cooperation and preparation of the country for participation in the EU's cohesion and rural development policies.

For the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, EU assistance will be provided with € 244.3 million, for instance for institution building, to the improvement of governance and the rule of law.

For Albania (€ 245.1 million), Bosnia and Herzegovina (€ 269.9 million), Montenegro (€ 99.9 million), Serbia (€ 596.2 million), and Kosovo (€ 359.1 million - plus an additional €100 million pledged at the Donor's Conference last July), assistance will focus on improving governance and the rule of law, supporting economic and social development and helping them to adopt laws in line with those of the EU and building their capacity to implement the laws on the ground.

Besides the country-specific financial assistance, a multi-beneficiary programme with € 458.4 million will support joint projects by several partners, in areas such as economic and social development, exchange of students and academic staff, supporting civil society, administrative and judicial reform, the fight against organised crime and corruption and disaster risk reduction. EU assistance will also help strengthen ties with neighbouring countries, including EU Member States, through cross-border cooperation projects.

Source: http://ec.europa.eu/enlargement/press_corner/, as of November 5, 2008.

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