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EU funds made simple

SLOVAKIA has so far received financing from three pre-accession funds - PHARE, ISPA, and SAPARD.
The PHARE programme was created in 1989 with the aim of helping former communist countries of central Europe restructure their economies and in the recent years was focused on preparing candidate countries for EU membership by supporting the building and strengthening institutions and aiding investment.
In 2000, PHARE was supplemented by ISPA, a programme intended to finance projects in the field of the environment and transport, and SAPARD, focusing on agricultural and regional development.

SLOVAKIA has so far received financing from three pre-accession funds - PHARE, ISPA, and SAPARD.

The PHARE programme was created in 1989 with the aim of helping former communist countries of central Europe restructure their economies and in the recent years was focused on preparing candidate countries for EU membership by supporting the building and strengthening institutions and aiding investment.

In 2000, PHARE was supplemented by ISPA, a programme intended to finance projects in the field of the environment and transport, and SAPARD, focusing on agricultural and regional development.

After entering the EU, Slovakia will be eligible for the union's structural and cohesive funds, which will replace the present pre-accession funds.

The EU has created the structural funds mainly in order to prevent imbalance between the various regions of the EU. There are currently four structural funds, which focus on regional development, social issues, agriculture, and fisheries.

The cohesive fund is intended to support of transport and the environment in states whose per capita GNP is below 90 percent of the EU average. Money from the cohesive fund are used for projects at a national level.

Applicants from Slovakia will be eligible to submit first projects for the structural funds in January 2004, provided the government is sufficiently prepared. According to the Finance Ministry, the first post-accession aid should arrive in August or September of that year.

- Lukáš Fila

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