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European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR)

Before IPA became operational on 1 January 2007, pre-accession support was provided through a number of separate instruments:

The Phare programme:   support for institution building measures and associated investment in candidate countries. It also funded measures promoting economic and social cohesion and cross–border co–operation.

The ISPA programme:    dealt with large-scale environmental and transport infrastructure projects in candidate countries.

The SAPARD programme: supported agricultural and rural development in candidate countries.

Turkey also received pre-accession assistance via similar but separate instruments, budget lines and procedures, notably the Turkish pre-accession instrument.

The CARDS programme was the financial instrument for the Western Balkan countries. Its wider objective was to support participation of the Western Balkans in the Stabilisation and Association Process (SAP). The SAP is the cornerstone of the EU's policy towards the region. It seeks to promote stability in the region, whilst facilitating closer association with the EU.

Post-accession assistance

The ten countries that joined the EU in 2004 received a Transition Facility in 2004-06, as did Bulgaria and Romania between 2007-10.

All pre-2007 programmes and projects have now been completed.

Key documents