Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

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Programme funding

EUR 2 224 million

Official Journal Reference

L 165 of 1996-07-04

Legislative Reference

1279/96 of 1996-06-25
To provide technical assistance in support of the economic reform in progress in the New Independent States of the former Soviet Union and Mongolia for measures aimed at bringing about the transition to a market economy and reinforcing democracy.


The purpose of the present programme is to extend, for the period 1996-1999, the Community's technical assistance programme to support the reform process in the New Independent States (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, the Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan) and Mongolia.

The Community first established a technical assistance programme to support the reform process in the Soviet Union, as it was then, in 1991 to run for a period of two years (Regulation (EEC, Euratom) No 2157/91 Official Journal No L 201 of 24.7.1991). This was adjusted in the second year to take account of the break-up of the former Soviet Union. A second phase of the TACIS programme was established in 1993 to run for a period of three years (Regulation (EEC, Euratom) No 2053/93 Official Journal No L 187 of 29.7.1993).


Priority areas:

- Human resources development:
. Education and training (including managerial and manpower training);
. Restructuring of public administration;
. Employment services and social security advice;
. Strengthening of civic society;
. Policy and macro-economic advice;
. Legal assistance (to include support with the approximation of legislation);

- Enterprise restructuring and development:
. Support for the development of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs);
. Conversion of defence-related industries;
. Privatization and restructuring;
. Financial services;

- Infrastructure:
. Transport;
. Telecommunications;

- Energy, including nuclear safety;

- Food production, processing and distribution;

- Environment:
. Institutional strengthening;
. Legislation;
. Training.


The Commission is responsible for the implementation of the programme, assisted by the "Committee for the assistance to the new independent states and Mongolia" which is composed of representatives of the Member States and chaired by a representative of the Commission. Community assistance is to be implemented, as far as possible, on a decentralized basis within each of the partner countries. To this end, final recipients of Community assistance are to be closely involved in the preparation and execution of projects.

The TACIS programme mainly takes the form of technical assistance to support and reinforce the economic and political reform process in the partner countries of the New Independent States and Mongolia. Assistance is focused on sectors (see the list of priority areas in the "Subdivisions" section of this summary) and, where appropriate, on geographic areas in which the partner states have already taken concrete measures to promote reform and/or for which they can present a time schedule. Provisions are also made under the programme for the following:

- Financial contribution, on a case-by-case basis, towards the cost of supplies needed to support the implementation of technical assistance;
- Financial contribution towards the costs of small-scale infrastructure projects in the context of border-crossing facilities;
- Financial contribution towards the costs related to the preparation, implementation, monitoring, audit and evaluation of the execution of these operations, as well as the costs concerning the dissemination of information;
- Measures to support industrial cooperation and support for the establishment of joint ventures through the funding of equity investment in SMEs;
- Financial support for environmental impact assessments or eco-audits.

Indicative programmes, covering four-year periods, are to be established for each of the partner countries following the identification of priorities for each partner state by the Commission and the country concerned. These programmes set out the principal objectives of, and guidelines for, Community assistance in the indicative areas covered by the Regulation. On the basis of the indicative programmes, detailed annual action programmes are to be adopted setting out a list of the main projects to be financed. The Commission implements operations under the TACIS programme for each partner state on the basis of their respective action programmes.

Community assistance takes the form of grants which are released in tranches as projects materialize. Financial support is provided either independently by the Community or on the basis of cofinancing in conjunction with Member States, the European Investment Bank, third countries, multilateral agencies or the recipient countries. Supply contracts are awarded on the basis of an open invitation to tender; service contracts are, as a general rule, awarded by restricted invitations to tender and by private treaty for operations up to ECU 200,000.

Participation in invitations to tender is open on equal terms to all natural and legal persons in the Member States and in the partner states and PHARE countries. Participation in invitations to tender by natural and legal persons from Mediterranean countries with traditional economic, trade or geographical links may be authorized by the Commission on a case-by-case basis if the programmes and projects concerned require specific forms of assistance only available in such countries.

The financial reference amount for the implementation of the programme during the period 1996-1999 is set at ECU 2,224 million; the annual appropriations are to be authorized by the budgetary authority within this financial perspective. In implementing the programme, the Commission is required to promote cofinancing with public or private bodies in the Member States.

The Commission, together with the Member States, is responsible for ensuring the effective coordination of the assistance efforts undertaken in the partner states by the Community and individual Member States on the basis of information to be supplied by the Member States. In addition, coordination and cooperation with international financial institutions and other donors is to be encouraged.

Each year, a progress report on the implementation of the programme is to be drawn up by the Commission detailing an evaluation of the assistance already provided.
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