EU created a new financial assistance system in 2007 to provide efficient funding to candidate or potential candidate countries. This system is called IPA (Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance). The first phase of this financial cooperation, which is an important element of Turkey and EU relations, was implemented in 2007-2013 period under the name IPA I.
The main goal of the assistance provided under IPA is to support the candidate and potential candidate countries in preparing to effectively manage and implement the Community's Cohesion Policy, to prepare them for the implementation of structural funds to be activated upon membership, and thus to support these countries in preparing for the European Union membership.
To this end, projects that serve the needs and priorities of the candidate country in EU accession path are supported under IPA. The funds allocated through the projects aim to ensure harmonization with the EU, and to build the administrative capacity necessary for this harmonization. Furthermore, the number of projects to ensure economic and social cohesion (regional development, agricultural and rural development, cross border cooperation and SME projects) gradually increase under financial assistance.
What is the most important difference IPA brings to assistance compared to the previous period?
The most important difference brought by IPA is that the funds are allocated to priorities and activity areas identified in the programmes to be prepared by the beneficiary countries. Funds have been disbursed according to these priorities and measures included in the Operational Programmes prepared in the scope of IPA I. A similar approach continues in IPA II period, and the allocated funds are aimed to be used based on the Actions (Priority) and Activities (Measure) included in the newly prepared Operational Programmes.