The Phare programme is one of the three pre-accession instruments financed by the European Communities to assist the applicant countries of central Europe in their preparations for joining the European Union.
Originally created to assist Poland and Hungary in 1989, today the Phare programme encompasses the 10 candidate countries of central and eastern Europe, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Romania helping them through a period of massive economic restructuring and political change. The other 3 candidates, Cyprus, Malta and Turkey benefit from separate pre-accession funding. Until 2000 the countries of the Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia) were also beneficiaries of Phare. However, as of 2001 the CARDS programme (Community Assistance to Reconstruction, Development and Stability in the Balkans) has provided financial assistance to the Western Balkans. Following the 1993 Copenhagen Council’s invitation to central European countries to apply for membership, Phare support was reoriented, including a marked expansion in support to infrastructure investment.
However, Phare’s total "pre-accession" focus was put in place only in 1997 in response to the Luxembourg European Council’s launching of the present enlargement process. Phare funds now focus entirely on the pre-accession priorities highlighted in each country’s Accession Partnership. Civil servants from member states are now seconded through "twinning" to assist their counterparts in preparing for accession. Lastly, Phare’s management was integrated into applicant country government structures through the creation of the National Fund and a limited number of implementing agencies.
These basic orientations were adjusted in 1999 to reflect the coming on stream of SAPARD inagricultureand rural development and of ISPA in transport and environment infrastructure. The principal adjustment was to redirect Phare’s liberated funds towards tackling the issue of economic and social cohesion.
For more information of PHARE programme and the enlagement of the EU clik here. The above information excerpt from http://europa.eu.int .