The specific aims of the project have been strengthening capacities of the Programme Managing Authority and building up institutional capacities of the SAPARD/IPA-RD Agency for SAPARD and IPA-RD programmes, enabling them to carry out tasks and responsibilities linked to coordination, management and implementation of EU pre- and post-accession co-financed rural development programmes.
This has been delivered through various activities conducted under five separate but linked components. The key results have been achieved: the finalisation and approval by the EC of the Croatian IPA-RD programme; confirmation that the IPA-RD Agency fulfils the standards required to implement three of the measures within the EUR 103 million EU-funded IPA-RD programme for Croatia.
Preparations for the pilot scheme granting aid to farmers for the management of the landscape and the countryside were also completed.
Local action groups to pilot the LEADER approach in three selected areas have been established and local development plans within these areas have been elaborated.
Also prepared were guidelines for ensuring adherence to certain EU commodity regimes and more than 90 training events and seminars and six study tours have been delivered.
The head of the European Commission Delegation to Croatia, Vincent Degert, said that while a financial package which Croatia would use in its first years as an EU member state was being drawn up, institutions must show readiness and capacity to use the existing EU funds. (Hina)