(3) EU Integration of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia


The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

Membership status

Candidate country


The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – along with other Western Balkans countries – was identified as a potential candidate for EU membership during theThessaloniki European Councilsummit in 2003.

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia applied for EU membership in March 2004. The Commission issued a favourable opinion in November 2005, and the Council decided in December 2005 to grant the country candidate status. In October 2009, the Commission recommended that accession negotiations be opened.

More information on the country's relations with the EU


$1·         The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia Report 2015

$1·         2014 Progress report for the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

$1·         2013 Progress report for the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

$1·         2013 Spring Progress report for the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

$1·         2012 Progress report for the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

$1·         2011 Progress report for the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

$1·         Opinion on the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia 's application for membership of the EU

$1·         Stabilisation and association agreement with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia


$1·         The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia - EU Factograph

$1·         "Results matter", article by Commissioner Füle

$1·         EU Delegation in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance

The Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA) is the means by which the EU supports reforms in the 'enlargement countries' with financial and technical help. The IPA funds build up the capacities of the countries throughout the accession process, resulting in progressive, positive developments in the region. For the period 2007-2013 IPA had a budget of some € 11.5 billion; its successor, IPA II, will build on the results already achieved by dedicating € 11.7 billion for the period 2014-2020.

Current beneficiaries are:Albania,Bosnia and Herzegovinathe former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia,Kosovo*,Montenegro,Serbia, andTurkey.


EU pre-accession funds are a sound investment into the future of both the enlargement countries and the EU itself. They help the beneficiaries make political and economic reforms, preparing them for the rights and obligations that come with EU membership. Those reforms should provide their citizens with better opportunities and allow for development of standards equal to the ones we enjoy as citizens of the EU. The pre-accession funds also help the EU reach its own objectives regarding a sustainable economic recovery, energy supply, transport, the environment and climate change, etc.

Pre-accession assistance: an investment in

$1·         Public administration reform

$1·         Rule of law

$1·         Sustainable economy

$1·         People

$1·         Agriculture and rural development

IPA II (2014-2020)

Prepared in partnership with the beneficiaries, IPA II sets a new framework for providing pre-accession assistance for the period 2014-2020.

The most important novelty of IPA II is its strategic focus.Country Strategy Papersare the specific strategic planning documents made for each beneficiary for the 7-year period. These will provide for a stronger ownership by the beneficiaries through integrating their own reform and development agendas. A Multi-Country Strategy Paper will address priorities for regional cooperation or territorial cooperation.

IPA II targets reforms within the framework of pre-defined sectors. These sectors cover areas closely linked to the enlargement strategy, such as democracy and governance, rule of law or growth and competitiveness. This sector approach promotes structural reform that will help transform a given sector and bring it up to EU standards. It allows a move towards a more targeted assistance, ensuring efficiency, sustainability and focus on results.

IPA II also allows for a more systematic use of sector budget support. Finally, it gives more weight to performance measurement: indicators agreed with the beneficiaries will help assess to what extent the expected results have been achieved.

Legal basis

TheIPA II regulationcame into force on 16 March 2014 and is applicable retroactively from 1stJanuary 2014. The IPA II regulation is complemented by theCommon Implementing Regulation (CIR), which is a set of simplified and

harmonised implementing rules and procedures for all external action instruments, as well as theIPA II Implementing Regulationadopted by the Commission on 2 May 2014.

IPA (2007-2013)

Implementation of IPA 2007-2013 is still underway.

It was designed to provide financial assistance through five channels (known as "components"): transition assistance and institution building, cross-border cooperation (CBC), regional development, human resource development and rural development.

Legal basis

The IPA Regulation for the period 2007-2013 expired on 31 December 2013.

Bosnia and Herzegovina - financial assistance under IPA II

Funding allocation2014-2017: €165.8 million (not including the allocation for Cross-border Cooperation)

Thepriority sectorsfor funding in this period are:  

$1·         Democracy & governance

Strengthening democratic institutions and reforming the civil service – in particular by improving economic governance, public financial management, and public service delivery, and fighting corruption.

$1·         Rule of law & fundamental rights

Improving the judiciary (independence, impartiality, efficiency, accountability) and fighting corruption and organised crime; prosecuting war crimes; reforms tackling shortcomings in protecting fundamental rights and minorities.

$1·         Competitiveness & innovation

Better policy-making and implementation of reforms in the area of economic governance, competitiveness and human resources development.

$1·         Education, employment & social policies

Reforming labour market institutions (e.g. employment protection, unions, wage-setting) and developing active labour market measures; reforming the education system;  further developing the coordinated needs-based approach to social services.

How will these priorities be implemented?(general background on IPA).

$1·         Other sources of information

$1o    European Union

$1§  Tenders/calls for proposals

$1§  EU Delegation to Bosnia and Herzegovina

$1o    Bosnia and Herzegovina

$1§  Directorate for European Integration(headed by the National IPA Coordinator)

$1o    International Financial Institutions

$1§  European Bank for Reconstruction & Development

$1§  European Investment Bank

$1§  World Bank

Multi-country – financial assistance under IPA II

Total EU assistance in2014-2020– €2.9 billion *

*includes €542 million in unallocated funds for Bosnia & Herzegovina

The multi-country programme helps meet the targets identified in the Country Strategy Papers, albeit through different means. In line with the Multi-country Indicative Strategy Paper 2014-20 , the programme provides assistance through4 multi-country channelsthat provide a viable complement to national assistance:

A) Horizontal support

Technical assistance,informationandtrainingfor authorities in IPA II beneficiaries, through the TAIEX instrument and in the form oftwinning.

This makes available the know-how of EU and international organisations and best practices, including for evidence-based policy making (statistical cooperation), thereby helping improve the formulation and implementation of national sector policies and the related reform strategies. And it provides support across the region to strengthencivil societyand ensure free and independent media, as well as building capacity and promoting mobility in higher education and for young people, by contributing to the Erasmus+ Programme.

B) Regional structures & networks

Promotesregional cooperation,networkingand sharing of best practice to help IPA II beneficiaries prepare for EU membership, align their national legislation with EU law (acquis) and gradually adapt to EU standards and practices.

Support in this strand will target initiatives like:

$1·         Regional Cooperation Council (RCC)

$1·         Regional School for Public Administration (ReSPA)

$1·         the Prosecutors' Network

$1·         International Law Enforcement Coordination Units (ILECUs)

$1·         Environment & Climate Regional Accession Network (ECRAN)

$1·         South-East Europe Transport Observatory (SEETO)

$1·         Energy Community

$1·         Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA)

$1·         Regional Rural Development Standing Working Group (SWG)

$1·         Education & Employment Platforms.

C) Regional investment support

Targeting projects with a clearregional dimensionthat help socio-economic development inmore than oneIPA II beneficiary and address in particular investment needs related to:

$1·         competitiveness of business

$1·         connectivity between beneficiaries and EU countries

$1·         environmental protection & climate change mitigation/adaptation.

The main instruments providing such support are:

$1·         Western Balkans Investment Framework

$1·         Green for Growth Fund

$1·         Western Balkan Enterprise Development and Innovation Facility

$1·         European Fund for Southeast Europe

$1·         Regional Housing Programme.


D) Territorial cooperation

Promoting good neighbourly relations between, and local development in,border regions– through cross-border programmes within the region and countries already in the EU, as well as transnational cooperation programmes and related macro-regional programmes (EU strategies forthe Danube regionand forthe Adriatic-Ionian region).  

How will these priorities be implemented?(general background on IPA)


     Other sources of information

$1o    European Union

$1§  Tenders / Calls for proposals

$1§  Directorate-General for Regional & Urban Policy

$1§  Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

$1§  Directorate-General for  Agriculture & Rural Development

$1§  Directorate-General for Economic & Financial Affairs

$1§  Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship & SMEs

$1o    International Financial Institutions

$1§  European Investment Bank & European Investment Fund (EIB Group)

$1§  European Bank for Reconstruction & Development(EBRD)

$1§  Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB)

$1§  World Bank Group

Selected Projects

$1·         Safer aviation thanks to regional cooperation

$1·         Giving people a bigger stake in justice in the Western Balkans

$1·         Going with the flow – easing inland shipping on the Danube

$1·         Combining forces for a more efficient food industry

$1·         Fighting organized crime and corruption

$1·         Involving young people: EU citizenship around the Adriatic

$1·         Giving a boost to business culture through lifelong learning

$1·         Catching the export cheats: Customs agencies join forces

$1·         Land ownership clarified

$1·         Training war crime prosecutors

$1·         Seeking equality for people from minority groups

$1·         Radioactive lightning rods removed

$1·         Monitoring Cyberspace - Catching the cyber criminals in the Western Balkans and Turkey

$1·         Better transport links in the Western Balkans - Upgrading a vital motorway

$1·         Catching the wind in the Western Balkans


Projects in Focus




ar bg ca zh-chs zh-cht cs da nl en et fi fr de el ht he hi hu id it ja ko lv lt no pl pt ro ru sk sl es sv th tr uk vi