Commissioner Franz Fischler today [Monday] signed a decision to confer the management of Sapard aid to the Polish authorities, enabling Poland to commence the implementation of its Sapard programme. Under this scheme, Poland will now be entitled to grant aid of which the EU contribution is €171.6m (US$169.7m) annually. Payment of the first advance to the SAPARD euro account in the National Fund can now be made (of about €40m).