The European Commission decided on October 28 to confer management of Component I of the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA) to the Croatian authorities as a sign of confidence in Croatia's ability to efficiently manage pre-accession funds, the EC said in a statement on Thursday.
"Croatia is the first country to have received this conferral of management. The decision shows the Commission's confidence in Croatia's ability to efficiently utilise pre-accession funds and ensure sound financial management," reads the statement released by the Delegation of the European Commission in Zagreb.
IPA is the pre-accession programme which the European Union makes available to candidate and potential candidate countries during the financial framework 2007-2013. It replaces the former financial instruments (CARDS, Phare, ISPA and SAPARD) and unifies them under a single instrument. It is also designed to prepare candidate countries to use structural funds in the best possible way once they join the EU.
IPA consists of five components.
The first component includes transition assistance and institution building. It is the successor of the CARDS and Phare programmes and aims at providing support to Croatian institutions for legal and administrative reforms and fulfilment of membership criteria.
The second component concerns cross-border cooperation, the third one concerns regional development, including investments in the transport and environment protection infrastructure, the concerns human resources development, and the fifth rural development.
The EC said that by the end of November, Croatia could also be entrusted with the management of projects from the other four IPA components. (Hina)