THE USE OF EUROPEAN FUNDS FOR INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT IN THE RURAL DEVELOPMENT IN THE REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA
This paper deals with the problems encountered by people in rural areas in a country such as the Republic of Macedonia. The importance of rural development originates in several sides, such as the large representation of these environments in the entire territory of the country, as well as the number of people living in these areas. In developing countries, such as Republic of Macedonia, rural areas do not have infrastructural elements that could satisfy basic human needs, even though there is a large population representation in them. Most often, these environments are forgotten by the competent governmental authorities, so financial resources are not allocated for their construction and maintenance. The need for financial resources is indispensable in every domain of society, but for rural areas, where the necessary living conditions are of vital importance, the need is particularly pronounced. In this paper, one of the means for securing funds available to the Republic of Macedonia will be mentioned; these are funds from the European funds, expressed through the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA). These are non-refundable funds that are directed in a number of spheres, and the aim is to bring closer the standards and policies of the beneficiary country to those of the European Union. In order to get a bigger picture, a comparison was made of the Republic of Macedonia as a country with a status candidate for membership in the community and the Republic of Croatia, as a country in the Balkans which is the latest country that has entered the European community, i.e. a comparison of the way of using the funds from the Program. For the requirements of this paper, data from different literature, documents, magazines, publications and reports was collected. The conclusion is based on the presented data, that is, the actual state of the use of the European funds.