What is Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA)?
Various financial aids are provided by the European Union to countries that have applied to become a member of the Union and whose candidacy has been officially approved. As of 2007, a system that envisages the execution of various programs under a single structure has been planned, and financial aids to candidate and potential candidate countries have been combined under the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA).
With the IPA, it is aimed to harmonize the legislation and standards of the candidate countries with the EU legislation and standards and to build the capacities required for the candidate countries to implement the reforms. These aids provide financial resources to the countries that are in the process of EU membership for the political, economic, legal and administrative measures they should take in order to comply with the EU acquis. In this way, candidate countries are prepared for the rights and obligations that come with EU membership.
Our country, which gained candidate status at the 1999 Helsinki Summit, also benefits from the financial assistance provided within the scope of IPA. With this financial assistance, by considering the needs and priorities for Turkey's EU membership path; projects aimed at economic and social cohesion, support of development, cross-border cooperation, development of human resources, and increasing the commercial and administrative capacities of institutions are carried out.
Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) First Term (2007-2013)
The first period that covers the years 2007-2013, the EU financial assistance to Turkey is structured into five components. Under the third, fourth and fifth components; Operational Programmes have been prepared by the relevant ministries, which define the activities to be performed to achieve the objectives and priorities in the Multi-Year Planning Document. By the help of the Operational Programmes that contain analyses of related areas, sectors and regions, the EU financial assistance is ensured to be used in a way compatible with Turkey's priority development objectives.
These components are defined and implemented as follows:
I. Transition Period Support and Institutional Building
Under this component, financial support has been provided to capacity building projects aimed at harmonizing with the EU acquis. Related studies were carried out by the Ministry for EU Affairs of the period.
II. Regional and Cross-Border Cooperation
Within the scope of this component, works aimed at cooperation for economic and social development in border regions have been carried out. These works were carried out by the Ministry for EU Affairs of the period.
III. Regional Development
Through Operational Programmes created under this component; financial aid has been provided to many projects from waste water, drinking water and integrated solid waste infrastructure projects to railway infrastructure projects, from SMEs, industrial infrastructure, R&D, innovation projects to tourism projects. These programmes were carried out under the responsibility of the relevant ministries.
Table 1. IPA I. Period Regional Development Component Operational Programs and Responsible Ministries
With the Regional Competitiveness Operational Programme, it is aimed to increase the competitiveness of our country's economy and to reduce regional socio-economic differences. The Regional Competitiveness Operational Programme is the official name of the IPA First Period programme of the Competitive Sectors Programme implemented by the Ministry of Industry and Technology.
With the Environmental Operational Programme, it is aimed to protect the environment, improve the living standards of the people in terms of the environment, waste water treatment, provide quality drinking water and establish integrated solid waste facilities. (http://www.ipa.gov.tr)
With the Transport Operational Programme, it is aimed to improve the transport infrastructure of our country in order to create an effective and balanced transportation system, to ensure safety and mutual operation on the Trans-European Networks (TEN-T) to be built. (http://op.ubak.gov.tr)
IV. Human Resources Development
Within the scope of this component, the Human Resources Development Operational Programme (HRD OP) was prepared with the aim of increasing employment opportunities and promoting social cohesion during the transition to the information society. Within the scope of the HRD OP, projects implemented in the fields of employment, vocational education, lifelong learning and combating social exclusion were supported. HRD OP was run by the Ministry of Labor and Social Security (now the Ministry of Family, Labor and Social Services) as it was called at that time. (http://www.ikg.gov.tr/)
V. Rural Development
With the Rural Development Operational Programme prepared within the scope of this component, financial assistance was provided to enterprises, producers, cooperatives and producer unions operating in the fields of agriculture, animal husbandry, food, fisheries and alternative agriculture through grant programs. This program was run by the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock (now the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry), as it was called at that time. (https://www.tkdk.gov.tr/)
Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) Second Period (2014-2020)
In the second period covering 2014-2020, a sectoral approach has been adopted in order to ensure more efficient use of funds. In this context, instead of the component-based structure created in the first period, the sectors planned to be financed in the new period and sector responsible organizations that will carry out the related studies were determined. Also, in the period of 2014-2020, "result-oriented monitoring" approach was adopted to increase the efficiency of the funds. Accordingly, it is aimed to monitor result indicators instead of input and output indicators.
EU financial assistance transferred to Turkey in this framework is structured under the following five main policy title:
Under these five policy headings, 9 priority sectors and organizations responsible for the sector have been determined. These are as follows:
For further information on this issue, please check "European Union - Turkey Relations" page of our web site.
Institutions in IPA
Various public administrations have been determined to ensure that the funds provided under the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) are used within the framework of the administrative and financial management principles of the EU Financial Regulations. In this context, the roles and duties of some institutions are as follows: