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The Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance continued to function in the period 2014-2020, through the new Instrument IPA II. The process for setting up the structure and principles of IPA II was started in December 2010. On the basis of the consultations, the lessons learned, and the experience gained through the current IPA. Basic documents were prepared and the general principles for the further use of IPA II were determined.

The most important novelty of IPA II is its strategic focus. Country Strategy Papers are the specific strategic planning documents made for each beneficiary for the 7-year period. These will provide for a stronger ownership by the beneficiaries through integrating their own reform and development agendas. A Multi-Country Strategy Paper will address priorities for regional cooperation or territorial cooperation.

IPA II targets reforms within the framework of pre-defined sectors. These sectors cover areas closely linked to the enlargement strategy, such as democracy and governance, rule of law or growth and competitiveness. This sector approach promotes structural reform that will help transform a given sector and bring it up to EU standards. It allows a move towards a more targeted assistance, ensuring efficiency, sustainability and focus on results.

The IPA II regulation came into force on 16 March 2014.​