Rural development measures for EU candidate countries
The candidate countries for EU membership must adopt the massive body of EU legislation - known as the "acquis communautaire" [see section 3.3] - in order to take part fully in the internal market. In the field of agriculture, this means, for example, harmonising legislation in the areas of veterinary and phytosanitary health, and the free movement of animals and agricultural products. Therefore, EU pre-accession aid supports projects that help the candidates prepare for accession, while familiarising the authorities and other relevant organisations with the methods used to implement EU support measures [see section 12.3.4].
The Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) stipulates that assistance for candidate countries should, inter alia, focus on the adoption and implementation of the full acquis communautaire, and in particular prepare candidate countries for the implementation of the Union's agricultural and cohesion policy [Regulation 1085/2006]. The Rural Development Component of IPA provides support for countries listed in Annex I (Croatia until the 1st July 2013, Turkey, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia) in policy development as well as preparation for the implementation and management of the common agricultural policy. It contributes to the sustainable adaptation of the agricultural sector and rural areas and to the candidate countries' preparation for the implementation of the acquis communautaire concerning the common agricultural policy and related policies. It may in particular contribute towards the financing of the type of actions provided for by the Regulation on support for rural development by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) [Regulation 1305/2013, last amended by Regulation 2015/791].