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Tacis programme (2000-2006)

This summary has been archived and will not be updated, because the summarised document is no longer in force or does not reflect the current situation.

Tacis programme (2000-2006)

The TACIS programme aims to promote the transition to a market economy and to reinforce democracy and the rule of law in the partner states in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.


Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 99/2000 of 29 December 1999 concerning the provision of assistance to the partner states in Eastern Europe and Central Asia [See amending acts].


1. The Community's Tacis programme encourages democratisation, the strengthening of the rule of law and the transition to a market economy in the New Independent States (NIS), created as a result of the break-up of the Soviet Union. The states are as follows: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Mongolia, Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.

2. Covering the 2000-2006 period, it is based on the principles and objectives set out in the partnership and cooperation agreements (PCAs) and the trade and economic cooperation agreements concluded between the Union and these countries. It is also based on the Community's basic democratic clause. Thus when an essential element for the continuation of cooperation is missing, the Council may, on a proposal from the Commission and acting by qualified majority, decide upon appropriate measures.


3. The programme aims to maximise its impact by concentrating on a limited number of significant initiatives, not precluding small-scale projects. To this end, indicative and action programmes are drawn up with the partners and cover three cross-cutting areas of cooperation at most. As far as cooperation is concerned, particular attention is paid to the following:

  • assistance for institutional, legal and administrative reform (development of the rule of law, support for effective policy-making, support for justice and home affairs activities, etc.);
  • support for the private sector and assistance for economic development (promotion of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), development of the banking and financial systems, promotion of private entrepreneurship, etc.);
  • assistance in addressing the social consequences of transition (reform of the health, pension, social protection and insurance systems, assistance for social reconstruction and retraining, etc.);
  • development of infrastructure networks (transport networks, telecommunication networks, pipelines, border crossings, etc.);
  • better environmental protection and management of natural resources (alignment of standards on Community norms, sustainable management of natural resources, etc.);
  • development of the rural economy (land privatisation, improvement of distribution and access to markets).

4. Support for nuclear safety could be added to the three basic areas. It must focus on three main priorities:

  • support for the promotion of an effective nuclear safety culture;
  • the development of spent fuel and nuclear waste management strategies;
  • participation in relevant international initiatives.

5. The programme must take into account the diversity of needs and regional priorities together with the progress made in the partner states towards democracy and a market economy and their absorptive capacity. Special attention must also be paid to the need to reduce environmental risks and pollution, the sustainable use of natural and energy resources and the social aspects of the transition.

6. In addition, the programme aims to promote inter-state, inter-regional and cross-border cooperation between the partner states themselves, between partner states and the European Union and between partner states and the countries of Central and Eastern Europe. This cross-border cooperation serves primarily to:

  • assist border regions in overcoming their specific developmental problems;
  • encourage the linking of networks on both sides of the border;
  • accelerate the transformation process in the partner states through their cooperation with border regions in the European Union and Central and Eastern Europe;
  • reduce transboundary environmental risks and pollution.

Measures supported

7. As a technical assistance programme, Tacis mainly supports the following measures:

  • transfer of knowledge, expertise and know-how: organising training, for example;
  • industrial cooperation and partnerships between public and private bodies, with possible secondment of European specialists;
  • technical assistance to accompany investment and investment financing, particularly in the areas of cross-border cooperation, promotion of SMEs, environmental infrastructure and networks;
  • purchases of supplies required in the implementation of technical assistance.


8. The financial reference amount for these six years is EUR 3 138 billion. Each year the budgetary authority decides on the annual appropriations within the limits of the Union's financial perspective. EU assistance is in general provided in the form of grants.

9. The Regulation stipulates that 20% of the programme's total budget may be allocated to investment financing that has a multiplier effect and is of interest to the Community (financing border infrastructure and environmental infrastructure, promoting SMEs, networks). In addition, this Community financing must accompany other investment.

10. Provision is also made for an incentive scheme to introduce an element of competition into the allocation of resources in order to promote quality (up to 20% of the total budget of the new programme). This scheme should be introduced gradually (initially 10% of the budget, which can then be gradually increased by up to 5% each year).

11. The Commission also encourages cofinancing with public and private organisations in the Member States.


12. Community assistance to the NIS is provided under national and regional multiannual programmes drawn up as a result of dialogue between the partner countries and the European Commission. These programmes comprise indicative programmes covering three to four year periods. They define the principal objectives of, and broad guidelines for, cooperation and include indicative financial estimates.

13. Annual or biannual action programmes based on the indicative programmes are then adopted. These include a detailed list of the projects to be financed in the chosen areas of cooperation. Finally, financial memoranda are agreed between the Commission and each partner country for the projects.

Procedures and management

14. The indicative and action programmes are adopted by the Commission in accordance with "management" procedure, following consultation of the Committee for assistance to the NIS and Mongolia composed of representatives of the Member States and chaired by the Commission representative.

15. The Commission is responsible for administering actions and measures financed under this Regulation in accordance with the Financial Regulation of the European Community (EC) and in line with the principles of sound financial management, economy and cost-effectiveness.

16. The measures financed by Tacis are subject to the award of contracts through tendering procedures in accordance with the relevant provisions of the EC Financial Regulation. Thus, service contracts totalling over EUR 200 000 are awarded by international restricted invitations to tender. Contracts below this amount are concluded according to the procedure negotiated.

17. Participation in invitations to tender and contracts is open on equal terms to all natural and legal persons in the Member States, partner states, countries benefiting from the Phare programme and in some cases the EC's partner countries in the Mediterranean.

18. In managing the implementation of this programme, effective coordination between the Commission and the Member States is essential, both at the programme definition and the programme implementation stage.

Monitoring and evaluation

19. Each year the Commission presents a progress report on the programme with an evaluation of the assistance provided and the effectiveness of the programme. These reports are addressed to all Community institutions. In the light of these reports, the Commission may make proposals to amend the Regulation. In addition, the Commission must provide statistical information on the award of the contracts.



Entry into force - Date of expiry

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 99/2000

21.01.2000 - 31.12.2006


OJ L 12 of 18.1.2000

Amending act(s)

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 2112/2005



OJ L 344 of 27.12.2005


Regulation (EC) No 1638/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 2006 laying down general provisions establishing a European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument [Official Journal L 310 of 9.11.2006].

Last updated: 21.02.2007