The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia has been given the prospect of becoming an EU member state. On its way towards membership, the European Union provides continuous support and financial assistance in order to help the country with the necessary reforms.
Between 1992 and the introduction of the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) in 2007, the financial assistance from the European Union, distributed mainly through the PHARE and CARDS programmes, totalled over 800 million Euro.
The Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) came into effect at the start of 2007 (Multi-Annual Indicative Financial Framework 2011-2013 COM (2009) 543 from 14.10.2009) and is to provide nearly 11.5 billion euro to candidate and potential candidate countries in the period 2007-2013.
For the period 2007-2013, assistance provided in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia through IPA covers five components:
- Institution Building,
- Cross-border Co-operation,
- Regional Development,
- Human Resource Development and
- Rural Development.
The Commission earmarked a total of 622.4 million euro for the period 2007-2013 for the country which will also benefit from the IPA multi-beneficiary programme.
EU assistance is targeted at directly benefiting citizens. The projects it supports are geared to bringing the candidates and potential candidates into line with EU standards. They are also designed to progressively entrust administrations in the beneficiary countries with the decentralised management of EU funds. Decentralised management of EU funds involves the transfer of responsibility from the Commission to the Contracting Authority of the beneficiary country. The Contracting Authority becomes responsible for the tendering and contracting, as well as the financial and administrative management of the projects. In addition to boosting the sense of ownership in pre-accession phase, it also helps to prepare the countries for the management methods they will have to deploy as they come closer to benefiting from EU funds as Member States.