European Neighbourhood Policy: Funding
Until 31 December 2006, EC assistance to the countries of the European Neighbourhood Policy is provided under various geographical programmes including TACIS (for our eastern neighbours and Russia) and MEDA (for our southern Mediterranean neighbours), as well as thematic programmes such as EIDHR (European Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights). For the current budgetary period (2000-2006), the funds available were approximately €5.3 billion for MEDA and €3.1 billion for TACIS, as well as approximately €2 billion in European Investment Bank lending for MEDA beneficiary countries and €500 million for TACIS beneficiary countries.
From 1 January 2007 onwards, as part of the reform of EC assistance instruments, the MEDA and TACIS and various other programmes will be replaced by a single instrument - the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument
(ENPI). This will be a much more flexible, policy-driven instrument. It is designed to target sustainable development and approximation to EU policies and standards - supporting the agreed priorities in the ENP Action Plans (as well as the Strategic Partnership with Russia, which was previously also covered by the TACIS programme). For the next budgetary period (2007-2013), approximately €12 billion in EC funding will be available to support these partners' reforms, an increase of 32% in real terms. Funds allocated to individual country programmes [21 KB] will depend on their needs and absorption capacity as well as their implementation of agreed reforms.
An important aspect of the ENP, and the strategic partnership with Russia, is to markedly improve cross-border cooperation with countries along the EU's external land and maritime borders, thus giving substance to our aim of avoiding new dividing lines. The ENPI will therefore support cross-border contacts and co-operation between local and regional actors and civil society. The ENPI cross-border cooperation (CBC) programme will cover activities across the EU's external borders in the East and the South, with programmes for the period 2007-2013 receiving financial support of €1.18 billion. A summary of the Commission approach can be found in the ENPI Cross-Border Cooperation Strategy Paper.
New forms of technical assistance are also being extended to these partners. Legislative approximation, regulatory convergence and institution-building will be supported through mechanisms which proved successful in transition countries that are now EU Member States i.e. targeted expert assistance (Technical Assistance and Information Exchange - TAIEX), long-term twinning arrangements with EU Member States' administrations - national, regional or local - and participation in relevant Community programmes and agencies.
Under both the current and future instruments, EC assistance priorities will be identified, together with the country and other relevant actors, in general Country Strategy Papers (CSPs) which cover 7 year periods, more detailed National Indicative Programmes (NIPs) which cover 3 years and detailed annual programmes. The priorities identified in the Action Plans, agreed with the authorities of the country, are also useful in guiding the programming of assistance programmes - including for other donors and IFIs. Tenders under EC assistance programmes are open to companies from the 27 EU Member States, from the candidate (1) and potential candidate countries (2) and from ENP partners themselves and are awarded in line with standard EC procurement rules.
1 Croatia, Turkey and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
2 Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia including Kosovo