Phare CBC was introduced in 1994 to assist border regions in the applicant countries overcome their specific development problems and integrate more closely with the European Union, with other countries of Central and Eastern Europe, and within their own national economies. A long term aim of CBC was thus to accelerate the economic convergence of applicant countries with the European Union in a balanced manner that prevents the emergence of peripheral economic zones, and to prepare candidate countries for future participation in the INTERREG programme. Until 2003, Phare CBC focused on promoting co-operation between the border regions of Central and Eastern Europe and adjacent regions of the European Community, as well as border regions between applicant countries of Central and Eastern Europe. After the 2004 accession of 8 Phare countries, the Phare CBC Regulation has been amended in order to update the list of countries which remain eligible and, on the same occasion, the scope of the Phare CBC programme has been extended to cover the Bulgarian border with Turkey and the Bulgarian and Romanian borders with their adjacent TACIS and CARDS countries (Ukraine, Moldova, Serbia and Montenegro and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia).

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