Croatia, as a candidate country, benefits from all three pre-accession
financial instruments: Phare for institution-building and
economic and social cohesion, ISPA for environment and transport
infrastructures and SAPARD for agricultural and rural development.
Croatia also remains eligible for the CARDS Regional Programme
in 2005 and 2006. Pre-accession financing will amount to €105
million in 2005 (Phare: €80 million, ISPA: €25 million) and
€140 million in 2006 (Phare: €80 million, ISPA: €35 million,
SAPARD: €25 million). This represents a substantial increase
in overall EC assistance compared to the amounts foreseen
under CARDS for 2005 (€60 million) and 2006 (€62 million).
The European Partnership, adopted by Council on 13 September
2004 and based on the findings of the Commission’s Opinion
on Croatia’s application for membership identifies short and
medium term priorities for Croatia’s preparation for further
integration within the EU. The Croatian authorities agreed
that these priorities are used to identify the key areas for
EU pre-accession financial assistance for 2005. Among the
European Partnership short and medium term priorities, the
existing CARDS programmes 2002-2004 are already addressing
a high number of priorities. A programming principle is therefore
to provide continuity in assistance while at the same time
avoiding any overlaps between CARDS and Phare.
An overall amount of €257 million was committed to Croatia
in the CARDS programme between 2001 and 2004.
A total of 29 twinning tenders and contracts for a total
amount of €23 million are at the moment being implemented