Cohesion policy

2007–13
Commentaries and offi cial texts
• European Regional Development Fund
• European Social Fund
• Cohesion Fund
• European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation
• Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance
EN
Guide January 2007
The European Union’s cohesion policy, built into the Treaties since 1986, has been given the
objective of reducing the gap in the different regions’ levels of development, in order to strengthen
economic and social cohesion. With the integration of 10 new countries in 2004, then of Bulgaria
and Romania in 2007, this attempt at harmonisation had to be reinforced. The main beneficiaries
of the funds have been asked to contribute to the economic development of their new partners.
To organise the 2007–13 cohesion policy, new legislative provisions have proved necessary. This
guide covers the texts of the main regulations in force (General Regulation, ERDF, ESF, Cohesion
Fund, European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation and the Instrument for Pre-Accession
Assistance) and it presents a commentary on each one.
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Inforegio
For more information on the European Union’s Cohesion Policy consult the Inforegio site:
http://ec.europa.eu/inforegio
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Luxemburg: Offi ce for Offi cial Publications of the European Communities, 2007
ISBN 92-79-03805-2
© The European Communities, 2007
Reproduction authorised, as long as the source is mentioned
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European Commission
Cohesion policy 2007–13 — Commentaries and offi cial texts
Luxembourg: Offi ce for Offi cial Publications of the European Communities
2007 — 160 p. — 21 x 29.7 cm
ISBN 92-79-03805-2
Cohesion policy
2007–13
Commentaries and offi cial texts
• European Regional Development Fund
• European Social Fund
• Cohesion Fund
• European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation
• Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance
Foreword
I believe that the European Union has every reason to be proud of its
policy to promote cohesion, a policy which is creating new opportunities
and reducing the gaps in income levels between regions. Naturally, the
European cohesion policy places a particular emphasis on helping the
less developed regions to undertake new investment which would
not otherwise take place. But it also addresses the problems of lack
of opportunity in other regions in an effort to help them face up to
increased competition in the global economy.
These regulations provide a common framework for the implementation
of the cohesion policy. They will remain in force for seven years until
2013, which reflects the long-term, strategic approach which is a
fundamental principle of the policy.
The new regulatory framework provides for a number of reforms compared to the programming
period 2000–06. First of all, the cohesion policy is modernised through a new architecture placing
greater emphasis on the need for a strategic vision in pursuit of a common set of Community
priorities. These priorities are summed up in the Growth and Jobs Agenda which was launched by
the Union in 2005. In fact, the European cohesion policy will be the major instrument at Community
level for the modernisation of the Union’s economy in the years to come.
While the policy is strategic in nature, it combines this with a decentralisation of responsibilities
to those on the ground in the Member States and regions that have the experience or expertise
necessary to ensure successful implementation. Once the overall strategy is agreed with the
Commission, it is often the regions that have the responsibility for key decisions in matters such as
project selection and management.
Important steps have been taken to streamline legislation and simplify rules for the management
of cohesion programmes. The cohesion policy will operate in a simpler and more effi cient way
because, for example, the number of financial instruments has been reduced from six to three,
a new ‘proportionality’ principle provides for less bureaucracy, national eligibility rules apply
instead of Community rules, and Member States and regions are asked for more transparency and
communication.
Finally, three initiatives jointly launched by the European Commission, the European Investment
Bank and other financial institutions will help Member States and regions to establish sound and
effi cient management of the funds and to make better use of financial engineering instruments.
Jaspers will assist Member States and regions in the preparation of major projects. Jeremie will
increase access to finance for the development of SMEs. Jessica will promote sustainable investment
in urban areas.
The new regulations set out a coherent framework so that the cohesion policy can continue to
deliver real results. The Member States, the European Parliament and the Commission have worked
hard to create this solid framework, which is backed by an investment effort of EUR 50 billion per
year. It is our common point of reference as we move forward to create a new future for our citizens
by making the best use of these resources.
Danuta Hübner
Member of the European Commission responsible for regional policy
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Introduction .....................................................................................................................................................................6
General information ...........................................................................................................................................9
Commentary .................................................................................................................................................................. 10
1. Objectives and general rules ................................................................................................................... 10
1.1. Convergence objective .............................................................................................................................. 13
1.2. Regional competitiveness and employment objective ........................................................ 18
1.3. European territorial cooperation objective ................................................................................... 20
1.4. Financial resources ........................................................................................................................................ 24
2. Intervention principles .................................................................................................................................. 27
3. Strategic approach ............................................................................................................................................ 28
3.1. Community strategic guidelines .......................................................................................................... 28
3.2. National strategic reference framework ......................................................................................... 28
3.3. Strategic follow-up ....................................................................................................................................... 30
4. Programming ......................................................................................................................................................... 32
5. Effi ciency .................................................................................................................................................................... 34
6. Management, follow-up and control ............................................................................................... 35
7. Financial management ................................................................................................................................ 36
General Regulation ................................................................................................................................................ 39
European Regional Development Fund ..................................................................... 95
Commentary .................................................................................................................................................................. 96
ERDF Regulation ....................................................................................................................................................... 97
European Social Fund ............................................................................................................................... 109
Commentary ............................................................................................................................................................... 110
ESF Regulation ......................................................................................................................................................... 111
Contents
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6
Cohesion Fund ......................................................................................................................................................119
Commentary ...............................................................................................................................................................120
Cohesion Fund Regulation .......................................................................................................................121
European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation ............................................125
Commentary ...............................................................................................................................................................126
EGTC Regulation ....................................................................................................................................................127
Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance ...............................................................135
Commentary ...............................................................................................................................................................136
IPA Regulation ..........................................................................................................................................................138
Contact addresses ...........................................................................................................................................150
6
The European Union’s cohesion policy, built into the Treaties since 1986, has been given the
objective of reducing the gap in the different regions’ levels of development, in order to strengthen
economic and social cohesion. With the integration of 10 new countries in 2004, then of Bulgaria
and Romania in 2007, this attempt at harmonisation had to be reinforced. The main beneficiaries of
the funds have been asked to contribute to the economic development of their new partners.
At the same time, the whole of the Union is facing up to the challenges resulting from the
acceleration of economic restructuring following globalisation, the opening up of trade, the effects
of the technological revolution, the development of a knowledge-based economy, of an ageing
population and the growth of immigration.
To tackle these different challenges, new legislative provisions have proved necessary. For the
period 2007–13 it is composed of the following elements(
1
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2
):
• a general regulation which defines common rules, applicable to the European Regional
Development Fund (ERDF), European Social Fund (ESF) and the Cohesion Fund. Based on the
principle of management shared between the Union, the Member States and the regions, this
regulation offers a new programming process as well as new norms for financially managing,
controlling and evaluating the projects. The cohesion policy is reorganised around three new
priority objectives: convergence, regional competitiveness and employment, and European
territorial cooperation;
• a regulation for each of the sources of financing [European Regional Development Fund, European
Social Fund, Cohesion Fund and the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA)(
3
)];
• a new regulation creating a cross-border authority to carry out the cooperation programmes.
A more strategic policy
The Community strategic guidelines and the national strategic reference framework are the principal
contributions to the new regulations; they offer a strategic dimension to the new policy. The Member
States and the regions are also invited to transform Community priorities into national priorities,
all the while retaining their specificities. The financial aid is, in other respects, less dispersed and is
concentrated on the European Union strategy geared towards growth and employment (known as
the Lisbon strategy). Its major priorities are: research and technological development, innovation
and the spirit of enterprise, a knowledge-based society, transport, energy, the protection of the
environment as well as investment in human capital, employment market policy and improving
worker and business adaptability. The European Commission is, in many respects, the guarantor
of the implementation of this strategy across the whole programming. It ensures that investments
focus on priorities.
Introduction
(1) This guide incorporates corrections made to Annex 3 and Annex 4 of the Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 (notably
following the accession of Bulgaria and Romania) which appeared respectively in the OJ L 27 of 2.2.2007 and in
the OJ L 239 of 1.9.2006.
(2) A Commision regulation defines the details of how these regulations are applied. It does not appear in this
guide but is published in the Offi cial Journal: Regulation (EC) No 1828/2006 which appeared in the OJ L 45 of
15.2.2007.
(3) The regulation on the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance is presented for the sake of completeness even if
7
More confidence placed in the Member States
In a general way, the Member States have more room for manoeuvre in implementing operational
programmes. Expenditure eligibility rules are now national rather than Community based. But the
big change concerns monitoring and control rules. If the State provides proof from the start that its
control system is trustworthy, its obligations are lessened vis-à-vis the Commission, which leaves
the matter up to an insurance declaration drawn up by a national control organisation.
A regulation which simplifies the cohesion policy
The new regulation alleviates the role of the Commission, which can thus concentrate on a
strategic approach, which is the real added value of the Community. This simplification manifests
itself mainly in a reduction in the number of funds and programming stages. The rules governing
the Cohesion Fund and the Structural Funds have been harmonised. Furthermore the whole of the
Union’s territory and citizens can now benefit from the cohesion policy thanks to changes in the
geographical eligibility rules.
The cohesion policy has been allocated a budget of EUR 347 billion for the period 2007–13 (in
current prices), which is more than a third of the whole of the European budget. But it does not
solely rest on simple financial aid. The issue is to improve competitiveness and the potential for
growth at local, regional and national level. The competitiveness of economies benefits the whole
of the European territories, including convergence regions. All the parties win. A Europe showing
solidarity must also be a dynamic, productive and innovative Europe.
Regularly updated information is available on the Inforegio website:

http://ec.europa.eu/inforegio
GENERAL
INFORMATION
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The cohesion policy architecture
2000–06 2007–13
Objectives
Community initiatives
Cohesion Fund
Financial instruments Objectives
Financial
instruments
Objective 1
Regions lagging behind in
development terms
ERDF
ESF
EAGGF-Guarantee
EAGGF-Guidance
FIFG
Convergence
ERDF
ESF
Cohesion Fund
Cohesion Fund Cohesion Fund
Objective 2
Economic and social conversion
zones
ERDF
ESF Regional
competitiveness
and
employment
ERDF
ESF
Objective 3
Training systems and
employment policies
ESF
Interreg III ERDF European
territorial
cooperation
ERDF





URBAN II(*) ERDF
EQUAL (*) ESF
Leader + EAGGF-Guidance
Rural development and
restructuring of the fishing sector
beyond Objective 1
EAGGF-Guarantee
FIFG
4 objectives
4 Community initiatives
Cohesion Fund
6 instruments 3 objectives 3 instruments
The previous Structural Funds as well as Community initiatives for the period 2000–06 give way to
a new architecture which simplifies the system.
(*) In 2007–13, Urban II and Equal will be part of the convergence objective, as well as of the regional competitiveness
and employment objective.
1. Objectives and general rules
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• In 2007–13; the Cohesion Fund no longer functions independently but participates in the
Convergence objective. The same programming and management rules apply to the three
Funds.
• The three new objectives incorporate the missions of the previous Objectives 1, 2 and 3 as well
as the previous Community initiatives: Interreg III, Equal and Urban II.
• Interreg III is integrated into the European territorial cooperation objective
• The Urban II and Equal programmes are integrated into the convergence and regional
competitiveness and employment objectives.
• The Leader + programme and European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF)
are replaced by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD), the Financial
Instrument for Fisheries Guidance (FIFG) becomes the European Fisheries Fund (EFF). The
EAFRD and the EFF now have their own legal basis and are no longer involved in the cohesion
policy.
REFERENCES
General Regulation: Articles 3 and 4
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The areas eligible for the convergence objective combine the regions eligible on a regional
criteria basis (GDP is less than 75 % of the Community average, see pp. 14-15) and Member
States who are eligible for the Cohesion Fund on a national criteria basis (GNI less than 90 % of
the European average, see pp. 16-17)
1.1. Convergence objective
The convergence objective aims to stimulate growth and employment in the least developed
regions. It highlights innovation and the knowledge-based society, adaptability to economic and
social changes and the quality of the environment and administrative effi ciency. It is financed by
the ERDF and the ESF as well as the Cohesion Fund and targets the least well-developed Member
States and regions.
Eligibility for the convergence objective
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NUTS 2 regions whose per capita gross
domestic product (GDP) is less than 75 %
of the Community average.
No change
Tapering transitional support up to 2013 for
regions who would have been eligible for
the convergence objective if the threshold
had remained 75 % of the average GDP of
the EU-15 and not the EU-25.
Transitional support for regions and
areas which were eligible for regionalised
objectives for the period 1994–99, but
in 2000–06 are no longer eligible for
Objective 1 (phasing-out)
Corresponds to the transitional support
of the regional competitiveness and
employment objective (see p. 18)
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Member States whose per capita gross
national income (GNI) is below 90 % of
the Community average
No change
Tapering transitional support for Member
States who would have been eligible
for the Cohesion Fund objective if the
threshold had remained 90 % of the
average GNI of EU-15 and not EU-25
REFERENCES
General Regulation: Articles 3 to 5. Article 8.
14
Regions eligible for the convergence objective
• Bulgaria: all the territory
• Czech Republic: Střední Čechy, Jihozápad, Severozápad, Severovýchod, Jihovýchod, Střední
Morava, Moravskoslezsko
• Germany: Brandenburg-Nordost, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Chemnitz, Dresden, Dessau,
Magdeburg, Thüringen
• Estonia: all the territory
• Greece: Anatoliki Makedonia, Thraki, Thessalia, Ipeiros, Ionia Nisia, Dytiki Ellada,
Peloponnisos, Voreio Aigaio, Kriti
• Spain: Galicia, Castilla-La Mancha, Extremadura, Andalucía
• France: Guadeloupe, Martinique, Guyane, Réunion
• Italy: Campania, Puglia, Calabria, Sicilia
• Latvia: all the teritory
• Lithuania: all the territory
• Hungary: Közép-Dunántúl, Nyugat-Dunántúl, Dél-Dunántúl, Észak-Magyarország,
Észak-Alföld, Dél-Alföld
• Malta: the whole island
• Poland: all the territory
• Portugal: Norte, Centro, Alentejo, Região Autónoma dos Açores
• Romania: all the territory
• Slovenia: all the territory
• Slovakia: Západné Slovensko, Stredné Slovensko, Východné Slovensko
• United Kingdom: Cornwall and Isles of Scilly, West Wales and the Valleys
Regions eligible for the convergence objective transitional support system
(phasing-out)
• Belgium: Province du Hainaut
• Germany: Brandenburg-Südwest, Lüneburg, Leipzig, Halle
• Greece: Kentriki Makedonia, Dytiki Makedonia, Attiki
• Spain: Principado de Asturias, Región de Murcia, Ciudad Autónoma de Ceuta, Ciudad
Autónoma de Melilla
• Italy: Basilicata
• Austria: Burgenland
• Portugal: Algarve
• United Kingdom: Highlands and Islands
REFERENCES
Commission Decision 2006/595/EC
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Convergence — ERDF and ESF
From 2007 to 2013
Regions eligible for the convergence objective
Regions eligible for the convergence objective transitional support system (phasing-out)
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States eligible for Cohesion Fund financing
• Bulgaria
• Czech Republic
• Estonia
• Greece
• Cyprus
• Latvia
• Lithuania
• Hungary
• Malta
• Poland
• Portugal
• Romania
• Slovenia
• Slovakia
State eligible for Cohesion Fund transitional support
• Spain
REFERENCES
Commision Decision 2006/596/EC
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Convergence — Cohesion Fund
From 2007 to 2013
States eligible for the Cohesion Fund
States eligible for Cohesion Fund transitional support
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1.2. Regional competitiveness and employment objective
The regional competitiveness and employment objective covers all the areas of the European Union
not eligible for the convergence objective. It aims to reinforce the regions’ competitiveness and
attractiveness as well as employment, by anticipating economic and social changes. It is funded by
the ERDF and the ESF.
Eligibility for the regional competitiveness and employment objective
2000–06 2007–13
Objective 2: industrial, rural and urban areas or
fishing, meeting certain criteria. Community
ceiling platform at 18 %
All the regions not covered by the convergence
objective or by transitional support (NUTS 1 and
NUTS 2 regions according to the Member States)
Objective 3: all the regions not included in
Objective 1
Previous Objective 1 transitional support
(called ‘phasing-out’)
Transitional support for NUTS 2 regions which
were covered by Objective 1 but whose GDP
exceeds 75 % of the EU-15 GDP average (called
‘phasing-in’). See the list below.
Regions eligible for the regional competitiveness and employment objective
The European Union regions which are not eligible for the convergence objective or for the
transitional support of the regional competitiveness and employment ‘phasing in’ objective
are all eligible for the regional competitiveness and employment objective.
Regions eligible for the transitional support of the regional competitiveness
and employment ‘phasing-in’ objective
• Éire-Ireland: Border, Midland and Western
• Greece: Sterea Ellada, Notio Aigaio
• Spain: Castilla y León, Comunidad Valenciana, Canarias
• Italy: Sardegna
• Cyprus: all the territory
• Hungary: Közép-Magyarország
• Portugal: Região Autónoma da Madeira
• Finland: Itä-Suomi
• United Kingdom: Merseyside, South Yorkshire
There is no longer any Community zoning for the regional competitiveness and employment
objective, contrary to the previous Objective 2 (urban and rural zones, etc.). From now on the
elaboration of a coherent strategy, applicable to the whole of a region is privileged, instead of
micro-zoning at borough or village level, for example.
REFERENCES
General Regulation: Articles 3 to 6, Article 8
Commission Decision 2006/597/EC
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Regional competitiveness and employment (ERDF and ESF)
From 2007 to 2013
Regions eligible for the regional competitiveness and employment objective
Regions eligible for the transitional support of the regional competitiveness and employment objective
(phasing-in)
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1.3. European territorial cooperation objective
The European territorial cooperation objective aims to reinforce cooperation at cross-border, trans-
national and interregional level. It acts as a complement to the two other objectives, as the eligible
regions are also eligible for the convergence and regional competitiveness and employment
objectives. It is financed by the ERDF. It aims to promote common solutions for the authorities
of different countries in the domain of urban, rural and coastal development, the development
of economic relations and the setting up of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The
cooperation is centred on research, development, the knowledge-based society, risk prevention
and integrated water management.
Eligibility
For cross-border cooperation: NUTS 3 level regions are eligible, along all the land-based internal
borders and some external borders, along maritime borders separated by a maximum distance of
150 km. (The list of these regions is published in the Commission decision of 31 October 2006 (*);
see the corresponding map on p. 21)
For transnational cooperation: all the regions are eligible but, in consultation with the Member
States, the Commission has identified 13 cooperation zones (these zones were defined in the
decision of 31 October 2006 (*); see the corresponding maps on pp. 22-23).
For interregional cooperation, and setting up networks and exchanges of experience: all the
European regions are eligible.
The status of territorial cooperation has changed and it is now raised to the level of an entirely
separate objective, which gives it greater visibility and greater legal basis.
Cooperation with countries outside the European Union is no longer aided by the Structural
Funds but by two new supports: the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument
(ENPI) and the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA). Only cooperation with non-
Member States, which do not receive European Union financial assistance (Liechtenstein,
Norway, Switzerland, etc.), is concerned with European territorial cooperation.
• Cross-border cooperation embraces a geographical area larger than the previous Interreg III,
mainly in so far as maritime cooperation is concerned.
• The whole of Europe remains eligible for interregional cooperation, but a single programme
covers the whole of the European Union (against four for Interreg III C).
• The setting-up of networks and exchanges of experience is covered by three different
programmes presented by the 27 Member States:
— Interact: support for cooperation programme management organisations;
— Urbact: a thematic city network;
— ESPON: an observation network for spatial planning.

REFERENCES
General Regulation: Articles 3 to 7
(*) Commission Decision 2006/769/EC
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Cross-border cooperation (ERDF)
From 2007 to 2013
Regions eligible for cross-border cooperation
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Transnational cooperation areas
Northern Periphery Baltic Sea
North West Europe North Sea
Atlantic Coast South West Europe
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The definition of cooperation areas
outside the European Union is
purely indicative and subject to
modification
Alpine Space East-Central Europe
Mediterranean South East Europe
Açores-Madeira-Canarias (Macaronesia) Indian Ocean Area
Caribbean Area
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1.4 Financial resources
Allocation by objective
The available resources amount to EUR 308.041 billion (in 2004 prices) or EUR 347.410 billion
(in today’s prices):
• 81.5 % for the convergence objective;
• 16 % for the Regional competitiveness and employment objective;
• 2.5 % for European territorial cooperation objective.
BE BG CZ DK DE EE IE EL ES FR IT CY LV LT LU HU MT NL AT PL PT RO SI SK FI SE UK
0
l0 000
20 000
30 000
40 000
50 000
60 000
70 000
Current prices
(million LUP)
Regions with a per capita GDP less than 75 % EU average: 57.5 %
Phasing-out : 4 %
Cohesion Fund: 20 %
Regional competitiveness and employment: 12.6 %
Phasing-in: 3.4 %
Cross-border cooperation: 1.8 %
Interregional/network cooperation 0.1 %
Transnational cooperation: 0.5 %
‘PEACE’ programme: 0.1 % (
1
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European territorial cooperation

Regional competitiveness and employment

Phasing-in

Phasing-out

Convergence

Cohesion Fund
(
1
) The ‘PEACE’ programme aims to consolidate the peace process in Northern Ireland.
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Allocation by Member State
The Commission is moving towards indicative annual financial breakdowns of Member States,
using the following criteria among others: the eligible population, regional and national prosperity,
and rate of unemployment.
Indicative allocation by Member State, 2007–13 (current prices, in million EUR)
Convergence
Regional competitiveness
and employment
European
territorial
cooperation
Total
Cohesion
Fund
Convergence Phasing-out Phasing-in
Regional
competitiveness
and employment
Belgium 638 1 425 194 2 258
Bulgaria 2 283 4 391 179 6 853
Czech Republic 8 819 17 064 419 389 26 692
Denmark 510 103 613
Germany 11 864 4 215 9 409 851 26 340
Estonia 1 152 2 252 52 3 456
Éire-Ireland 458 293 151 901
Greece 3 697 9 420 6 458 635 210 20 420
Spain 3 543 21 054 1 583 4 955 3 522 559 35 217
France 3 191 10 257 872 14 319
Italy 21 211 430 972 5 353 846 28 812
Cyprus 213 399 28 640
Latvia 1 540 2 991 90 4 620
Lithuania 2 305 4 470 109 6 885
Luxembourg 50 15 65
Hungary 8 642 14 248 2 031 386 25 307
Malta 284 556 15 855
Netherlands 1 660 247 1 907
Austria 177 1 027 257 1 461
Poland 22 176 44 377 731 67 284
Portugal 3 060 17 133 280 448 490 99 21 511
Romania 6 552 12 661 455 19 668
Slovenia 1 412 2 689 104 4 205
Slovakia 3 899 7 013 449 227 11 588
Finland 545 1 051 120 1 716
Sweden 1 626 265 1 891
United Kingdom 2 738 174 965 6 014 722 10 613
Interregional/
Network
cooperation
445 445
Technical
Assistance
868
Total 69 578 199 322 13 955 11 409 43 556 8 723 347 410
NB: The figures having been rounded off, the totals might not correspond.
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2. Intervention principles
Within the framework of the three objectives, the principles of intervention are the same as for
the period 2000–06, which is to say: complementarity, coherence, coordination, conformity and
additionality. Furthermore, the following principles are introduced: proportionality, equality
between men and women and non-discrimination, sustainable development and using the funds
to focus on the Lisbon strategy priorities.
The principle of additionality: for those regions covered by the convergence objective the
Commission and the Member States verify the level of public expenditure. The Structural Funds
must not substitute a State’s infrastructural spending. For the new programming period, there
moreover exists a financial corrective mechanism in the event of this principle not being respected,
which was not the case in 2000–06.
The Funds must now target the European Union priorities in terms of the promotion of
competitiveness and employment creation (as defined by Annex 4 of the General Regulation).
The Commission and the Member States see to it that at least 60 % of the spending of all the
Member States on the convergence objective and at least 75 % of the expenditure on the regional
competitiveness and employment objective are assigned to these priorities.
The principle of proportionality: newly introduced, this consists of modulating the obligations
attributed to the Member States, contingent on the total amount of expenditure on an operational
programme.
This rule concerns:
• the choice of indicators used to measure up a programme, the obligations in terms of evaluation,
management and reports (Article 13.1);
• control and monitoring: if the programme does not exceed EUR 750 million and if the contribution
of the Commission does not exceed 40 % of public expenditure, the State has less obligations. The
auditing authority is not obliged to present an auditing strategy to the Commission (Article 74).
The principle of partnership is widened, which is to say that any appropriate organisation
representing civil society, environmental partners, non-governmental organisations and
organisations responsible for promoting equality between men and women can participate in
negotiations concerning the use of Structural Funds. It not only participates in management but is
involved at every programming stage (setting up, follow-up and evaluation).
• Fund expenditure targets the Union’s priorities. This ‘Lisbon targeting’ is a new principle in the
regulation.
• The principle of additionality is applied differently.
• The principle of partnership is extended.
• Proportionality is a new principle.
REFERENCES
General Regulation: Articles 9 to 17 and 74
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3. Strategic approach
3.1. Community strategic guidelines
The Commission has put forward, following very close cooperation with the Member States, the
Community strategic guidelines on cohesion policy. These were offi cially adopted by the Council
Decision of 6 October 2006 (*).
As a result of this, each Member State presents a national strategic reference framework fitted to
its strategic guidelines, and which will serve as a benchmark for the programming of funds. There
is now therefore greater interaction between the three levels of decision-making and action: the
Community level, the national level and the implementation of programmes.
3.2. National strategic reference framework
The national strategic reference framework (NSRF) is a new system programming instrument
applicable for the period 2007–13. It is not a management instrument, as were the Community
support frameworks (CSFs) used in preceding periods; above all it defines policy priorities whilst
suggesting the key elements of implementation.
The NSRF is applied to the convergence objective and the regional competitiveness and
employment objective. If the Member State so decides, it can also be applied to the European
territorial cooperation objective.
The NSRF is prepared by the Member States, which consult their partners and hold dialogue with
the Commission.
The main points which the NSRF must consist of:
• partners and actors involved in its preparation (Article 11);
• an analysis of the socio-economic situation, and the strengths and weaknesses of the whole
territory, taking into account trends in the European and global economies;
• a definition of the chosen strategy, a list of operational programmes for the convergence objective
and the regional competitiveness and employment objective, an indication of the annual
allocation from each Fund for each programme;
• precisions concerning the contribution of the NSRF to the Lisbon strategy priorities (those
presented in Article 9.3);
• for regions concerned with the convergence objective: information on the coordination with
the EAFRD (European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development) and the EFF (European Fisheries
Fund); information allowing verification that the principle of additionality is respected; operation
plans to reinforce administrative effi ciency.
Timetable
• after the adoption of the Community strategic guidelines by the Council of the European Union,
the Member State has five months in which to send the NSRF;
• when it is received, the Commission has three months to comment, if necessary;
• next, the Commission takes a decision on certain points of the NSRF of each Member State
(defined by Article 28.3): the list of operational programmes, the contribution from each fund to
each programme, the level of expenditure to guarantee the convergence objective’s principle of
additionality.
REFERENCES
General Regulation: Articles 25 to 28
Council Decision 2006/702/EC of 6 October 2006
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Two major innovations should be underlined:
Priorities already existed in 2000–06 but from now on it will be a document adopted by the
Council of the European Union (all the Member States), the Community strategic guidelines,
which will define programming priorities.
The national strategic reference framework introduces a single strategy, in other words a single
overall vision at the level of each Member State.
Strategic approach and programming
2000–06
(As an example, Objective 1 stages)
2007–13
1. Development plan submitted
by the Member State
1. Community strategic guidelines on
cohesion policy, suggested by the
Commission, adopted by the Council, in
accordance with the Parliament’s opinion.
2. Community support framework established
and adopted by the Commission following
the development plan.
2. National strategic reference framework
(NSRF), suggested by the Member State,
in respecting the principle of partnership,
reflecting the Union’s priorities; a Commission
decision on part of the NSRF.
3. Operational programmes suggested by the
Member State, decision by the Commission.
3. Operational programmes (OPs) suggested
by the Member State or region, decision by
the Commission.
4. Single programming document adopted
by the Commission, covering the Community
support framework and the operational
programmes.
5. Programming complement by the Member
States in addition to points 3 and 4.
30
3.3. Strategic follow-Up
Follow-up related to the Lisbon strategy
Within the framework of the Lisbon strategy, the Member States have adopted national reform
programmes (NRPs). For the first time in 2007, annual reports related to these strategies must include a
section explaining the contribution of the operational programmes to the implementation of the NRP.
Deadline Document submitted Responsibility Contents
From 2007
(and then each year)
Annual report on the
implementation of
the national reform
programme (NRP)
Member States
Contribution of the
operational programmes
to the implementation
of the national reform
programme
Before January/February
of each year (starting in
2008)
Annual report presented
to the spring European
Council
Commission
Summary of the Member
States’ annual reports
Follow-up related to the cohesion policy
Deadline Document submitted Responsibility Contents
Before the end of 2009,
then before the end of
2012
Strategic report Member States
Information on the
contribution of the
programmes to the
cohesion policy or
Commission’s strategic
guidelines
Before 1 April 2010,
then in 2013
Commission’s strategic
report
Commission
Summary of the Member
States’ strategic reports or
a cohesion report
The strategic follow-up did not exist in the preceding period. The major change is thus the
establishment of a new dialogue with the Council to adapt the cohesion policy to the priorities
retained within the framework of the Lisbon strategy. Each year, the European institutions will
evaluate the progress made concerning the strategic priorities and the results achieved, in the light
of a document drawn up by the Commission on the basis of different national reports.
REFERENCES
General Regulation: Articles 29 to 31
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4. Programming
Operational programmes
The Member States’ operational programmes (OPs) cover the period from 1 January 2007 to 31 December
2013. An operational programme is only concerned with one of the three objectives (apart from the
exceptions defined by Article 32.2) and only benefits from the funding of a single fund.
There is one exception to this latter rule: the ERDF and the Cohesion Fund participate together for
infrastructure and environmental programmes.
The Commission evaluates each programme put forward in order to determine if it contributes to
the objectives and priorities:
• of the Community strategic guidelines on cohesion policy;
• of the national strategic reference framework.
The programmes are built around a Member State’s priorities. Details concerning management (as
well as project selection criteria) are defined at regional and national level and do not feature in
the programming. The programming complement which existed in the past thus no longer exists.
Given that the NSRF constitutes the basis of operational programmes, the Commission Decision
concerning the NSRF must precede the Commission decision on each OP. The two decisions can
nevertheless be taken simultaneously.
The main points which the OPs must consist of:
• an analysis of the eligible area (strengths and weaknesses);
• a justification of the priorities retained (in terms of Community strategic guidelines and the
National Framework);
• the specific objectives of the key priorities;
• funding plans;
• the implementation of the programmes (designating management, auditing and certification
authorities; description of evaluation and follow-up systems);
• an indicative list of large projects (in other words environment projects which exceed EUR 25 million
and other projects which exceed EUR 50 million).
Key priorities
The operational programme outlines the key priorities and their objectives, as in 2000–06, but it
no longer details the measures envisaged to implement these priorities. A key priority corresponds
to one of the priorities of the strategy retained in the operational programme (Article 2.2). The
contribution of the funds at key priority level must represent at least 20 % of the public expenditure
dedicated to this priority (Article 54).
Technical assistance
Following a Commission initiative, 0.25 % of the annual provision of each fund can be allocated to
technical assistance (as in 2000–06).
When the initiative is taken by the Member State, a ceiling limits the use of technical assistance
at the level of each operational programme: 4 % of the total allocated to a programme for the
convergence and regional competitiveness and employment objectives, and 6 % to programmes
within the European territorial cooperation objective.
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Timetable
The State must present its operational programmes to the Commission, no later than five months
after the adoption of the operational programmes. The Commission adopts each programme no
later than four months after its formal presentation by the Member State.
Once adopted the programmes can be revised at the request of the Member State or by the
Commission, with the agreement of the Member State.
Participation of the European Investment Bank and of the European
Investment Fund
The regulation facilitates coordination between funds, grants or allowances and European
Investment Bank (EIB) and European Investment Fund (EIF) loans, notably for complex financial
arrangements and public/private partnerships (Article 36).
• The new regulation leads to a simplification of the programming process through the creation
of the national strategic reference framework (NSRF) and the cancelling of the Community
support framework (CSF) related to Objective 1 and the single programming documents
(SPDs) related to Objectives 2 and 3. Programming complements no longer exist and from
now on the operational programme is the only programming and management tool.
• Operational programmes are more strategic than in the past. The programme is less detailed,
the amounts involved are mentioned at priority rather than action level. The Member State
has therefore a higher level of autonomy to implement its programme.
• It should be noted that, in the 2007–13 programming, there is now a strengthened
coordination with the EIB and the EIF.
REFERENCES
General Regulation: Articles 32 to 46
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5. Effi ciency
Evaluation
Documents and activities connected to the Funds are evaluated in order to improve their quality,
effi ciency and the coherence of their intervention. These evaluations are the responsibility of
the Member State or the Commission, according to their contribution, and are carried out in the
principle of proportionality. They are carried out by independent evaluators and their results are
made public.
The regulation offers greater flexibility by reducing the number of obligatory evaluations.
Reserves
In 2000–06 the Commission allocated, in the mid-term, a certain sum to the most effective
programmes; this was the performance reserve. In 2007–13, each State can take direct initiative
in creating a national performance reserve, rising to 3 % of its total allocation for each of the
convergence and regional competitiveness and employment objectives.
The State can also create a reserve to anticipate unpredictable events (economic and social
restructuring, for example). It signals this reserve in the national strategic reference framework.
• We are witnessing a strengthening of subsidiarity whilst allowing Member States to carry out
evaluations based on their needs.
• The new rules concerning reserves lead to greater flexibility and the rapid reaction of the
policy and its instruments to sector based and local crises.
Effi ciency evaluation
2000–06 2007–13
• Obligatory ex-ante, mid-term and post-ante
evaluation for each intervention
• Ex-ante evaluation for each convergence
objective programme
• For each rregional competitiveness and
employment and European territorial
cooperation objective, the Member States
choose the level of evaluation according to
needs (programme, theme, funds)
• Mid-term evaluation according to needs
REFERENCES
General Regulation: Articles 47 to 51
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6. Management, follow-up and control
Bodies responsible for management, follow-up and control
• A management authority responsible for the effi cient, effective and correct management and
implementation of an operational programme. It delivers an annual performance report to the
Commission each year by 30 June at the latest. A final report must also be delivered no later than
31 March 2017.
• A certification authority which draws up and sends to the Commission a certified inventory
concerning expenditure and requests for payment. It must also certify the accuracy and the
compliance of expenditure in terms of Community and national rules. It takes charge of accounting
and assures the recovery of Community credits in the case of irregularities.
• An auditing authority which is an operationally independent body designated by the Member
State for each operational programme. It takes charge of the audits it carries out on the basis
of an appropriate sample, writes up the annual control reports and offers an opinion on the
audits carried out. Nonetheless, the same authority can be assigned to a number of operational
programmes.
• A follow-up committee, created for each operational programme by the Member State. It is
presided over by a representative of the Member State or the management authority and is
constituted according to a decision made by the Member State, and includes economic, social and
regional partners. It assures the effi ciency and the quality of the implementation of the operational
programme. The follow-up methods specified by Articles 66, 67 and 68 do not instigate any major
change in comparison with the preceding period.
The certification authority and the auditing authority replace the previous regulation’s paying
authority and control authority. The responsibilities of these bodies are practically the same as
for 2000–06.
However, increased confidence is accorded to the Member States’ control systems when
they are the main financial contributors to the development programmes (Article 74). If the
trustworthiness of the projects is assured from the beginning of the period, audits of the
Commission services will only be carried out in exceptional circumstances.
Information
The Member States guarantee that information and the publicity of the Funds’ activities concerning
citizens and beneficiaries will be delivered. The objective is to highlight the role of the Union and to
guarantee transparency (Article 69).
Rules concerning information and publicity have been strengthened, notably as far as the
follow-up to communication plans is concerned, as well as information concerning (potential)
beneficiaries and the obligation of beneficiaries to communicate to the public the contribution
the Funds have made to different projects.
REFERENCES
General Regulation: Articles 58 to 74
36
7. Financial management
A new rule simplifying the management of the Funds comes into force:
One programme = one Fund
Under this rule, however, the ERDF and the ESF can each finance in complementary and limited
ways activities related to the scope of assistance of the other fund (within 10 % of the credit facilities
allocated by the Community to each operational programme’s key priorities).
Commitments
The budgetary commitments related to operational programmess are delivered by annual
instalments concerning each fund and each objective.
The Commission pledges the first annual instalment before the adoption of the operational
programme. Thereafter, it pledges the instalments by 30 April each year (no change in relation to
the period 2000–06).
Part of the budget is automatically released by the Commission if it has not been used or no request
for payment has been received at the end of the second year following that of the budgetary
commitment (n + 2).
For Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Cyprus, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland,
Portugal, Romania, Slovenia and Slovakia, the delay is fixed for the end of the third year (n + 3)
between 2007 and 2010 in respect of their programmes.
Payments
Payments by the Commission are made in three steps:
• pre-financing
• interim payments
• payment of the final balance
Following the Commission decision concerning an operational programme, a pre-financing sum
is allocated for the 2007–13 period. It is delivered in instalments and will not exceed a certain
percentage of the Fund’s contribution to the operational programme.
Commission pre-financing
2007 2008 2009 TOTAL
Structural Funds
EU-15 2 % 3 % 5 %
EU-10 + BG + RO 2 % 3 % 2 % 7 %
Cohesion Fund
EU-15 2 % 3 % 2.5 % 7.5 %
EU-10 + BG + RO 2.5 % 4 % 4 % 10.5 %
REFERENCES
General Regulation: Articles 75 to 102
37
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Financing conditions
Co-financing rates
There are ceilings concerning co-financing rates (outlined in Annex 3 of the General Regulation)
but these are no longer dependent on priorities (the environment, for example).
Maximum co-financing rates (see exceptions in the regulation’s Annex):
Convergence: between 75 % and 85 %
Regional competitiveness and employment: between 50 % and 85 %
European territorial cooperation: between 75 % and 85 %
Cohesion Funds: 85 %
Eligibility of expenditure
For expenditure to be eligible, it must be incurred between 1

January 2007 and 31 December 2015.
Co-financed operations do not need to be fully realised before the date eligibility commences. The
rules are established at national level.
• All these financial management rules are also applicable to the Cohesion Fund.
• Pre-financing represented 7 % of the Fund’s allocation to the programme concerned in 2000
(for the 15 older Member States) and 16 % for the 10 new Member States in 2004. Now pre-
financing is spread over two or three years and the percentages are smaller.
• The first interim payment can only be made if the Member State provides the Commission a
description of the running of its management, certificating and auditing authorities.
• The request for the first interim payment must be made within 24 months after the Commission
has paid the first pre-financing instalment (if not the State must repay the pre-financing).
• Repayments are calculated at key priority level (and not at quantity level as in 2000–06).
• The rule n + 3 is introduced for the 12 new Member States as well as for Greece and Portugal
up until 2010.
• As far as eligibility of expenditure is concerned, the rules are simplified to facilitate the
implementation of programmes and to avoid conflicts between national and Community
rules.
• Financial management is more flexible: the partial closure of operations already completed is
possible (before the programme in its entirety is closed).
Eligibility of expenditure
2000–06 2007–13
Common eligibility of expenditure rules
determined at Community level for Structural
Funds and Cohesion Fund
National eligibility rules, apart from exceptions
anticipated in the regulations relating to each
fund; Community rules only intervene when
necessary to implement cooperation operations.
38
Cohesion policy at a glance
From 2007 to 2013
Convergence
Phasing-out
Phasing-in
Regional competitiveness and employment
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COUNCIL REGULATION (EC) No 1083/2006
of 11 July 2006
laying down general provisions on the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social
Fund and the Cohesion Fund and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1260/1999
THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,
Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Com-
munity, and in particular Article 161 thereof,
Having regard to the proposal from the Commission,
Having regard to the assent of the European Parliament (
1
),
Having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and
Social Committee (
2
),
Having regard to the opinion of the Committee of the
Regions (
3
),
Having regard to the opinion of the Court of Auditors (
4
),
Whereas:
(1) Article 158 of the Treaty provides that, in order to
strengthen its economic and social cohesion, the Com-
munity is to aim at reducing disparities between the
levels of development of the various regions and the
backwardness of the least favoured regions or islands,
including rural areas. Article 159 of the Treaty requires
this action to be supported by the Structural Funds, the
European Investment Bank (EIB) and the other existing
Financial Instruments.
(2) Cohesion policy should contribute to increasing growth,
competitiveness and employment by incorporating the
Community's priorities for sustainable development as
defined at the Lisbon European Council of 23 and
24 March 2000 and at the Göteborg European Council
of 15 and 16 June 2001.
(3) Economic, social and territorial disparities at both
regional and national level have increased in the
enlarged European Union. Actions for convergence,
competitiveness and employment should therefore be
increased throughout the Community.
(4) The increase in the number of the Community's land
and sea borders and the extension of its territory mean
that the value added of cross-border, transnational and
interregional cooperation in the Community should be
increased.
(5) The Cohesion Fund should be integrated into the
programming of structural assistance in the interest of
greater coherence in the intervention of the various
Funds.
(6) The role of the instruments providing aid for rural devel-
opment, namely the European Agricultural Fund for
Rural Development pursuant to Council Regulation (EC)
No 1698/2005 of 20 September 2005 on support for
rural development by the European Agricultural Fund
for Rural Development (EARDF) (
5
), and for the fisheries
sector, namely a European Fisheries Fund (EFF), should
be specified. Those instruments should be integrated into
the instruments under the common agricultural policy
and the common fisheries policy and coordinated with
those under the cohesion policy.
(7) The Funds providing assistance under the cohesion policy
are therefore limited to the European Regional Develop-
ment Fund (ERDF), the European Social Fund (ESF) and
the Cohesion Fund. The rules applicable to each Fund
are to be specified in implementing regulations adopted
under Articles 148, 161 and 162 of the Treaty.
(8) Under Article 55 of Council Regulation (EC) No 1260/
1999 of 21 June 1999 laying down general provisions
on the Structural Funds (
6
), the Council is to review that
Regulation on the basis of a proposal from the Commis-
sion by 31 December 2006 at the latest. In order to
implement the reform of the Funds proposed by this
Regulation, Regulation (EC) No 1260/99 should be
repealed.
(9) To increase the value added of Community cohesion
policy, the work of the Structural Funds and of the
Cohesion Fund should be concentrated and simplified
and the objectives set out in Regulation (EC) No 1260/
1999 redefined accordingly as seeking the convergence
of the Member States and the regions, regional competi-
tiveness and employment and European territorial coop-
eration.
(10) Within those three objectives, both economic and social
characteristics and territorial characteristics should be
taken into account in an appropriate fashion.
(11) The outermost regions should benefit from specific
measures and additional funding to offset the handicaps
resulting from the factors referred to in Article 299(2) of
the Treaty.
31.7.2006 L 210/25 Official Journal of the European Union EN
(
1
) Assent of 4 July 2006 (not yet published in the Official Journal).
(
2
) OJ C 255, 14.10.2005, p. 79.
(
3
) OJ C 231, 20.9.2005, p. 1.
(
4
) OJ C 121, 20.5.2005, p. 14.
(
5
) OJ L 277, 21.10.2005, p. 1.
(
6
) OJ L 161, 26.6.1999, p. 1. Regulation as last amended by Regu-
lation (EC) No 173/2005 (OJ L 29, 2.2.2005, p. 3).
40
(12) The problems of accessibility and remoteness from large
markets confronting areas with an extremely low popu-
lation density, as referred to in Protocol 6 on special
provisions for Objective 6 in the framework of the
Structural Funds in Finland and Sweden to the 1994 Act
of Accession, require appropriate financial treatment to
offset the effects of these handicaps.
(13) In view of the importance of sustainable urban develop-
ment and the contribution of towns and cities, particu-
larly medium-sized ones, to regional development,
greater account should be taken of them by developing
their role in programming to promote urban regenera-
tion.
(14) The Funds should take special and complementary
action over and above that of the EAFRD and of the EFF
to promote the economic diversification of rural areas
and of areas dependent on fisheries.
(15) Action for areas with a natural handicap, i.e. certain
islands, mountainous areas and areas with a low popula-
tion density, as well as for certain border areas of the
Community following enlargement, should be strength-
ened to cope with their particular development difficul-
ties.
(16) Objective criteria for designating eligible regions and
areas should be fixed. To this end, the identification of
the priority regions and areas at Community level
should be based on the common system of classification
of the regions established by Regulation (EC) No 1059/
2003 of the European Parliament and the Council of
26 May 2003 on the establishment of a common classi-
fication of territorial units for statistics (NUTS) (
1
).
(17) A Convergence objective is to cover the Member States
and regions whose development is lagging behind. The
regions targeted by the Convergence objective are those
whose per capita gross domestic product (GDP)
measured in purchasing power parities is less than 75 %
of the Community average. The regions suffering from
the statistical effect linked to the reduction in the Com-
munity average following the enlargement of the Euro-
pean Union are to benefit for that reason from substan-
tial transitional aid in order to complete their conver-
gence process. This aid is to end in 2013 and is not to
be followed by a further transitional period. The
Member States targeted by the Convergence objective
whose per capita gross national income (GNI) is less
than 90 % of the Community average are to benefit
under the Cohesion Fund.
(18) A Regional competitiveness and employment objective is
to cover the territory of the Community outside the
Convergence objective. The regions eligible are those
under Objective 1 in the 2000 to 2006 programming
period which no longer satisfy the regional eligibility
criteria of the Convergence objective and which there-
fore benefit from a transitional aid, as well as all the
other regions of the Community.
(19) A European territorial cooperation objective is to cover
regions having land or sea frontiers, the areas for trans-
national cooperation being defined with regard to
actions promoting integrated territorial development and
support for interregional cooperation and exchange of
experience.
(20) The improvement and simplification of cooperation
along the external borders of the Community entail the
use of the instruments of the Community's external
assistance, in particular a European Neighbourhood and
Partnership Instrument and the Instrument for Pre-Ac-
cession Assistance established by Council Regulation
(EC) No 1085/2006 (
2
).
(21) The contribution from the ERDF to such cooperation
along the external borders of the Community assists in
redressing the main regional imbalances in the Com-
munity and thus in strengthening its economic and
social cohesion.
(22) The activities of the Funds and the operations which
they help to finance should be consistent with the other
Community policies and comply with Community legis-
lation.
(23) Action by the Community should be complementary to
that carried out by Member States or seek to contribute
to it. The partnership should be strengthened through
arrangements for the participation of various types of
partner, in particular regional and local authorities, with
full regard to the institutional arrangements of the
Member States.
(24) Multiannual programming should be directed towards
achieving the Funds' objectives by ensuring the avail-
ability of the necessary financial resources and the
consistency and continuity of joint action by the Com-
munity and the Member States.
(25) Since the Convergence, Regional competitiveness and
employment, and European territorial cooperation objec-
tives cannot be sufficiently achieved by the Member
States by reason of the extent of the disparities and the
limit on the financial resources of the Member States
and regions eligible under the Convergence objective
and can therefore be better achieved at Community level
through the multiannual guarantee of Community
finance which allows cohesion policy to be concentrated
on the Community's priorities, the Community may
adopt measures, in accordance with the principle of
subsidiarity as set out in Article 5 of the Treaty. In
accordance with the principle of proportionality, as set
out in that Article, this Regulation does not go beyond
what is necessary in order to achieve those objectives.
31.7.2006 L 210/26 Official Journal of the European Union EN
(
1
) OJ L 154, 21.6.2003, p. 1. Regulation as amended by Regulation
(EC) No 1888/2005 (OJ L 309, 25.11.2005, p. 1). (
2
) See page 82 of this Official Journal.
41
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(26) It is appropriate to set measurable targets for Member
States of the European Union as constituted before 1 May
2004 to aim to achieve through expenditure under the
Convergence and Regional competitiveness and employ-
ment objectives with a view to promoting competitive-
ness and creating jobs. It is necessary to identify appro-
priate ways to measure and report the attainment of
those targets.
(27) It is appropriate to strengthen the subsidiarity and
proportionality of the intervention of the Structural
Funds and of the Cohesion Fund.
(28) Under Article 274 of the Treaty, in the context of shared
management, the conditions allowing the Commission
to exercise its responsibilities for implementation of the
general budget of the European Union should be speci-
fied and the responsibilities of cooperation by the
Member States clarified. Applying these conditions
should enable the Commission to satisfy itself that
Member States are using the Funds in a legal and regular
manner and in accordance with the principle of sound
financial management within the meaning of the Finan-
cial Regulation.
(29) In order to ensure a genuine economic impact, contribu-
tions from the Structural Funds should not replace
public expenditure by Member States under the terms of
this Regulation. Verification, through partnership, of the
principle of additionality should concentrate on the
regions under the Convergence objective because of the
extent of the financial resources allocated to them and
may result in a financial correction if additionality is not
observed.
(30) In the context of its effort in favour of economic and
social cohesion, the Community, at all stages of imple-
mentation of the Funds, has as its goals to eliminate
inequalities and to promote equality between men and
women as enshrined in Articles 2 and 3 of the Treaty, as
well as combating discrimination based on sex, racial or
ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual
orientation.
(31) The Commission should establish the indicative annual
breakdown of available commitment appropriations
using an objective and transparent method, taking into
account the Commission's proposal, the conclusions of
the European Council of 15 and 16 December 2005 and
the Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006
between the European Parliament, the Council and the
Commission on budgetary discipline and sound financial
management (
1
) with a view to achieving a significant
concentration on the regions whose development is
lagging behind, including those receiving transitional
support because of the statistical effect.
(32) Financial concentration on the Convergence objective
should be increased because of the greater disparities
within the enlarged European Union, the effort in favour
of the Regional competitiveness and employment objec-
tive to improve competitiveness and employment in the
rest of the Community should be maintained and the
resources for European territorial cooperation objective
should be increased in view of its particular value added.
(33) The annual appropriations allocated to a Member State
under the Funds should be limited to a ceiling fixed with
regard to its capacity for absorption.
(34) Three per cent of the Structural Funds appropriations
allocated to Member States under the Convergence and
Regional competitiveness and employment objectives
may be placed in a national reserve for rewarding perfor-
mance.
(35) The appropriations available under the Funds should be
indexed on a flat-rate basis for use in programming.
(36) To increase the strategic content and promote the trans-
parency of cohesion policy through integration with the
Community's priorities, the Council should adopt stra-
tegic guidelines on a proposal from the Commission.
The Council should examine the implementation of
those guidelines by Member States on the basis of stra-
tegic reporting by the Commission.
(37) On the basis of the strategic guidelines adopted by the
Council, it is appropriate that each Member State
prepare, in dialogue with the Commission, a national
reference document on its development strategy, which
should constitute the framework for preparing opera-
tional programmes. On the basis of the national strategy,
the Commission should take note of the national stra-
tegic reference framework and take a decision on certain
of its elements.
(38) The programming and management of the Structural
Funds should be simplified having regard to their
specific features by providing for operational
programmes to be financed by either the ERDF or the
ESF, with each being able to finance in a complementary
and limited fashion actions which fall under the scope of
the other Fund.
(39) With a view to improving complementarities and simpli-
fying execution, the assistance of the Cohesion Fund and
the ERDF should be jointly programmed in the case of
operational programmes on transport and the environ-
ment and should have a national geographical coverage.
(40) Programming should ensure coordination of the Funds
between themselves and with the other existing financial
instruments, the EIB and the European Investment
Fund (EIF). Such coordination should also cover the
preparation of complex financial schemes and
public-private partnerships.
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(41) It is appropriate to ensure that improved access to
finance and innovative financial engineering are available
primarily to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises
and for investing in public-private partnerships and
other projects included in an integrated plan for sustain-
able urban development. Member States may decide to
set up a holding fund through the award of public
contracts pursuant to public procurement law, including
any derogation in national law compatible with Com-
munity law. In other cases, where Member States are
satisfied that public procurement law is not applicable,
the definition of tasks of the EIF and the EIB justifies
that Member States award them a grant that is a direct
financial contribution from operational programmes by
way of donation. Under the same conditions, national
law may provide for the possibility of awarding a grant
to other financial institutions without a call for proposal.
(42) When appraising major productive investment projects,
the Commission should have all necessary information
to consider whether the financial contribution from the
Funds does not result in a substantial loss of jobs in
existing locations within the European Union, in order
to ensure that Community funding does not support
relocation within the European Union
(43) The programming period is to last for a single period of
seven years in order to maintain the simplification of the
management system defined in Regulation (EC) No 1260/
1999.
(44) Member States and managing authorities may organise
within the operational programmes co-financed by the
ERDF the arrangements for interregional cooperation
and may take account of the special features of areas
with natural handicaps.
(45) In order to address the need for simplification and
decentralisation, programming and financial manage-
ment should be carried out at the level of the operational
programmes and priority axes alone; the Community
support framework and the programme complement
provided for in Regulation (EC) No 1260/1999 should
be discontinued.
(46) Within the operational programmes co-financed by the
ERDF under the Convergence and the Regional competi-
tiveness and employment objectives, Member States,
regions and managing authorities may organise sub-dele-
gation to urban authorities in respect of priorities
concerning the regeneration of towns and cities.
(47) The additional allocation to offset the additional costs
faced by the outermost regions should be integrated into
the operational programmes financed by the ERDF in
those regions.
(48) There should be separate arrangements for implementa-
tion of the European territorial cooperation objective
financed by the ERDF.
(49) The Commission should be able to approve major
projects included in operational programmes, if neces-
sary in consultation with the EIB, in order to evaluate
their purpose and impact, as well as the arrangements
for the planned use of Community resources.
(50) It is useful to specify the types of action which the
Funds should support as technical assistance.
(51) There is a need to ensure that sufficient resources are
devoted to assist Member States in project preparation
and appraisal. The EIB has a role to play in providing
such assistance and could be awarded a grant by the
Commission to this end.
(52) Similarly it is appropriate to provide that the EIF could
be awarded a grant from the Commission to undertake
an evaluation of the needs of innovative financial engi-
neering instruments available for micro, small and
medium-sized enterprises.
(53) For the same reasons as mentioned above, the EIB and
the EIF could be awarded a grant by the Commission to
undertake technical assistance actions in the area of
sustainable urban development or to support restruc-
turing measures for sustainable economic activity in
regions significantly affected by economic crisis.
(54) The effectiveness of assistance from the Funds also
depends on the incorporation of a reliable evaluation
into programming and monitoring. The responsibilities
of Member States and the Commission in this regard
should be specified.
(55) Within their national envelope under the Convergence
and Regional competitiveness and employment objec-
tives, Member States may provide for a small reserve to
respond swiftly to unexpected sectoral or local shocks
resulting from socio-economic restructuring or the
effects of trade agreements.
(56) It is appropriate to define what expenditure in a Member
State can be assimilated to public expenditure for the
purpose of calculating the total national public contribu-
tion to an operational programme; to this end it is
appropriate to refer to the contribution of the ‘bodies
governed by public law’ as defined in the Community
public procurement directives since such bodies
comprise several types of public or private body estab-
lished for the specific purpose of meeting needs in the
general interest not having an industrial or commercial
character and which are controlled by the State, or
regional and local authorities.
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(57) It is necessary to determine the elements for modulating
the contribution from the Funds to operational
programmes, in particular, to increase the multiplier
effect of Community resources. It is also appropriate to
establish the maximum ceilings which contributions
from the Funds cannot exceed on the basis of the type
of Fund and objective.
(58) It is also necessary to define the notion of a revenue-ge-
nerating project and to identify the community princi-
ples and rules for calculating the contribution from the
Funds; for some investments it is objectively not possible
to estimate the revenue in advance and it is therefore
necessary to define the methodology for ensuring that
this revenue is excluded from public funding.
(59) The starting and closing dates for the eligibility of expen-
diture should be defined so as to provide a uniform and
equitable rule applying to the implementation of the
Funds across the Community. In order to facilitate the
execution of operational programmes, it is appropriate
to establish that the starting date for the eligibility of
expenditure may be prior to 1 January 2007 if the
Member State concerned submits an operational
programme before that date.
(60) In accordance with the principle of subsidiarity and
subject to exceptions provided for in Regulation (EC)
No 1080/2006 of the European Parliament and of the
Council of 5 July 2006 on the European Regional Devel-
opment Fund (
1
), Regulation (EC) No 1081/2006 of the
European Parliament and of the Council of 5 July 2006
on the European Social Fund (
2
) and Council
Regulation (EC) No 1084/2006 of 11 July 2006 on the
Cohesion Fund (
3
), there should be national rules on the
eligibility of expenditure.
(61) To ensure the effectiveness, fairness and sustainable
impact of the intervention of the Funds, there should be
provisions guaranteeing that investments in businesses
are long-lasting and preventing the Funds from being
used to introduce undue advantage. It is necessary to
ensure that investments which benefit from assistance
under the Funds can be written off over a sufficiently
long period.
(62) Member States should adopt adequate measures to guar-
antee the proper functioning of their management and
control systems. To this end, it is necessary to establish
the general principles and the necessary functions which
the control systems of all operational programmes are to
fulfil on the basis of the body of Community law in
force for the programming period 2000 to 2006.
(63) It is therefore necessary to designate a single managing
authority for each operational programme and to clarify
its responsibilities as well as the functions of the audit
authority. It is also necessary to guarantee uniform
quality standards for the certification of expenditures
and of payment requests before they are sent to the
Commission. It is necessary to clarify the nature and
quality of the information on which these requests are
based and, to this end, to establish the functions of the
certifying authority.
(64) Monitoring of operational programmes is necessary to
ensure the quality of their implementation. To this end,
monitoring committees should be set up and their
responsibilities defined, together with the information to
be transmitted to the Commission and the framework
for examining that information. In order to improve the
exchange of information on the implementation of
operational programmes, the principle of exchange of
data by electronic means should be established.
(65) In accordance with the principles of subsidiarity and
proportionality, Member States should have the primary
responsibility for the implementation and control of the
interventions.
(66) The obligations on the Member States as regards
management and control systems, the certification of
expenditure, and the prevention, detection and correc-
tion of irregularities and infringements of Community
law should be specified to guarantee the efficient and
correct implementation of operational programmes. In
particular, concerning management and control, it is
necessary to establish the procedures by which Member
States give the assurance that the systems are in place
and function satisfactorily.
(67) Without prejudice to the Commission's powers as
regards financial control, cooperation between the
Member States and the Commission in this field should
be increased and criteria should be established which
allow the Commission to determine, in the context of its
strategy of control of national systems, the level of assur-
ance it can obtain from national audit bodies.
(68) The extent and intensity of Community controls should
be proportionate to the extent of the Community's
contribution. Where a Member State is the main
provider of the financing for a programme, it is appro-
priate that there should be an option for that Member
State to organise certain elements of the control arrange-
ments according to national rules. In these same circum-
stances, it is necessary to establish that the Commission
differentiates the means by which Member States should
fulfil the functions of certification of expenditures and of
verification of the management and control system and
to establish the conditions under which the Commission
is entitled to limit its own audit and rely on the assur-
ances provided by national bodies.
31.7.2006 L 210/29 Official Journal of the European Union EN
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(
2
) See page 12 of this Official Journal.
(
3
) See page 79 of this Official Journal.
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(69) The payment on account at the start of operational
programmes ensures a regular cash flow which facilitate
payments to beneficiaries in the implementation of the
operational programme. Therefore, provisions should be
made for payments on account for the Structural Funds
of 5 % (for Member States of the European Union as
constituted before 1 May 2004) and of 7 % (for Member
States that acceded to the European Union on or after
1 May 2004), and for the Cohesion Fund of 7,5 % (for
Member States of the European Union as constituted
before 1 May 2004) and of 10,5 % (for Member States
that acceded to the European Union on or after 1 May
2004), to help speed up implementation of operational
programmes.
(70) In addition to the suspension of payments where a
serious deficiency is detected in the management and
control systems, there should be measures allowing the
authorising officer by delegation to interrupt payments
where there is evidence to suggest a significant defi-
ciency in the sound operation of these systems.
(71) The rules on automatic decommitment will speed up the
implementation of programmes. To this end, it is appro-
priate to define the arrangements for their application
and the parts of the budgetary commitment which may
be excluded from them, notably when delays in imple-
mentation result from circumstances which are indepen-
dent of the party concerned, abnormal or unforeseeable
and whose consequences cannot be avoided despite the
diligence shown.
(72) The procedures for closure should be simplified by
offering the possibility to those Member States which so
wish, in accordance with the schedule which they select,
to partially close an operational programme in respect
of completed operations; the appropriate framework for
doing so should be provided.
(73) The measures necessary for the implementation of this
Regulation should be adopted in accordance with
Council Decision 1999/468/EC of 28 June 1999 laying
down the procedures for the exercise of implementing
powers conferred on the Commission (
1
). The Commis-
sion is to adopt the measures implementing this Regu-
lation for ensuring the transparency and clarifying the
provisions applicable to the management of operational
programmes as regards the categorisation of expendi-
ture, financial engineering, management and control,
electronic exchange of data and publicity after obtaining
the opinion of the Coordination Committee of the Funds
acting as a management committee. It is appropriate
that the Commission publishes the list of eligible areas
for the European territorial cooperation objective in
application of the criteria set out in this Regulation, the
indicative guidelines on the cost-benefit analysis neces-
sary for the preparation and submission of major
projects and for revenue generating projects, the indica-
tive guidelines on evaluation and the list of actions
eligible under technical assistance at the initiative of the
Commission after consultation of the Coordination
Committee of the Funds acting as a consultative
committee,
HAS ADOPTED THIS REGULATION:
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
TITLE I OBJECTIVES AND GENERAL RULES ON ASSISTANCE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
CHAPTER I SCOPE AND DEFINITIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
Article 1 Subject matter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
Article 2 Definitions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
CHAPTER II OBJECTIVES AND MISSIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
Article 3 Objectives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
Article 4 Instruments and missions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
CHAPTER III GEOGRAPHICAL ELIGIBILITy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
Article 5 Convergence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
Article 6 Regional competitiveness and employment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
Article 7 European Territorial Cooperation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
Article 8 Transitional support . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
CHAPTER IV PRINCIPLES OF ASSISTANCE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
Article 9 Complementarity, consistency, coordination and compliance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
Article 10 Programming . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
Article 11 Partnership . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
Article 12 Territorial level of implementation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
Article 13 Proportional intervention . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
Article 14 Shared management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
Article 15 Additionality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
Article 16 Equality between men and women and non-discrimination . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
Article 17 Sustainable development . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
CHAPTER V FINANCIAL FRAMEWORK . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
Article 18 Global resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
Article 19 Resources for the Convergence objective . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
Article 20 Resources for the Regional competitiveness and employment objective . . . . . . . . . . . 41
Article 21 Resources for the European territorial cooperation objective . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
Article 22 Non transferability of resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
Article 23 Resources for the performance reserve . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
Article 24 Resources for technical assistance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
TITLE II STRATEGIC APPROACH TO COHESION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
CHAPTER I COMMUNITY STRATEGIC GUIDELINES ON COHESION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
Article 25 Content . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
Article 26 Adoption and review . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
CHAPTER II NATIONAL STRATEGIC REFERENCE FRAMEWORK . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
Article 27 Content . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
Article 28 Preparation and adoption . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
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CHAPTER III STRATEGIC FOLLOW UP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
Article 29 Strategic reporting by the Member States . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
Article 30 Strategic reporting by the Commission and debate on cohesion policy . . . . . . . . . . . 44
Article 31 Cohesion report . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
TITLE III PROGRAMMING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
CHAPTER I GENERAL PROVISIONS ON THE STRUCTURAL FUNDS AND THE COHESION
FUND . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
Article 32 Preparation and approval of operational programmes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
Article 33 Revision of operational programmes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
Article 34 Specific character of the Funds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
Article 35 Geographical scope . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
Article 36 Participation by the European Investment Bank and the European Investment
Fund . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
CHAPTER II PROGRAMMING CONTENT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
SECTION 1 OPERATIONAL PROGRAMMES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
Article 37 Operational programmes for the Convergence and Regional competitiveness
and employment objectives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
Article 38 Operational programmes for the European territorial cooperation objective . . . . . 47
SECTION 2 MAJOR PROJECTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
Article 39 Content . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
Article 40 Information submitted to the Commission . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
Article 41 Decision of the Commission . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
SECTION 3 GLOBAL GRANTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
Article 42 General provisions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
Article 43 Implementing rules . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
SECTION 4 FINANCIAL ENGINEERING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
Article 44 Financial engineering instruments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
SECTION 5 TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
Article 45 Technical assistance at the initiative of the Commission . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
Article 46 Technical assistance of the Member States . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
TITLE IV EFFECTIVENESS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
CHAPTER I EVALUATION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
Article 47 General provisions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
Article 48 Responsibility of Member States . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
Article 49 Responsibility of the Commission . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
CHAPTER II RESERVES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51
Article 50 National performance reserve . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51
Article 51 National contingency reserve . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51
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TITLE V FINANCIAL CONTRIBUTION FROM THE FUNDS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51
CHAPTER I CONTRIBUTION FROM THE FUNDS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51
Article 52 Modulation of the contribution rates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51
Article 53 Contribution from the Funds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51
Article 54 Other provisions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52
CHAPTER II REVENUE-GENERATING PROJECTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52
Article 55 Revenue-generating projects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52
CHAPTER III ELIGIBILITY OF EXPENDITURE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
Article 56 Eligibility of expenditure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
CHAPTER IV DURABILITY OF OPERATIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
Article 57 Durability of operations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
TITLE VI MANAGEMENT, MONITORING AND CONTROLS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
CHAPTER I MANAGEMENT AND CONTROL SYSTEMS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
Article 58 General principles of the management and control systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
Article 59 Designation of authorities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54
Article 60 Functions of the managing authority . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54
Article 61 Functions of the certifying authority . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
Article 62 Functions of the audit authority . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
CHAPTER II MONITORING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56
Article 63 Monitoring committee . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56
Article 64 Composition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56
Article 65 Tasks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56
Article 66 Arrangements for monitoring . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56
Article 67 Annual report and final report on implementation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56
Article 68 Annual examination of programmes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57
CHAPTER III INFORMATION AND PUBLICITY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58
Article 69 Information and publicity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58
CHAPTER IV RESPONSIBILITIES OF MEMBER STATES AND OF THE COMMISSION . . . . . . . . . . 58
SECTION 1 RESPONSIBILITIES OF MEMBER STATES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58
Article 70 Management and control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58
Article 71 Setting up of management and control systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58
SECTION 2 RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE COMMISSION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59
Article 72 Responsibilities of the Commission . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59
Article 73 Cooperation with the audit authorities of the Member States . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59
SECTION 3 PROPORTIONALITY IN THE CONTROL OF OPERATIONAL PROGRAMMES 59
Article 74 Proportional control arrangements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59
TITLE VII FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
CHAPTER I FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
SECTION 1 BUDGET COMMITMENTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
Article 75 Budget commitments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
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SECTION 2 COMMON RULES FOR PAYMENTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
Article 76 Common rules for payments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
Article 77 Common rules for calculating interim payments and payments of the final
balance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
Article 78 Statement of expenditure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61
Article 79 Accumulation of pre-financing and of interim payments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61
Article 80 Wholeness of payment to beneficiaries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62
Article 81 Use of the euro . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62
SECTION 3 PRE-FINANCING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62
Article 82 Payment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62
Article 83 Interest . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62
Article 84 Clearance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62
SECTION 4 INTERIM PAYMENTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63
Article 85 Interim payments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63
Article 86 Acceptability of applications for payment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63
Article 87 Date of presentation of applications for payment and payment delays . . . . . . . . . . . . 63
SECTION 5 PROGRAMME CLOSURE AND PAYMENT OF FINAL BALANCE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63
Article 88 Partial closure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63
Article 89 Conditions for the payment of the final balance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63
Article 90 Availability of documents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64
SECTION 6 INTERRUPTION OF THE PAYMENT DEADLINE AND SUSPENSION OF
PAYMENTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64
Article 91 Interruption of the payment deadline . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64
Article 92 Suspension of payments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64
SECTION 7 AUTOMATIC DECOMMITMENT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
Article 93 Principles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
Article 94 Period for interruption for major projects and aid schemes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
Article 95 Period of interruption for legal proceedings and administrative appeals . . . . . . . . . . . 65
Article 96 Exceptions to the automatic decommitment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
Article 97 Procedure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
CHAPTER II FINANCIAL CORRECTIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66
SECTION 1 FINANCIAL CORRECTION BY MEMBER STATES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66
Article 98 Financial corrections by Member States . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66
SECTION 2 FINANCIAL CORRECTIONS BY THE COMMISSION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66
Article 99 Criteria for the corrections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66
Article 100 Procedure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66
Article 101 Obligations of Member States . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67
Article 102 Repayment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67
TITLE VIII COMMITTEES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67
CHAPTER I COORDINATION COMMITTEE OF THE FUNDS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67
Article 103 Committee procedure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67
CHAPTER II COMMITTEE UNDER ARTICLE 147 OF THE TREATY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67
Article 104 Committee under Article 147 of the Treaty . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67
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TITLE IX FINAL PROVISIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68
Article 105 Transitional provisions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68
Article 106 Review clause . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68
Article 107 Repeal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68
Article 108 Entry into force . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68
ANNEX I Annual breakdown of commitment appropriations for 2007 to 2013 . . . . . . . . . . . . 70
ANNEX II Financial framework . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71
ANNEX III Ceilings applicable to co-financing rates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75
ANNEX IV Categories of expenditure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76
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TITLE I
OBJECTIVES AND GENERAL RULES ON ASSISTANCE
CHAPTER I
Scope and definitions
Article 1
Subject matter
This Regulation lays down the general rules governing the
European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the European
Social Fund (ESF) (hereinafter referred to as the Structural
Funds) and the Cohesion Fund, without prejudice of the specific
provisions laid down in Regulations (EC) No 1080/2006, (EC)
No 1081/2006 and (EC) No 1084/2006.
This Regulation defines the objectives to which the Structural
Funds and the Cohesion Fund (hereinafter referred to as the
Funds) are to contribute, the criteria for Member States and
regions to be eligible under those Funds, the financial resources
available and the criteria for their allocation.
This Regulation defines the context for cohesion policy,
including the method for establishing the Community strategic
guidelines on cohesion, the national strategic reference frame-
work and the process for examination at Community level.
To this end, this Regulation lays down the principles and rules
on partnership, programming, evaluation, management,
including financial management, monitoring and control on
the basis of responsibilities shared between the Member States
and the Commission.
Article 2
Definitions
For the purposes of this Regulation, the following terms shall
have the meanings assigned to them here:
(1) ‘operational programme’: document submitted by a
Member State and adopted by the Commission setting out
a development strategy with a coherent set of priorities to
be carried out with the aid of a Fund, or, in the case of the
Convergence objective, with the aid of the Cohesion Fund
and the ERDF;
(2) ‘priority axis’: one of the priorities of the strategy in an
operational programme comprising a group of operations
which are related and have specific measurable goals;
(3) ‘operation’: a project or group of projects selected by the
managing authority of the operational programme
concerned or under its responsibility according to criteria
laid down by the monitoring committee and implemented
by one or more beneficiaries allowing achievement of the
goals of the priority axis to which it relates;
(4) ‘beneficiary’: an operator, body or firm, whether public or
private, responsible for initiating or initiating and imple-
menting operations. In the context of aid schemes under
Article 87 of the Treaty, beneficiaries are public or private
firms carrying out an individual project and receiving
public aid;
(5) ‘public expenditure’: any public contribution to the finan-
cing of operations whose origin is the budget of the State,
of regional and local authorities, of the European Commu-
nities related to the Structural Funds and the Cohesion
Fund and any similar expenditure. Any contribution to the
financing of operations whose origin is the budget of
public law bodies or associations of one or more regional
or local authorities or public law bodies acting in accord-
ance with Directive 2004/18/EC of the European Parlia-
ment and of the Council of 31 March 2004 on the coordi-
nation of procedures for the award of public works
contracts, public supply contracts and public service
contracts (
1
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(6) ‘intermediate body’: any public or private body or service
which acts under the responsibility of a managing or certi-
fying authority, or which carries out duties on behalf of
such an authority vis-à-vis beneficiaries implementing
operations;
(7) ‘irregularity’: any infringement of a provision of Com-
munity law resulting from an act or omission by an
economic operator which has, or would have, the effect of
prejudicing the general budget of the European Union by
charging an unjustified item of expenditure to the general
budget.
CHAPTER II
Objectives and missions
Article 3
Objectives
1. The action taken by the Community under Article 158 of
the Treaty shall be designed to strengthen the economic and
social cohesion of the enlarged European Union in order to
promote the harmonious, balanced and sustainable develop-
ment of the Community. This action shall be taken with the
aid of the Funds, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and
other existing financial instruments. It shall be aimed at redu-
cing the economic, social and territorial disparities which have
arisen particularly in countries and regions whose development
is lagging behind and in connection with economic and social
restructuring and the ageing of the population.
The action taken under the Funds shall incorporate, at national
and regional level, the Community's priorities in favour of
sustainable development by strengthening growth, competitive-
ness, employment and social inclusion and by protecting and
improving the quality of the environment.
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2. To that end, the ERDF, the ESF, the Cohesion Fund, the
EIB and the other existing Community financial instruments
shall each contribute in an appropriate way towards achieving
the following three objectives:
(a) the Convergence objective, which shall be aimed at
speeding up the convergence of the least-developed
Member States and regions by improving conditions for
growth and employment through the increasing and
improvement of the quality of investment in physical and
human capital, the development of innovation and of the
knowledge society, adaptability to economic and social
changes, the protection and improvement of the environ-
ment, and administrative efficiency. This objective shall
constitute the priority of the Funds;
(b) the Regional competitiveness and employment objective,
which shall, outside the least-developed regions, be aimed
at strengthening regions' competitiveness and attractiveness
as well as employment by anticipating economic and social
changes, including those linked to the opening of trade,
through the increasing and improvement of the quality of
investment in human capital, innovation and the promo-
tion of the knowledge society, entrepreneurship, the protec-
tion and improvement of the environment, and the
improvement of accessibility, adaptability of workers and
businesses as well as the development of inclusive job
markets; and
(c) the European territorial cooperation objective, which shall
be aimed at strengthening cross-border cooperation
through joint local and regional initiatives, strengthening
transnational cooperation by means of actions conducive to
integrated territorial development linked to the Community
priorities, and strengthening interregional cooperation and
exchange of experience at the appropriate territorial level.
3. Under the three objectives referred to in paragraph 2,
assistance from the Funds shall, according to their nature, take
into account specific economic and social features, on the one
hand, and specific territorial features, on the other. The assis-
tance shall, in an appropriate manner, support sustainable
urban development particularly as part of regional development
and the renewal of rural areas and of areas dependent on fish-
eries through economic diversification. The assistance shall also
support areas affected by geographical or natural handicaps
which aggravate the problems of development, particularly in
the outermost regions as referred to in Article 299(2) of the
Treaty as well as the northern areas with very low population
density, certain islands and island Member States, and mountai-
nous areas.
Article 4
Instruments and missions
1. The Funds shall contribute, each in accordance with the
specific provisions governing it, towards achieving the three
objectives referred to in Article 3(2) as follows:
(a) the Convergence objective: the ERDF, the ESF and the
Cohesion Fund;
(b) the Regional competitiveness and employment objective:
the ERDF and the ESF; and
(c) the European territorial cooperation objective: the ERDF.
2. The Cohesion Fund shall also intervene in those regions
not eligible for support from the Convergence objective under
the criteria set out in Article 5(1) which belong to:
(a) a Member State eligible for support from the Cohesion
Fund under the criteria set out in Article 5(2); and
(b) a Member State eligible for support from the Cohesion
Fund under the criteria set out in Article 8(3).
3. The Funds shall contribute towards the financing of tech-
nical assistance on the initiative of the Member States and the
Commission.
CHAPTER III
Geographical eligibility
Article 5
Convergence
1. The regions eligible for funding from the Structural Funds
under the Convergence objective shall be regions corre-
sponding to level 2 of the common classification of territorial
units for statistics (hereinafter NUTS level 2) within the
meaning of Regulation (EC) No 1059/2003 whose gross
domestic product (GDP) per capita, measured in purchasing
power parities and calculated on the basis of Community
figures for the period 2000 to 2002, is less than 75 % of the
average GDP of the EU-25 for the same reference period.
2. The Member States eligible for funding from the Cohe-
sion Fund shall be those whose gross national income (GNI)
per capita, measured in purchasing power parities and calcu-
lated on the basis of Community figures for the period 2001 to
2003, is less than 90 % of the average GNI of the EU-25 and
which have a programme for meeting the economic conver-
gence conditions referred to in Article 104 of the Treaty.
3. Immediately following the entry into force of this Regu-
lation, the Commission shall adopt the list of regions fulfilling
the criteria under paragraph 1 and of Member States fulfilling
the criteria under paragraph 2. This list shall be valid from
1 January 2007 to 31 December 2013.
The eligibility of Member States for the Cohesion Fund shall be
reviewed in 2010 on the basis of Community GNI figures for
the EU-25.
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Article 6
Regional competitiveness and employment
The regions eligible for funding from the Structural Funds
under the Regional competitiveness and employment objective
shall be those not covered by Article 5(1) and Article 8(1) and
(2).
When presenting the national strategic reference framework
referred to in Article 27, each Member State concerned shall
indicate the NUTS level 1 or NUTS level 2 regions for which it
will present a programme for financing by the ERDF.
Article 7
European Territorial Cooperation
1. For the purpose of cross-border cooperation, the NUTS
level 3 regions of the Community along all internal and certain
external land borders and all NUTS level 3 regions of the Com-
munity along maritime borders separated, as a general rule, by
a maximum of 150 kilometres shall be eligible for financing
taking into account potential adjustments needed to ensure the
coherence and continuity of the cooperation action.
Immediately following the entry into force of this Regulation,
the Commission shall adopt, in accordance with the procedure
referred to in Article 103(2), the list of the eligible regions.
This list shall be valid from 1 January 2007 to 31 December
2013.
2. For the purpose of transnational cooperation, the
Commission, in accordance with the procedure referred to in
Article 103(2), shall adopt the list of the eligible transnational
areas broken down by programme. This list shall be valid from
1 January 2007 to 31 December 2013.
3. For the purpose of interregional cooperation, cooperation
networks and exchange of experience, the entire territory of
the Community shall be eligible.
Article 8
Transitional support
1. The NUTS level 2 regions which would have been eligible
for Convergence objective status under Article 5(1) had the
eligibility threshold remained at 75 % of the average GDP of
the EU-15, but which lose eligibility because their nominal
GDP per capita level will exceed 75 % of the average GDP of
the EU-25, measured and calculated according to Article 5(1),
shall be eligible, on a transitional and specific basis, for finan-
cing by the Structural Funds under the Convergence objective.
2. The NUTS level 2 regions totally covered by Objective 1
in 2006 under Article 3 of Regulation (EC) No 1260/1999
whose nominal GDP level per capita, measured and calculated
according to Article 5(1), will exceed 75 % of the average GDP
of the EU15 shall be eligible, on a transitional and specific
basis, for financing by the Structural Funds under the Regional
competitiveness and employment objective.
Recognising that, on the basis of revised figures for the period
1997 to 1999, Cyprus should have been eligible for Objective 1
in 2004 to 2006, Cyprus shall benefit in 2007 to 2013 from
the transitional financing applicable to the regions referred to
in the first subparagraph.
3. The Member States eligible for funding from the Cohe-
sion Fund in 2006 which would have continued to be eligible
had the eligibility threshold remained at 90 % of the
average GNI of the EU-15, but which lose eligibility because
their nominal per capita GNI will exceed 90 % of the average
GNI of the EU-25 measured and calculated according to
Article 5(2), shall be eligible, on a transitional and specific
basis, for financing by the Cohesion Fund under the Conver-
gence objective.
4. Immediately following the entry into force of this Regu-
lation, the Commission shall adopt the list of regions fulfilling
the criteria under paragraphs 1 and 2 and of Member States
fulfilling the criteria under paragraph 3. This list shall be valid
from 1 January 2007 to 31 December 2013.
CHAPTER IV
Principles of assistance
Article 9
Complementarity, consistency, coordination and compli-
ance
1. The Funds shall provide assistance which complements
national actions, including actions at the regional and local
levels, integrating into them the priorities of the Community.
2. The Commission and the Member States shall ensure that
assistance from the Funds is consistent with the activities, poli-
cies and priorities of the Community and complementary to
other financial instruments of the Community. This consistency
and complementarity shall be indicated in particular in Com-
munity strategic guidelines on cohesion, in the national stra-
tegic reference framework and in the operational programmes.
3. The assistance co-financed by the Funds shall target the
European Union priorities of promoting competitiveness and
creating jobs, including meeting the objectives of the Integrated
Guidelines for Growth and Jobs (2005 to 2008) as set out by
Council Decision 2005/600/EC of 12 July 2005 (
1
). To this
end, in accordance with their respective responsibilities, the
Commission and the Member States shall ensure that 60 % of
expenditure for the Convergence objective and 75 % of expen-
diture for the Regional competitiveness and employment objec-
tive for all the Member States of the European Union as consti-
tuted before 1 May 2004 is set for the abovementioned priori-
ties. These targets, based on the categories of expenditure in
Annex IV, shall apply as an average over the entire program-
ming period.
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With a view to ensuring that specific national circumstances,
including the priorities identified in the national reform
programme of each Member State concerned, are taken into
account, the Commission and that Member State may decide to
complement in an appropriate manner the list of categories of
Annex IV.
Each Member State concerned shall contribute to these targets.
At their own initiative, Member States that acceded to the Euro-
pean Union on or after 1 May 2004 may decide to apply these
provisions.
4. In accordance with their respective responsibilities, the
Commission and the Member States shall ensure the coordina-
tion between the assistance from the Funds, the EAFRD, the
EFF and the interventions of the EIB and of other existing finan-
cial instruments.
5. Operations financed by the Funds shall comply with the
provisions of the Treaty and of acts adopted under it.
Article 10
Programming
The objectives of the Funds shall be pursued in the framework
of a multiannual programming system organised in several
stages comprising the identification of the priorities, the finan-
cing, and a system of management and control.
Article 11
Partnership
1. The objectives of the Funds shall be pursued in the frame-
work of close cooperation, (hereinafter referred to as partner-
ship), between the Commission and each Member State. Each
Member State shall organise, where appropriate and in accord-
ance with current national rules and practices, a partnership
with authorities and bodies such as:
(a) the competent regional, local, urban and other public
authorities;
(b) the economic and social partners;
(c) any other appropriate body representing civil society, envir-
onmental partners, non-governmental organisations, and
bodies responsible for promoting equality between men
and women.
Each Member State shall designate the most representative part-
ners at national, regional and local level and in the economic,
social, environmental or other spheres (hereinafter referred to
as partners), in accordance with national rules and practices,
taking account of the need to promote equality between men
and women and sustainable development through the integra-
tion of environmental protection and improvement require-
ments.
2. The partnership shall be conducted in full compliance
with the respective institutional, legal and financial powers of
each partner category as defined in paragraph 1.
The partnership shall cover the preparation, implementation,
monitoring and evaluation of operational programmes.
Member States shall involve, where appropriate, each of the
relevant partners, and particularly the regions, in the different
stages of programming within the time limit set for each stage.
3. Each year the Commission shall consult the organisations
representing the economic and social partners at European
level on assistance from the Funds.
Article 12
Territorial level of implementation
Implementation of operational programmes referred to in
Article 32 shall be the responsibility of Member States at the
appropriate territorial level, in accordance with the institutional
system specific to each Member State. That responsibility shall
be exercised in accordance with this Regulation.
Article 13
Proportional intervention
1. The financial and administrative resources employed by
the Commission and Member States in the implementation of
the Funds in relation to:
(a) the choice of indicators provided for in Article 37(1)(c);
(b) the evaluation under Articles 47 and 48;
(c) the general principles of management and control systems
referred to in Article 58(e) and (f);
(d) the reporting as referred to in Article 67,
shall be proportional to the total amount of expenditure allo-
cated to an operational programme.
2. In addition, specific provisions relating to proportionality
in relation to controls are set out in Article 74 of this Regu-
lation.
Article 14
Shared management
1. The budget of the European Union allocated to the Funds
shall be implemented within the framework of shared manage-
ment between the Member States and the Commission, in
accordance with Article 53(1)(b) of Council Regulation (EC,
Euratom) No 1605/2002 of 25 June 2002 on the Financial
Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European
Communities (
1
), with the exception of the technical assistance
referred to in Article 45 of this Regulation.
The principle of sound financial management shall be applied
in accordance with Article 48(2) of Regulation (EC, Euratom)
No 1605/2002.
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2. The Commission shall exercise its responsibility for
implementing the general budget of the European Union in the
following ways:
(a) the Commission shall check the existence and proper func-
tioning of management and control systems in the Member
States in accordance with the procedures described in Arti-
cles 71, 72 and 73;
(b) the Commission shall interrupt the payment deadline or
suspend all or part of payments in accordance with Arti-
cles 91 and 92 if the national management and control
systems fail, and shall apply any other financial correction
required, in accordance with the procedures described in
Articles 100 and 101;
(c) the Commission shall check reimbursements of payments
on account and automatically decommit budget commit-
ments in accordance with the procedures laid down in
Article 82(2) and Articles 93 to 97.
Article 15
Additionality
1. Contributions from the Structural Funds shall not replace
public or equivalent structural expenditure by a Member State.
2. For regions covered by the Convergence objective, the
Commission and the Member State shall determine the level of
public or equivalent structural expenditure which the Member
State shall maintain in all the regions concerned during the
programming period.
The level of expenditure by a Member State shall be one of the
items covered by the decision of the Commission on the
national strategic reference framework referred to in
Article 28(3). The methodological paper of the Commission,
adopted in accordance with the procedure referred to in
Article 103(3), shall provide guidance.
3. As a general rule, the level of the expenditure referred to
in paragraph 2 shall be at least equal to the amount of average
annual expenditure in real terms attained during the previous
programming period.
Furthermore, the level of expenditure shall be determined with
reference to the general macroeconomic conditions in which
the financing is carried out and taking into account certain
specific or exceptional economic situations, such as privatisa-
tions as well as an exceptional level of public or equivalent
structural expenditure by the Member State during the previous
programming period.
4. The Commission shall, in cooperation with each Member
State, verify additionality mid-term in 2011 for the Conver-
gence objective. As part of this mid-term verification, the
Commission, in consultation with the Member State, may
decide to modify the required level of structural expenditure if
the economic situation in the Member State concerned has
significantly changed from the one existing at the moment of
the determination of the level of public or equivalent structural
expenditure referred to in paragraph 2. The decision of the
Commission referred to in Article 28(3) shall be amended to
reflect this adjustment.
The Commission shall, in cooperation with each Member State,
verify additionality ex post on 31 December 2016 for the
Convergence objective.
The Member State shall transmit to the Commission the infor-
mation required to enable the verification of compliance with
the level of public or equivalent structural expenditure deter-
mined ex ante. Where necessary, methods of statistical estima-
tion should be used.
The Commission shall publish the results by Member State of
the verification of the additionality, including the methodology
and sources of information, after the conclusion of each of the
three stages of verification.
Article 16
Equality between men and women and non-discrimination
The Member States and the Commission shall ensure that
equality between men and women and the integration of the
gender perspective is promoted during the various stages of
implementation of the Funds.
The Member States and the Commission shall take appropriate
steps to prevent any discrimination based on sex, racial or
ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orienta-
tion during the various stages of implementation of the Funds
and, in particular, in the access to them. In particular, accessi-
bility for disabled persons shall be one of the criteria to be
observed in defining operations co-financed by the Funds and
to be taken into account during the various stages of imple-
mentation.
Article 17
Sustainable development
The objectives of the Funds shall be pursued in the framework
of sustainable development and the Community promotion of
the goal of protecting and improving the environment as set
out in Article 6 of the Treaty.
CHAPTER V
Financial framework
Article 18
Global resources
1. The resources available for commitment from the Funds
for the period 2007 to 2013 shall be EUR 308 041 000 000 at
2004 prices in accordance with the annual breakdown shown
in Annex I.
For the purpose of programming and subsequent inclusion in
the general budget of the European Union, the amount referred
to in the first subparagraph shall be indexed at 2 % per year.
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The breakdown of budgetary resources by the objectives
defined in Article 3(2) shall be such as to achieve a significant
concentration on the regions of the Convergence objective.
2. The Commission shall make indicative annual break-
downs by Member States in accordance with the criteria and
methodology set out in Annex II without prejudice to the
provisions referred to in Articles 23 and 24.
3. The amounts referred to in paragraphs 12 to 30 of
Annex II shall be included in the amounts referred to in Arti-
cles 19, 20 and 21 and shall be clearly identified in the
programming documents.
Article 19
Resources for the Convergence objective
Overall resources for the Convergence objective shall amount
to 81,54 % of the resources referred to in Article 18(1) (i.e. a
total of EUR 251 163 134 221) and shall be distributed
between the different components as follows:
(a) 70,51 % (i.e. a total of EUR 177 083 601 004) for the
financing referred to in Article 5(1), using eligible popula-
tion, regional prosperity, national prosperity and unem-
ployment rate as the criteria for calculating the indicative
breakdowns by Member State;
(b) 4,99 % (i.e. a total of EUR 12 521 289 405) for the transi-
tional and specific support referred to in Article 8(1), using
eligible population, regional prosperity, national prosperity
and unemployment rate as the criteria for calculating the
indicative breakdowns by Member State;
(c) 23,22 % (i.e. a total of EUR 58 308 243 811) for the finan-
cing referred to in Article 5(2), using population, national
prosperity, and surface area as the criteria for calculating
the indicative breakdowns by Member State;
(d) 1,29 % (i.e. a total of EUR 3 250 000 000) for the transi-
tional and specific support referred to in Article 8(3).
Article 20
Resources for the Regional competitiveness and employ-
ment objective
Overall resources for the Regional competitiveness and employ-
ment objective shall amount to 15,95 % of the resources
referred to in Article 18(1) (i.e. a total of EUR 49 127 784 318)
and shall be distributed between the different components as
follows:
(a) 78,86 % (i.e. a total of EUR 38 742 477 688) for the finan-
cing referred to in Article 6, using eligible population,
regional prosperity, unemployment rate, employment rate
and population density as the criteria for calculating the
indicative breakdowns by Member State; and
(b) 21,14 % (i.e. a total of EUR 10 385 306 630) for the transi-
tional and specific support referred to in Article 8(2), using
eligible population, regional prosperity, national prosperity
and unemployment rate as the criteria for calculating the
indicative breakdowns by Member State.
Article 21
Resources for the European territorial cooperation objec-
tive
1. Overall resources for the European territorial cooperation
objective shall amount to 2,52 % of the resources referred to in
Article 18(1) (i.e. a total of EUR 7 750 081 461) and, excluding
the amount referred to in paragraph 22 of Annex II, shall be
distributed between the different components as follows:
(a) 73,86 % (i.e. a total of EUR 5 576 358 149) for the finan-
cing of cross-border cooperation referred to in Article 7(1),
using eligible population as the criterion for calculating the
indicative breakdowns by Member State;
(b) 20,95 % (i.e. a total of EUR 1 581 720 322) for the finan-
cing of transnational cooperation referred to in Article 7(2),
using eligible population as the criterion for calculating the
indicative breakdowns by Member State;
(c) 5,19 % (i.e. a total of EUR 392 002 991) for the financing
of interregional cooperation, cooperation networks and
exchange of experience referred to in Article 7(3).
2. The contribution from the ERDF to the cross-border and
sea-basin programmes under the European Neighbourhood and
Partnership Instrument and to the cross-border programmes
under the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance pursuant to
Regulation (EC) No 1085/2006 shall be EUR 813 966 000, as
a result of the indication of each Member State concerned,
deducted from their allocations under paragraph 1(a). These
ERDF contributions shall not be subject to reallocation between
the Member States concerned.
3. The contribution from the ERDF to each cross-border and
sea-basin programme under the instruments referred to in para-
graph 2 shall be granted provided that the contribution from
such instruments to each such programme is at least equivalent
to the contribution from the ERDF. However, this equivalence
shall be subject to a maximum amount of EUR 465 690 000
under the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instru-
ment and of EUR 243 782 000 under the Instrument for
Pre-Accession Assistance.
4. The annual appropriations corresponding to the contribu-
tion from the ERDF mentioned in paragraph 2 shall be entered
in the relevant budget lines of the cross-border strand of the
instruments referred to in paragraph 2 with the 2007
budgetary exercise.
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5. In 2008 and in 2009, the annual contribution from the
ERDF mentioned in paragraph 2 for which no operational
programme has been submitted to the Commission by 30 June
at the latest under the cross-border and sea-basin strands of the
instruments referred to in paragraph 2 shall then be made
available to the Member State concerned for the financing of
cross-border cooperation under paragraph 1(a), including coop-
eration on external borders.
If by 30 June 2010 at the latest, there are still operational
programmes under the cross-border and sea-basin strands of
the instruments referred to in paragraph 2 which have not
been submitted to the Commission, the entire contribution
from the ERDF mentioned in paragraph 2 for the remaining
years up to 2013 shall then be made available to the Member
States concerned for financing cross-border cooperation under
paragraph 1(a), including cooperation on external borders.
6. If, following the adoption by the Commission of the
cross-border and sea basin programmes mentioned in para-
graph 2, such programmes need to be discontinued on the
grounds that:
(a) the partner country does not sign the financing agreement
by the end of the year following the adoption of the
programme; or
(b) the programme cannot be implemented owing to problems
arising in relations between the participating countries,
the contribution from the ERDF mentioned in paragraph 2
corresponding to the annual instalments not yet committed
shall be made available to the Member States concerned, at
their request, for the financing of cross-border cooperation
under paragraph 1(a), including cooperation on external
borders.
Article 22
Non transferability of resources
The total appropriations allocated by Member State under each
of the objectives of the Funds and their components shall not
be transferable between them.
By way of derogation from the first subparagraph, each
Member State under the European territorial cooperation objec-
tive may transfer up to 15 % of the financial allocation of one
of the components referred to in Article 21(1)(a) and (b) to the
other.
Article 23
Resources for the performance reserve
Three per cent of the resources referred to in Article 19(a) and
(b) and Article 20 may be allocated in accordance with
Article 50.
Article 24
Resources for technical assistance
Of the resources referred to in Article 18(1), 0,25 % shall be
devoted to technical assistance for the Commission as defined
in Article 45.
TITLE II
STRATEGIC APPROACH TO COHESION
CHAPTER I
Community strategic guidelines on cohesion
Article 25
Content
The Council shall establish at Community level concise strategic
guidelines on economic, social and territorial cohesion defining
an indicative framework for the intervention of the Funds,
taking account of other relevant Community policies.
For each of the objectives of the Funds, those guidelines shall
in particular give effect to the priorities of the Community with
a view to promoting the harmonious, balanced and sustainable
development of the Community referred to in Article 3(1).
Those guidelines shall be established taking into account the
integrated guidelines, comprising broad economic policy guide-
lines and employment guidelines, adopted by the Council in
accordance with the procedures laid down in Articles 99 and
128 of the Treaty.
Article 26
Adoption and review
The Commission shall propose, following close cooperation
with Member States, the Community strategic guidelines on
cohesion referred to in Article 25 of this Regulation. By
1 February 2007 the Community strategic guidelines on cohe-
sion shall be adopted in accordance with the procedure laid
down in Article 161 of the Treaty. The Community strategic
guidelines on cohesion shall be published in the Official Journal
of the European Union.
The Community strategic guidelines on cohesion may be
subject, following close cooperation with Member States, to
mid-term review in accordance with the procedure laid down
in the first subparagraph if required in order to take account of
any major changes in the priorities of the Community.
The mid-term review of the Community strategic guidelines on
cohesion shall not impose an obligation on Member States to
revise either the operational programmes or their respective
national strategic reference frameworks.
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CHAPTER II
National strategic reference framework
Article 27
Content
1. The Member State shall present a national strategic refer-
ence framework which ensures that assistance from the Funds
is consistent with the Community strategic guidelines on cohe-
sion, and which identifies the link between Community priori-
ties, on the one hand, and its national reform programme, on
the other.
2. Each national strategic reference framework shall consti-
tute a reference instrument for preparing the programming of
the Funds.
3. The national strategic reference framework shall apply to
the Convergence objective and the Regional competitiveness
and employment objective. It may also, if a Member State so
decides, apply to the European territorial cooperation objective,
without prejudice to the future choices of other Member States
concerned.
4. The national strategic reference framework shall contain
the following elements:
(a) an analysis of development disparities, weaknesses and
potential, taking into account trends in the European and
world economy;
(b) the strategy chosen on the basis of that analysis, including
the thematic and territorial priorities. Where appropriate
these priorities shall include actions relating to sustainable
urban development, the diversification of rural economies
and areas dependent on fisheries;
(c) the list of operational programmes for the Convergence
and Regional competitiveness and employment objectives;
(d) a description of how the expenditure for the Convergence
and Regional competitiveness and employment objectives
will contribute to the European Union priorities of
promoting competitiveness and creating jobs, including
meeting the objectives of the Integrated Guidelines for
Growth and Jobs (2005 to 2008) as laid down in
Article 9(3).
(e) the indicative annual allocation from each Fund by
programme;
(f) for regions of the Convergence objective only:
(i) the action envisaged for reinforcing the Member State's
administrative efficiency;
(ii) the amount of the total annual appropriation provided
for under the EAFRD and the EFF;
(ii) the information required for ex ante verification of
compliance with the additionality principle referred to
in Article 15;
(g) for Member States eligible for the Cohesion Fund under
Articles 5(2) and 8(3), information on the mechanisms for
ensuring coordination between operational programmes
themselves and between these and the EAFRD, the EFF and,
where appropriate, the interventions of the EIB and of
other existing financial instruments.
5. In addition, the national strategic reference framework
may also contain, where relevant, the following elements:
(a) the procedure for coordination between Community cohe-
sion policy and the relevant national, sectoral and regional
policies of the Member State concerned;
(b) for Member States other than those referred to in
paragraph 4(g), information on the mechanisms for
ensuring coordination between operational programmes
themselves and between these and the EAFRD, the EFF and
the interventions of the EIB and of other existing financial
instruments.
6. The information contained in the national strategic refer-
ence framework shall take account of the specific institutional
arrangements of each Member State.
Article 28
Preparation and adoption
1. The national strategic reference framework shall be
prepared by the Member State, after consultation with relevant
partners as referred to in Article 11, in accordance with the
procedure that it considers most appropriate and with its insti-
tutional structure. It shall cover the period 1 January 2007 to
31 December 2013.
The Member State shall prepare the national strategic reference
framework in dialogue with the Commission, with a view to
ensuring a common approach.
2. Each Member State shall transmit the national strategic
reference framework to the Commission within five months
following the adoption of the Community strategic guidelines
on cohesion. The Commission shall take note of the national
strategy and the priority themes chosen for assistance from the
Funds, and make such observations as it considers appropriate
within three months from the date of receipt of the framework.
The Member State may present at the same time the national
strategic reference framework and the operational programmes
referred to in Article 32.
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3. Before or at the same time as the adoption of the opera-
tional programmes referred to in Article 32(5), the Commis-
sion, following consultation with the Member State, shall take a
decision covering:
(a) the list of operational programmes referred to in
Article 27(4)(c);
(b) the indicative annual allocation from each Fund by
programme referred to in Article 27(4)(e); and
(c) for the Convergence objective only, the level of expenditure
guaranteeing compliance with the additionality principle
referred to in Article 15 and the action envisaged for rein-
forcing administrative efficiency as referred to in
Article 27(4)(f)(i).
CHAPTER III
Strategic follow-up
Article 29
Strategic reporting by the Member States
1. For the first time in 2007, each Member State shall
include in the annual implementation report on its national
reform programme a concise section on the contribution of the
operational programmes co-financed by the Funds towards the
implementation of the national reform programme.
2. At the latest by the end of 2009 and 2012, the Member
States shall provide a concise report containing information on
the contribution of the programmes co-financed by the Funds:
(a) towards implementing the objectives of cohesion policy as
established by the Treaty;
(b) towards fulfilling the tasks of the Funds as set out in this
Regulation;
(c) towards implementing the priorities detailed in the Com-
munity strategic guidelines on cohesion referred to in
Article 25 and specified in the priorities set by the national
strategic reference framework referred to in Article 27; and
(d) towards achieving the objective of promoting competitive-
ness and job creation and working towards meeting the
objectives of the Integrated Guidelines for Growth and Jobs
(2005 to 2008) as laid down in Article 9(3).
3. Each Member State shall define the content of the reports
referred to in paragraph 2, with a view to identifying:
(a) the socio-economic situation and trends;
(b) achievements, challenges and future prospects in relation to
implementation of the agreed strategy; and
(c) examples of good practice.
4. References to the national reform programme in this
Article shall relate to the Integrated Guidelines for Growth and
Jobs (2005 to 2008) and shall equally apply to any equivalent
guidelines defined by the European Council.
Article 30
Strategic reporting by the Commission and debate on
cohesion policy
1. For the first time in 2008, and annually thereafter, the
Commission shall include in its Annual Progress Report to the
Spring European Council a section summarising the reports of
the Member States referred to in Article 29(1), in particular
progress towards achieving the European Union priorities of
promoting competitiveness and creating jobs, including
meeting the objectives of the Integrated Guidelines for Growth
and Jobs (2005 to 2008) as laid down in Article 9(3).
2. In the years 2010 and 2013, and at the latest by 1 April,
the Commission shall prepare a strategic report summarising
the reports of the Member States referred to in Article 29(2).
As appropriate, this report shall be incorporated as a specific
section in the report referred to in Article 159 of the Treaty.
3. The Council shall examine the strategic report referred to
in paragraph 2 as soon as possible after its publication. It shall
be submitted to the European Parliament, the European
Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the
Regions, and these institutions shall be invited to hold a debate
on it.
Article 31
Cohesion report
1. The report of the Commission referred to in Article 159
of the Treaty shall include in particular:
(a) a record of the progress made on economic and social
cohesion, including the socio-economic situation and devel-
opment of the regions, as well as the integration of Com-
munity priorities;
(b) a record of the role of the Funds, the EIB and the other
financial instruments, as well as the effect of other Com-
munity and national policies on the progress made.
2. The report shall also contain, if necessary:
(a) any proposals on Community measures and policies which
should be adopted in order to strengthen economic and
social cohesion;
(b) any proposed adjustments to the Community strategic
guidelines on cohesion needed to reflect changes in Com-
munity policy.
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TITLE III
PROGRAMMING
CHAPTER I
General provisions on the structural funds and the cohesion
fund
Article 32
Preparation and approval of operational programmes
1. The activities of the Funds in the Member States shall
take the form of operational programmes within the national
strategic reference framework. Each operational programme
shall cover a period between 1 January 2007 and 31 December
2013. An operational programme shall cover only one of the
three objectives referred to in Article 3, save as otherwise
agreed between the Commission and the Member State.
2. Each operational programme shall be drawn up by the
Member State or any authority designated by the Member
State, in cooperation with the partners referred to in Article 11.
3. The Member State shall submit a proposal for an opera-
tional programme to the Commission containing all the
components referred to in Article 37 as soon as possible but
no later than five months following the adoption of the Com-
munity strategic guidelines on cohesion, as referred to in
Article 26.
4. The Commission shall appraise the proposed operational
programme to determine whether it contributes to the goals
and priorities of the national strategic reference framework and
the Community strategic guidelines on cohesion. Where the
Commission, within two months following the receipt of the
operational programme, considers that an operational
programme does not contribute to the achievement of the
objectives of the national strategic reference framework and the
Community strategic guidelines on cohesion, it may invite the
Member State to provide all necessary additional information
and, where appropriate, to revise the proposed programme
accordingly.
5. The Commission shall adopt each operational programme
as soon as possible but no later than four months following its
formal submission by the Member State and not before
1 January 2007.
Article 33
Revision of operational programmes
1. At the initiative of the Member State or the Commission
in agreement with the Member State concerned, operational
programmes may be re-examined and, if necessary, the
remainder of the programme revised, in one or more of the
following cases:
(a) following significant socio-economic changes;
(b) in order to take greater or different account of major
changes in Community, national or regional priorities;
(c) in the light of the evaluation referred to in Article 48(3); or
(d) following implementation difficulties.
Operational programmes shall, if necessary, be revised
following allocation of the reserves referred to in Articles 50
and 51.
2. The Commission shall adopt a decision on a request for
revision of operational programmes as soon as possible but no
later than three months after its formal submission by the
Member State.
3. The revision of operational programmes shall not require
revision of the decision of the Commission referred to in
Article 28(3).
Article 34
Specific character of the Funds
1. Operational programmes shall receive financing from
only one Fund, save as otherwise provided in paragraph 3.
2. Without prejudice to the derogations laid down in the
specific regulations of the Funds, the ERDF and the ESF may
finance, in a complementary manner and subject to a limit
of 10 % of Community funding for each priority axis of an
operational programme, actions falling within the scope of
assistance from the other Fund, provided that they are neces-
sary for the satisfactory implementation of the operation and
are directly linked to it.
3. In the Member States receiving support from the Cohe-
sion Fund, the ERDF and the Cohesion Fund shall jointly
provide assistance for operational programmes on transport
infrastructure and the environment, including for major
projects.
Article 35
Geographical scope
1. Operational programmes submitted under the Conver-
gence objective shall be drawn up at the appropriate geogra-
phical level and at least at NUTS level 2.
Operational programmes submitted under the Convergence
objective with a contribution from the Cohesion Fund shall be
drawn up at national level.
2. Operational programmes submitted under the Regional
competitiveness and employment objective shall be drawn up
at NUTS level 1 or NUTS level 2, in accordance with the insti-
tutional system specific to the Member State, for regions bene-
fiting from financing by the ERDF, save as otherwise agreed
between the Commission and the Member State. They shall be
drawn up by the Member State at the appropriate level if they
are financed by the ESF.
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3. Operational programmes submitted under the European
territorial cooperation objective for cross-border cooperation
shall be drawn up, as a general rule, for each border or group
of borders by an appropriate grouping at NUTS level 3,
including enclaves. Operational programmes submitted under
the European territorial cooperation objective for transnational
cooperation shall be drawn up at the level of each transnational
cooperation area. Interregional cooperation and exchange of
experience programmes shall relate to the whole territory of
the Community.
Article 36
Participation by the European Investment Bank and the
European Investment Fund
1. The EIB and the EIF may participate, in accordance with
the modalities laid down in their statutes, in the programming
of assistance from the Funds.
2. The EIB and the EIF may, at the request of Member
States, participate in the preparation of national strategic refer-
ence frameworks and operational programmes, as well as in
activities relating to the preparation of projects, in particular
major projects, the arrangement of finance, and public-private
partnerships. The Member State, in agreement with the EIB and
the EIF, may concentrate the loans granted on one or more
priorities of an operational programme, in particular in the
spheres of innovation and the knowledge economy, human
capital, the environment and basic infrastructure projects.
3. The Commission may consult the EIB and the EIF before
adoption of the decision referred to in Article 28(3) and of the
operational programmes. That consultation shall relate in par-
ticular to operational programmes containing an indicative list
of major projects or programmes which, by the nature of their
priorities, are suitable for mobilising loans or other types of
market-based financing.
4. The Commission may, if it considers it appropriate for
the appraisal of major projects, request the EIB to examine the
technical quality and economic and financial viability of the
projects concerned, in particular as regards the financial engi-
neering instruments to be implemented or developed.
5. The Commission, in implementing the provisions of this
Article, may award a grant to the EIB or the EIF.
CHAPTER II
Programming content
Sect i on 1
Operati onal programmes
Article 37
Operational programmes for the Convergence and
Regional competitiveness and employment objectives
1. Operational programmes relating to the Convergence and
Regional competitiveness and employment objectives shall
contain:
(a) an analysis of the situation of the eligible area or sector in
terms of strengths and weaknesses and the strategy chosen
in response;
(b) a justification of the priorities chosen having regard to the
Community strategic guidelines on cohesion, the national
strategic reference framework, as well as the results of the
ex ante evaluation referred to in Article 48;
(c) information on the priority axes and their specific targets.
Those targets shall be quantified using a limited number of
indicators for output and results, taking into account the
proportionality principle. The indicators shall make it
possible to measure the progress in relation to the baseline
situation and the achievement of the targets of the priority
axis;
(d) for information purposes, an indicative breakdown by cate-
gory of the programmed use of the contribution from the
Funds to the operational programme in accordance with
the implementing rules of this Regulation adopted by the
Commission in accordance with the procedure referred to
in Article 103(3);
(e) a financing plan containing two tables:
(i) a table breaking down for each year, in accordance
with Articles 52, 53 and 54, the amount of the total
financial appropriation envisaged for the contribution
from each Fund. The financing plan shall show sepa-
rately within the total annual contribution from the
Structural Funds the appropriations provided for
regions receiving transitional support. The total contri-
bution from the Funds provided for annually shall be
compatible with the applicable financial framework
taking into account the phased reduction laid down in
paragraph 6 of Annex II;
(ii) a table specifying, for the whole programming period,
for the operational programme and for each priority
axis, the amount of the total financial appropriation of
the Community contribution and the national counter-
parts and the rate of contribution from the Funds.
Where in accordance with Article 53, the national
counterpart is made up of public and private expendi-
ture, the table shall give the indicative breakdown
between the public and the private components. Where
in accordance with Article 53, the national counterpart
is made up of public expenditure, the table shall indi-
cate the amount of the national public contribution. It
shall show, for information, the contribution from the
EIB and the other existing financial instruments;
(f) information on complementarity with measures financed
by the EAFRD and those financed by the EFF, where rele-
vant;
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(g) the implementing provisions for the operational
programme, including:
(i) designation by the Member State of all the entities
referred to in Article 59 or, if the Member State exer-
cises the option provided for in Article 74, the designa-
tion of other bodies and procedures in accordance
with the rules laid down in Article 74;
(ii) a description of the monitoring and evaluation
systems;
(iii) information about the competent body for receiving
the payments made by the Commission and the body
or bodies responsible for making payments to the
beneficiaries;
(iv) a definition of the procedures for the mobilisation and
circulation of financial flows in order to ensure their
transparency;
(v) the elements aiming at ensuring the publicity and the
information of the operational programme as referred
to in Article 69;
(vi) a description of the procedures agreed between the
Commission and the Member State for the exchange of
computerised data to meet the payment, monitoring
and evaluation requirements laid down by this Regu-
lation;
(h) an indicative list of major projects within the meaning of
Article 39, which are expected to be submitted within the
programming period for Commission approval.
2. Operational programmes financed jointly by the ERDF
and the Cohesion Fund with respect to transport and the envir-
onment shall contain priority axis specific to each Fund and a
specific commitment by Fund.
3. Without prejudice to the second subparagraph of Article 5
of Regulation (EC) No 1080/2006, each operational
programme under the Regional competitiveness and employ-
ment objective shall include a justification for the thematic,
geographical and financial concentration on the priorities as
laid down respectively in Article 5 of that Regulation and in
Article 4 of Regulation (EC) No 1081/2006.
4. Operational programmes financed by the ERDF shall
contain in addition for the Convergence and Regional competi-
tiveness and employment objectives:
(a) information on the approach to the sustainable urban
development where appropriate;
(b) Specific priority axis for the measures financed under the
additional allocation referred to in paragraph 20 of Annex II
in operational programmes providing assistance in outer-
most regions;
5. Operational programmes affected by one or more specific
allocations referred to in the additional provisions in Annex II
shall contain information on the procedures foreseen to allo-
cate and ensure the monitoring of these specific allocations.
6. At the initiative of the Member State, the operational
programmes financed by the ERDF may also contain for the
Convergence and Regional competitiveness and employment
objectives:
(a) the list of cities chosen for addressing urban issues and the
procedures for sub-delegation to urban authorities, possibly
by means of a global grant;
(b) actions for interregional cooperation with, at least, one
regional or local authority of another Member State.
7. At the initiative of the Member State concerned, the
operational programmes for the ESF may also contain for the
Convergence and Regional Competitiveness and Employment
objectives a horizontal approach or a dedicated priority axis for
interregional and transnational actions involving the national,
regional or local authorities of at least one other Member State.
Article 38
Operational programmes for the European territorial
cooperation objective
Specific rules on operational programmes are laid down in the
Regulation (EC) No 1080/2006 as regards operational
programmes under the European territorial cooperation objec-
tive.
Sect i on 2
Maj or proj ects
Article 39
Content
As part of an operational programme, the ERDF and the Cohe-
sion Fund may finance expenditure in respect of an operation
comprising a series of works, activities or services intended in
itself to accomplish an indivisible task of a precise economic or
technical nature, which has clearly identified goals and whose
total cost exceeds EUR 25 million in the case of the environ-
ment and EUR 50 million in other fields (hereinafter referred to
as major projects).
Article 40
Information submitted to the Commission
The Member State or the managing authority shall provide the
Commission with the following information on major projects:
(a) information on the body to be responsible for implementa-
tion;
(b) information on the nature of the investment and a descrip-
tion of it, its financial volume and location;
(c) the results of the feasibility studies;
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(d) a timetable for implementing the project and, where the
implementation period for the operation concerned is
expected to be longer than the programming period, the
phases for which Community co-financing is requested
during the 2007 to 2013 programming period;
(e) a cost-benefit analysis, including a risk assessment and the
foreseeable impact on the sector concerned and on the
socio-economic situation of the Member State and/or the
region and, when possible and where appropriate, of other
regions of the Community;
(f) an analysis of the environmental impact;
(g) a justification for the public contribution;
(h) the financing plan showing the total planned financial
resources and the planned contribution from the Funds, the
EIB, the EIF and all other sources of Community financing,
including the indicative annual plan of the financial contri-
bution from the ERDF or the Cohesion Fund for the major
project.
The Commission shall provide indicative guidance on the
methodology to be used in carrying out the cost-benefit
analysis in (e) above in accordance with the procedure referred
to in Article 103(2).
Article 41
Decision of the Commission
1. The Commission shall appraise the major project, if
necessary consulting outside experts, including the EIB, in the
light of the factors referred to in Article 40, its consistency
with the priorities of the operational programme, its contribu-
tion to achieving the goals of those priorities and its consis-
tency with other Community policies.
2. The Commission shall adopt a decision as soon as
possible but no later than three months after the submission by
the Member State or the managing authority of a major
project, provided that the submission is in accordance with
Article 40. That decision shall define the physical object, the
amount to which the co-financing rate for the priority axis
applies, and the annual plan of financial contribution from the
ERDF or the Cohesion Fund.
3. Where the Commission refuses to make a financial contri-
bution from the Funds to a major project, it shall notify the
Member State of its reasons within the period and the related
conditions laid down in paragraph 2.
Sect i on 3
Gl obal grants
Article 42
General provisions
1. The Member State or the managing authority may entrust
the management and implementation of a part of an opera-
tional programme to one or more intermediate bodies, desig-
nated by the Member State or the managing authority,
including local authorities, regional development bodies or
non-governmental organisations, in accordance with the provi-
sions of an agreement concluded between the Member State or
the managing authority and that body.
Such delegation shall be without prejudice to the financial
responsibility of the managing authority and of the Member
States.
2. The intermediate body responsible for managing the
global grant shall provide guarantees of its solvency and
competence in the domain concerned as well as in administra-
tive and financial management. It shall as a general rule be
established or represented in the region or regions covered by
the operational programme at the moment of its designation.
Article 43
Implementing rules
The agreement referred to in the first subparagraph of
Article 42(1) shall detail in particular:
(a) the types of operation to be covered by the global grant;
(b) the criteria for selecting beneficiaries;
(c) the rates of assistance from the Funds and the rules
governing that assistance, including as regards the use of
any interest accruing;
(d) the arrangements for monitoring, evaluating and ensuring
the financial control of the global grant referred to in
Article 59(1) vis-à-vis the managing authority, including
the arrangements for recovering amounts unduly paid and
the presentation of accounts;
(e) where applicable, any use of a financial guarantee or
equivalent facility, unless the Member State or the mana-
ging authority provides such guarantee according to the
institutional arrangements of each Member State.
Sect i on 4
Fi nanci al engi neeri ng
Article 44
Financial engineering instruments
As part of an operational programme, the Structural Funds
may finance expenditure in respect of an operation comprising
contributions to support financial engineering instruments for
enterprises, primarily small and medium-sized ones, such as
venture capital funds, guarantee funds and loan funds, and for
urban development funds, that is, funds investing in public-pri-
vate partnerships and other projects included in an integrated
plan for sustainable urban development.
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When such operations are organised through holding funds,
that is, funds set up to invest in several venture capital funds,
guarantee funds, loan funds and urban development funds, the
Member State or the managing authority shall implement them
through one or more of the following forms:
(a) the award of a public contract in accordance with applic-
able public procurement law;
(b) in other cases, where the agreement is not a public service
contract within the meaning of public procurement law,
the award of a grant, defined for this purpose as a direct
financial contribution by way of a donation:
(i) to the EIB or to the EIF; or
(ii) to a financial institution without a call for proposal, if
this is pursuant to a national law compatible with the
Treaty.
The implementing rules of this Article shall be adopted by the
Commission in accordance with the procedure referred to in
Article 103(3).
Sect i on 5
Techni cal assi stance
Article 45
Technical assistance at the initiative of the Commission
1. At the initiative of and/or on behalf of the Commission,
subject to a ceiling of 0,25 % of their respective annual alloca-
tion, the Funds may finance the preparatory, monitoring,
administrative and technical support, evaluation, audit and
inspection measures necessary for implementing this Regu-
lation.
Those actions shall include, in particular:
(a) assistance for project preparation and appraisal, including
with the EIB through a grant or other forms of cooperation,
as appropriate;
(b) studies linked to the drawing up of the Community stra-
tegic guidelines on cohesion, the Commission's reporting
on cohesion policy and the three-yearly cohesion report;
(c) evaluations, expert reports, statistics and studies, including
those of a general nature concerning the operation of the
Funds, which may be carried out where appropriate by the
EIB or the EIF through a grant or other forms of coopera-
tion;
(d) measures aimed at the partners, the beneficiaries of assis-
tance from the Funds and the general public, including
information measures;
(e) measures to disseminate information, networking, raise
awareness, promote cooperation and exchange experiences
throughout the Community;
(f) the installation, operation and interconnection of compu-
terised systems for management, monitoring, inspection
and evaluation;
(g) improvements in evaluation methods and the exchange of
information on practices in this field.
2. The Commission shall adopt a decision concerning the
types of action listed under paragraph 1 of this Article, in
accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 103(2),
when a contribution from the ERDF or the Cohesion Fund is
foreseen.
3. The Commission shall adopt a decision concerning the
types of action listed under paragraph 1 of this Article, after
consulting the committee referred to in Article 104, in accord-
ance with the procedure referred to in Article 103(2), when a
contribution from the ESF is foreseen.
Article 46
Technical assistance of the Member States
1. At the initiative of the Member State, the Funds may
finance the preparatory, management, monitoring, evaluation,
information and control activities of operational programmes
together with activities to reinforce the administrative capacity
for implementing the Funds within the following limits:
(a) 4 % of the total amount allocated under the Convergence
and Regional competitiveness and employment objectives;
(b) 6 % of the total amount allocated under the European terri-
torial cooperation objective.
2. For each of the three objectives, technical assistance
actions, within the limits set in paragraph 1, shall, in principle,
be undertaken within the framework of each operational
programme. On a complementary basis, however, such actions
may be undertaken partially and subject to the overall limits
for technical assistance set in paragraph 1, in the form of a
specific operational programme.
3. If the Member State decides to undertake technical assis-
tance actions in the framework of each operational programme,
the proportion of the total amount of expenditure for technical
assistance in respect of each operational programme shall not
exceed the limits set in paragraph 1.
In this case, where technical assistance actions are also under-
taken in the form of a specific operational programme, the
total amount of expenditure for technical assistance in such a
specific programme shall not cause the total proportion of
Funds allocated to technical assistance to exceed the limits set
in paragraph 1.
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TITLE IV
EFFECTIVENESS
CHAPTER I
Evaluation
Article 47
General provisions
1. Evaluations shall aim to improve the quality, effectiveness
and consistency of the assistance from the Funds and the
strategy and implementation of operational programmes with
respect to the specific structural problems affecting the
Member States and regions concerned, while taking account of
the objective of sustainable development and of the relevant
Community legislation concerning environmental impact and
strategic environmental assessment.
2. Evaluations may be of a strategic nature in order to
examine the evolution of a programme or group of
programmes in relation to Community and national priorities,
or of an operational nature in order to support the monitoring
of an operational programme. Evaluations shall be carried out
before, during and after the programming period.
3. Evaluations shall be carried out under the responsibility
of the Member State or the Commission, as appropriate, in
accordance with the principle of proportionality laid down in
Article 13.
Evaluations shall be carried out by experts or bodies, internal
or external, functionally independent of the authorities referred
to in Article 59(b) and (c). The results shall be published
according to the applicable rules on access to documents.
4. Evaluations shall be financed from the budget for tech-
nical assistance.
5. The Commission shall provide indicative guidance on
evaluation methods, including quality standards, in accordance
with the procedure laid down in Article 103(2).
Article 48
Responsibility of Member States
1. The Member States shall provide the resources necessary
for carrying out evaluations, organise the production and gath-
ering of the necessary data and use the various types of infor-
mation provided by the monitoring system.
They may also draw up, where appropriate, under the Conver-
gence objective, in accordance with the principle of proportion-
ality set out in Article 13, an evaluation plan presenting the
indicative evaluation activities which the Member State intends
to carry out in the different phases of the implementation.
2. Member States shall carry out an ex ante evaluation for
each operational programme separately under the Convergence
objective. In duly justified cases, taking into account the
proportionality principle as set out in Article 13 and as agreed
between the Commission and the Member State, Member
States may carry out a single ex ante evaluation covering more
than one operational programme.
For the Regional competitiveness and employment objective,
Member States shall carry out either an ex ante evaluation
covering all the operational programmes or an evaluation for
each Fund or an evaluation for each priority or an evaluation
for each operational programme.
For the European territorial cooperation objective, the Member
States shall jointly carry out an ex ante evaluation covering
either each operational programme or several operational
programmes.
Ex ante evaluations shall be carried out under the responsibility
of the authority responsible for the preparation of the program-
ming documents.
Ex ante evaluations shall aim to optimise the allocation of
budgetary resources under operational programmes and
improve programming quality. They shall identify and appraise
the disparities, gaps and potential for development, the goals to
be achieved, the results expected, the quantified targets, the
coherence, if necessary, of the strategy proposed for the region,
the Community value-added, the extent to which the Commu-
nity's priorities have been taken into account, the lessons
drawn from previous programming and the quality of the
procedures for implementation, monitoring, evaluation and
financial management.
3. During the programming period, Member States shall
carry out evaluations linked to the monitoring of operational
programmes in particular where that monitoring reveals a
significant departure from the goals initially set or where
proposals are made for the revision of operational programmes,
as referred to in Article 33. The results shall be sent to the
monitoring committee for the operational programme and to
the Commission.
Article 49
Responsibility of the Commission
1. The Commission may carry out strategic evaluations.
2. The Commission may carry out, at its initiative and in
partnership with the Member State concerned, evaluations
linked to the monitoring of operational programmes where the
monitoring of programmes reveals a significant departure from
the goals initially set. The results shall be sent to the moni-
toring committee for the operational programme.
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3. The Commission shall carry out an ex post evaluation for
each objective in close cooperation with the Member State and
managing authorities.
Ex post evaluation shall cover all the operational programmes
under each objective and examine the extent to which
resources were used, the effectiveness and efficiency of Fund
programming and the socio-economic impact.
It shall be carried out for each of the objectives and shall aim
to draw conclusions for the policy on economic and social
cohesion.
It shall identify the factors contributing to the success or failure
of the implementation of operational programmes and identify
good practice.
Ex post evaluation shall be completed by 31 December 2015.
CHAPTER II
Reserves
Article 50
National performance reserve
1. At its own initiative, a Member State may decide to estab-
lish a national performance reserve for the Convergence objec-
tive and/or the Regional competitiveness and employment
objective, consisting of 3 % of its total allocation for each one.
2. Where a Member State has decided to establish such a
reserve, it shall assess under each of the objectives not later
than 30 June 2011 the performance of its operational
programmes.
3. Not later than 31 December 2011, on the basis of propo-
sals from and in close consultation with each Member State
concerned, the Commission shall allocate the national perfor-
mance reserve.
Article 51
National contingency reserve
At its own initiative, a Member State may reserve an amount of
1 % of the annual Structural Fund contribution to the Conver-
gence objective and 3 % of the annual Structural Fund contri-
bution to the Regional competitiveness and employment objec-
tive to cover unforeseen local or sectoral crises linked to
economic and social restructuring or to the consequences of
the opening up of trade.
The Member State may allocate the reserve for each objective
to a specific national programme or within operational
programmes.
TITLE V
FINANCIAL CONTRIBUTION FROM THE FUNDS
CHAPTER I
Contribution from the funds
Article 52
Modulation of the contribution rates
The contribution from the Funds may be modulated in the
light of the following:
(a) the gravity of the specific problems, in particular of an
economic, social or territorial nature;
(b) the importance of each priority axis for the Community's
priorities as set out in the Community strategic guidelines
on cohesion, as well as for national and regional priorities;
(c) protection and improvement of the environment, princi-
pally through the application of the precautionary prin-
ciple, the principle of preventive action, and the pollute-
r-pays principle;
(d) the rate of mobilisation of private financing, in particular
under public-private partnerships, in the fields concerned;
(e) the inclusion of interregional cooperation as referred to in
Article 37(6)(b) under the Convergence and Regional
competitiveness and employment objectives;
(f) under the Regional competitiveness and employment objec-
tive, the coverage of areas with a geographical or natural
handicap defined as follows:
(i) island Member States eligible under the Cohesion
Fund, and other islands except those on which the
capital of a Member State is situated or which have a
fixed link to the mainland;
(ii) mountainous areas as defined by the national legisla-
tion of the Member State;
(iii) sparsely (less than 50 inhabitants per square kilometre)
and very sparsely (less than 8 inhabitants per square
kilometre) populated areas;
(iv) the areas which were external borders of the Com-
munity on 30 April 2004 and which ceased to be so
on the day after that date.
Article 53
Contribution from the Funds
1. The contribution from the Funds, at the level of opera-
tional programmes, shall be calculated with reference to:
(a) either the total eligible expenditure including public and
private expenditure;
(b) or the public eligible expenditure.
2. The contribution from the Funds at the level of opera-
tional programmes under the Convergence and Regional
competitiveness and employment objectives shall be subject to
the ceilings set out in Annex III.
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3. For operational programmes under the European terri-
torial cooperation objective in which at least one participant
belongs to a Member State whose average GDP per capita for
the period 2001 to 2003 was below 85 % of the EU-25
average during the same period, the contribution from the
ERDF shall not be higher than 85 % of the eligible expenditure.
For all other operational programmes, the contribution from
the ERDF shall not be higher than 75 % of the eligible expendi-
ture co-financed by the ERDF.
4. The contribution from the Funds at the priority axis level
shall not be subject to the ceilings set out in paragraph 3 and
in Annex III. However, it shall be fixed so as to ensure compli-
ance with the maximum amount of contribution from the
Funds and the maximum contribution rate per Fund fixed at
the level of the operational programme.
5. For operational programmes co-financed jointly:
(a) by the ERDF and the Cohesion Fund; or
(b) by the additional allocation for the outermost regions
provided for in Annex II, the ERDF and/or the Cohesion
Fund,
the decision adopting the operational programme shall fix the
maximum rate and the maximum amount of the contribution
for each Fund and allocation separately.
6. The Commission's decision adopting an operational
programme shall fix the maximum rate and the maximum
amount of the contribution from Fund for each operational
programme and for each priority axis. The decision shall show
separately the appropriations for regions receiving transitional
support.
Article 54
Other provisions
1. The contribution from the Funds for each priority axis
shall not be less than 20 % of the eligible public expenditure.
2. Technical assistance measures implemented at the initia-
tive of or on behalf of the Commission may be financed at the
rate of 100 %.
3. During the period of eligibility referred to in Article 56(1):
(a) a priority axis may receive assistance from only one Fund
and one objective at a time;
(b) an operation may receive assistance from a Fund under
only one operational programme at a time;
(c) an operation shall not receive an assistance from a Fund
higher than the total public expenditure allocated.
4. For State aid to enterprises within the meaning of
Article 87 of the Treaty, public aid granted under operational
programmes shall observe the ceilings on State aid.
5. An expenditure co-financed by the Funds shall not
receive assistance from another Community financial instru-
ment.
CHAPTER II
Revenue-generating projects
Article 55
Revenue-generating projects
1. For the purposes of this Regulation, a revenue-generating
project means any operation involving an investment in infra-
structure the use of which is subject to charges borne directly
by users or any operation involving the sale or rent of land or
buildings or any other provision of services against payment.
2. Eligible expenditure on revenue-generating projects shall
not exceed the current value of the investment cost less the
current value of the net revenue from the investment over a
specific reference period for:
(a) investments in infrastructure; or
(b) other projects where it is possible to objectively estimate
the revenues in advance.
Where not all the investment cost is eligible for co-financing,
the net revenue shall be allocated pro rata to the eligible and
non-eligible parts of the investment cost.
In the calculation, the managing authority shall take account of
the reference period appropriate to the category of investment
concerned, the category of project, the profitability normally
expected of the category of investment concerned, the applica-
tion of the polluter-pays principle, and, if appropriate, consid-
erations of equity linked to the relative prosperity of the
Member State concerned.
3. Where it is objectively not possible to estimate the
revenue in advance, the revenue generated within five years of
the completion of an operation shall be deducted from the
expenditure declared to the Commission. The deduction shall
be made by the certifying authority at the latest at partial or at
final closure of the operational programme. The application for
payment of the final balance shall be corrected accordingly.
4. Where, at the latest three years after closure of the opera-
tional programme, it is established that an operation has gener-
ated revenue that has not been taken into account under para-
graphs 2 and 3, such revenue shall be refunded to the general
budget of the European Union in proportion to the contribu-
tion from the Funds.
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5. Without prejudice to their obligations under Article 70(1),
Member States may adopt procedures proportionate to the
amounts concerned for monitoring revenues generated by
operations whose total cost is below EUR 200 000.
6. This Article shall not apply to projects subject to the
rules on State aid within the meaning of Article 87 of the
Treaty.
CHAPTER III
Eligibility of expenditure
Article 56
Eligibility of expenditure
1. Expenditure, including for major projects, shall be eligible
for a contribution from the Funds if it has actually been paid
between the date of submission of the operational programmes
to the Commission or from 1 January 2007, whichever is
earlier, and 31 December 2015. Operations must not have
been completed before the starting date for eligibility.
2. By way of derogation from paragraph 1, in-kind contribu-
tions, depreciation costs and overheads may be treated as
expenditure paid by beneficiaries in implementing operations
under the following conditions:
(a) the eligibility rules laid down under paragraph 4 provide
for the eligibility of such expenditure;
(b) the amount of the expenditure is justified by accounting
documents having a probative value equivalent to invoices;
(c) in the case of in-kind contributions, the co-financing from
the Funds does not exceed the total eligible expenditure
excluding the value of such contributions.
3. Expenditure shall be eligible for a contribution from the
Funds only where incurred for operations decided on by the
managing authority of the operational programme concerned
or under its responsibility, in accordance with criteria fixed by
the monitoring committee.
New expenditure, added at the moment of the revision of an
operational programme referred to in Article 33, shall be
eligible from the date of the submission to the Commission of
the request for revision of the operational programme.
4. The rules on the eligibility of expenditure shall be laid
down at national level subject to the exceptions provided for in
the specific Regulations for each Fund. They shall cover the
entirety of the expenditure declared under the operational
programme.
5. This Article shall be without prejudice to the expenditure
referred to in Article 45.
CHAPTER IV
Durability of operations
Article 57
Durability of operations
1. The Member State or managing authority shall ensure
that an operation retains the contribution from the Funds only
if that operation does not, within five years from the comple-
tion of the operation or three years from the completion of the
operation in Member States which have exercised the option of
reducing that time limit for the maintenance of an investment
or jobs created by SMEs, undergo a substantial modification:
(a) affecting its nature or its implementation conditions or
giving to a firm or a public body an undue advantage; and
(b) resulting either from a change in the nature of ownership
of an item of infrastructure or the cessation of a productive
activity.
2. The Member State and the managing authority shall
inform the Commission in the annual implementation report
referred to in Article 67 of any modification referred to in
paragraph 1. The Commission shall inform the other Member
States.
3. Sums unduly paid shall be recovered in accordance with
Articles 98 to 102.
4. The Member States and the Commission shall ensure that
undertakings which are or have been subject to a procedure of
recovery in accordance with paragraph 3 following the transfer
of a productive activity within a Member State or to another
Member State do not benefit from a contribution from the
Funds.
TITLE VI
MANAGEMENT, MONITORING AND CONTROLS
CHAPTER I
Management and control systems
Article 58
General principles of the management and control systems
The management and control systems of operational
programmes set up by Member States shall provide for:
(a) the definition of the functions of the bodies concerned in
management and control and the allocation of functions
within each body;
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(b) compliance with the principle of separation of functions
between and within such bodies;
(c) procedures for ensuring the correctness and regularity of
expenditure declared under the operational programme;
(d) reliable accounting, monitoring and financial reporting
systems in computerised form;
(e) a system of reporting and monitoring where the respon-
sible body entrusts the execution of tasks to another body;
(f) arrangements for auditing the functioning of the systems;
(g) systems and procedures to ensure an adequate audit trail;
(h) reporting and monitoring procedures for irregularities and
for the recovery of amounts unduly paid.
Article 59
Designation of authorities
1. For each operational programme the Member State shall
designate the following:
(a) a managing authority: a national, regional or local public
authority or a public or private body designated by the
Member State to manage the operational programme;
(b) a certifying authority: a national, regional or local public
authority or body designated by the Member State to
certify statement of expenditure and applications for
payment before they are sent to the Commission;
(c) an audit authority: a national, regional or local public
authority or body, functionally independent of the mana-
ging authority and the certifying authority, designated by
the Member State for each operational programme and
responsible for verifying the effective functioning of the
management and control system.
The same authority may be designated for more than one
operational programme.
2. The Member State may designate one or more inter-
mediate bodies to carry out some or all of the tasks of the
managing or certifying authority under the responsibility of
that authority.
3. The Member State shall lay down rules governing its rela-
tions with the authorities referred to in paragraph 1 and their
relations with the Commission.
Without prejudice to this Regulation, the Member State shall
lay down the mutual relations between the authorities referred
to in paragraph 1, which shall carry out their tasks in full
accordance with the institutional, legal and financial systems of
the Member State concerned.
4. Subject to Article 58(b), some or all of the authorities
referred to in paragraph 1 may be part of the same body.
5. Specific rules on management and control are laid down
in the Regulation (EC) No 1080/2006 for operational
programmes under the European territorial cooperation objec-
tive.
6. The Commission shall adopt implementing rules of Arti-
cles 60, 61 and 62 in accordance with the procedure referred
to in Article 103(3).
Article 60
Functions of the managing authority
The managing authority shall be responsible for managing and
implementing the operational programme in accordance with
the principle of sound financial management and in particular
for:
(a) ensuring that operations are selected for funding in accord-
ance with the criteria applicable to the operational
programme and that they comply with applicable Com-
munity and national rules for the whole of their implemen-
tation period;
(b) verifying that the co-financed products and services are
delivered and that the expenditure declared by the benefici-
aries for operations has actually been incurred and
complies with Community and national rules; verifications
on-the-spot of individual operations may be carried out on
a sample basis in accordance with the detailed rules to be
adopted by the Commission in accordance with the proce-
dure referred to in Article 103(3);
(c) ensuring that there is a system for recording and storing in
computerised form accounting records for each operation
under the operational programme and that the data on
implementation necessary for financial management, moni-
toring, verifications, audits and evaluation are collected;
(d) ensuring that beneficiaries and other bodies involved in the
implementation of operations maintain either a separate
accounting system or an adequate accounting code for all
transactions relating to the operation without prejudice to
national accounting rules;
(e) ensuring that the evaluations of operational programmes
referred to in Article 48(3) are carried out in accordance
with Article 47;
(f) setting up procedures to ensure that all documents
regarding expenditure and audits required to ensure an
adequate audit trail are held in accordance with the require-
ments of Article 90;
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(g) ensuring that the certifying authority receives all necessary
information on the procedures and verifications carried out
in relation to expenditure for the purpose of certification;
(h) guiding the work of the monitoring committee and
providing it with the documents required to permit the
quality of the implementation of the operational
programme to be monitored in the light of its specific
goals;
(i) drawing up and, after approval by the monitoring
committee, submitting to the Commission the annual and
final reports on implementation;
(j) ensuring compliance with the information and publicity
requirements laid down in Article 69;
(k) providing the Commission with information to allow it to
appraise major projects.
Article 61
Functions of the certifying authority
The certifying authority of an operational programme shall be
responsible in particular for:
(a) drawing up and submitting to the Commission certified
statements of expenditure and applications for payment;
(b) certifying that:
(i) the statement of expenditure is accurate, results from
reliable accounting systems and is based on verifiable
supporting documents;
(ii) the expenditure declared complies with applicable Com-
munity and national rules and has been incurred in
respect of operations selected for funding in accordance
with the criteria applicable to the programme and
complying with Community and national rules;
(c) ensuring for the purposes of certification that it has
received adequate information from the managing authority
on the procedures and verifications carried out in relation
to expenditure included in statements of expenditure;
(d) taking account for certification purposes of the results of all
audits carried out by or under the responsibility of the
audit authority;
(e) maintaining accounting records in computerised form of
expenditure declared to the Commission;
(f) keeping an account of amounts recoverable and of
amounts withdrawn following cancellation of all or part of
the contribution for an operation. Amounts recovered shall
be repaid to the general budget of the European Union
prior to the closure of the operational programme by
deducting them from the next statement of expenditure.
Article 62
Functions of the audit authority
1. The audit authority of an operational programme shall be
responsible in particular for:
(a) ensuring that audits are carried out to verify the effective
functioning of the management and control system of the
operational programme;
(b) ensuring that audits are carried out on operations on the
basis of an appropriate sample to verify expenditure
declared;
(c) presenting to the Commission within nine months of the
approval of the operational programme an audit strategy
covering the bodies which will perform the audits referred
to under points (a) and (b), the method to be used, the
sampling method for audits on operations and the indica-
tive planning of audits to ensure that the main bodies are
audited and that audits are spread evenly throughout the
programming period.
Where a common system applies to several operational
programmes, a single audit strategy may be submitted.;
(d) by 31 December each year from 2008 to 2015:
(i) submitting to the Commission an annual control
report setting out the findings of the audits carried out
during the previous 12 month-period ending on
30 June of the year concerned in accordance with the
audit strategy of the operational programme and
reporting any shortcomings found in the systems for
the management and control of the programme. The
first report to be submitted by 31 December 2008
shall cover the period from 1 January 2007 to 30 June
2008. The information concerning the audits carried
out after 1 July 2015 shall be included in the final
control report supporting the closure declaration
referred to in point (e);
(ii) issuing an opinion, on the basis of the controls and
audits that have been carried out under its responsi-
bility, as to whether the management and control
system functions effectively, so as to provide a reason-
able assurance that statements of expenditure presented
to the Commission are correct and as a consequence
reasonable assurance that the underlying transactions
are legal and regular;
(iii) submitting, where applicable under Article 88, a
declaration for partial closure assessing the legality and
regularity of the expenditure concerned.
When a common system applies to several operational
programmes, the information referred to in point (i) may
be grouped in a single report, and the opinion and declara-
tion issued under points (ii) and (iii) may cover all the
operational programmes concerned;
(e) submitting to the Commission at the latest by 31 March
2017 a closure declaration assessing the validity of the
application for payment of the final balance and the legality
and regularity of the underlying transactions covered by the
final statement of expenditure, which shall be supported by
a final control report.
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2. The audit authority shall ensure that the audit work takes
account of internationally accepted audit standards.
3. Where the audits and controls referred to in
paragraph 1(a) and (b) are carried out by a body other than the
audit authority, the audit authority shall ensure that such
bodies have the necessary functional independence.
4. The Commission shall provide its comments on the audit
strategy presented under paragraph 1(c) no later than three
months from receipt thereof. In the absence of comments
within this period it shall be considered to be accepted.
CHAPTER II
Monitoring
Article 63
Monitoring committee
1. The Member State shall set up a monitoring committee
for each operational programme, in agreement with the mana-
ging authority, within three months from the date of the notifi-
cation to the Member State of the decision approving the
operational programme. A single monitoring committee may
be set up for several operational programmes.
2. Each monitoring committee shall draw up its rules of
procedure within the institutional, legal and financial frame-
work of the Member State concerned and adopt them in agree-
ment with the managing authority in order to exercise its
missions in accordance with this Regulation.
Article 64
Composition
1. The monitoring committee shall be chaired by a represen-
tative of the Member State or the managing authority.
Its composition shall be decided by the Member State in agree-
ment with the managing authority.
2. At its own initiative or at the request of the monitoring
committee, a representative of the Commission shall participate
in the work of the monitoring committee in an advisory capa-
city. A representative of the EIB and the EIF may participate in
an advisory capacity for those operational programmes to
which the EIB or the EIF makes a contribution.
Article 65
Tasks
The monitoring committee shall satisfy itself as to the effective-
ness and quality of the implementation of the operational
programme, in accordance with the following provisions:
(a) it shall consider and approve the criteria for selecting the
operations financed within six months of the approval of
the operational programme and approve any revision of
those criteria in accordance with programming needs;
(b) it shall periodically review progress made towards achieving
the specific targets of the operational programme on the
basis of documents submitted by the managing authority;
(c) it shall examine the results of implementation, particularly
the achievement of the targets set for each priority axis and
the evaluations referred to in Article 48(3);
(d) it shall consider and approve the annual and final reports
on implementation referred to in Article 67;
(e) it shall be informed of the annual control report, or of the
part of the report referring to the operational programme
concerned, and of any relevant comments the Commission
may make after examining that report or relating to that
part of the report;
(f) it may propose to the managing authority any revision or
examination of the operational programme likely to make
possible the attainment of the Funds' objectives referred to
in Article 3 or to improve its management, including its
financial management;
(g) it shall consider and approve any proposal to amend the
content of the Commission decision on the contribution
from the Funds.
Article 66
Arrangements for monitoring
1. The managing authority and the monitoring committee
shall ensure the quality of the implementation of the opera-
tional programme.
2. The managing authority and the monitoring committee
shall carry out monitoring by reference to financial indicators
and the indicators referred to in Article 37(1)(c) specified in the
operational programme.
Where the nature of the assistance permits, statistics shall be
broken down by sex and by the size of the recipient undertak-
ings.
3. Data exchange between the Commission and the Member
States for this purpose shall be carried out electronically, in
accordance with the implementing rules of this Regulation
adopted by the Commission in accordance with the procedure
referred to in Article 103(3).
Article 67
Annual report and final report on implementation
1. For the first time in 2008 and by 30 June each year, the
managing authority shall send the Commission an annual
report and by 31 March 2017 a final report on the implemen-
tation of the operational programme.
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2. The reports referred to in paragraph 1 shall include the
following information in order to obtain a clear view of the
implementation of the operational programme:
(a) the progress made in implementing the operational
programme and priority axes in relation to their specific,
verifiable targets, with a quantification, wherever and
whenever they lend themselves to quantification, using the
indicators referred to in Article 37(1)(c) at the level of the
priority axis;
(b) the financial implementation of the operational
programme, detailing for each priority axis:
(i) the expenditure paid out by the beneficiaries included
in applications for payment sent to the managing
authority and the corresponding public contribution;
(ii) the total payments received from the Commission and
quantification of the financial indicators referred to in
Article 66(2); and
(iii) the expenditure paid out by the body responsible for
making payments to the beneficiaries,
Where appropriate, financial implementation in areas
receiving transitional support shall be presented separately
within each operational programme;
(c) for information purposes only, the indicative breakdown of
the allocation of Funds by categories, in accordance with
the implementation rules adopted by the Commission in
accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 103(3);
(d) the steps taken by the managing authority or the moni-
toring committee to ensure the quality and effectiveness of
implementation, in particular:
(i) monitoring and evaluation measures, including data
collection arrangements;
(ii) a summary of any significant problems encountered in
implementing the operational programme and any
measures taken, including the response to comments
made under Article 68(2) where appropriate;
(iii) the use made of technical assistance;
(e) the measures taken to provide information on and publicise
the operational programme;
(f) information about significant problems relating to compli-
ance with Community law which have been encountered in
the implementation of the operational programme and the
measures taken to deal with them;
(g) where appropriate, the progress and financing of major
projects;
(h) the use made of assistance released following cancellation
as referred to in Article 98(2) to the managing authority or
to another public authority during the period of implemen-
tation of the operational programme;
(i) cases where a substantial modification has been detected
under Article 57.
The breadth of information transmitted to the Commission
shall be proportional to the total amount of expenditure of the
operational programme concerned. Where appropriate, such
information may be provided in summary form.
Information referred to in points (d), (g), (h) and (i) shall not be
included if there has been no significant modification since the
previous report.
3. The reports referred to in paragraph 1 shall be judged
admissible where they contain all the appropriate information
listed in paragraph 2. The Commission shall inform the
Member State on the admissibility of the annual report within
10 working days from the date of its receipt.
4. The Commission shall inform the Member State of its
opinion on the content of an admissible annual report on
implementation submitted by the managing authority within
two months from the date of receipt. For the final report on an
operational programme, the time limit shall be a maximum of
five months from the date of receipt of an admissible report. If
the Commission does not respond within the time limit laid
down, the report shall be deemed to be accepted.
Article 68
Annual examination of programmes
1. Every year, when the annual report on implementation
referred to in Article 67 is submitted, the Commission and the
managing authority shall examine the progress made in imple-
menting the operational programme, the principal results
achieved over the previous year, the financial implementation
and other factors with a view to improving implementation.
Any aspects of the operation of the management and control
system raised in the last annual control report, referred to in
Article 62(1)(d)(i), may also be examined.
2. After the examination referred to in paragraph 1, the
Commission may make comments to the Member State and
the managing authority, which shall inform the monitoring
committee thereof. The Member State shall inform the
Commission of the action taken in response to those
comments.
3. When the ex post evaluations of assistance granted over
the 2000 to 2006 programming period, where appropriate, are
available, the overall results may be examined in the next
annual examination.
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CHAPTER III
Information and publicity
Article 69
Information and publicity
1. The Member State and the managing authority for the
operational programme shall provide information on and
publicise operations and co-financed programmes. The infor-
mation shall be addressed to European Union citizens and
beneficiaries with the aim of highlighting the role of the Com-
munity and ensure that assistance from the Funds is trans-
parent.
The Commission shall adopt implementing rules for this
Article in accordance with the procedure referred to in
Article 103(3).
2. The managing authority for the operational programme
shall be responsible for publicity in accordance with the imple-
menting rules of this Regulation adopted by the Commission
in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 103(3).
CHAPTER IV
Responsibilities of Member States and of the Commission
Sect i on 1
Responsi bi l i ti es of Member States
Article 70
Management and control
1. Member States shall be responsible for the management
and control of operational programmes, in particular through
the following measures:
(a) ensuring that management and control systems for opera-
tional programmes are set up in accordance with Articles 58
to 62 and function effectively;
(b) preventing, detecting and correcting irregularities and reco-
vering amounts unduly paid together with interest on late
payments where appropriate. They shall notify these to the
Commission and keep the Commission informed of the
progress of administrative and legal proceedings.
2. When amounts unduly paid to a beneficiary cannot be
recovered, the Member State shall be responsible for reimbur-
sing the amounts lost to the general budget of the
European Union, when it is established that the loss has been
incurred as a result of fault or negligence on its part.
3. The implementing rules for paragraphs 1 and 2 shall be
adopted by the Commission in accordance with the procedure
referred to in Article 103(3).
Article 71
Setting up of management and control systems
1. Before the submission of the first interim application for
payment or at the latest within twelve months of the approval
of each operational programme, the Member States shall
submit to the Commission a description of the systems,
covering in particular the organisation and procedures of:
(a) the managing and certifying authorities and intermediate
bodies;
(b) the audit authority and any other bodies carrying out
audits under its responsibility.
2. The description referred to in paragraph 1 shall be
accompanied by a report setting out the results of an assess-
ment of the systems set up and giving an opinion on their
compliance with Articles 58 to 62. If the opinion contains
reservations, the report shall indicate the seriousness of the
shortcomings and, where the shortcomings do not concern the
whole programme, the priority axis or axes concerned. The
Member State shall inform the Commission of the corrective
measures to be taken and the timetable for their implementa-
tion and subsequently provide confirmation of the implementa-
tion of the measures and the withdrawal of the corresponding
reservations.
The report referred to in the first subparagraph shall be
deemed to be accepted, and the first interim payment shall be
made, in the following circumstances:
(a) within two months of the date of receipt of the report
when the opinion referred to in the first subparagraph is
without reservations and in the absence of observations by
the Commission;
(b) if the opinion contains reservations, upon confirmation to
the Commission that corrective measures concerning key
elements of the systems have been implemented, and the
corresponding reservations withdrawn, and in the absence
of observations by the Commission within two months of
the date of confirmation.
Where the reservations concern only a single priority axis, the
first interim payment shall be made as regards the other
priority axes of the operational programme for which there is
no reservation.
3. The report and the opinion referred to in paragraph 2
shall be drawn up by the audit authority or by a public or
private body functionally independent of the managing and
certifying authorities, which shall carry out its work taking
account of internationally accepted audit standards.
4. Where a common system applies to several operational
programmes, a description of the common system may be noti-
fied under paragraph 1 accompanied by a single report and
opinion under paragraph 2.
5. The implementing rules for paragraphs 1 to 4 shall be
adopted by the Commission in accordance with the procedure
referred to in Article 103(3).
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Sect i on 2
Responsi bi l i t i es of t he Commi ssi on
Article 72
Responsibilities of the Commission
1. The Commission shall satisfy itself in accordance with the
procedure laid down in Article 71 that the Member States have
set up management and control systems that comply with Arti-
cles 58 to 62 and, on the basis of the annual control reports
and annual opinion of the audit authority and its own audits,
that the systems function effectively during the periods of
implementation of operational programmes.
2. Without prejudice to audits carried out by Member
States, Commission officials or authorised Commission repre-
sentatives may carry out on-the-spot audits to verify the effec-
tive functioning of the management and control systems,
which may include audits on operations included in operational
programmes, with a minimum of 10 working days' notice,
except in urgent cases. Officials or authorised representatives of
the Member State may take part in such audits. The imple-
menting rules of this Regulation concerning the use of data
collected during audits shall be adopted by the Commission in
accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 103(3).
Commission officials or authorised Commission representatives,
duly empowered to carry out on-the-spot audits, shall have
access to the books and all other documents, including docu-
ments and metadata drawn up or received and recorded on an
electronic medium, relating to expenditure financed by the
Funds.
The aforementioned powers of audit shall not affect the appli-
cation of national provisions which reserve certain acts for
agents specifically designated by national legislation. Authorised
Commission representatives shall not take part, inter alia, in
home visits or the formal questioning of persons within the
framework of the national legislation of the Member State
concerned. However, they shall have access to information thus
obtained.
3. The Commission may require a Member State to carry
out an on-the-spot audit to verify the effective functioning of
systems or the correctness of one or more transactions.
Commission officials or authorised Commission representatives
may take part in such audits.
Article 73
Cooperation with the audit authorities of the Member
States
1. The Commission shall cooperate with the audit authori-
ties of operational programmes to coordinate their respective
audit plans and audit methods and shall immediately exchange
the results of audits carried out on management and control
systems in order to make the best possible use of resources and
to avoid unjustified duplication of work.
In order to facilitate this cooperation in cases where a Member
State designates several audit authorities, the Member State
may designate a coordination body.
The Commission and the audit authorities, and the coordina-
tion body, where such a body has been designated, shall meet
on a regular basis and at least once a year unless otherwise
agreed between them in order to examine together the annual
control report and opinion presented under Article 62 and to
exchange views on other issues relating to the improvement of
the management and control of operational programmes.
2. In determining its own audit strategy, the Commission
shall identify those operational programmes for which the
opinion on the compliance of systems under Article 71(2) is
without reservations, or where reservations have been with-
drawn following corrective measures, where the audit strategy
of the audit authority is satisfactory and where reasonable
assurance has been obtained that the management and control
systems function effectively on the basis of the results of audits
by the Commission and the Member State.
3. For those programmes, the Commission may conclude
that it can rely principally on the opinion referred to in
Article 62(1)(d)(ii) with regard to the effective functioning of
the systems and that it will carry out its own on-the-spot audits
only if there is evidence to suggest shortcomings in the system
affecting expenditure certified to the Commission in a year for
which an opinion under Article 62(1)(d)(ii) has been provided
which contains no reservation in respect of such shortcomings.
Where the Commission reaches such a conclusion, it shall
inform the Member State concerned accordingly. Where there
is evidence to suggest shortcomings, it may require the
Member State to carry out audits in accordance with
Article 72(3) or it may carry out its own audits under
Article 72(2).
Sect i on 3
Proport i onal i ty i n the control of operati onal
programmes
Article 74
Proportional control arrangements
1. For operational programmes for which the total eligible
public expenditure does not exceed EUR 750 million and for
which the level of Community co-financing does not exceed
40 % of the total public expenditure:
(a) the audit authority is not required to present to the
Commission an audit strategy under Article 62(1)(c);
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(b) where the opinion on the compliance of systems under
Article 71(2) is without reservations, or where reservations
have been withdrawn following corrective measures, the
Commission may conclude that it can rely principally on
the opinion referred to in Article 62(1)(d)(ii) with regard to
the effective functioning of the systems and that it will
carry out its own on-the-spot audits only if there is
evidence to suggest shortcomings in the system affecting
expenditure certified to the Commission in a year for
which an opinion under Article 62(1)(d)(ii) has been
provided which contains no reservation in respect of such
shortcomings.
Where the Commission reaches such a conclusion, it shall
inform the Member State concerned accordingly. Where
there is evidence to suggest shortcomings it may require
the Member State to carry out audits in accordance with
Article 72(3) or it may carry out its own audits under
Article 72(2).
2. For the operational programmes referred to in para-
graph 1, a Member State may in addition exercise the option to
establish according to national rules the bodies and procedures
for carrying out:
(a) the functions of the managing authority in relation to the
verification of the co-financed products and services and
expenditure declared under Article 60(b);
(b) the functions of the certifying authority under Article 61;
and
(c) the functions of the audit authority under Article 62.
Where a Member State exercises this option it need not desig-
nate a certifying authority and an audit authority under
Article 59(1) (b) and (c).
Article 71 shall apply mutatis mutandis.
When the Commission adopts implementing rules for Arti-
cles 60, 61 and 62, it shall specify the provisions which shall
not apply to operational programmes for which the option in
this paragraph has been exercised by the Member State
concerned.
TITLE VII
FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT
CHAPTER I
Financial management
Sect i on 1
Budget commi tments
Article 75
Budget commitments
1. The Community budget commitments in respect of
operational programmes (hereinafter budget commitments)
shall be effected annually for each Fund and objective during
the period between 1 January 2007 and 31 December 2013.
The first budget commitment shall be made before the adop-
tion by the Commission of the decision approving the opera-
tional programme. Each subsequent commitment shall be
made, as a general rule, by 30 April each year by the Commis-
sion on the basis of the decision to grant a contribution from
the Funds referred to in Article 32.
2. Where no payment has been made, the Member State
may request, by 30 September of the year n at the latest, the
transfer of any commitments in respect of operational
programmes related to the national contingency reserve
referred to in Article 51 to other operational programmes. The
Member State shall specify in its request the operational
programmes benefiting from that transfer.
Sect i on 2
Common rul es f or payments
Article 76
Common rules for payments
1. Payments by the Commission of the contribution from
the Funds shall be made in accordance with the budget appro-
priations. Each payment shall be posted to the earliest open
budget commitments of the Fund concerned.
2. Payments shall take the form of pre-financing, interim
payments and payment of the final balance. They shall be made
to the body designated by the Member State.
3. At the latest by 30 April each year, Member States shall
send the Commission a provisional forecast of their likely
applications for payment for the current financial year and the
subsequent financial year.
4. All exchanges concerning financial transactions between
the Commission and the authorities and bodies designated by
the Member States shall be made by electronic means, in
accordance with the implementing rules of this Regulation
adopted by the Commission in accordance with the procedure
referred to in Article 103(3). In cases of force majeure, and in
particular of malfunction of the common computerised system
or a lack of a lasting connection, Member States may forward
statements of expenditure and applications for payment in hard
copy.
Article 77
Common rules for calculating interim payments and
payments of the final balance
Interim payments and payments of the final balance shall be
calculated by applying the co-financing rate laid down in the
decision on the operational programme concerned for each
priority axis to the eligible expenditure mentioned under that
priority axis in each statement of expenditure certified by the
certifying authority.
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However the Community contribution through the interim
payments and payments of the final balance shall not be higher
than the public contribution and the maximum amount of
assistance from the Funds for each priority axis as laid down in
the decision of the Commission approving the operational
programme.
Article 78
Statement of expenditure
1. All statements of expenditure shall include, for each
priority axis, the total amount of eligible expenditure, in
accordance with Article 56, paid by beneficiaries in imple-
menting the operations and the corresponding public contribu-
tion paid or due to be paid to the beneficiaries according to the
conditions governing the public contribution. Expenditure paid
by beneficiaries shall be supported by receipted invoices or
accounting documents of equivalent probative value.
However, as regards aid schemes within the meaning of
Article 87 of the Treaty only, in addition to the conditions set
out in the previous subparagraph, the public contribution
corresponding to the expenditure included in a statement of
expenditure shall have been paid to the beneficiaries by the
body granting the aid.
2. By way of derogation from paragraph 1, as regards State
aid within the meaning of Article 87 of the Treaty, the state-
ment of expenditure may include advances paid to the benefici-
aries by the body granting the aid, under the following cumula-
tive conditions:
(a) they shall be subject to a bank guarantee or a financial
public facility having an equivalent effect;
(b) they shall not exceed 35 % of the total amount of the aid
to be granted to a beneficiary for a given project;
(c) they shall be covered by expenditure paid by beneficiaries
in implementing the project and supported by receipted
invoices or accounting documents of equivalent probative
value at the latest three years after the year of the payment
of the advance or on 31 December 2015, whichever
earlier; if they are not, the next statement of expenditure
shall be corrected accordingly.
3. Statements of expenditure shall identify, for each opera-
tional programme, the elements referred to in paragraph 1
relating to regions receiving transitional assistance.
4. In the case of major projects as defined in Article 39,
only expenditure related to major projects already adopted by
the Commission may be included in statements of expenditure.
5. Where the contribution from the Funds is calculated with
reference to public expenditure as provided for in Article 53(1),
any information on expenditure other than public expenditure
shall not affect the amount due as calculated on the basis of
the payment request.
6. By way of derogation from paragraph 1, as regards finan-
cial engineering instruments as defined in Article 44, the state-
ment of expenditure shall include the total expenditure paid in
establishing or contributing to such funds or holding funds.
However, at the partial or final closure of the operational
programme, eligible expenditure shall be the total of:
(a) any payments from urban development funds for invest-
ment in public private partnerships or other projects
included in an integrated plan for urban development; or
(b) any payments for investment in enterprises from each of
the abovementioned funds; or
(c) any guarantees provided including amounts committed as
guarantees by guarantee funds; and
(d) eligible management costs.
The co-financing rate shall be applied to the eligible expendi-
ture paid by the beneficiary.
The corresponding statement of expenditure shall be corrected
accordingly.
7. Interest generated by payments from operational
programmes to funds as defined in Article 44, shall be used to
finance urban development projects in the case of urban devel-
opment funds or financial engineering instruments for small
and medium-sized enterprises in other cases.
Resources returned to the operation from investments under-
taken by funds as defined in Article 44 or left over after all
guarantees have been honoured shall be reused by the compe-
tent authorities of the Member States concerned for the benefit
of urban development projects or of small and medium-sized
enterprises.
Article 79
Accumulation of pre-financing and of interim payments
1. The cumulative total of pre-financing and interim
payments made shall not exceed 95 % of the contribution from
the Funds to the operational programme.
2. When this ceiling is reached, the certifying authority shall
continue transmitting to the Commission any certified state-
ment of expenditure on 31 December of year n, as well as the
amounts recovered during the year for each Fund, at the latest
by the end of February of year n+1.
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Article 80
Wholeness of payment to beneficiaries
Member States shall satisfy themselves that the bodies respon-
sible for making the payments ensure that the beneficiaries
receive the total amount of the public contribution as quickly
as possible and in full. No amount shall be deducted or with-
held and no specific charge or other charge with equivalent
effect shall be levied that would reduce these amounts for the
beneficiaries.
Article 81
Use of the euro
1. Amounts set out in operational programmes submitted
by Member States, certified statements of expenditure, applica-
tions for payment and expenditure mentioned in the annual
and final report of implementation shall be denominated in
euro.
2. Commission decisions on operational programmes and
Commission commitments and payments, shall be denomi-
nated and carried out in euro.
3. Member States which have not adopted the euro as their
currency on the date of an application for payment shall
convert into euro the amounts of expenditure incurred in
national currency. This amount shall be converted into euro
using the monthly accounting exchange rate of the Commis-
sion in the month during which the expenditure was registered
in the accounts of the certifying authority of the operational
programme concerned. This rate shall be published electroni-
cally by the Commission each month.
4. When the euro becomes the currency of a Member State,
the conversion procedure set out in paragraph 3 shall continue
to apply to all expenditure recorded in the accounts by the
certifying authority before the date of entry into force of the
fixed conversion rate between the national currency and the
euro.
Sect i on 3
Pre- f i nanci ng
Article 82
Payment
1. Following the Commission decision approving a contribu-
tion from the Funds to an operational programme, a single
pre-financing amount for the 2007 to 2013 period shall be
paid by the Commission to the body designated by the
Member State.
The pre-financing amount shall be paid in different instalments
as follows:
(a) for Member States of the European Union as constituted
before 1 May 2004, in 2007 2 % of the contribution from
the Structural Funds to the operational programme, and
in 2008 3 % of the contribution from the Structural Funds
to the operational programme;
(b) for Member States that acceded to the European Union on
or after 1 May 2004, in 2007 2 % of the contribution from
the Structural Funds to the operational programme, in
2008 3 % of the contribution from the Structural Funds to
the operational programme, and in 2009 2 % of the contri-
bution from the Structural Funds to the operational
programme;
(c) if the operational programme falls under the European
territorial cooperation objective and at least one of the
participants is a Member State that acceded to the European
Union on or after 1 May 2004, in 2007 2 % of the contri-
bution from the ERDF to the operational programme, in
2008 3 % of the contribution from the ERDF to the opera-
tional programme, and in 2009 2 % of the contribution
from the ERDF to the operational programme;
(d) for Member States of the European Union as constituted
before 1 May 2004, in 2007 2 % of the contribution from
the Cohesion Fund to the operational programme, in 2008
3 % of the contribution from the Cohesion Fund to the
operational programme, and in 2009 2,5 % of the contri-
bution from the Cohesion Fund to the operational
programme;
(e) for Member States that acceded to the European Union on
or after 1 May 2004, in 2007 2,5 % of the contribution
from the Cohesion Fund to the operational programme, in
2008 4 % of the contribution from the Cohesion Fund to
the operational programme, and in 2009 4 % of the contri-
bution from the Cohesion Fund to the operational
programme.
2. The total amount paid as pre-financing shall be reim-
bursed to the Commission by the body designated by the
Member State if no application for payment under the opera-
tional programme is sent within 24 months from the date on
which the Commission pays the first instalment of the pre-fi-
nancing amount.
The total contribution from the Funds to the operational
programme shall not be affected by such reimbursement.
Article 83
Interest
Any interest generated by the pre-financing shall be posted to
the operational programme concerned, being regarded as a
resource for the Member State in the form of a national public
contribution, and shall be declared to the Commission at the
time of the final closure of the operational programme.
Article 84
Clearance
The amount paid as pre-financing shall be totally cleared from
the Commission accounts when the operational programme is
closed in accordance with Article 89.
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Sect i on 4
Int eri m payment s
Article 85
Interim payments
Interim payments shall be made for each operational
programme. The first interim payment shall be made in accord-
ance with Article 71(2).
Article 86
Acceptability of applications for payment
1. Each interim payment made by the Commission shall be
subject to the following conditions being met:
(a) the Commission must have been sent a application for
payment and a statement of expenditure in accordance
with Article 78;
(b) no more than the maximum amount of assistance from the
Funds as laid down in the decision of the Commission
approving the operational programme has been paid by the
Commission during the whole period for each priority axis;
(c) the managing authority must have sent the Commission
the most recent annual implementation report in accord-
ance with Article 67(1) and (3);
(d) there is no reasoned opinion by the Commission in respect
of an infringement under Article 226 of the Treaty as
regards the operation(s) for which the expenditure is
declared in the application for payment in question.
2. If one or more of the conditions referred to in para-
graph 1 are not met, the Member State and the certifying
authority shall be informed by the Commission within a period
of one month so that the necessary steps can be taken to
remedy the situation.
Article 87
Date of presentation of applications for payment and
payment delays
1. The certifying authority shall satisfy itself that requests for
interim payments for each operational programme are grouped
together and sent to the Commission, as far as possible, on
three separate occasions a year. For a payment to be made by
the Commission in the current year, the latest date on which a
application for payment shall be submitted is 31 October.
2. Subject to available funding, and the absence of a suspen-
sion of payments in accordance with Article 92, the Commis-
sion shall make the interim payment no later than two months
after the date on which a application for payment meeting the
conditions referred to in Article 86 is registered with the
Commission.
Sect i on 5
Programme cl osure and payment of f i nal bal ance
Article 88
Partial closure
1. Partial closure of operational programmes may be made
at periods to be determined by the Member State.
Partial closure shall relate to operations completed during the
period up to 31 December of the previous year. For the
purposes of this Regulation, an operation shall be deemed
completed where the activities under it have been actually
carried out and for which all expenditure by the beneficiaries
and the corresponding public contribution have been paid.
2. Partial closure shall be made on the condition that the
Member State sends the following to the Commission by 31
December of a given year:
(a) a statement of expenditure relating to the operations
referred to in paragraph 1;
(b) a declaration for partial closure in accordance with
Article 62(1)(d)(iii).
3. Any financial corrections made in accordance with Arti-
cles 98 and 99 concerning operations subject to partial closure
shall be net financial corrections.
Article 89
Conditions for the payment of the final balance
1. The Commission shall pay the final balance provided
that:
(a) the Member State has sent an application for payment
comprising the following documents by 31 March 2017:
(i) an application for payment of the final balance and a
statement of expenditure in accordance with Article 78;
(ii) the final implementation report for the operational
programme, including the information set out in
Article 67;
(iii) a closure declaration referred to in Article 62(1)(e); and
(b) there is no reasoned opinion by the Commission in respect
of an infringement under Article 226 of the Treaty as
regards the operation(s) for which the expenditure is
declared in the application for payment in question.
2. Failure to send any of the documents referred to in para-
graph 1 to the Commission shall automatically result in the
decommitment of the final balance, in accordance with
Article 93.
3. The Commission shall inform the Member State of its
opinion on the content of the closure declaration referred to in
paragraph 1(a)(iii) within five months of the date of its receipt.
The closure declaration shall be deemed to be accepted in the
absence of observations by the Commission within that five-
month period.
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4. Subject to available funding, the Commission shall pay
the final balance within no more than 45 days from the later
of the following dates:
(a) the date on which it accepts the final report in accordance
with Article 67(4); and
(b) the date on which it accepts the closure declaration referred
to in paragraph 1(a)(iii) of this Article.
5. Without prejudice to paragraph 6, the balance of the
budgetary commitment shall be decommitted 12 months
following the payment. The closure of the operational
programme shall be on the date of the earliest of the following
three events:
(a) the payment of the final balance determined by the
Commission on the basis of the documents referred to in
paragraph 1;
(b) the sending of a debit note for sums unduly paid by the
Commission to the Member State in respect of the opera-
tional programme;
(c) the decommitment of the final balance of the budgetary
commitment.
The Commission shall inform the Member State about the date
of the closure of the operational programme within a deadline
of two months.
6. Notwithstanding the results of any audits performed by
the Commission or the European Court of Auditors, the final
balance paid by the Commission for the operational
programme may be amended within nine months of the date
on which it is paid or, where there is a negative balance to be
reimbursed by the Member State, within nine months of the
date on which the debit note is issued. Such amendment of the
balance shall not affect the date of the closure of the opera-
tional programme as set out in paragraph 5.
Article 90
Availability of documents
1. Without prejudice to the rules governing State aid under
Article 87 of the Treaty, the managing authority shall ensure
that all the supporting documents regarding expenditure and
audits on the operational programme concerned are kept avail-
able for the Commission and the Court of Auditors for:
(a) a period of three years following the closure of an opera-
tional programme as defined in Article 89(3);
(b) a period of three years following the year in which partial
closure took place, in the case of documents regarding
expenditure and audits on operations referred to in para-
graph 2.
These periods shall be interrupted either in the case of legal
proceedings or at the duly motivated request of the Commis-
sion.
2. The managing authority shall make available to the
Commission on request a list of completed operations which
have been subject to partial closure under Article 88.
3. The documents shall be kept either in the form of the
originals or in versions certified to be in conformity with the
originals on commonly accepted data carriers.
Sect i on 6
Interrupti on of the payment deadl i ne and
suspensi on of payments
Article 91
Interruption of the payment deadline
1. The payment deadline may be interrupted by the author-
ising officer by delegation within the meaning of Regulation
(EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 for a maximum period of
six months if:
(a) in a report of a national or Community audit body there is
evidence to suggest a significant deficiency in the func-
tioning of the management and control systems;
(b) the authorising officer by delegation has to carry out addi-
tional verifications following information coming to his
attention alerting him that expenditure in a certified state-
ment of expenditure is linked to a serious irregularity
which has not been corrected.
2. The Member State and the certifying authority shall be
informed immediately of the reasons for the interruption. The
interruption shall be ended as soon as the necessary measures
have been taken by the Member State.
Article 92
Suspension of payments
1. All or part of the interim payments at the level of priority
axes or programmes may be suspended by the Commission
where:
(a) there is a serious deficiency in the management and control
system of the programme which affects the reliability of the
procedure for certification of payments and for which
corrective measures have not been taken; or
(b) expenditure in a certified statement of expenditure is linked
to a serious irregularity which has not been corrected; or
(c) there is a serious breach by a Member State of its obliga-
tions under Article 70(1) and (2).
2. The Commission may decide to suspend all or part of
interim payments after having given the Member State the
opportunity to present its observations within a period of
two months.
3. The Commission shall end suspension of all or part of
interim payments where the Member State has taken the neces-
sary measures to enable the suspension to be lifted. Where the
required measures are not taken by the Member State, the
Commission may adopt the decision to cancel all or part of the
Community contribution to the operational programme in
accordance with Article 99.
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Sect i on 7
Aut omat i c decommi t ment
Article 93
Principles
1. The Commission shall automatically decommit any part
of a budget commitment in an operational programme that has
not been used for payment of the pre-financing or
interim payments or for which an application for payment has
not been sent in conformity with Article 86 by 31 December
of the second year following the year of budget commitment
under the programme, with the exception mentioned in para-
graph 2.
2. For Member States whose GDP from 2001 to 2003 was
below 85 % of the EU-25 average in the same period, as listed
in Annex II, the deadline referred to in paragraph 1 shall be
31 December of the third year following the year of the annual
budget commitment from 2007 to 2010 under their opera-
tional programmes.
This deadline shall also apply to the annual budget commit-
ment from 2007 to 2010 in an operational programme falling
under the European territorial cooperation objective if at least
one of the participants is a Member State referred to in the first
subparagraph.
3. That part of commitments still open on 31 December
2015 shall be automatically decommitted if the Commission
has not received an acceptable application for payment for it
by 31 March 2017.
4. If this Regulation enters into force after 1 January 2007,
the period after which the first automatic decommitment as
referred to in paragraph 1 may be made shall be extended, for
the first commitment, by the number of months between
1 January 2007 and the date of the first budget commitment.
Article 94
Period for interruption for major projects and aid schemes
When the Commission takes a decision to authorise a major
project or an aid scheme, the amounts potentially concerned
by automatic decommitment shall be reduced by the annual
amounts concerned by such major projects or aid schemes.
For these annual amounts, the starting date for the calculation
of the automatic decommitment deadlines referred to in
Article 93 shall be the date of the subsequent decision neces-
sary in order to authorise such major projects or aid schemes.
Article 95
Period of interruption for legal proceedings and adminis-
trative appeals
The amount potentially concerned by automatic decommit-
ment shall be reduced by the amounts that the certifying
authority has not been able to declare to the Commission
because of operations suspended by a legal proceeding or an
administrative appeal having suspensory effect, on condition
that the Member State sends the Commission information
stating the reasons by 31 December of the second or third year
following the year of the budget commitment pursuant to
Article 93.
For that part of commitments still open on 31 December
2015, the time limit referred to in Article 93(2) shall be inter-
rupted under these same conditions in respect of the amount
relating to the operations concerned.
The abovementioned reduction may be requested once if the
suspension lasted up to one year or several times corre-
sponding to the number of years between the date of the legal
or administrative decision suspending the implementation of
the operation and the date of the final legal or administrative
decision.
Article 96
Exceptions to the automatic decommitment
The following shall be disregarded in calculating the automatic
decommitment:
(a) that part of the budget commitment for which a applica-
tion for payment has been made but whose reimbursement
has been interrupted or suspended by the Commission on
31 December of the second or third year following the year
of the budget commitment pursuant to Article 93 and in
accordance with Articles 91 and 92. When the problem
resulting in the interruption or suspension has been
resolved, the automatic decommitment rule shall be applied
to that part of the budget commitment which is concerned;
(b) that part of the budget commitment for which a applica-
tion for payment has been made but whose reimbursement
has been capped in particular due to a lack of budget
resources;
(c) that part of the budget commitment for which it has not
been possible to make an acceptable application for
payment for reasons of force majeure seriously affecting
implementation of the operational programme. The
national authorities claiming force majeure shall demonstrate
its direct consequences on the implementation of all or part
of the operational programme.
Article 97
Procedure
1. The Commission shall inform the Member State and the
authorities concerned in good time whenever there is a risk of
application of automatic decommitment under Article 93. The
Commission shall inform the Member State and the authorities
concerned of the amount of the automatic decommitment
resulting from the information in its possession.
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2. The Member State shall have two months from the date
of receipt of that information to agree to the amount or submit
its observations. The Commission shall carry out the automatic
decommitment not later than nine months after the deadline
referred to in Article 93.
3. The Fund's contribution to the operational programme
shall be reduced, for the year concerned, by the amount auto-
matically decommitted. The Member State shall produce within
two months of the date of decommitment a revised financing
plan reflecting the reduced amount of assistance over one or
several priority axes of the operational programme. Failing this,
the Commission shall reduce the amounts allocated to each
priority axis proportionately.
CHAPTER II
Financial corrections
Sect i on 1
Fi nanci al correcti on by Member States
Article 98
Financial corrections by Member States
1. The Member States shall in the first instance bear the
responsibility for investigating irregularities, acting upon
evidence of any major change affecting the nature or the condi-
tions for the implementation or control of operations or opera-
tional programmes and making the financial corrections
required.
2. The Member State shall make the financial corrections
required in connection with the individual or systemic irregula-
rities detected in operations or operational programmes. The
corrections made by a Member State shall consist of cancelling
all or part of the public contribution to the operational
programme. The Member State shall take into account the
nature and gravity of the irregularities and the financial loss to
the Funds.
The resources from the Funds released in this way may be
reused by the Member State until 31 December 2015 for the
operational programme concerned in accordance with the
provisions referred to in paragraph 3.
3. The contribution cancelled in accordance with para-
graph 2 may not be reused for the operation or operations that
were the subject of the correction, nor, where a financial
correction is made for a systemic irregularity, for existing
operations within the whole or part of the priority axis where
the systemic irregularity occurred.
4. In the case of a systemic irregularity, the Member State
shall extend its enquiries to cover all operations liable to be
affected.
Sect i on 2
Fi nanci al correcti ons by the Commi ssi on
Article 99
Criteria for the corrections
1. The Commission may make financial corrections by
cancelling all or part of the Community contribution to an
operational programme where, after carrying out the necessary
examination, it concludes that:
(a) there is a serious deficiency in the management and control
system of the programme which has put at risk the Com-
munity contribution already paid to the programme;
(b) expenditure contained in a certified statement of expendi-
ture is irregular and has not been corrected by the Member
State prior to the opening of the correction procedure
under this paragraph;
(c) a Member State has not complied with its obligations under
Article 98 prior to the opening of the correction procedure
under this paragraph.
2. The Commission shall base its financial corrections on
individual cases of irregularity identified, taking account of the
systemic nature of the irregularity to determine whether a flat-
rate or extrapolated correction should be applied.
3. The Commission shall, when deciding the amount of a
correction, take account of the nature and gravity of the irregu-
larity and the extent and financial implications of the deficien-
cies found in the operational programme concerned.
4. Where the Commission bases its position on facts estab-
lished by auditors other than those of its own services, it shall
draw its own conclusions regarding the financial consequences
after examining the measures taken by the Member State
concerned under Article 98(2), the reports supplied under
Article 70(1)(b), and any replies from the Member State.
5. When a Member State does not comply with its obliga-
tions as referred to in Article 15(4), the Commission may, in
relation to the degree of non-compliance with these obliga-
tions, make a financial correction by cancelling all or part of
the Structural Funds contribution to the Member State
concerned.
The rate applicable to the financial correction referred to in
this paragraph shall be laid down in the implementing rules of
this Regulation adopted by the Commission in accordance with
the procedure referred to in Article 103(3).
Article 100
Procedure
1. Before taking a decision on a financial correction, the
Commission shall open the procedure by informing the
Member State of its provisional conclusions and requesting the
Member State to submit its comments within two months.
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Where the Commission proposes a financial correction on the
basis of extrapolation or at a flat rate, the Member State shall
be given the opportunity to demonstrate, through an examina-
tion of the documentation concerned, that the actual extent of
irregularity was less than the Commission's assessment. In
agreement with the Commission, the Member State may limit
the scope of this examination to an appropriate proportion or
sample of the documentation concerned. Except in duly justi-
fied cases, the time allowed for this examination shall not
exceed a further period of two months after the two-month
period referred to in the first subparagraph.
2. The Commission shall take account of any evidence
supplied by the Member State within the time limits mentioned
in paragraph 1.
3. Where the Member State does not accept the provisional
conclusions of the Commission, the Member State shall be
invited to a hearing by the Commission, in which both sides in
cooperation based on the partnership shall make efforts to
reach an agreement concerning the observations and the
conclusions to be drawn from them.
4. In case of an agreement, the Member State may reuse the
Community funds concerned in conformity with the second
subparagraph of Article 98(2).
5. In the absence of agreement, the Commission shall take a
decision on the financial correction within six months of the
date of the hearing taking account of all information and obser-
vations submitted during the course of the procedure. If no
hearing takes place, the six-month period shall begin to run
two months after the date of the letter of invitation sent by the
Commission.
Article 101
Obligations of Member States
A financial correction by the Commission shall not prejudice
the Member State's obligation to pursue recoveries under
Article 98(2) of this Regulation and to recover State aid under
Article 87 of the Treaty and under Article 14 of Council Regu-
lation (EC) No 659/1999 of 22 March 1999 laying down
detailed rules for the application of Article 88 of the EC
Treaty (
1
).
Article 102
Repayment
1. Any repayment due to be made to the general budget of
the European Union shall be effected before the due date indi-
cated in the order for recovery drawn up in accordance with
Article 72 of Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002. The
due date shall be the last day of the second month following
the issuing of the order.
2. Any delay in effecting repayment shall give rise to interest
on account of late payment, starting on the due date and
ending on the date of actual payment. The rate of such interest
shall be one-and-a-half percentage points above the rate
applied by the European Central Bank in its main refinancing
operations on the first working day of the month in which the
due date falls.
TITLE VIII
COMMITTEES
CHAPTER I
Coordination committee of the funds
Article 103
Committee procedure
1. The Commission shall be assisted by a coordination
committee of the Funds (hereinafter referred to as the Coordi-
nation Committee of the Funds).
2. Where reference is made to this paragraph, Articles 3 and
7 of Decision 1999/468/EC shall apply.
3. Where reference is made to this paragraph, Articles 4 and
7 of Decision 1999/468/EC shall apply.
The period referred to in Article 4(3) of Decision 1999/468/EC
shall be set at three months.
4. The Coordination Committee of the Funds shall adopt its
Rules of Procedure.
5. The EIB and the EIF shall each appoint a non-voting
representative.
CHAPTER II
Committee under Article 147 of the treaty
Article 104
Committee under Article 147 of the Treaty
1. The Commission shall be assisted by a committee set up
under Article 147 of the Treaty (hereinafter referred to as the
Committee). The Committee shall be composed of one govern-
ment representative, one representative of the workers' organi-
sations and one representative of the employers' organisations
from each Member State. The Member of the Commission
responsible for chairing the Committee may delegate that
responsibility to a senior Commission official.
31.7.2006 L 210/67 Official Journal of the European Union EN
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1
) OJ L 83, 27.3.1999, p. 1. Regulation as amended by the 2003 Act
of Accession. Editorial note: the title of Regulation (EC) No 659/
1999 has been adjusted to take account of the renumbering of the
Articles of the Treaty establishing the European Community, in
accordance of Article 12 of the Treaty of Amsterdam; the original
reference was to Article 93 of the Treaty.
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2. Each Member State shall nominate a representative and
an alternate for each representative of each category referred to
in paragraph 1. In the absence of one member, the alternate
shall be automatically entitled to take part in the proceedings.
3. The members and alternates shall be appointed by the
Council, acting on a proposal from the Commission, for a
period of three years. They may be reappointed. The Council
shall, as regards the composition of the Committee, endeavour
to ensure fair representation of the different categories
concerned. For the items on the agenda affecting it, the EIB and
the EIF may appoint a non-voting representative.
4. The Committee shall:
(a) deliver its opinion on the implementing rules of this Regu-
lation;
(b) deliver opinions on the draft Commission decisions relating
to programming in the case of support from the ESF;
(c) be consulted when it deals with the categories of technical
assistance measure referred to in Article 45 in the case of
support from the ESF and other relevant issues having an
impact on the implementation of employment, training and
social inclusion strategies at EU level relevant to the ESF.
5. The Commission may consult the Committee on ques-
tions other than those referred to in paragraph 4.
6. For their adoption, the opinions of the Committee shall
require an absolute majority of the votes validly cast. The
Commission shall inform the Committee of the manner in
which it has taken account of its opinions.
TITLE IX
FINAL PROVISIONS
Article 105
Transitional provisions
1. This Regulation shall not affect the continuation or modi-
fication, including the total or partial cancellation, of assistance
co-financed by the Structural Funds or of a project co-financed
by the Cohesion Fund approved by the Commission on the
basis of Regulations (EEC) No 2052/88 (
1
), (EEC) No 4253/
88 (
2
), (EC) No 1164/94 (
3
) and (EC) No 1260/1999 or any
other legislation which applies to that assistance on
31 December 2006, which shall consequently apply thereafter
to that assistance or the projects concerned until their closure.
2. While taking decision on operational programmes, the
Commission shall take account of any assistance co-financed by
the Structural Funds or of any project co-financed by the Cohe-
sion Fund approved by the Council or by the Commission
before the entry into force of this Regulation and having finan-
cial repercussions during the period covered by those opera-
tional programmes.
3. By way of derogation from Articles 31(2), 32(4) and
37(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1260/1999, partial sums
committed for assistance co-financed by the ERDF or the ESF
approved by the Commission between 1 January 2000 and
31 December 2006 for which the certified statement of expen-
diture actually paid, the final report on implementation and the
statement referred to in Article 38(1)(f) of that Regulation have
not been sent to the Commission within15 months after the
final date of eligibility of expenditure laid down in the decision
granting a contribution from the Funds, shall be automatically
decommitted by the Commission not later than 6 months after
that deadline, giving rise to the repayment of amounts unduly
paid.
Amounts relating to operations or programmes which have
been suspended due to legal proceedings or administrative
appeals having suspensory effect shall be disregarded in calcu-
lating the amount to be automatically decommitted.
Article 106
Review clause
The Council shall review this Regulation by 31 December
2013 at the latest in accordance with the procedure laid down
in Article 161 of the Treaty.
Article 107
Repeal
Without prejudice to the provisions laid down in Article 105(1)
of this Regulation, Regulation (EC) No 1260/1999 is hereby
repealed as of 1 January 2007.
References to the repealed Regulation shall be construed as
references to this Regulation.
Article 108
Entry into force
This Regulation shall enter into force on the day following its
publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.
The provisions laid down in Articles 1 to 16, 25 to 28, 32 to
40, 47 to 49, 52 to 54, 56, 58 to 62, 69 to 74, 103 to 105
and 108 shall apply from the date of entry into force of this
Regulation only for programmes for the period 2007 to 2013.
The other provisions shall apply from 1 January 2007.
31.7.2006 L 210/68 Official Journal of the European Union EN
(
1
) Council Regulation (EEC) No 2052/88 of 24 June 1988 on the tasks
of the Structural Funds and their effectiveness and on coordination
of their activities between themselves and with the operations of the
European Investment Bank and the other existing financial instru-
ments (OJ L 185, 15.7.1988, p. 9). Regulation repealed by Regu-
lation (EC) No 1260/1999.
(
2
) Council Regulation (EEC) No 4253/88 of 19 December 1988,
laying down provisions for implementing Regulation (EEC)
No 2052/88 as regards coordination of the activities of the different
Structural Funds between themselves and with the operations of the
European Investment Bank and the other existing financial instru-
ments (OJ L 374, 31.12.1988, p. 1). Regulation repealed by Regu-
lation (EC) No 1260/1999.
(
3
) Council Regulation (EC) No 1164/94 of 16 May 1994 establishing a
Cohesion Fund (OJ L 130, 25.5.1994, p. 1). Regulation as last
amended by the 2003 Act of Accession.
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This Regulation shall be binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all Member States.
Done at Brussels, 11 July 2006.
For the Council
The President
E. HEINÄLUOMA
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ANNEX I
Annual breakdown of commitment appropriations for 2007 to 2013
(referred to in Article 18)
(EUR, 2004 prices)
2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
42 863 000 000 43 318 000 000 43 862 000 000 43 860 000 000 44 073 000 000 44 723 000 000 45 342 000 000
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ANNEX II
Financial framework
Criteria and methodology referred to in Article 18
Allocation method for the regions eligible under the Convergence objective referred to in Article 5(1)
1. Each Member State's allocation is the sum of the allocations for its individual eligible regions, which are calculated on
the basis of relative regional and national prosperity and the unemployment rate according to the following steps:
(a) determination of an absolute amount (in euro) obtained by multiplying the population of the region concerned
by the difference between that region's GDP per capita, measured in purchasing power parities, and the EU-25
average GDP per capita;
(b) application of a percentage to the above absolute amount in order to determine that region's financial envelope;
this percentage is graduated to reflect the relative prosperity, as compared to the EU-25 average, of the Member
State in which the eligible region is situated, i.e.:
— for regions in Member States whose level of GNI per capita is below 82 % of the Community average: 4,25 %
— for regions in Member States whose level of GNI per capita is between 82 % and 99 % of the Community
average: 3,36 %
— for regions in Member States whose level of GNI per capita is over 99 % of the Community average: 2,67 %;
(c) to the amount obtained under step (b) is added, if applicable, an amount resulting from the allocation of a
premium of EUR 700 per unemployed person, applied to the number of persons unemployed in that region
exceeding the number that would be unemployed if the average unemployment rate of all the EU convergence
regions applied.
Allocation method for the Member States eligible for the Cohesion Fund under Article 5(2)
2. The total theoretical financial envelope for the Cohesion Fund is obtained by multiplying an average per capita aid
intensity of EUR 44,70 by the eligible population. Each eligible Member State's a priori allocation of the theoretical
financial envelope corresponds to a percentage based on its population, surface area and national prosperity and
obtained by applying the following steps:
(a) calculation of the arithmetical average of that Member State's population and surface area shares of the total
population and surface area of all the eligible Member States; if, however, a Member State's share of total popula-
tion exceeds its share of total surface area by a factor of five or more, reflecting an extremely high population
density, only the share of total population will be used for this step;
(b) adjustment of the percentage figures so obtained by a coefficient representing one third of the percentage by
which that Member State's GNI per capita, measured in purchasing power parities, exceeds or falls below the
average GNI per capita of all the eligible Member States (average expressed as 100 %).
3. In order to reflect the significant needs in terms of transport and environment infrastructure of the Member States
that acceded to the Union on or after 1 May 2004, the share of the Cohesion Fund will be set at one third of their
total financial allocation (Structural Funds plus Cohesion Fund) on average over the period. For the other Member
States, their financial envelope will result directly from the allocation method described in paragraph 2.
Allocation method for the Member States and regions eligible under the Regional competitiveness and employ-
ment objective referred to in Article 6
4. The share of each Member State concerned is the sum of the shares of its eligible regions, which are determined on
the basis of the following criteria, weighted as indicated: total population (weighting 0,5), number of unemployed
people in NUTS level 3 regions with an unemployment rate above the group average (weighting 0,2), number of jobs
needed to reach an employment rate of 70 % (weighting 0,15), number of employed people with a low educational
level (weighting 0,10), and low population density (weighting 0,05). The shares are then adjusted according to rela-
tive regional prosperity (for each region, increase or decrease of its total share by + 5 %/-5 % according to whether its
GDP per capita is below or above the average GDP per capita for the group). The share of each Member State will
not however be less than three-quarters of its share in 2006 of combined funding under Objectives 2 and 3.
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Allocation method for the European territorial cooperation objective referred to in Article 7
5. The allocation of resources among the beneficiary Member States (including the contribution from the ERDF to the
European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument and the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance referred to in
Article 21(2)) is determined as follows:
(a) for the cross-border component as referred to in Article 7(1), on the basis of the population of the NUTS level 3
regions in terrestrial and maritime border areas, as a share of the total population of all the eligible regions;
(b) for the transnational component as referred to in Article 7(2), on the basis of the total population of the Member
State, as a share of the total population of all the Member States concerned.
Allocation method for the Member States and regions eligible for the transitional support referred to in Article 8
6. The allocations under the transitional support referred to in Article 8 will result from the application of the following
parameters:
(a) for the regions defined in Article 8(1), 80 % of their individual 2006 per capita aid intensity level in 2007 and a
linear reduction thereafter to reach the national average per capita aid intensity level for the Regional competi-
tiveness and employment objective in 2013. To the allocation thus obtained is added, if applicable, an amount
resulting from the allocation of a premium of EUR 600 per unemployed person, applied to the number of
persons unemployed in that region exceeding the number that would be unemployed if the average unemploy-
ment rate of all the EU convergence regions applied.
(b) for the regions defined in Article 8(2), 75 % of their individual 2006 per capita aid intensity level in 2007 and a
linear reduction thereafter to reach the national average per capita aid intensity level for the Regional competi-
tiveness and employment objective by 2011. To the allocation thus obtained is added, if applicable, an amount
resulting from the allocation of a premium of EUR 600 per unemployed person, applied to the number of
persons unemployed in that region exceeding the number that would be unemployed if the average unemploy-
ment rate of all the EU convergence regions applied;
(c) for the Member States defined in Article 8(3), the allocation will be degressive over seven years, with the amount
in 2007 being EUR 1,2 billion, in 2008 EUR 850 million, in 2009 EUR 500 million, in 2010 EUR 250 million,
in 2011 EUR 200 million, in 2012 EUR 150 million and in 2013 EUR 100 million.
Maximum level of transfers from funds supporting cohesion
7. In order to contribute to the objectives of adequately concentrating cohesion funding on the least developed regions
and Member States and reducing disparities in average per capita aid intensities resulting from capping, the
maximum level of transfer from the Funds to each individual Member State pursuant to this Regulation will be as
follows:
— for Member States whose average 2001 to 2003 GNI per capita (PPS) is under 40 % of the EU-25 average:
3,7893 % of their GDP
— for Member States whose average 2001 to 2003 GNI per capita (PPS) is equal to or above 40 % and below 50 %
of the EU-25 average: 3,7135 % of their GDP
— for Member States whose average 2001 to 2003 GNI per capita (PPS) is equal to or above 50 % and below 55 %
of the EU-25 average: 3,6188 % of their GDP
— for Member States whose average 2001 to 2003 GNI per capita (PPS) is equal to or above 55 % and below 60 %
of the EU-25 average: 3,5240 % of their GDP
— for Member States whose average 2001 to 2003 GNI per capita (PPS) is equal to or above 60 % and below 65 %
of the EU-25 average: 3,4293 % of their GDP
— for Member States whose average 2001 to 2003 GNI per capita (PPS) is equal to or above 65 % and below 70 %
of the EU-25 average: 3,3346 % of their GDP
— for Member States whose average 2001 to 2003 GNI per capita (PPS) is equal to or above 70 % and below 75 %
of the EU-25 average: 3,2398 % of their GDP
— thereafter, the maximum level of transfer is reduced by 0,09 percentage points of GDP for each increment of
5 percentage points of average 2001 to 2003 per capita GNI (PPS) as compared to the EU-25 average.
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8. The ceilings referred to in paragraph 7 above include the contributions from the ERDF to the financing of the
cross-border strand of the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument and of the Instrument for Pre-
Accession Assistance, and from the part of the EAFRD originating from the Guidance Section of the European Agri-
cultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund, and from the EFF.
9. Calculations of GDP by the Commission will be based on the statistics published in April 2005. Individual national
growth rates of GDP for 2007 to 2013, as projected by the Commission in April 2005, will be applied for each
Member State separately.
10. If it is established in 2010 that any Member State's cumulated GDP for the years 2007 to 2009 has diverged by
more than ±5 % from the cumulated GDP estimated in according with paragraph 9 above, including as a conse-
quence of exchange rate changes, the amounts allocated for that period to that Member State pursuant to para-
graph 7 will be adjusted accordingly. The total net effect, whether positive or negative, of these adjustments may
not exceed EUR 3 billion. In any event, if the net effect is positive, total additional resources will be limited to the
level of under-spending against the ceilings for category 1B set out for the years 2007 to 2010 in the Interinstitu-
tional Agreement of 17 May 2006 on budgetary discipline and sound financial management. Final adjustments will
be spread in equal proportions over the years 2011 to 2013.
11. In order to reflect the value of the Polish zloty in the reference period, the result of the application of the maximum
level of transfer as defined in paragraph 7 for Poland will be multiplied by a coefficient 1,04 for the period up to
the review referred to in paragraph 10 (2007 to 2009).
Additional provisions
12. When in a given Member State the phasing-out regions defined in Article 8(1)) represent at least one third of the
total population of the regions fully eligible for Objective 1 assistance in 2006, the rates of assistance will be 80 %
of their individual 2006 per capita aid intensity level in 2007, 75 % in 2008, 70 % in 2009, 65 % in 2010, 60 % in
2011, 55 % in 2012 and 50 % in 2013.
13. As far as the transitional arrangements under paragraphs 6(a) and (b) are concerned, the starting point in 2007 for
those regions which were not eligible for Objective 1 status in the 2000 to 2006 period, or whose eligibility started
in 2004, will be 90 % of their theoretical 2006 per capita aid intensity level calculated on the basis of the 1999
Berlin allocation method with their regional GDP per capita level being assimilated to 75 % of the EU 15 average.
14. Notwithstanding paragraph 7, the Polish NUTS level 2 regions of Lubelskie, Podkarpackie, Warmińsko-Mazurskie,
Podlaskie and Świętokrzyskie, whose GDP per capita levels (PPS) are the five lowest in the EU-25, will benefit from
funding from the ERDF over and above the funding to which they are otherwise eligible. This additional funding
will amount to EUR 107 per inhabitant over the period 2007 to 2013 under the Convergence objective. Any
upward adjustment of the amounts allocated to Poland pursuant to paragraph 10 will be net of this additional
funding.
15. Notwithstanding paragraph 7, the NUTS level 2 region of Közép-Magyarország will be allocated an additional
envelope of EUR 140 million over the period 2007 to 2013. For this region the same regulatory provisions would
apply as for the regions referred to in Article 8(1)
16. Notwithstanding paragraph 7, the NUTS level 2 region of Prague will be allocated an additional envelope of
EUR 200 million over the period 2007 to 2013 under the Regional competitiveness and employment objective.
17. Cyprus will benefit in 2007 to 2013 from the transitional arrangements applicable to the regions defined in
paragraph 6(b), its starting point in 2007 being established in accordance with paragraph 13.
18. The NUTS level 2 regions of Itä-Suomi and Madeira, while keeping the status of phasing-in regions, will benefit
from the transitional financial arrangements laid down in paragraph 6(a).
19. The NUTS level 2 region of the Canaries will benefit from an additional envelope of EUR 100 million over the
period 2007 to 2013 under the transitional support referred to in Article 8(2).
20. The outermost regions identified in Article 299 of the Treaty and the NUTS level 2 regions fulfilling the criteria laid
down in Article 2 of Protocol No 6 to the Treaty of Accession of Austria, Finland and Sweden will, in view of their
specific constraints, benefit from additional funding from the ERDF. This funding will amount to EUR 35 per inha-
bitant per year and will be in addition to any funding for which these regions are otherwise eligible.
21. As far as allocations under the cross-border strand of the European territorial cooperation objective referred to in
Article 7(1) are concerned, aid intensity for regions along the former external terrestrial borders between the EU-15
and the EU-12 and between the EU-25 and the EU ‘+2’ will be 50 % higher than for the other regions concerned.
31.7.2006 L 210/73 Official Journal of the European Union EN
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22. In recognition of the special effort for the peace process in Northern Ireland, a total of EUR 200 million will be allo-
cated for the PEACE Programme for the period 2007 to 2013. The PEACE programme will be implemented as a
cross-border programme within the meaning of Article 3(2)(c) and, in order to promote social and economic stabi-
lity in the regions concerned, will include, notably, actions to promote cohesion between communities. The eligible
area will be the whole of Northern Ireland and the border counties of Ireland. This programme will be implemented
under the European territorial cooperation objective in full compliance with additionality of structural fund inter-
ventions.
23. The Swedish regions falling under the Regional competitiveness and employment objective will be allocated an addi-
tional ERDF envelope of EUR 150 million.
24. Notwithstanding paragraph 7, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, which represent single NUTS II regions, will each be
allocated additional funding of EUR 35 per inhabitant over the period 2007 to 2013.
25. The Austrian regions falling under the Regional competitiveness and employment objective and situated on the
former external borders of the European Union will be allocated an additional ERDF envelope of EUR 150 million.
Bavaria will similarly be allocated an additional envelope of EUR 75 million under the Regional competitiveness and
employment objective.
26. Spain will benefit from an additional allocation of EUR 2,0 billion under the ERDF to enhance research, develop-
ment and innovation by and for the benefit of enterprises as set out in Articles 4(1) and 5(1) of Regulation (EC)
No 1080/2006. The indicative split will be 70 % for the regions eligible under the Convergence objective referred to
in Article 5,5 % for the regions eligible for the transitional support referred to in Article 8(1), 10 % for the regions
eligible under the Regional competitiveness and employment objective referred to in Article 6 and 15 % for the
regions eligible for the transitional support referred to in Article 8(2).
27. Ceuta and Melilla will be allocated an additional ERDF envelope of EUR 50 million over the period 2007 to 2013
under the transitional support referred to in Article 8(1).
28. Italy will be allocated an additional envelope of EUR 1,4 billion under the Structural Funds as follows:
EUR 828 million for the regions eligible under the Convergence objective referred to in Article 5(1), EUR
111 million for the region eligible for the transitional support referred to in Article 8(1), EUR 251 million for the
region eligible for the transitional support referred to in Article 8(2) and EUR 210 million for the regions eligible
under the Regional competitiveness and employment objective referred to in Article 6.
29. France will receive an additional allocation of EUR 100 million over the period 2007 to 13 under the Regional
competitiveness and employment objective in recognition of the particular circumstances of Corsica (EUR 30
million) and French Hainaut (EUR 70 million).
30. An additional allocation of EUR 167 million will be allocated to the eastern Länder of Germany which are eligible
for support under the Convergence objective referred to in Article 5(1). An additional allocation of EUR 58 million
will be allocated to the eastern Länder of Germany eligible for the transitional support referred to in Article 8(1).
31. Notwithstanding paragraph 7, an additional ERDF envelope of EUR 300 million is allocated to the European terri-
torial cooperation objective as follows: EUR 200 million to transnational cooperation within the meaning of
Article 7(2) and EUR 100 million to interregional cooperation within the meaning of Article 7(3).
31.7.2006 L 210/74 Official Journal of the European Union EN
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Corrigendum to Council Regulation (EC) No 1989/2006 of 21 December 2006 amending Annex III to Regulation
(EC) No 1083/2006 laying down general provisions on the European Regional Development Fund, the European
Social Fund and the Cohesion Fund and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1260/1999
(Official Journal of the European Union L 411 of 30 December 2006)
Regulation (EC) No 1989/2006 should read as follows:
COUNCIL REGULATION (EC) No 1989/2006
of 21 December 2006
amending Annex III to Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 laying down general provisions on the
European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund and the Cohesion Fund and
repealing Regulation (EC) No 1260/1999
THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,
Having regard to the Treaty of Accession of Bulgaria and
Romania (
1
), and in particular Article 4(3) thereof,
Having regard the Act of Accession of Bulgaria and Romania (
2
),
and in particular Article 56 thereof,
Having regard to the proposal from the Commission,
Whereas:
(1) Pursuant to Article 56 of the Act of Accession, where
acts which remain valid beyond 1 January 2007, and
require adaptation by reason of accession, and the
necessary adaptations have not been provided for in
the Act of Accession or its Annexes, the necessary acts
shall be adopted by the Council, unless the Commission
adopted the original act.
(2) Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 (
3
) defines the general
rules governing the assistance of the European Regional
Development Fund, the European Social Fund and the
Cohesion Fund and their objectives. Pursuant to Article
53, Annex III to that Regulation establishes the ceilings
applicable to co-financing rates in the operational
programmes, by Member State and by objective, on the
basis of objective criteria. Annex III to Regulation (EC)
No 1083/2006 should be adapted in order to take into
account the accession of Bulgaria and Romania to the
European Union.
(3) It is necessary to ensure that any technical adaptation to
the Structural and Cohesion Funds legislation is adopted
as soon as possible so as to allow Bulgaria and Romania
to present programming documents as from the date of
their accession to the European Union.
(4) Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 should therefore be
amended accordingly,
HAS ADOPTED THIS REGULATION:
Article 1
Annex III to Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 is replaced by the
text in the Annex to this Regulation.
Article 2
This Regulation shall enter into force only subject to and on the
date of the entry into force of the Treaty of Accession of
Bulgaria and Romania.
This Regulation shall be binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all Member States.
Done at Brussels, 21 December 2006.
For the Council
The President
J. KORKEAOJA
EN
2.2.2007 Official Journal of the European Union L 27/5
(
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) OJ L 157, 21.6.2005, p. 11.
(
2
) OJ L 157, 21.6.2005, p. 203.
(
3
) OJ L 210, 31.7.2006, p. 25.
90
ANNEX
‘ANNEX III
Ceilings applicable to co-financing rates
(referred to in Article 53)
Criteria Member States
ERDF and ESF
Percentage of eligible expenditure
Cohesion Fund
Percentage of eligible
expenditure
1. Member States whose average GDP
per capita for the period 2001 to
2003 was below 85 % of the EU-25
average during the same period
Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia,
Greece, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania,
Hungary, Malta, Poland, Portugal,
Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia
85 % for the Convergence and Re-
gional competitiveness and employment
objectives
85 %
2. Member States other than those
under (1) eligible for the transitional
regime of the Cohesion Fund on 1
January 2007
Spain 80 % for the Convergence and the phasing-
in regions under the Regional competi-
tiveness and employment objective
50 % for the Regional competitiveness and
employment objective outside phasing-in
regions
85 %
3. Member States other than those
referred to under 1 and 2
Belgium, Denmark, Germany, France,
Ireland, Italy, Luxemburg, the Neth-
erlands, Austria, Finland, Sweden and
United Kingdom
75 % for the Convergence objective —
4. Member States other than those
referred to under 1 and 2
Belgium, Denmark, Germany, France,
Ireland, Italy, Luxemburg, the Neth-
erlands, Austria, Finland, Sweden and
United Kingdom
50 % for the Regional competitiveness and
employment objective

5. Outermost Regions referred to in
Article 299(2) of the Treaty benefiting
from the additional allocation for
these regions provided for in
paragraph 20 of Annex II
Spain, France and Portugal 50 % —
6. Outermost Regions referred to in
Article 299(2) of the Treaty
Spain, France and Portugal 85 % under the Convergence and Re-
gional competitiveness and employment
objectives
—’
EN
L 27/6 Official Journal of the European Union 2.2.2007
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CORRIGENDA
Corrigendum to Council Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 of 11 july 2006 laying down general provisions on the
European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund and the Cohesion Fund and repealing regulation
(EC) No 1260/1999
(Official Journal of the European Union L 210 of 31 July 2006)
On page 76, Annex IV shall read as follows:
‘ANNEX IV
Categories of expenditure
(referred to in Article 9(3))
Objectives: Convergence and Regional competitiveness and employment
Objective: Convergence and regions referred to in Article 8(2) without prejudice to the decision taken in
accordance with last subparagraph of Article 5(3) of Regulation (EC) No 1080/2006.
Code Priority themes
Research and technological development (R&TD), innovation and entrepreneurship
01 R&TD activities in research centres
02 R&TD infrastructure (including physical plant, instrumentation and high-speed computer networks linking
research centres) and centres of competence in a specific technology
03 Technology transfer and improvement of cooperation networks between small and medium-sized
businesses (SMEs), between these and other businesses and universities, post-secondary education
establishments of all kinds, regional authorities, research centres and scientific and technological poles
(scientific and technological parks, technopoles, etc.)
04 Assistance to R&TD, particularly in SMEs (including access to R&TD services in research centres)
05 Advanced support services for firms and groups of firms
06 Assistance to SMEs for the promotion of environmentally-friendly products and production processes
(introduction of effective environment managing system, adoption and use of pollution prevention
technologies, integration of clean technologies into firm production)
07 Investment in firms directly linked to research and innovation (innovative technologies, establishment of
new firms by universities, existing R&TD centres and firms, etc.)
08 Other investment in firms
09 Other measures to stimulate research and innovation and entrepreneurship in SMEs
Information society
10 Telephone infrastructures (including broadband networks)
11 Information and communication technologies (access, security, interoperability, risk-prevention, research,
innovation, e-content, etc.)
12 Information and communication technologies (TEN-ICT)
13 Services and applications for the citizen (e-health, e-government, e-learning, e-inclusion, etc.)
14 Services and applications for SMEs (e-commerce, education and training, networking, etc.)
15 Other measures for improving access to and efficient use of ICT by SMEs
L 239/248 EN Official Journal of the European Union 1.9.2006
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Transport
16 Railways
17 Railways (TEN-T)
20 Motorways
21 Motorways (TEN-T)
26 Multimodal transport
27 Multimodal transport (TEN-T)
28 Intelligent transport systems
29 Airports
30 Ports
32 Inland waterways (TEN-T)
Energy
34 Electricity (TEN-E)
36 Natural gas (TEN-E)
38 Petroleum products (TEN-E)
39 Renewable energy: wind
40 Renewable energy: solar
41 Renewable energy: biomass
42 Renewable energy: hydroelectric, geothermal and other
43 Energy efficiency, co-generation, energy management
Environmental protection and risk prevention
52 Promotion of clean urban transport
Increasing the adaptability of workers and firms, enterprises and entrepreneurs
62 Development of life-long learning systems and strategies in firms; training and services for employees to
step up their adaptability to change; promoting entrepreneurship and innovation
63 Design and dissemination of innovative and more productive ways of organising work
64 Development of specific services for employment, training and support in connection with restructuring of
sectors and firms, and development of systems for anticipating economic changes and future requirements
in terms of jobs and skills
Improving access to employment and sustainability
65 Modernisation and strengthening of labour market institutions
66 Implementing active and preventive measures on the labour market
67 Measures encouraging active ageing and prolonging working lives
68 Support for self-employment and business start-up
69 Measures to improve access to employment and increase sustainable participation and progress of women
in employment to reduce gender-based segregation in the labour market and to reconcile work and private
life, such as facilitating access to childcare and care for dependent persons
70 Specific action to increase participation of migrants in employment and thereby strengthen their social
integration
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Improving the social inclusion of less-favoured persons
71 Pathways to integration and re-entry into employment for disadvantaged people; combating discrimination
in accessing and progressing in the labour market and promoting acceptance of diversity at the workplace
Improving human capital
72 Design, introduction and implementation of reforms in education and training systems in order to develop
employability, improving the labour market relevance of initial and vocational education and training,
updating skills of training personnel with a view to innovation and a knowledge based economy.
73 Measures to increase participation in education and training throughout the life-cycle, including through
action to achieve a reduction in early school leaving, gender-based segregation of subjects and increased
access to and quality of initial vocational and tertiary education and training
74 Developing human potential in the field of research and innovation, in particular through post-graduate
studies and training of researchers, and networking activities between universities, research centres and
businesses’
L 239/250 EN Official Journal of the European Union 1.9.2006
2
EUROPEAN
REGIONAL
DEVELOPMENT
FUND
96
The role of the ERDF is to promote investment and correct the main regional imbalances of the
European Union. Priority financing is aimed at research, innovation, environmental questions and
risk prevention, whilst infrastructural investment continues to play an important role, notably in
the least developed areas. The whole of the general regulation being applied to the ERDF, the
following regulation only covers the points which differ from the general provisions.
A list of the ERDF’s intervention priorities (Articles 4 to 6)
This regulation defines the list of priorities assigned to the ERDF for each of its objectives, which
was not the case for the previous programming period.
List of non-eligible expenditures (Article 7)
In 2000–06 expenditures eligible for ERDF contributions were defined Community-wide. The
regulation read ‘what the ERDF could finance’. In 2000–13 expenditure eligibility rules are
national, with the exception of various ‘non-eligible’ expenditures defined in the regulation
hereafter.
Treatment of specific situations (Articles 8 to 11)
Activity related to the urban dimension is integrated into the operational programmes, and are
based on the experience of the URBAN initiative. ERDF operations aim to solve cities’ economic,
environmental and social problems. The regulation anticipates that in the case of sustainable
urban development, the ERDF can finance operations falling within the ESF domain (within a
limit of 15 % of the credits allocated by the Community to each key priority of an operational
programme). This is an exemption from Article 34 of the General Regulation, which fixes the
limit at 10 %.
It also anticipates compensation for additional costs falling on the most remote regions (the
French overseas departments, the Azores, Madeira and the Canary Islands), taking into account
their geographical location and their specific constraints. This allocation is the only one which
allows running costs to be financed.
General provisions for the European territorial cooperation objective (Articles 12 to 21)
Within the context of the third objective (cross-border, transnational and interregional
cooperation) the ERDF can finance from 10 % to 20 % of its total contribution to an operational
programmes (the specifics are detailed in the regulation) for programmes outside the European
Community. We are witnessing a strengthening of the cooperation with third countries which
share a border with a Union Member State.
It should be noted that the ERDF regulation contains an innovation, in comparison to the
previous period, in terms of European territorial cooperation, in other words the designation
of a ‘first beneficiary’ of a fund, responsible for transferring money to other beneficiaries. This
facilitates common financial management when several regions or States are involved.
European Regional Development Fund
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(Acts whose publication is obligatory)
REGULATION (EC) No 1080/2006 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL
of 5 July 2006
on the European Regional Development Fund and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1783/1999
THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL OF THE EURO-
PEAN UNION,
Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Com-
munity, and in particular the first paragraph of Article 162 and
the second subparagraph of Article 299(2) thereof,
Having regard to the proposal from the Commission,
Having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and
Social Committee (
1
),
Having regard to the opinion of the Committee of the
Regions (
2
),
Acting in accordance with the procedure laid down in
Article 251 of the Treaty (
3
),
Whereas:
(1) Article 160 of the Treaty provides that the European
Regional Development Fund (ERDF) is intended to help
to redress the main regional imbalances in the Com-
munity. The ERDF therefore contributes to reducing the
gap between the levels of development of the various
regions and the extent to which the least favoured
regions, including rural and urban areas, declining indus-
trial regions, areas with a geographical or natural
handicap, such as islands, mountainous areas, sparsely
populated areas and border regions, are lagging behind.
(2) The provisions common to the Structural Funds and the
Cohesion Fund are set out in Council Regulation (EC)
No 1083/2006 of 11 July 2006 laying down general
provisions on the European Regional Development
Fund, the European Social Fund and the Cohesion
Fund (
4
). Specific provisions concerning the type of activ-
ities which may be financed by the ERDF under the
objectives defined in that Regulation should be laid
down.
(3) The ERDF should provide assistance within the frame-
work of an overall strategy for cohesion policy which
ensures greater concentration of assistance on the priori-
ties of the Community.
(4) Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 provides that rules on
eligibility of expenditure are to be established at national
level, with certain exceptions for which it is necessary to
lay down specific provisions. Specific provisions should
therefore be laid down for the exceptions related to the
ERDF.
(5) Within the framework of an integrated urban develop-
ment operation, it is considered necessary to support
limited actions to renovate housing in areas experiencing
or threatened by physical deterioration and social exclu-
sion in the Member States that acceded to the European
Union on or after 1 May 2004.
(6) It is necessary to establish that the contribution from the
ERDF to housing expenditure should concern the provi-
sion of good quality accommodation for lower income
groups, including recently privatised housing stock, as
well as accommodation for vulnerable social groups.
(7) Efficient and effective implementation of actions
supported by the ERDF depends on good governance
and partnership among all the relevant territorial and
socio-economic partners, and in particular regional and
local authorities, as well as any other appropriate body
during the various stages of implementation of the
operational programmes co-financed by the ERDF.
(8) The Member States and the Commission should ensure
that there is no discrimination based on sex, racial or
ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual
orientation during the various stages of implementation
of the operational programmes co-financed by the
ERDF.
31.7.2006 L 210/1 Official Journal of the European Union EN
(
1
) OJ C 255, 14.10.2005, p. 91.
(
2
) OJ C 231, 20.9.2005, p. 19.
(
3
) Opinion of the European Parliament of 6 July 2005 (not yet
published in the Official Journal), Council Common Position of
12 June 2006 (not yet published in the Official Journal) and Posi-
tion of the European Parliament of 4 July 2006 (not yet published
in the Official Journal).
(
4
) See page 25 of this Official Journal.
98
(9) Building on the experience and strengths of the URBAN
Community initiative provided for in Article 20(1)(b) of
Council Regulation (EC) No 1260/1999 of 21 June
1999 laying down general provisions on the Structural
Funds (
1
), sustainable urban development should be rein-
forced by fully integrating measures in that field into the
operational programmes co-financed by the ERDF,
paying particular attention to local development and
employment initiatives and their potential for innova-
tion.
(10) Particular attention should be paid to ensuring comple-
mentarity and consistency with other Community poli-
cies, and in particular with the Seventh Framework
Programme for research, technological development and
demonstration activities and the Competitiveness and
Innovation Framework Programme. Furthermore, there
should be synergy between support granted from the
ERDF, on the one hand, and that granted from the Euro-
pean Social Fund pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1081/
2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of
5 July 2006 on the European Social Fund (
2
), the Cohe-
sion Fund pursuant to Council Regulation (EC) No 1084/
2006 of 11 July 2006 establishing a Cohesion Fund (
3
),
the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development
pursuant to Council Regulation (EC) No 1698/2005 of
20 September 2005 on support for rural development
by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Develop-
ment (EAFRD) (
4
) and a European Fisheries Fund, on the
other hand.
(11) It is necessary to ensure that actions supported by the
ERDF in favour of small and medium-sized enterprises
take into account and support the implementation of the
European Charter for Small Enterprises adopted at the
Santa Maria da Feira European Council of 19 and
20 June 2000.
(12) Specific attention should be paid to the outermost
regions, namely by extending, on an exceptional basis,
the scope of the ERDF to the financing of operating aid
linked to the offsetting of the additional costs resulting
from their specific economic and social situation, which
is compounded by their remoteness, insularity, small
size, difficult topography and climate and their
economic dependence on a few products, the perma-
nence and combination of which severely restrain their
development. Such specific measures require the use of
Article 299(2) of the Treaty as a legal basis.
(13) The ERDF should address the problems of accessibility
to and remoteness from large markets confronting areas
with an extremely low population density, as referred to
in Protocol No 6 on special provisions for Objective 6 in
the framework of the Structural Funds in Finland and
Sweden to the 1994 Act of Accession. The ERDF should
also address the specific difficulties encountered by
certain islands, mountainous areas, border regions and
sparsely populated areas whose geographical situation
slows down their development with a view to
supporting their sustainable development.
(14) It is necessary to lay down specific provisions
concerning the programming, management, monitoring
and control of operational programmes under the Euro-
pean territorial cooperation objective.
(15) It is necessary to support effective cross-border, transna-
tional and interregional cooperation with the Communi-
ty's neighbouring countries where this is necessary to
ensure that the regions of the Member States which
border third countries can be effectively assisted in their
development. Accordingly, it is appropriate to authorise
on an exceptional basis the financing of assistance from
the ERDF for projects located on the territory of third
countries where they are for the benefit of the regions of
the Community.
(16) In the interest of clarity, Regulation (EC) No 1783/1999
of the European Parliament and the Council of 12 July
1999 on the European Regional Development Fund (
5
)
should therefore be repealed,
HAVE ADOPTED THIS REGULATION:
CHAPTER I
GENERAL PROVISIONS
Article 1
Subject matter
1. This Regulation establishes the tasks of the European
Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the scope of its assistance
with regard to the Convergence, Regional competitiveness and
employment and European territorial cooperation objectives as
defined in Article 3(2) of Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006, and
the rules on eligibility for assistance.
2. The ERDF is governed by Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006
and by this Regulation.
Article 2
Purpose
Pursuant to Article 160 of the Treaty and Regulation (EC)
No 1083/2006, the ERDF shall contribute to the financing of
assistance which aims to reinforce economic and social cohe-
sion by redressing the main regional imbalances through
support for the development and structural adjustment of
regional economies, including the conversion of declining
industrial regions and regions lagging behind, and support for
cross-border, transnational and interregional cooperation.
31.7.2006 L 210/2 Official Journal of the European Union EN
(
1
) OJ L 161, 26.6.1999, p. 1. Regulation as last amended by
Regulation (EC) No 173/2005 (OJ L 29, 2.2.2005, p. 3).
(
2
) See page 12 of this Official Journal.
(
3
) See page 79 of this Official Journal.
(
4
) OJ L 277, 21.10.2005, p. 1. (
5
) OJ L 213, 13.8.1999, p. 1.
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In so doing, the ERDF shall give effect to the priorities of the
Community, and in particular the need to strengthen competi-
tiveness and innovation, create and safeguard sustainable jobs,
and ensure sustainable development.
Article 3
Scope of assistance
1. The ERDF shall focus its assistance on thematic priorities.
The type and range of actions to be financed within each
priority shall reflect the different nature of the Convergence,
Regional competitiveness and employment and European terri-
torial cooperation objectives in accordance with Articles 4, 5
and 6.
2. The ERDF shall contribute towards the financing of:
(a) productive investment which contributes to creating and
safeguarding sustainable jobs, primarily through direct aid
to investment primarily in small and medium-sized enter-
prises (SMEs);
(b) investment in infrastructure;
(c) development of endogenous potential by measures which
support regional and local development. These measures
include support for and services to enterprises, in particular
SMEs, creation and development of financing instruments
such as venture capital, loan and guarantee funds, local
development funds, interest subsidies, networking, coopera-
tion and exchange of experience between regions, towns,
and relevant social, economic and environmental actors;
(d) technical assistance as referred to in Articles 45 and 46 of
Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006.
The range of investments and measures listed above under
points (a) to (d) shall be available to implement the thematic
priorities in accordance with Articles 4, 5 and 6.
Article 4
Convergence
Under the Convergence objective, the ERDF shall focus its assis-
tance on supporting sustainable integrated regional and local
economic development and employment by mobilising and
strengthening endogenous capacity through operational
programmes aimed at the modernisation and diversification of
economic structures and at the creation and safeguarding of
sustainable jobs. This shall be achieved primarily through the
following priorities, the precise policy mix depending on the
specificities of each Member State:
1. research and technological development (R&TD), innova-
tion and entrepreneurship, including strengthening
research and technological development capacities, and
their integration into the European Research Area,
including infrastructures; aid to R&TD, notably in SMEs,
and to technology transfer; improvement of links between
SMEs, tertiary education institutions, research institutions
and research and technology centres; development of busi-
ness networks; public-private partnerships and clusters;
support for the provision of business and technology
services to groups of SMEs; and fostering of entrepreneur-
ship and innovation funding for SMEs through financial
engineering instruments;
2. information society, including development of electronic
communications infrastructure, local content, services and
applications, improvement of secure access to and develop-
ment of on-line public services; aid and services to SMEs
to adopt and effectively use information and communica-
tion technologies (ICTs) or to exploit new ideas;
3. local development initiatives and aid for structures
providing neighbourhood services to create new jobs,
where such actions are outside the scope of Regulation (EC)
No 1081/2006;
4. environment, including investments connected with water
supply and water and waste management; waste-water
treatment and air quality; prevention, control and fight
against desertification; integrated pollution prevention and
control; aid to mitigate the effects of climate change; reha-
bilitation of the physical environment, including contami-
nated sites and land and brownfield redevelopment;
promotion of biodiversity and nature protection, including
investments in NATURA 2000 sites; aid to SMEs to
promote sustainable production patterns through the
introduction of cost-effective environmental management
systems and the adoption and use of pollution-prevention
technologies;
5. prevention of risks, including development and implemen-
tation of plans to prevent and cope with natural and tech-
nological risks;
6. tourism, including promotion of natural assets as potential
for the development of sustainable tourism; protection and
enhancement of natural heritage in support of socio-eco-
nomic development; aid to improve the supply of tourism
services through new higher added-value services and to
encourage new, more sustainable patterns of tourism;
7. investments in culture, including protection, promotion
and preservation of cultural heritage; development of
cultural infrastructure in support of socio-economic devel-
opment, sustainable tourism and improved regional attrac-
tiveness; and aid to improve the supply of cultural services
through new higher added-value services;
8. transport investments, including improvement of
trans-European networks and links to the TEN-T network;
integrated strategies for clean transport which contribute
to improving the access to and quality of passenger and
goods services, to achieving a more balanced modal split,
to promoting intermodal systems and to reducing environ-
mental impacts;
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9. energy investments, including in improvements to trans-
European networks which contribute to improving security
of supply, the integration of environmental considerations,
the improvement of energy efficiency and the development
of renewable energies;
10. education investments, including in vocational training,
which contribute to increasing attractiveness and quality of
life;
11. investments in health and social infrastructure which
contribute to regional and local development and
increasing the quality of life.
Article 5
Regional competitiveness and employment
Under the Regional competitiveness and employment objective,
the ERDF shall focus its assistance in the context of sustainable
development strategies, while promoting employment,
primarily on the following three priorities:
1. innovation and the knowledge economy, including through
the creation and strengthening of efficient regional innova-
tion economies, systemic relations between the private and
public sectors, universities and technology centres which
take into account local needs, and in particular:
(a) enhancing regional R&TD and innovation capacities
directly linked to regional economic development objec-
tives by supporting industry or technology-specific
competence centres, promoting industrial R&TD, SMEs
and technology transfer, developing technology fore-
casting and international benchmarking of policies to
promote innovation and supporting inter-firm colla-
boration and joint R&TD and innovation policies;
(b) stimulating innovation and entrepreneurship in all
sectors of the regional and local economy by supporting
the introduction of new or improved products,
processes and services onto the market by SMEs,
supporting business networks and clusters, improving
access to finance by SMEs, promoting cooperation
networks between enterprises and appropriate tertiary
education and research institutions, facilitating SMEs'
access to business support services and supporting the
integration of cleaner and innovative technologies in
SMEs;
(c) promoting entrepreneurship, in particular by facilitating
the economic exploitation of new ideas and fostering
the creation of new firms by appropriate tertiary educa-
tion and research institutions and existing firms;
(d) creating financial engineering instruments and incuba-
tion facilities that are conducive to the research and
technological development capacity of SMEs and to
encouraging entrepreneurship and the formation of new
businesses, especially knowledge-intensive SMEs;
2. environment and risk prevention, and in particular:
(a) stimulating investment for the rehabilitation of the
physical environment, including contaminated, deserti-
fied and brownfield sites and land;
(b) promoting the development of infrastructure linked to
biodiversity and investments in NATURA 2000 sites,
where this contributes to sustainable economic develop-
ment and/or diversification of rural areas;
(c) stimulating energy efficiency and renewable energy
production and the development of efficient energy
management systems;
(d) promoting clean and sustainable public transport, parti-
cularly in urban areas;
(e) developing plans and measures to prevent and cope
with natural risks (e.g. desertification, droughts, fires and
floods) and technological risks;
(f) protection and enhancement of the natural and cultural
heritage in support of socio-economic development and
the promotion of natural and cultural assets as potential
for the development of sustainable tourism;
3. access to transport and telecommunication services of
general economic interest, and in particular:
(a) strengthening secondary transport networks by
improving links to TEN-T networks, regional railway
hubs, airports and ports or multimodal platforms,
providing radial links to main railway lines and
promoting regional and local inland waterways and
short-sea shipping;
(b) promoting access to, take up, and efficient use of ICTs
by SMEs by supporting access to networks, the establish-
ment of public Internet access points, equipment, and
the development of services and applications, including,
in particular, the development of action plans for very
small and craft enterprises.
In addition, for operational programmes supported by the
ERDF in the regions eligible for the specific and transitional
financing referred to in Article 8(2) of Regulation (EC)
No 1083/2006, the Member States and the Commission may
decide to extend support to the priorities referred to in Article 4
of this Regulation.
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Article 6
European territorial cooperation
Under the European territorial cooperation objective, the ERDF
shall focus its assistance on the following priorities:
1. the development of cross-border economic, social and envir-
onmental activities through joint strategies for sustainable
territorial development, and primarily:
(a) by encouraging entrepreneurship, in particular the
development of SMEs, tourism, culture, and cross-border
trade;
(b) by encouraging and improving the joint protection and
management of natural and cultural resources, as well as
the prevention of natural and technological risks;
(c) by supporting links between urban and rural areas;
(d) by reducing isolation through improved access to trans-
port, information and communication networks and
services, and cross-border water, waste and energy
systems and facilities;
(e) by developing collaboration, capacity and joint use of
infrastructures, in particular in sectors such as health,
culture, tourism and education.
In addition, the ERDF may contribute to promoting legal
and administrative cooperation, the integration of
cross-border labour markets, local employment initiatives,
gender equality and equal opportunities, training and social
inclusion, and sharing of human resources and facilities for
R&TD.
As regards the PEACE Programme between Northern Ireland
and the border counties of Ireland as envisaged under para-
graph 22 of Annex II to Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006, the
ERDF shall in addition to the abovementioned actions
contribute to promote social and economic stability in the
regions concerned, notably by actions to promote cohesion
between communities;
2. the establishment and development of transnational coop-
eration, including bilateral cooperation between maritime
regions not covered under point 1, through the financing of
networks and of actions conducive to integrated territorial
development, concentrating primarily on the following
priority areas:
(a) innovation: the creation and development of scientific
and technological networks, and the enhancement of
regional R&TD and innovation capacities, where these
make a direct contribution to the balanced economic
development of transnational areas. Actions may
include: the establishment of networks between appro-
priate tertiary education and research institutions and
SMEs; links to improve access to scientific knowledge
and technology transfer between R&TD facilities and
international centres of RTD excellence; twinning of
technology transfer institutions; and development of
joint financial engineering instruments directed at
supporting R&TD in SMEs;
(b) environment: water management, energy efficiency, risk
prevention and environmental protection activities with
a clear transnational dimension. Actions may include:
protection and management of river basins, coastal
zones, marine resources, water services and wetlands;
fire, drought and flood prevention; the promotion of
maritime security and protection against natural and
technological risks; and protection and enhancement of
the natural heritage in support of socio-economic devel-
opment and sustainable tourism;
(c) accessibility: activities to improve access to and quality
of transport and telecommunications services where
these have a clear transnational dimension. Actions may
include: investments in cross-border sections of
trans-European networks; improved local and regional
access to national and transnational networks; enhanced
interoperability of national and regional systems; and
promotion of advanced information and communication
technologies;
(d) sustainable urban development: strengthening poly-
centric development at transnational, national and
regional level, with a clear transnational impact. Actions
may include: the creation and improvement of urban
networks and urban-rural links; strategies to tackle
common urban-rural issues; preservation and promotion
of the cultural heritage, and the strategic integration of
development zones on a transnational basis.
Assistance to bilateral cooperation between maritime
regions may be extended to the priorities referred to in
point 1;
3. reinforcement of the effectiveness of regional policy by
promoting:
(a) interregional cooperation focusing on innovation and
the knowledge economy and environment and risk
prevention in the sense of Article 5(1) and (2);
(b) exchanges of experience concerning the identification,
transfer and dissemination of best practice including on
sustainable urban development as referred to in
Article 8; and
(c) actions involving studies, data collection, and the obser-
vation and analysis of development trends in the Com-
munity.
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Article 7
Eligibility of expenditure
1. The following expenditure shall not be eligible for a
contribution from the ERDF:
(a) interest on debt;
(b) the purchase of land for an amount exceeding 10 % of the
total eligible expenditure for the operation concerned. In
exceptional and duly justified cases, a higher percentage
may be permitted by the managing authority for operations
concerning environmental conservation;
(c) decommissioning of nuclear power stations;
(d) recoverable value added tax.
2. Expenditure on housing shall be eligible only for those
Member States that acceded to the European Union on or after
1 May 2004 and in the following circumstances:
(a) expenditure shall be programmed within the framework of
an integrated urban development operation or priority axis
for areas experiencing or threatened by physical deteriora-
tion and social exclusion;
(b) the allocation to housing expenditure shall be either a
maximum of 3 % of the ERDF allocation to the operational
programmes concerned or 2 % of the total ERDF allocation;
(c) expenditure shall be limited to:
— multi-family housing, or
— buildings owned by public authorities or non-profit
operators for use as housing designated for low-income
households or people with special needs.
The Commission shall adopt the list of criteria needed for
determining the areas referred to under point (a) and the list of
eligible interventions in accordance with the procedure referred
to in Article 103(3) of Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006.
3. The eligibility rules set out in Article 11 of
Regulation (EC) No 1081/2006 shall apply to actions co-fi-
nanced by the ERDF falling within the scope of Article 3 of
that Regulation.
CHAPTER II
SPECIFIC PROVISIONS ON THE TREATMENT OF PARTICULAR
TERRITORIAL FEATURES
Article 8
Sustainable urban development
In addition to the activities listed in Articles 4 and 5 of this
Regulation, in the case of action involving sustainable urban
development as referred to in Article 37(4)(a) of Regulation (EC)
No 1083/2006, the ERDF may, where appropriate, support the
development of participative, integrated and sustainable strate-
gies to tackle the high concentration of economic, environ-
mental and social problems affecting urban areas.
These strategies shall promote sustainable urban development
through activities such as: strengthening economic growth, the
rehabilitation of the physical environment, brownfield redeve-
lopment, the preservation and development of natural and
cultural heritage, the promotion of entrepreneurship, local
employment and community development, and the provision
of services to the population taking account of changing demo-
graphic structures.
By way of derogation from Article 34(2) of Regulation (EC)
No 1083/2006, and where these activities are implemented
through a specific operational programme or priority axis
within an operational programme, the ERDF funding of
measures under the Regional competitiveness and employment
objective falling within the scope of Regulation (EC) No 1081/
2006 may be raised to 15 % of the programme or priority axis
concerned.
Article 9
Coordination with the EAFRD and the EFF
Where an operational programme supported by the ERDF
targets operations also eligible under another Community
support instrument, including Axis 3 of the EAFRD and the
sustainable development of coastal fishing areas under the EFF,
Member States shall set out in each operational programme the
demarcation criteria for the operations supported by the ERDF
and those supported by the other Community support instru-
ments.
Article 10
Areas with geographical and natural handicaps
Regional programmes co-financed by the ERDF covering areas
facing geographical and natural handicaps as referred to in
point (f) of Article 52 of Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 shall
pay particular attention to addressing the specific difficulties of
those areas.
Without prejudice to Articles 4 and 5, the ERDF may in par-
ticular contribute towards the financing of investments aimed
at improving accessibility, promoting and developing economic
activities related to cultural and natural heritage, promoting the
sustainable use of natural resources, and encouraging sustain-
able tourism.
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Article 11
Outermost regions
1. The specific additional allocation referred to in para-
graph 20 of Annex II to Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 shall
be used to offset the additional costs, linked to the handicaps
defined in Article 299(2) of the Treaty, incurred in the outer-
most regions in supporting:
(a) the priorities referred to in Articles 4 and/or 5 as appro-
priate;
(b) freight transport services and start up aid for transport
services;
(c) operations linked to storage constraints, the excessive size
and maintenance of production tools, and lack of human
capital in the local market.
2. Within the scope of Article 3, the specific additional allo-
cation may finance investment costs. In addition, the specific
additional allocation shall be used to a minimum of 50 % to
help finance operating aid and expenditure covering public
service obligations and contracts in the outermost regions.
3. The amount to which the rate of co-financing applies
shall be proportional to the additional costs as mentioned in
paragraph 1 incurred by the beneficiary in the case of oper-
ating aid and expenditure covering public service obligations
and contracts only, and may cover the total eligible costs in the
case of expenditure for investment.
4. Financing under this Article may not be used to support:
(a) operations involving products falling within Annex I to the
Treaty;
(b) aids to transport of persons authorised under
Article 87(2)(a) of the Treaty;
(c) tax exemptions and exemption of social charges.
CHAPTER III
SPECIFIC PROVISIONS ON THE EUROPEAN TERRITORIAL
COOPERATION OBJECTIVE
SECTION 1
Operational programmes
Article 12
Content
Each operational programme under the European territorial
cooperation objective shall contain the following information:
1. an analysis of the situation of the cooperation area in terms
of strengths and weaknesses and the strategy chosen in
response;
2. a list of the eligible areas within the programme area
including, as regards programmes for cross-border coopera-
tion, the flexibility areas as referred to in Article 21(1);
3. a justification of the priorities chosen having regard to the
Community strategic guidelines on cohesion, the national
strategic reference framework where the Member State has
chosen to include actions financed under the European terri-
torial cooperation objective within it, and the results of the
ex ante evaluation referred to in Article 48(2) of
Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006;
4. information on the priority axes and their specific targets.
Those targets shall be quantified using a limited number of
indicators for output and results, taking into account the
principle of proportionality. The indicators shall make it
possible to measure the progress in relation to the baseline
situation and the achievement of the targets of the priority
axis;
5. for information purposes only, an indicative breakdown by
category of the programmed use of the contribution from
the ERDF to the operational programme in accordance with
the implementing rules adopted by the Commission in
accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 103(3)
of Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006;
6. a single financing plan, with no breakdown by Member
State, comprising two tables:
(a) a table breaking down for each year, in accordance with
Articles 52, 53 and 54 of Regulation (EC) No 1083/
2006, the amount of the total financial appropriation
envisaged for the contribution from the ERDF. The total
ERDF contribution provided for annually shall be
compatible with the applicable financial framework;
(b) a table specifying, for the whole programming period,
for the operational programme and for each priority
axis, the amount of the total financial appropriation of
the Community contribution and the national counter-
parts, and the rate of the ERDF contribution. Where, in
accordance with Article 53 of Regulation (EC) No 1083/
2006, the national counterpart is made up of public and
private expenditure, the table shall give the indicative
breakdown between the public and the private compo-
nent. Where, in accordance with that Article, the
national counterpart is made up of public expenditure,
the table shall indicate the amount of the national
public contribution;
7. information on complementarity with measures financed by
the EAFRD and those financed by the EFF, where relevant;
8. the implementing provisions for the operational
programme, including:
(a) designation by the Member States of all the authorities
referred to in Article 14;
(b) a description of the monitoring and evaluation systems;
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(c) information about the competent body for receiving the
payments made by the Commission and the body or
bodies responsible for making payments to the benefici-
aries;
(d) a definition of the procedures for the mobilisation and
circulation of financial flows in order to ensure their
transparency;
(e) the elements aimed at ensuring the publicity and the
information of the operational programme as referred to
in Article 69 of Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006;
(f) a description of the procedures agreed between the
Commission and Member States for the exchange of
computerised data to meet the payment, monitoring
and evaluation requirements laid down by
Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006;
9. an indicative list of major projects within the meaning of
Article 39 of Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 expected to be
submitted during the programming period for Commission
approval.
SECTION 2
Eligibility
Article 13
Rules on eligibility of expenditure
The relevant national rules agreed by the participating Member
States in an operational programme under the European terri-
torial cooperation objective shall apply to determine the elig-
ibility of expenditure except where Community rules are laid
down.
The Commission shall lay down, in accordance with
Article 56(4) of Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 and without
prejudice to Article 7 of this Regulation, common rules on the
eligibility of expenditure in accordance with the procedure
referred to in Article 103(3) of Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006.
Where Article 7 provides for different rules of eligibility of
expenditure in different Member States participating in an
operational programme under the European territorial coopera-
tion objective, the most extensive eligibility rules shall apply
throughout the programme area.
SECTION 3
Management, monitoring and control
Article 14
Designation of authorities
1. Member States participating in an operational programme
shall appoint a single managing authority, a single certifying
authority and a single audit authority, the latter being situated
in the Member State of the managing authority. The certifying
authority shall receive the payments made by the Commission
and, as a general rule, shall make the payments to the lead
beneficiary.
The managing authority, after consultation with the Member
States represented in the programme area, shall set up a joint
technical secretariat. The latter shall assist the managing
authority and the monitoring committee, and, where appro-
priate, the audit authority, in carrying out their respective
duties.
2. The audit authority for the operational programme shall
be assisted by a group of auditors comprising a representative
of each Member State participating in the operational
programme and carrying out the duties provided for in
Article 62 of Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006. The group of
auditors shall be set up at the latest within three months of the
decision approving the operational programme. It shall draw
up its own rules of procedure. It shall be chaired by the audit
authority for the operational programme.
The participating Member States may decide by unanimity that
the audit authority is authorised to carry out directly the duties
provided for in Article 62 of Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 in
the whole of the territory covered by the programme without
the need for a group of auditors as defined in the first sub-
paragraph.
The auditors shall be independent of the control system
referred to in Article 16(1).
3. Each Member State participating in the operational
programme shall appoint representatives to sit on the moni-
toring committee referred to in Article 63 of Regulation (EC)
No 1083/2006.
Article 15
Function of the managing authority
1. The managing authority shall perform the duties provided
for in Article 60 of Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006, with the
exception of those concerning the regularity of operations and
expenditure in relation to national and Community rules, as set
out under point (b) of that Article. In this connection, it shall
satisfy itself that the expenditure of each beneficiary partici-
pating in an operation has been validated by the controller
referred to in Article 16(1) of this Regulation.
2. The managing authority shall lay down the implementing
arrangements for each operation, where appropriate in agree-
ment with the lead beneficiary.
Article 16
Control system
1. In order to validate the expenditure, each Member State
shall set up a control system making it possible to verify the
delivery of the products and services co-financed, the sound-
ness of the expenditure declared for operations or parts of
operations implemented on its territory, and the compliance of
such expenditure and of related operations, or parts of those
operations, with Community rules and its national rules.
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For this purpose each Member State shall designate the control-
lers responsible for verifying the legality and regularity of the
expenditure declared by each beneficiary participating in the
operation. Member States may decide to designate a single
controller for the whole programme area.
Where the delivery of the products and services co-financed
can be verified only in respect of the entire operation, the veri-
fication shall be performed by the controller of the Member
State where the lead beneficiary is located or by the managing
authority.
2. Each Member State shall ensure that the expenditure can
be validated by the controllers within a period of three months.
Article 17
Financial management
1. The ERDF contribution shall be paid into a single account
with no national sub-accounts.
2. Without prejudice to the Member States' responsibility
for detecting and correcting irregularities and for recovering
amounts unduly paid, the certifying authority shall ensure that
any amount paid as a result of an irregularity is recovered from
the lead beneficiary. The beneficiaries shall repay the lead bene-
ficiary any amounts unduly paid in accordance with the agree-
ment existing between them.
3. If the lead beneficiary does not succeed in securing repay-
ment from a beneficiary, the Member State on whose territory
the beneficiary concerned is located shall reimburse the certi-
fying authority for the amount unduly paid to that beneficiary.
Article 18
European grouping of territorial cooperation
Member States participating in an operational programme
under the European territorial cooperation objective may make
use of the European grouping of territorial cooperation under
Regulation (EC) No 1082/2006 of the European Parliament and
of the Council of 5 July 2006 on a European grouping of terri-
torial cooperation (EGTC) (
1
) with a view to making that
grouping responsible for managing the operational programme
by conferring on it the responsibilities of the managing
authority and of the joint technical secretariat. In this context,
each Member State shall continue to assume financial responsi-
bility.
SECTION 4
Operations
Article 19
Selection of operations
1. Operations selected for operational programmes aimed at
developing cross-border activities as referred to in Article 6(1)
and at establishing and developing transnational cooperation as
referred to in Article 6(2) shall include beneficiaries from at
least two countries, of which at least one shall be a Member
State, which shall cooperate in at least two of the following
ways for each operation: joint development, joint implementa-
tion, joint staffing and joint financing.
The selected operations fulfilling the abovementioned condi-
tions may be implemented in a single country provided that
they have been presented by entities belonging to at least
two countries.
The abovementioned conditions shall not apply to those actions
under the PEACE Programme referred to in the third sub-
paragraph of Article 6(1).
2. Operations selected for operational programmes invol-
ving interregional cooperation, as referred to in Article 6(3)(a),
shall include beneficiaries, at regional or local level, from at
least:
(a) three Member States, or
(b) three countries, of which at least two must be Member
States, where a beneficiary from a third country is involved.
Operations selected for operational programmes as referred to
in Article 6(3)(b) shall, whenever possible according to the type
of the operation, apply the conditions set out in the first sub-
paragraph of this paragraph.
The beneficiaries shall cooperate in the following ways for each
operation: joint development, joint implementation, joint
staffing and joint financing.
3. In addition to the tasks referred to in Article 65 of
Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006, the monitoring committee or a
steering committee reporting to it shall be responsible for
selecting operations.
Article 20
Responsibilities of the lead beneficiary and the other bene-
ficiaries
1. For each operation, a lead beneficiary shall be appointed
by the beneficiaries among themselves. The lead beneficiary
shall assume the following responsibilities:
(a) it shall lay down the arrangements for its relations with the
beneficiaries participating in the operation in an agreement
comprising, inter alia, provisions guaranteeing the sound
financial management of the funds allocated to the opera-
tion, including the arrangements for recovering amounts
unduly paid;
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106
(b) it shall be responsible for ensuring the implementation of
the entire operation;
(c) it shall ensure that the expenditure presented by the benefi-
ciaries participating in the operation has been incurred for
the purpose of implementing the operation and corre-
sponds to the activities agreed between those beneficiaries;
(d) it shall verify that the expenditure presented by the benefi-
ciaries participating in the operation has been validated by
the controllers;
(e) it shall be responsible for transferring the ERDF contribu-
tion to the beneficiaries participating in the operation.
2. Each beneficiary participating in the operation shall:
(a) assume responsibility in the event of any irregularity in the
expenditure which it has declared;
(b) inform the Member State in which it is located about its
participation in an operation in the case that this Member
State as such is not participating in the operational
programme concerned.
Article 21
Special conditions governing the location of operations
1. In the context of cross-border cooperation and in duly
justified cases, the ERDF may finance expenditure incurred in
implementing operations or parts of operations up to a limit of
20 % of the amount of its contribution to the operational
programme concerned in NUTS level 3 areas adjacent to the
eligible areas for the programme referred to in Article 7(1) of
Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 or surrounded by such adjacent
areas. In exceptional cases as agreed between the Commission
and Member States, this flexibility may be extended to the
NUTS level 2 areas in which the areas referred to in Article 7(1)
of Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 are located.
At project level, expenditure incurred by partners located
outside the programme area as defined in the first sub-
paragraph may be eligible, if the project would have difficulty
in achieving its objectives without that partner's participation.
2. In the context of transnational cooperation and in duly
justified cases, the ERDF may finance expenditure incurred by
partners located outside the area participating in operations up
to a limit of 20 % of the amount of its contribution to the
operational programme concerned, where such expenditure is
for the benefit of the regions in the cooperation objective area.
3. In the context of cross-border, transnational and interre-
gional cooperation, the ERDF may finance expenditure incurred
in implementing operations or parts of operations on the terri-
tory of countries outside the European Community up to a
limit of 10 % of the amount of its contribution to the opera-
tional programme concerned, where they are for the benefit of
the regions of the Community.
4. Member States shall ensure the legality and regularity of
these expenditures. The managing authority shall confirm the
selection of operations outside the eligible areas as referred to
under paragraphs 1, 2 and 3.
CHAPTER IV
FINAL PROVISIONS
Article 22
Transitional provisions
1. This Regulation shall not affect either the continuation or
modification, including the total or partial cancellation, of assis-
tance approved by the Commission on the basis of
Regulation (EC) No 1783/1999 or any other legislation
applying to that assistance on 31 December 2006, which shall
consequently apply thereafter to that assistance or the projects
concerned until their closure.
2. Applications made under Regulation (EC) No 1783/1999
shall remain valid.
Article 23
Repeal
1. Without prejudice to the provisions laid down in
Article 22 of this Regulation, Regulation (EC) No 1783/1999 is
hereby repealed with effect from 1 January 2007.
2. References to the repealed Regulation shall be construed
as references to this Regulation.
Article 24
Review clause
The European Parliament and the Council shall review this
Regulation by 31 December 2013 in accordance with the
procedure laid down in Article 162 of the Treaty.
Article 25
Entry into force
This Regulation shall enter into force on the day following its
publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.
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This Regulation shall be binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all Member States.
Done at Strasbourg, 5 July 2006.
For the European Parliament
The President
J. BORRELL FONTELLES
For the Council
The President
P. LEHTOMÄKI
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EUROPEAN
SOCIAL FUND
110
The ESF contributes to the Union’s economic and social policy by improving employment and
the possibilities of employment. To this effect, it supports Member States’ actions in improving
the adaptability of workers and enterprises, increasing access to employment, reinforcing the
social inclusion of disadvantaged people, combating discrimination, increasing and improving
investment in human capital and strengthening the capacity and effi ciency of administrations and
public services. The whole of the regulation applies to the ESF. What follows only defines the specific
changes to the regulation that concern the ESF.
The ESF, at the service of the European employment strategy (Articles 2 to 4)
The link between the European Social Fund and the Lisbon strategy (of which the European
strategy for employment forms an integral part) is strengthened. The ESF must concentrate its
aid closely in line with guidelines and regulations outlined within the regional competitiveness
and employment objective.
New priorities (Article 3)
The ESF’s scope of assistance is defined in Article 3. Five priorities concern both the convergence
and the regional competitiveness and employment objectives. Two priorities are added,
uniquely within the scope of the convergence objective. The definition of these priorities within
the regulation is an innovation which assures its consistency with the Lisbon strategy.
Strengthening administrative effi ciency (Article 3)
A major innovation of this regulation is the priority given to convergence regions to strengthen
the capacity and effi ciency of administrations and public services at national, regional and local
level, in order to reform and produce better regulation and good governance especially in the
economic, employment, education, social, environmental and judicial fields.
Focus on innovative actions and transnational and interregional cooperation
(Articles 3, 7, and 8)
For the 2007–13 period, the missions of the previous Community EQUAL initiative are
integrated into the objectives. The Member States must thus, in ESF programmes, follow up the
type of innovation and cooperation successfully aided by EQUAL. The regulation obliges the
Member States to accentuate innovation and transnational and interregional actions in their
programmes. In order to stimulate transnational cooperation, notably through information
and good practice exchange, and through complementary approaches, an increase by 10 % of
the co-financing rate can be allocated to Member States.
Supporting social partners (Article 5)
Good governance and partnership are two key points of the new ESF regulation. The participation
of social partners is encouraged and an appropriate amount of ESF convergence objective
resources must be allocated to capacity building — including training, networking measures,
strengthening social dialogue — and enterprise activities undertaken jointly with social
partners. Member States must also assure appropriate consultation with non-governmental
stakeholders at the relevant territorial level.
A list of non-eligible expenditure (Article 11)
Throughout the 2000–06 period, the regulation read ‘what the ESF could finance’. In 2007–13,
the regulation clearly defines what expenditure shall not be eligible for an ESF contribution,
and a Member State will have more freedom to determine its own eligibility rules.
European Social Fund
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REGULATION (EC) No 1081/2006 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL
of 5 July 2006
on the European Social Fund and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1784/1999
THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL OF THE EURO-
PEAN UNION,
Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Com-
munity, and in particular Article 148 thereof,
Having regard to the proposal from the Commission,
Having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and
Social Committee (
1
),
Having regard to the opinion of the Committee of the
Regions (
2
),
Acting in accordance with the procedure laid down in
Article 251 of the Treaty (
3
),
Whereas:
(1) Council Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 of 11 July 2006
laying down general provisions on the European
Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund
and the Cohesion Fund (
4
) establishes the framework for
action by the Structural Funds and the Cohesion Fund
and lays down, in particular, the objectives, principles
and rules concerning partnership, programming, evalua-
tion and management. It is therefore necessary to define
the mission of the European Social Fund (ESF) in relation
to the tasks prescribed under Article 146 of the Treaty
and in the context of the work by Member States and
the Community towards developing a coordinated
strategy for employment under Article 125 of the
Treaty.
(2) Specific provisions concerning the type of activities
which may be financed by the ESF under the objectives
set out in Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 should be laid
down.
(3) The ESF should strengthen economic and social cohesion
by improving employment opportunities within the
framework of the tasks entrusted to the ESF by
Article 146 of the Treaty and of the tasks entrusted to
the Structural Funds by Article 159 of the Treaty, in
accordance with the provisions of Regulation (EC)
No 1083/2006.
(4) This is all the more important in the light of the chal-
lenges arising from the enlargement of the Union and
the phenomenon of economic globalisation. In this
connection, the importance of the European social
model and its modernisation should be acknowledged.
(5) In accordance with Articles 99 and 128 of the Treaty,
and with a view to refocusing the Lisbon strategy on
growth and jobs, the Council has adopted an integrated
package comprising Broad Economic Policy Guidelines
and Employment Guidelines, the latter setting out
employment objectives, priorities and targets. In this
regard, the Brussels European Council of 22 and
23 March 2005 called for the mobilisation of all appro-
priate national and Community resources, including
cohesion policy.
(6) New lessons have been learnt from the Community
initiative EQUAL, especially in respect of the combina-
tion of local, regional, national and European action.
These lessons should be integrated into ESF support. Par-
ticular attention should be paid to the participation of
target groups, the integration of migrants, including
those seeking asylum, the identification of policy issues
and their subsequent mainstreaming, innovation and
experimentation techniques, methodologies for transna-
tional cooperation, outreach to groups marginalised in
relation to the labour market, the impact of social issues
on the internal market, and access to and management
of projects taken on by non-governmental organisations.
(7) The ESF should support the policies of Member States
which are closely in line with the guidelines and recom-
mendations under the European Employment Strategy
and the relevant objectives of the Community in relation
to social inclusion, non-discrimination, the promotion of
equality, and education and training, in order to better
contribute to the implementation of the objectives and
targets agreed at the Lisbon European Council of 23 and
24 March 2000 and at the Goteborg European Council
of 15 and 16 June 2001.
(8) The ESF should also act to tackle the relevant dimensions
and consequences of demographic changes in the active
population of the Community, in particular through life-
long vocational training.
(9) With a view to better anticipating and managing change
and increasing economic growth, employment opportu-
nities for both women and men, and quality and produc-
tivity at work under the Regional competitiveness and
employment and Convergence objectives, assistance
from the ESF should focus, in particular, on improving
the adaptability of workers and enterprises, enhancing
human capital and access to employment and participa-
tion in the labour market, reinforcing the social inclu-
sion of disadvantaged people, combating discrimination,
encouraging economically inactive persons to enter the
labour market and promoting partnerships for reform.
31.7.2006 L 210/12 Official Journal of the European Union EN
(
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) OJ C 234, 22.9.2005, p. 27.
(
2
) OJ C 164, 5.7.2005, p. 48.
(
3
) Opinion of the European Parliament of 6 July 2005 (not yet
published in the Official Journal), Council Common Position of
12 June 2006 (not yet published in the Official Journal) and Posi-
tion of the European Parliament of 4 July 2006 (not yet published
in the Official Journal).
(
4
) See p. 25 of this Official Journal.
112
(10) In addition to these priorities, in the least developed
regions and Member States, under the Convergence
objective and with a view to increasing economic
growth, employment opportunities for both women and
men, and quality and productivity at work, it is neces-
sary to expand and improve investment in human
capital and to improve institutional, administrative and
judicial capacity, in particular to prepare and implement
reforms and enforce the acquis.
(11) Within the range of these priorities, the selection of ESF
interventions should be flexible in order to address the
specific challenges in each Member State, and the types
of priority action financed by the ESF should allow for a
margin of flexibility to respond to these challenges.
(12) The promotion of innovative transnational and interre-
gional activities is an important dimension which should
be integrated in the scope of the ESF. In order to foster
cooperation, Member States should programme transna-
tional and interregional actions using a horizontal
approach or through a dedicated priority axis.
(13) It is necessary to ensure that the action of the ESF is
consistent with the policies provided for under the Euro-
pean Employment Strategy and to concentrate ESF
support on the implementation of the guidelines and
recommendations under that strategy.
(14) Efficient and effective implementation of actions
supported by the ESF depends on good governance and
partnership between all relevant territorial and socio-
economic actors, and in particular the social partners
and other stakeholders, including those at national,
regional and local level. The social partners have a
central role in the broad partnership for change, and
their commitment to strengthening economic and social
cohesion by improving employment and job opportu-
nities is essential. In this context, where employers and
workers collectively contribute to financially supporting
ESF actions, this financial contribution, although private
expenditure, would be included for the purposes of
calculating ESF co-financing.
(15) The ESF should support actions in line with the guide-
lines and relevant recommendations under the European
Employment Strategy. However, changes to the guide-
lines and recommendations would require the revision
of an operational programme only where a Member
State, or the Commission in agreement with a Member
State, considered that the operational programme should
take account of significant socioeconomic changes or
take greater or different account of major changes in
Community, national or regional priorities, or in the
light of evaluations or following implementation difficul-
ties.
(16) The Member States and the Commission are to ensure
that the implementation of the priorities financed by the
ESF under the Convergence and Regional competitive-
ness and employment objectives contribute to the
promotion of equality and the elimination of inequalities
between women and men. A gender mainstreaming
approach should be combined with specific action to
increase the sustainable participation and progress of
women in employment.
(17) The ESF should also support technical assistance, with a
particular focus on encouraging mutual learning through
exchanges of experience and dissemination of good
practice and on highlighting the contribution of the ESF
to the policy objectives and priorities of the Community
in relation to employment and social inclusion.
(18) Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 provides that rules on
eligibility of expenditure are to be established at national
level, with certain exceptions for which it is necessary to
lay down specific provisions. Specific provisions should
therefore be laid down for the exceptions related to the
ESF.
(19) In the interest of clarity, Regulation (EC) No 1784/1999
of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 July
1999 on the European Social Fund (
1
) should therefore
be repealed,
HAVE ADOPTED THIS REGULATION:
Article 1
Subject matter
1. This Regulation establishes the tasks of the European
Social Fund (ESF), the scope of its assistance, specific provisions
and the types of expenditure eligible for assistance.
2. The ESF is governed by Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006
and by this Regulation.
Article 2
Tasks
1. The ESF shall contribute to the priorities of the Com-
munity as regards strengthening economic and social cohesion
by improving employment and job opportunities, encouraging
a high level of employment and more and better jobs. It shall
do so by supporting Member States' policies aiming to achieve
full employment and quality and productivity at work, promote
social inclusion, including the access of disadvantaged people
to employment, and reduce national, regional and local
employment disparities.
31.7.2006 L 210/13 Official Journal of the European Union EN
(
1
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In particular, the ESF shall support actions in line with
measures taken by Member States on the basis of the guidelines
adopted under the European Employment Strategy, as incorpo-
rated into the Integrated Guidelines for Growth and Jobs, and
the accompanying recommendations.
2. In carrying out the tasks referred to in paragraph 1, the
ESF shall support the priorities of the Community as regards
the need to reinforce social cohesion, strengthen productivity
and competitiveness, and promote economic growth and
sustainable development. In so doing, the ESF shall take into
account the relevant priorities and objectives of the Community
in the fields of education and training, increasing the participa-
tion of economically inactive people in the labour market,
combating social exclusion — especially that of disadvantaged
groups such as people with disabilities — and promoting
equality between women and men and non-discrimination.
Article 3
Scope of assistance
1. Within the framework of the Convergence and Regional
competitiveness and employment objectives, the ESF shall
support actions in Member States under the priorities listed
below:
(a) increasing adaptability of workers, enterprises and entrepre-
neurs with a view to improving the anticipation and posi-
tive management of economic change, in particular by
promoting:
(i) lifelong learning and increased investment in human
resources by enterprises, especially SMEs, and workers,
through the development and implementation of
systems and strategies, including apprenticeships, which
ensure improved access to training by, in particular,
low-skilled and older workers, the development of
qualifications and competences, the dissemination of
information and communication technologies, e-
learning, eco-friendly technologies and management
skills, and the promotion of entrepreneurship and inno-
vation and business start-ups;
(ii) the design and dissemination of innovative and more
productive forms of work organisation, including better
health and safety at work, the identification of future
occupational and skills requirements, and the develop-
ment of specific employment, training and support
services, including outplacement, for workers in the
context of company and sector restructuring;
(b) enhancing access to employment and the sustainable inclu-
sion in the labour market of job seekers and inactive
people, preventing unemployment, in particular long-term
and youth unemployment, encouraging active ageing and
longer working lives, and increasing participation in the
labour market, in particular by promoting:
(i) the modernisation and strengthening of labour market
institutions, in particular employment services and
other relevant initiatives in the context of the strategies
of the European Union and the Member States for full
employment;
(ii) the implementation of active and preventive measures
ensuring the early identification of needs with indivi-
dual action plans and personalised support, such as
tailored training, job search, outplacement and mobi-
lity, self-employment and business creation, including
cooperative enterprises, incentives to encourage partici-
pation in the labour market, flexible measures to keep
older workers in employment longer, and measures to
reconcile work and private life, such as facilitating
access to childcare and care for dependent persons;
(iii) mainstreaming and specific action to improve access to
employment, increase the sustainable participation and
progress of women in employment and reduce gender-
based segregation in the labour market, including by
addressing the root causes, direct and indirect, of
gender pay gaps;
(iv) specific action to increase the participation of migrants
in employment and thereby strengthen their social
integration and to facilitate geographic and occupa-
tional mobility of workers and integration of cross-
border labour markets, including through guidance,
language training and validation of competences and
acquired skills;
(c) reinforcing the social inclusion of disadvantaged people
with a view to their sustainable integration in employment
and combating all forms of discrimination in the labour
market, in particular by promoting:
(i) pathways to integration and re-entry into employment
for disadvantaged people, such as people experiencing
social exclusion, early school leavers, minorities, people
with disabilities and people providing care for depen-
dent persons, through employability measures,
including in the field of the social economy, access to
vocational education and training, and accompanying
actions and relevant support, community and care
services that improve employment opportunities;
(ii) acceptance of diversity in the workplace and the
combating of discrimination in accessing and progres-
sing in the labour market, including through aware-
ness-raising, the involvement of local communities and
enterprises and the promotion of local employment
initiatives;
31.7.2006 L 210/14 Official Journal of the European Union EN
114
(d) enhancing human capital, in particular by promoting:
(i) the design and introduction of reforms in education
and training systems in order to develop employability,
the improvement of the labour market relevance of
initial and vocational education and training and the
continual updating of the skills of training personnel
with a view to innovation and a knowledge-based
economy;
(ii) networking activities between higher education institu-
tions, research and technological centres and enter-
prises;
(e) promoting partnerships, pacts and initiatives through
networking of relevant stakeholders, such as the social part-
ners and non-governmental organisations, at the transna-
tional, national, regional and local levels in order to mobi-
lise for reforms in the field of employment and labour
market inclusiveness.
2. Within the framework of the Convergence objective, the
ESF shall support actions in Member States under the priorities
listed below:
(a) expanding and improving investment in human capital, in
particular by promoting:
(i) the implementation of reforms in education and
training systems, especially with a view to raising
people's responsiveness to the needs of a knowl-
edge-based society and lifelong learning;
(ii) increased participation in education and training
throughout the life-cycle, including through actions
aiming to achieve a reduction in early school leaving
and in gender-based segregation of subjects and
increased access to and quality of initial, vocational
and tertiary education and training;
(iii) the development of human potential in research and
innovation, notably through post-graduate studies and
the training of researchers;
(b) strengthening institutional capacity and the efficiency of
public administrations and public services at national,
regional and local level and, where relevant, of the social
partners and non-governmental organisations, with a view
to reforms, better regulation and good governance espe-
cially in the economic, employment, education, social,
environmental and judicial fields, in particular by
promoting:
(i) mechanisms to improve good policy and programme
design, monitoring and evaluation, including through
studies, statistics and expert advice, support for interde-
partmental coordination and dialogue between relevant
public and private bodies;
(ii) capacity building in the delivery of policies and
programmes in the relevant fields, including with
regard to the enforcement of legislation, especially
through continuous managerial and staff training and
specific support to key services, inspectorates and
socio-economic actors including social and environ-
mental partners, relevant non-governmental organisa-
tions and representative professional organisations.
3. Within the priorities referred to in paragraphs 1 and 2,
Member States may concentrate on those which are the most
appropriate to address their specific challenges.
4. The ESF may support actions set out in Article 3(2) of
this Regulation throughout the territory of the Member States
eligible for support or transitional support under the Cohesion
Fund, as determined respectively in Articles 5(2) and 8(3) of
Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006.
5. In implementing the objectives and priorities referred to
in paragraphs 1 and 2, the ESF shall support the promotion
and mainstreaming of innovative activities in the
Member States.
6. The ESF shall also support transnational and interregional
actions in particular through the sharing of information,
experiences, results and good practices, and through developing
complementary approaches and coordinated or joint action.
7. By way of derogation from Article 34(2) of Regulation
(EC) No 1083/2006, the funding of measures under the social
inclusion priority referred to in paragraph 1(c)(i) of this Article
and within the scope of Regulation (EC) No 1080/2006 of the
European Parliament and of the Council of 5 July 2006 on the
European Regional Development Fund (
1
) may be raised to 15 %
of the priority axis concerned.
Article 4
Consistency and concentration of support
1. The Member States shall ensure that the actions
supported by the ESF are consistent with and contribute to
actions undertaken in pursuance of the European Employment
Strategy. In particular, they shall ensure that the strategy set
out in the national strategic reference framework and the
actions set out in the operational programmes promote the
objectives, priorities and targets of the strategy in each Member
State within the framework of the national reform programmes
and national action plans for social inclusion.
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The Member States shall also concentrate support, where the
ESF can contribute to policies, on the implementation of the
relevant employment recommendations made under
Article 128(4) of the Treaty and of the relevant employment-re-
lated objectives of the Community in the fields of social inclu-
sion, education, and training. Member States shall do so in a
stable programming environment.
2. Within operational programmes, resources shall be
directed towards the most important needs and focus on those
policy areas where ESF support can have a significant effect in
attaining the objectives of the programme. To maximise the
efficiency of ESF support, operational programmes shall, where
appropriate, take particular account of the regions and localities
facing the most serious problems, such as deprived urban and
outermost regions, declining rural and fisheries-dependent
areas, and areas particularly adversely affected by business relo-
cations.
3. Where appropriate, a concise section on the contribution
of the ESF to promoting the relevant labour market aspects of
social inclusion shall be included in Member States' national
reports under the open method of coordination on social
protection and social inclusion.
4. The indicators included in the operational programmes
co-financed by the ESF shall be strategic in nature and limited
in number and shall reflect those used in the implementation
of the European Employment Strategy and in the context of
the relevant Community objectives in the fields of social inclu-
sion and education and training.
5. Evaluations undertaken in relation to ESF action shall also
assess the contribution of the actions supported by the ESF to
the implementation of the European Employment Strategy and
to the Community objectives in the fields of social inclusion,
non-discrimination and equality between women and men, and
education and training in the Member State concerned.
Article 5
Good governance and partnership
1. The ESF shall promote good governance and partnership.
Its support shall be designed and implemented at the appro-
priate territorial level taking into account the national, regional
and local level according to the institutional arrangements
specific to each Member State.
2. The Member States shall ensure the involvement of the
social partners and adequate consultation and participation of
other stakeholders, at the appropriate territorial level, in the
preparation, implementation and monitoring of ESF support.
3. The managing authority of each operational programme
shall encourage adequate participation of the social partners in
actions funded under Article 3.
Under the Convergence objective, an appropriate amount of
ESF resources shall be allocated to capacity-building, which
shall include training, networking measures, strengthening the
social dialogue and activities jointly undertaken by the social
partners, in particular as regards adaptability of workers and
enterprises referred to in Article 3(1)(a).
4. The managing authority of each operational programme
shall encourage adequate participation and access by non-
governmental organisations to the funded activities, notably in
the domains of social inclusion, gender equality and equal
opportunities.
Article 6
Gender equality and equal opportunities
The Member States shall ensure that operational programmes
include a description of how gender equality and equal oppor-
tunities are promoted in the preparation, implementation,
monitoring and evaluation of operational programmes.
Member States shall promote a balanced participation of
women and men in the management and implementation of
operational programmes at local, regional and national level, as
appropriate.
Article 7
Innovation
In the framework of each operational programme, particular
attention shall be paid to the promotion and mainstreaming of
innovative activities. The managing authority shall choose the
themes for the funding of innovation in the context of partner-
ship and shall define the appropriate implementation arrange-
ments. It shall inform the monitoring committee referred to in
Article 63 of Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 of the themes
chosen.
Article 8
Transnational and interregional actions
1. Where Member States support actions in favour of trans-
national and/or interregional actions as set out in Article 3(6)
of this Regulation as a specific priority axis within an opera-
tional programme, the contribution from the ESF may be
increased by 10 % at the priority axis level. This increased
contribution shall not be included in the calculation of the ceil-
ings set out in Article 53 of Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006.
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116
2. Member States shall, with the assistance of the Commis-
sion where appropriate, ensure that the ESF does not support
specific operations being concurrently supported through other
Community transnational programmes, in particular in the
field of education and training.
Article 9
Technical assistance
The Commission shall promote, in particular, exchanges of
experience, awareness-raising activities, seminars, networking
and peer reviews serving to identify and disseminate good prac-
tice and encourage mutual learning and transnational and inter-
regional cooperation with the aim of enhancing the policy
dimension and contribution of the ESF to the Community
objectives in relation to employment and social inclusion.
Article 10
Reports
The annual and final implementation reports referred to in
Article 67 of Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 shall contain,
where appropriate, a synthesis of the implementation of:
(a) gender mainstreaming as well as of any gender-specific
action;
(b) action to increase participation of migrants in employment
and thereby strengthen their social integration;
(c) action to strengthen integration in employment and
thereby improve the social inclusion of minorities;
(d) action to strengthen integration in employment and social
inclusion of other disadvantaged groups, including people
with disabilities;
(e) innovative activities, including a presentation of the themes
and their results, dissemination and mainstreaming;
(f) transnational and/or interregional actions.
Article 11
Eligibility of expenditure
1. The ESF shall provide support towards eligible expendi-
ture which, notwithstanding Article 53(1)(b) of Regulation (EC)
No 1083/2006 may include any financial resources collectively
contributed by employers and workers. The assistance shall
take the form of non-reimbursable individual or global grants,
reimbursable grants, loan interest rebates, micro-credits, guar-
antee funds and the purchase of goods and services in compli-
ance with public procurement rules.
2. The following expenditure shall not be eligible for a
contribution from the ESF:
(a) recoverable value added tax;
(b) interest on debt;
(c) purchase of furniture, equipment, vehicles, infrastructure,
real estate and land.
3. The following costs shall be expenditure eligible for a
contribution from the ESF as defined in paragraph 1 provided
that they are incurred in accordance with national rules,
including accountancy rules, and under the specific conditions
provided for below:
(a) the allowances or salaries disbursed by a third party for the
benefit of the participants in an operation and certified to
the beneficiary;
(b) in the case of grants, indirect costs declared on a flat-rate
basis, up to 20 % of the direct costs of an operation;
(c) the depreciation costs of depreciable assets listed under
paragraph 2(c), allocated exclusively for the duration of an
operation, to the extent that public grants have not contrib-
uted towards the acquisition of those assets.
4. The eligibility rules set out in Article 7 of Regulation (EC)
No 1080/2006 shall apply to actions co-financed by the ESF
which fall within the scope of Article 3 of that Regulation.
Article 12
Transitional provisions
1. This Regulation shall not affect either the continuation or
modification, including the total or partial cancellation, of assis-
tance approved by the Commission on the basis of
Regulation (EC) No 1784/1999 or any other legislation
applying to that assistance on 31 December 2006, which shall
consequently apply thereafter to that assistance or the projects
concerned until their closure.
2. Applications made under Regulation (EC) No 1784/1999
shall remain valid.
Article 13
Repeal
1. Without prejudice to the provisions laid down in
Article 12 of this Regulation, Regulation (EC) No 1784/1999 is
hereby repealed with effect from 1 January 2007.
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2. References to the repealed Regulation shall be construed
as references to this Regulation.
Article 14
Review clause
The European Parliament and the Council shall review this
Regulation by 31 December 2013 in accordance with the
procedure laid down in Article 148 of the Treaty.
Article 15
Entry in force
This Regulation shall enter into force on the day following its
publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.
This Regulation shall be binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all Member States.
Done at Strasbourg, 5 July 2006.
For the European Parliament
The President
J. BORRELL FONTELLES
For the Council
The President
P. LEHTOMÄKI
31.7.2006 L 210/18 Official Journal of the European Union EN
COHESION FUND
120
This has EUR 70 billion available and aims to strengthen economic and social cohesion in the
Community, in the interests of promoting sustainable development, particularly in the domains of
trans-European transport networks and the protection of the environment. It represents a third of
the budget allocation given to new Member States (against 12 % previously). Some 167.2 million
Europeans (that is, 34.4 % of the EU-27 population) live in a region aided by the Cohesion Fund.
The big new innovation is that the Fund no longer operates outside the objectives of the
cohesion policy but from now on is classed together with the ERDF and ESF. It is thus subject
to the same programming, management and control rules (see the general regulation). The
Commission no longer has to approve each Cohesion Fund project (except in the case of ‘major’
projects defined by Article 39 of the General Regulation), which leads to less bureaucracy and
the Member States having greater responsibility.
Extending the list of Cohesion Fund priorities (Article 2)
The Fund continues to promote trans-European transport networks and the protection of the
environment but has now been assigned new priorities such as sustainable development,
renewable energy, etc.
A list of non-eligible expenditure (Article 3)
A certain amount of expenditure shall not be eligible for a contribution from the Fund. It
concerns interest on debt, the purchase of land for an amount exceeding 10 % of the total
eligible expenditure for the operation concerned, housing, decommissioning of nuclear power
stations, and recoverable value added tax.
Macroeconomic conditionality (Article 4)
The Cohesion Fund is the only fund subject to this form of conditionality (which already existed
in 2000–06. In the context of the stability and growth pact, if a beneficiary State runs up an
excessive government deficit and does not take the necessary measures, the Council of the
European Union can decide to suspend in part or completely the Fund’s commitment.
The difference in relation to the previous programming period is that the Commission’s
commitment is now made at the level of a whole programme, and no longer at the project level,
so that the suspension of credits has heavier consequences.
Cohesion Fund
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COUNCIL REGULATION (EC) No 1084/2006
of 11 July 2006
establishing a Cohesion Fund and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1164/94
THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,
Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Com-
munity, and in particular Article 161(2) thereof,
Having regard to the proposal from the Commission,
Having regard to the assent of the European Parliament (
1
),
Having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and
Social Committee (
2
),
Having regard to the opinion of the Committee of the
Regions (
3
),
Whereas:
(1) Council Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 of 11 July 2006
laying down general provisions on the European
Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund
and the Cohesion Fund (
4
) establishes a new framework
for the action of the Structural Funds and the Cohesion
Fund. It sets out, in particular, the objectives, the princi-
ples and the rules concerning partnership, programming,
evaluation and management. It is therefore necessary to
specify the mission of the Cohesion Fund in relati on to
the new framework for its action and in relation to the
purpose assigned to it in the Treaty and to repeal, in the
interests of clarity, Council Regulation (EC) No 1164/94
of 16 May 1994 establishing the Cohesion Fund (
5
).
(2) Trans-European transport network projects financed by
the Cohesion Fund are to comply with the guidelines for
trans-European transport networks adopted by the
Council and the European Parliament. In order to
concentrate efforts, priority should be given to projects
of common interest as defined in Decision No 1692/96/
EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of
23 July 1996 on Community guidelines for the develop-
ment of the trans-European transport network (
6
).
(3) The Community may, through the Cohesion Fund,
contribute to action in pursuit of the Community's
environmental objectives specified in Articles 6 and 174
of the Treaty.
(4) Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 provides that rules on
eligibility of expenditure are to be established at national
level, with certain exceptions for which it is necessary to
lay down specific provisions. Specific provisions should
therefore be laid down for the exceptions related to the
Cohesion Fund.
(5) Conditionality provisions in the granting of financial
assistance should continue to apply in conjunction with
the fulfilment of the conditions of economic conver-
gence as set out in Article 99 of the Treaty and the need
for sound government finances. In this respect, Member
States having adopted the euro are to implement stabi-
lity programmes and Member States not having adopted
the euro convergence programmes, as defined in Council
Regulation (EC) No 1466/97 of 7 July 1997 on the
strengthening of the surveillance of budgetary positions
and the surveillance and coordination of economic poli-
cies (
7
), leading to the avoidance of excessive government
deficits referred to in Article 104 of the Treaty. Condi-
tionality provisions should not, however, apply to
commitments already made at the time of suspension,
HAS ADOPTED THIS REGULATION:
Article 1
Establishment and purpose of the Cohesion Fund
1. A Cohesion Fund (hereinafter referred to as ‘the Fund’) is
hereby established for the purpose of strengthening the
economic and social cohesion of the Community in the inter-
ests of promoting sustainable development.
2. The Fund shall be governed by Regulation (EC) No 1083/
2006 and by this Regulation.
Article 2
Scope of assistance
1. Assistance from the Fund shall be given to actions in the
following areas, ensuring an appropriate balance, and according
to the investment and infrastructure needs specific to each
Member State receiving assistance:
31.7.2006 L 210/79 Official Journal of the European Union EN
(
1
) Assent of 4 July 2006 (not yet published in the Official Journal).
(
2
) OJ C 255, 14.10.2005, p. 88.
(
3
) OJ C 231, 20.9.2005, p. 35.
(
4
) See p. 25 of this Official Journal.
(
5
) OJ L 130, 25.5.1994, p. 1. Regulation as last amended by the 2003
Accession Act.
(
6
) OJ L 228, 9.9.1996, p. 1. Decision as last amended by Decision
No 884/2004/EC (OJ L 167, 30.4.2004, p. 1).
(
7
) OJ L 209, 2.8.1997, p. 1. Regulation as last amended by Regulation
(EC) No 1055/2005 (OJ L 174, 7.7.2005, p. 1).
122
(a) trans-European transport networks, in particular priority
projects of common interest as identified by Decision
No 1692/96/EC;
(b) the environment within the priorities assigned to the Com-
munity environmental protection policy under the policy
and action programme on the environment. In this context,
the Fund may also intervene in areas related to sustainable
development which clearly present environmental benefits,
namely energy efficiency and renewable energy and, in the
transport sector outside the trans-European networks, rail,
river and sea transport, intermodal transport systems and
their interoperability, management of road, sea and air
traffic, clean urban transport and public transport.
2. The appropriate balance of assistance shall be agreed in
partnership between Member States and the Commission.
Article 3
Eligibility of expenditure
The following expenditure shall not be eligible for a contribu-
tion from the Fund:
(a) interest on debt;
(b) the purchase of land for an amount exceeding 10 % of the
total eligible expenditure for the operation concerned;
(c) housing;
(d) decommissioning of nuclear power stations; and
(e) recoverable value added tax.
Article 4
Conditions applying to access to Fund assistance
1. Assistance from the Fund shall be conditional on the
following rules:
(a) if the Council has decided in accordance with Article 104(6)
of the Treaty that excessive government deficit exists in a
beneficiary Member State, and
(b) has established in accordance with Article 104(8) of the
Treaty that the Member State concerned has not taken
effective action in response to a Council recommendation
made under Article 104(7) of the Treaty,
it may decide to suspend either the totality or part of the
commitments from the Fund for the Member State concerned
with effect from 1 January of the year following the decision to
suspend.
2. If the Council establishes that the Member State
concerned has taken the necessary corrective action, it shall
decide, without delay, to lift the suspension of the commit-
ments concerned. At the same time, the Council shall decide,
on a proposal from the Commission, to re-budget the
suspended commitment in accordance with the procedure set
out in the Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006
between the European Parliament, the Council and the
Commission on budgetary discipline and sound financial
management (
1
).
3. The Council shall take the decisions referred to in para-
graphs 1 and 2 by qualified majority on a proposal from the
Commission.
Article 5
Transitional provisions
1. This Regulation shall not affect either the continuation or
the modification, including the total or partial cancellation, of
project or other forms of assistance approved by the Commis-
sion on the basis of Regulation (EC) No 1164/94, which shall
consequently apply thereafter to that assistance or the projects
concerned until their closure.
2. Applications for major projects within the meaning of
Articles 39, 40 and 41 of Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 made
to the Commission under Regulation (EC) No 1164/94 shall
remain valid provided that such applications are supplemented,
where necessary, so as to comply with the requirements of this
Regulation and the abovementioned Articles of Regulation (EC)
No 1083/2006 within not more than two months as of
1 January 2007.
Article 6
Repeal
1. Without prejudice to the provisions of Article 105(1) of
Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 and Article 5 of this Regu-
lation, Regulation (EC) No 1164/94 is hereby repealed with
effect from 1 January 2007.
2. References to the repealed Regulation shall be construed
as references to this Regulation.
Article 7
Review
The Council shall review this Regulation by 31 December
2013 at the latest in accordance with Article 161 of the Treaty.
Article 8
Entry into force
This Regulation shall enter into force on the day following its
publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.
31.7.2006 L 210/80 Official Journal of the European Union EN
(
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) OJ C 139, 14.6.2006, p. 1.
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This Regulation shall be binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all Member States.
Done at Brussels, 11 July 2006.
For the Council
The President
E. HEINÄLUOMA
31.7.2006 L 210/81 Official Journal of the European Union EN
EUROPEAN
GROUPING OF
TERRITORIAL
COOPERATION
Contrary to the other regulations, this text comes into force on the 1 August 2007 at the latest so
that the Member States can take the general provisions necessary for its application.
Founded by Article 159 of the Treaty establishing the European Community, the European Grouping
of Territorial Cooperation (EGTC) has the goal of overcoming obstacles to cross-border cooperation.
This grouping will implement cross-border programmes or projects. It functions on the basis of a
convention agreed between national, regional and local administrations, and any other organisation
considered as a public body or the associations of such administrations or bodies.
Its constitution is decided by its members. They decide if the EGTC has a separate legal personality
or if they confide its tasks to one of the members.
The competences of the EGTC are fixed in an obligatory cooperation convention. Within the
limits of its tasks, the EGTC acts in the name and on behalf of its members. It also possesses the
legal capacity accorded to legal persons under the particular Member State’s national law. It may
therefore acquire or sell movable and immovable property and employ staff.
The convention specifies the task, the length and the conditions of dissolution of the EGTC. It is
restricted to the cooperation domain decided by its members and specifies their responsibilities.
The law applicable for the interpretation and application of the convention is that of the Member
State in which the EGTC’s offi cial headquarters is located.
In certain cases the Member States can delegate to an EGTC the responsibilities of the management
authority of an operational programme in the interests of European cross-border cooperation (see
Article 18 on the ERDF Regulation). The EGTC is not only used to manage cooperation projects
within this latter objective, but also in respect of the other two objectives (for example specific
interregional cooperation operations cofinanced by the ERDF in line with Article 37.6.b of the
General Regulation or by the ESF according to Article 8.1 of the ESF Regulation).
The Community regulation on EGTC is a first in the sense that it allows a grouping of bodies from
different Member States without the need to sign prior international accords ratified by national
parliaments. Nonetheless, the Member States must give their assent to the participation of potential
members on their territory.
European Grouping of Territorial
Cooperation
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REGULATION (EC) No 1082/2006 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL
of 5 July 2006
on a European grouping of territorial cooperation (EGTC)
THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL OF THE EURO-
PEAN UNION,
Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Com-
munity, and in particular the third subparagraph of Article 159
thereof,
Having regard to the proposal from the Commission,
Having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and
Social Committee (
1
),
Having regard to the opinion of the Committee of the
Regions (
2
),
Acting in accordance with the procedure laid down in
Article 251 of the Treaty (
3
),
Whereas:
(1) The third subparagraph of Article 159 of the Treaty
provides for specific actions to be decided upon outside
the Funds which are the subject of the first subparagraph
of that Article, in order to achieve the objective of social
and economic cohesion envisaged by the Treaty. The
harmonious development of the entire Community terri-
tory and greater economic, social and territorial cohe-
sion imply the strengthening of territorial cooperation.
To this end it is appropriate to adopt the measures
necessary to improve the implementation conditions for
actions of territorial cooperation.
(2) Measures are necessary to reduce the significant difficul-
ties encountered by Member States and, in particular, by
regional and local authorities in implementing and
managing actions of territorial cooperation within the
framework of differing national laws and procedures.
(3) Taking into account notably the increase in the number
of land and maritime borders in the Community
following its enlargement, it is necessary to facilitate the
reinforcement of territorial cooperation in the Com-
munity.
(4) The existing instruments, such as the European
economic interest grouping, have proven ill-adapted to
organising structured cooperation under the INTERREG
initiative during the 2000-2006 programming period.
(5) The Council of Europe acquis provides different opportu-
nities and frameworks within which regional and local
authorities can cooperate across borders. This instru-
ment is not intended to circumvent those frameworks or
provide a set of specific common rules which would
uniformly govern all such arrangements throughout the
Community.
(6) Council Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 of 11 July 2006
laying down general provisions on the European
Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund
and the Cohesion Fund (
4
) increases the means in
support of European territorial cooperation.
(7) It is likewise necessary to facilitate and follow up the
implementation of territorial cooperation actions
without a financial contribution from the Community.
(8) In order to overcome the obstacles hindering territorial
cooperation, it is necessary to institute a cooperation
instrument at Community level for the creation of coop-
erative groupings in Community territory, invested with
legal personality, called ‘European groupings of terri-
torial cooperation’ (EGTC). Recourse to an EGTC should
be optional.
(9) It is appropriate for an EGTC to be given the capacity to
act on behalf of its members, and notably the regional
and local authorities of which it is composed.
(10) The tasks and competencies of an EGTC are to be set
out in a convention.
(11) An EGTC should be able to act, either for the purpose of
implementing territorial cooperation programmes or
projects co-financed by the Community, notably under
the Structural Funds in conformity with Regulation (EC)
No 1083/2006 and Regulation (EC) No 1080/2006 of
the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 July
2006 on the European Regional Development Fund (
5
),
or for the purpose of carrying out actions of territorial
cooperation which are at the sole initiative of the
Member States and their regional and local authorities
with or without a financial contribution from the Com-
munity.
(12) It should be specified that the financial responsibility of
regional and local authorities, as well as that of Member
States, with regard to the management of both Com-
munity funds and national funds, is not affected by the
formation of an EGTC.
31.7.2006 L 210/19 Official Journal of the European Union EN
(
1
) OJ C 255, 14.10.2005, p. 76.
(
2
) OJ C 71, 22.3.2005, p. 46.
(
3
) Opinion of the European Parliament of 6 July 2005 (not yet
published in the Official Journal), Council Common Position of
12 June 2006 (not yet published in the Official Journal) and Posi-
tion of the European Parliament of 4 July 2006 (not yet published
in the Official Journal).
(
4
) See page 25 of this Official Journal.
(
5
) See page 1 of this Official Journal.
128
(13) It should be specified that the powers exercised by
regional and local authorities as public authorities,
notably police and regulatory powers, cannot be the
subject of a convention.
(14) It is necessary for an EGTC to establish its statutes and
equip itself with its own organs, as well as rules for its
budget and for the exercise of its financial responsibility.
(15) The conditions for territorial cooperation should be
created in accordance with the subsidiarity principle
enshrined in Article 5 of the Treaty. In accordance with
the principle of proportionality, as set out in that
Article, this Regulation does not go beyond what is
necessary in order to achieve its objectives, recourse to
an EGTC being optional, in accordance with the consti-
tutional system of each Member State.
(16) The third subparagraph of Article 159 of the Treaty
does not allow the inclusion of entities from third coun-
tries in legislation based on that provision. The adoption
of a Community measure allowing the creation of an
EGTC should not, however, exclude the possibility of
entities from third countries participating in an EGTC
formed in accordance with this Regulation where the
legislation of a third country or agreements between
Member States and third countries so allow,
HAVE ADOPTED THIS REGULATION:
Article 1
Nature of an EGTC
1. A European grouping of territorial cooperation, herein-
after referred to as ‘EGTC’, may be established on Community
territory under the conditions and subject to the arrangements
provided for by this Regulation.
2. The objective of an EGTC shall be to facilitate and
promote cross-border, transnational and/or interregional coop-
eration, hereinafter referred to as ‘territorial cooperation’,
between its members as set out in Article 3(1), with the exclu-
sive aim of strengthening economic and social cohesion.
3. An EGTC shall have legal personality.
4. An EGTC shall have in each Member State the most
extensive legal capacity accorded to legal persons under that
Member State's national law. It may, in particular, acquire or
dispose of movable and immovable property and employ staff
and may be a party to legal proceedings.
Article 2
Applicable law
1. An EGTC shall be governed by the following:
(a) this Regulation;
(b) where expressly authorised by this Regulation, the provi-
sions of the convention and the statutes referred to in Arti-
cles 8 and 9;
(c) in the case of matters not, or only partly, regulated by this
Regulation, the laws of the Member State where the EGTC
has its registered office.
Where it is necessary under Community or international
private law to establish the choice of law which governs an
EGTC's acts, an EGTC shall be treated as an entity of the
Member State where it has its registered office.
2. Where a Member State comprises several territorial enti-
ties which have their own rules of applicable law, the reference
to the law applicable under paragraph 1(c) shall include the law
of those entities, taking into account the constitutional struc-
ture of the Member State concerned.
Article 3
Composition of an EGTC
1. An EGTC shall be made up of members, within the limits
of their competences under national law, belonging to one or
more of the following categories:
(a) Member States;
(b) regional authorities;
(c) local authorities;
(d) bodies governed by public law within the meaning of the
second subparagraph of Article 1(9) of Directive
2004/18/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council
of 31 March 2004 on the coordination of procedures for
the award of public works contracts, public supply
contracts and public service contracts (
1
).
Associations consisting of bodies belonging to one or more of
these categories may also be members.
2. An EGTC shall be made up of members located on the
territory of at least two Member States.
Article 4
Establishment of an EGTC
1. The decision to establish an EGTC shall be taken at the
initiative of its prospective members.
2. Each prospective member shall:
(a) notify the Member State under whose law it has been
formed of its intention to participate in an EGTC; and
(b) send that Member State a copy of the proposed convention
and statutes referred to in Articles 8 and 9.
31.7.2006 L 210/20 Official Journal of the European Union EN
(
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) OJ L 134, 30.4.2004, p. 114. Directive as last amended by Commis-
sion Regulation (EC) No 2083/2005 (OJ L 333, 20.12.2005, p. 28).
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3. Following notification under paragraph 2 by a prospec-
tive member, the Member State concerned shall, taking into
account its constitutional structure, approve the prospective
member's participation in the EGTC, unless it considers that
such participation is not in conformity with this Regulation or
national law, including the prospective member's powers and
duties, or that such participation is not justified for reasons of
public interest or of public policy of that Member State. In
such a case, the Member State shall give a statement of its
reasons for withholding approval.
The Member State shall, as a general rule, reach its decision
within a deadline of three months from the date of receipt of
an admissible application in accordance with paragraph 2.
In deciding on the prospective member's participation in the
EGTC, Member States may apply the national rules.
4. Member States shall designate the competent authorities
to receive the notifications and documents as set out in para-
graph 2.
5. The members shall agree on the convention referred to in
Article 8 and the statutes referred to in Article 9 ensuring
consistency with the approval of the Member States in accord-
ance with paragraph 3 of this Article.
6. Any amendment to the convention and any substantial
amendment to the statutes shall be approved by the Member
States according to the procedure set out in this Article.
Substantial amendments to the statutes shall be those entailing,
directly or indirectly, an amendment to the convention.
Article 5
Acquisition of legal personality and publication in the
Official Journal
1. The statutes referred to in Article 9 and any subsequent
amendments thereto shall be registered and/or published in
accordance with the applicable national law in the Member
State where the EGTC concerned has its registered office. The
EGTC shall acquire legal personality on the day of registration
or publication, whichever occurs first. The members shall
inform the Member States concerned and the Committee of the
Regions of the convention and the registration and/or publica-
tion of the statutes.
2. The EGTC shall ensure that, within 10 working days from
registration and/or publication of the statutes, a request is sent
to the Office for Official Publications of the European Commu-
nities for publication of a notice in the Official Journal of the
European Union announcing the establishment of the EGTC,
with details of its name, objectives, members and registered
office.
Article 6
Control of management of public funds
1. Control of an EGTC's management of public funds shall
be organised by the competent authorities of the Member State
where the EGTC has its registered office. The Member State
where the EGTC has its registered office shall designate the
competent authority for this task before giving its approval to
participation in the EGTC under Article 4.
2. Where required under the national legislation of the other
Member States concerned, the authorities of the Member State
where an EGTC has its registered office shall make arrange-
ments for the appropriate authorities in the other Member
States concerned to carry out controls on their territory for
those acts of the EGTC which are performed in those Member
States and to exchange all appropriate information.
3. All controls shall be carried out according to internation-
ally accepted audit standards.
4. Notwithstanding paragraphs 1, 2 and 3, where the tasks
of an EGTC mentioned under the first or second subparagraph
of Article 7(3) include actions which are co-financed by the
Community, the relevant legislation concerning the control of
funds provided by the Community shall apply.
5. The Member State where an EGTC has its registered
office shall inform the other Member States concerned of any
difficulties encountered during the controls.
Article 7
Tasks
1. An EGTC shall carry out the tasks given to it by its
members in accordance with this Regulation. Its tasks shall be
defined by the convention agreed by its members, in confor-
mity with Articles 4 and 8.
2. An EGTC shall act within the confines of the tasks given
to it, which shall be limited to the facilitation and promotion
of territorial cooperation to strengthen economic and social
cohesion and be determined by its members on the basis that
they all fall within the competence of every member under its
national law.
3. Specifically, the tasks of an EGTC shall be limited
primarily to the implementation of territorial cooperation
programmes or projects co-financed by the Community
through the European Regional Development Fund, the Euro-
pean Social Fund and/or the Cohesion Fund.
An EGTC may carry out other specific actions of territorial
cooperation between its members in pursuit of the objective
referred to in Article 1(2), with or without a financial contribu-
tion from the Community.
31.7.2006 L 210/21 Official Journal of the European Union EN
130
Member States may limit the tasks that EGTCs may carry out
without a Community financial contribution. However, those
tasks shall include at least the cooperation actions listed under
Article 6 of Regulation (EC) No 1080/2006.
4. The tasks given to an EGTC by its members shall not
concern the exercise of powers conferred by public law or of
duties whose object is to safeguard the general interests of the
State or of other public authorities, such as police and regula-
tory powers, justice and foreign policy.
5. The members of an EGTC may decide by unanimity to
empower one of the members to execute its tasks.
Article 8
Convention
1. An EGTC shall be governed by a convention concluded
unanimously by its members in accordance with Article 4.
2. The convention shall specify:
(a) the name of the EGTC and its registered office, which shall
be located in a Member State under whose laws at least one
of the members is formed;
(b) the extent of the territory in which the EGTC may execute
its tasks;
(c) the specific objective and tasks of the EGTC, its duration
and the conditions governing its dissolution;
(d) the list of the EGTC's members;
(e) the law applicable to the interpretation and enforcement of
the convention, which shall be the law of the Member State
where the EGTC has its registered office;
(f) the appropriate arrangements for mutual recognition,
including for the purposes of financial control; and
(g) the procedures for amending the convention, which shall
comply with the obligations set out in Articles 4 and 5.
Article 9
Statutes
1. The statutes of an EGTC shall be adopted on the basis of
the convention by its members acting unanimously.
2. The statutes of an EGTC shall contain, as a minimum, all
the provisions of the convention together with the following:
(a) the operating provisions of the EGTC's organs and their
competencies, as well as the number of representatives of
the members in the relevant organs;
(b) the decision-making procedures of the EGTC;
(c) the working language or languages;
(d) the arrangements for its functioning, notably concerning
personnel management, recruitment procedures and the
nature of personnel contracts;
(e) the arrangements for the members' financial contributions
and the applicable accounting and budgetary rules,
including on financial issues, of each of the members of the
EGTC with respect to it;
(f) the arrangements for members' liability in accordance with
Article 12(2);
(g) the authorities responsible for the designation of indepen-
dent external auditors; and
(h) the procedures for amending the statutes, which shall
comply with the obligations set out in Articles 4 and 5.
Article 10
Organisation of an EGTC
1. An EGTC shall have at least the following organs:
(a) an assembly, which is made up of representatives of its
members;
(b) a director, who represents the EGTC and acts on its behalf.
2. The statutes may provide for additional organs with
clearly defined powers.
3. An EGTC shall be liable for the acts of its organs as
regards third parties, even where such acts do not fall within
the tasks of the EGTC.
Article 11
Budget
1. An EGTC shall establish an annual budget which shall be
adopted by the assembly, containing, in particular, a compo-
nent on running costs and, if necessary, an operational compo-
nent.
2. The preparation of its accounts including, where required,
the accompanying annual report, and the auditing and publica-
tion of those accounts, shall be governed as provided for by
Article 2(1)(c).
Article 12
Liquidation, insolvency, cessation of payments and liabi-
lity
1. As regards liquidation, insolvency, cessation of payments
and similar procedures, an EGTC shall be governed by the laws
of the Member State where it has its registered office, unless
otherwise provided in paragraphs 2 and 3.
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2. An EGTC shall be liable for its debts whatever their
nature.
To the extent that the assets of an EGTC are insufficient to
meet its liabilities, its members shall be liable for the EGTC's
debts whatever their nature, each member's share being fixed
in proportion to its contribution, unless the national law under
which a member is formed excludes or limits the liability of
that member. The arrangements for contributions shall be fixed
in the statutes.
If the liability of at least one member of an EGTC is limited as
a result of the national law under which it is formed, the other
members may also limit their liability in the statutes.
The members may provide in the statutes that they will be
liable, after they have ceased to be members of an EGTC, for
obligations arising out of activities of the EGTC during their
membership.
The name of an EGTC whose members have limited liability
shall include the word ‘limited’.
Publication of the convention, statutes and accounts of an
EGTC whose members have limited liability shall be at least
equal to that required for other kinds of legal entity whose
members have limited liability, formed under the laws of the
Member State where that EGTC has its registered office.
A Member State may prohibit the registration on its territory
of an EGTC whose members have limited liability.
3. Without prejudice to the financial responsibility of
Member States in relation to any funding from the Structural
and/or Cohesion Funds provided to an EGTC, no financial liabi-
lity shall arise for Member States on account of this Regulation
in relation to an EGTC of which they are not a member.
Article 13
Public interest
Where an EGTC carries out any activity in contravention of a
Member State's provisions on public policy, public security,
public health or public morality, or in contravention of the
public interest of a Member State, a competent body of that
Member State may prohibit that activity on its territory or
require those members which have been formed under its law
to withdraw from the EGTC unless the EGTC ceases the activity
in question.
Such prohibitions shall not constitute a means of arbitrary or
disguised restriction on territorial cooperation between the
EGTC's members. Review of the competent body's decision by
a judicial authority shall be possible.
Article 14
Dissolution
1. Notwithstanding the provisions on dissolution contained
in the convention, on an application by any competent
authority with a legitimate interest, the competent court or
authority of the Member State where an EGTC has its registered
office shall order the EGTC to be wound up if it finds that the
EGTC no longer complies with the requirements laid down in
Articles 1(2) or 7 or, in particular, that the EGTC is acting
outside the confines of the tasks laid down in Article 7. The
competent court or authority shall inform all the Member
States under whose law the members have been formed of any
application to dissolve an EGTC.
2. The competent court or authority may allow the EGTC
time to rectify the situation. If the EGTC fails to do so within
the time allowed, the competent court or authority shall order
it to be wound up.
Article 15
Jurisdiction
1. Third parties who consider themselves wronged by the
acts or omissions of an EGTC shall be entitled to pursue their
claims by judicial process.
2. Except where otherwise provided for in this Regulation,
Community legislation on jurisdiction shall apply to disputes
involving an EGTC. In any case which is not provided for in
such Community legislation, the competent courts for the reso-
lution of disputes shall be the courts of the Member State
where the EGTC has its registered office.
The competent courts for the resolution of disputes under
Article 4(3) or (6) or under Article 13 shall be the courts of the
Member State whose decision is challenged.
3. Nothing in this Regulation shall deprive citizens from
exercising their national constitutional rights of appeal against
public bodies which are members of an EGTC in respect of:
(a) administrative decisions in respect of activities which are
being carried out by the EGTC;
(b) access to services in their own language; and
(c) access to information.
In these cases the competent courts shall be those of the
Member State under whose constitution the rights of appeal
arise.
31.7.2006 L 210/23 Official Journal of the European Union EN
132
Article 16
Final provisions
1. Member States shall make such provisions as are appro-
priate to ensure the effective application of this Regulation.
Where required under the terms of that Member State's
national law, a Member State may establish a comprehensive
list of the tasks which the members of an EGTC within the
meaning of Article 3(1) formed under its laws already have, as
far as territorial cooperation within that Member State is
concerned.
The Member State shall inform the Commission and the other
Member States accordingly of any provisions adopted under
this Article.
2. Member States may provide for the payment of fees in
connection with the registration of the convention and statutes.
Those fees may not, however, exceed the administrative cost
thereof.
Article 17
Report and review clause
By 1 August 2011, the Commission shall forward to the Euro-
pean Parliament and the Council a report on the application of
this Regulation and proposals for amendments, where appro-
priate.
Article 18
Entry into force
This Regulation shall enter into force on the day following its
publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.
It shall apply by 1 August 2007, with the exception of
Article 16, which shall apply from 1 August 2006.
This Regulation shall be binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all Member States.
Done at Strasbourg, 5 July 2006.
For the European Parliament
The President
J. BORRELL FONTELLES
For the Council
The President
P. LEHTOMÄKI
31.7.2006 L 210/24 Official Journal of the European Union EN
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INSTRUMENT FOR
PREACCESSION
ASSISTANCE
136
Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance
The Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) replaces, from January 2007, the financial
instruments previously applied to Turkey and the Balkans: PHARE, ISPA, Sapard, CARDS and the
pre-accession financial assistance for Turkey. The aid is arranged around five components.
1. Ease of transition and institutional capacity building aimed at promoting the strengthening of
institutions and democratisation, economic and social development and aiding the adoption of
the acquis communautaire.
2. Cross-border cooperation, as much with the Member States, for the countries concerned, as with
the other countries eligible for the IPA.
3. Regional development, targeting investment in the transport sector, the environment and
economic development.
4. Human resources, targeting operations to strengthen human capital and the fight against
exclusion.
5. Rural development, replacing the preceding instrument, Sapard.
The beneficiary countries are divided into two groups:
• candidate countries (the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Croatia and Turkey) which will
be eligible for the five components;
• potential candidate countries in the western Balkans, recognised by the Thessaloniki European
Council of June 2003 as engaged in the path to accession (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina,
Montenegro and Serbia, including Kosovo), which are only eligible for the first two components.
Resources are allocated, by beneficiary country and by component, through an indicative multi-
annual financial framework updated each year.
With the exception of the institutional capacity component (see point 1 of the above list) and the
cross-border cooperation component (point 2 on the list), for programmes of cooperation between
the countries eligible for the IPA, the aid is implemented through multiannual programmes whose
management structures must be accredited in advance. The candidate countries must be initiated
into drawing up and implementing operational programmes as well as constructing perennial
management evaluations beyond accession.
During the drawing up of the various programmes implemented by the IPA, the beneficiaries
must integrate Community priorities, presented in detail for each component in the multiannual
indicative planning documents, adopted by the Commission for each eligible country for a period
of three years.
For cross-border cooperation with the Member States, the programmes are implemented by this
single financial instrument, and no longer by the Structural Funds.
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The objective of the IPA is to group at the heart of a single instrument, endowed with
homogenous management principles and structures, the different components of pre-
accession assistance.
As far as the regional development component goes, it replaces the instrument for structural
policy for pre-accession (ISPA), and features:
• management by multiannual programme and not by project;
• decentralised management structures, by programme;
• adapted modes of financial management, with the introduction of rules for automatic
decommitment;
• a wider eligible thematic domain, covering transport and environmental infrastructures as
well as economic development (innovation, information and communication technologies,
contracting, etc.).
The cross-border cooperation component concerns programmes with the Member States and its
principal innovation is to be found in its integrated approach, with a single fund and competent
management structures on both sides of the border, following the example of internal borders.
A human resources development component is created, prefiguring European Social Fund
actions.
Cooperation — Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance
Candidate countries
Cross-border cooperation areas
Other areas
Potential candidate countries
Cross-border cooperation areas
Other areas
European Union
Cooperation within the European
Union (EU-27)
NB: The regional cutting within countries which are not European Union Members is purely indicative.
138
COUNCIL REGULATION (EC) No 1085/2006
of 17 July 2006
establishing an Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA)
THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,
Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Com-
munity, and in particular Article 181a thereof,
Having regard to the proposal from the Commission,
Having regard to the opinion of the European Parliament (
1
),
Having regard to the opinion of the Committee of the
Regions (
2
),
Whereas:
(1) In order to improve the efficiency of the Community's
External Aid, a new framework for programming and
delivery of assistance has been envisaged. The present
instrument constitutes one of the general instruments
directly supporting European External Aid policies.
(2) Article 49 of the Treaty on European Union states that
any European State which respects the principles of
liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and funda-
mental freedoms, and the rule of law may apply to
become a member of the Union.
(3) The Republic of Turkey's application for membership to
the European Union was accepted by the European
Council in Helsinki in 1999. Pre-accession assistance has
been made available to the Republic of Turkey since
2002. The Brussels European Council on 16 and
17 December 2004 recommended that accession nego-
tiations should be opened with Turkey.
(4) At its meeting at Santa Maria da Feira on 20 June 2000,
the European Council stressed that the countries of the
Western Balkans were potential candidates for member-
ship of the European Union.
(5) At its meeting in Thessaloniki, on 19 and 20 June 2003,
the European Council recalled the conclusions of its
meetings in Copenhagen in December 2002 and Brussels
in March 2003 and reiterated its determination to fully
and effectively support the European perspective of the
Western Balkan countries, indicating that they would
become an integral part of the European Union, once
they met the established criteria.
(6) The Thessaloniki European Council 2003 also indicated
that the Stabilisation and Association Process would
constitute the overall framework for the European
course of the Western Balkan countries all the way to
their future accession.
(7) In its resolution on the Thessaloniki European Council
Conclusions, the European Parliament recognised that
each of the Western Balkan countries was moving
towards accession, but at the same time insisted that
each country should be judged on its own merits.
(8) All the Western Balkan countries can therefore be
considered as potential candidate countries; however, a
clear distinction should be made between candidate
countries and potential candidate countries.
(9) On 17 and 18 June 2004 the Brussels European Council
recommended that accession negotiations should be
opened with Croatia.
(10) On 15 and 16 December 2005 the Brussels European
Council decided to grant candidate country status to the
former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
(11) Further, on 16 and 17 December 2004, the Brussels
European Council recommended that parallel to acces-
sion negotiations, the European Union should engage an
intensive political and cultural dialogue with every candi-
date country.
(12) In the interests of coherence and consistency of Com-
munity assistance, assistance for candidate countries as
well as for potential candidate countries should be
granted in the context of a coherent framework, taking
advantage of the lessons learned from earlier pre-acces-
sion instruments as well as Council Regulation (EC)
No 2666/2000 of 5 December 2000 on assistance for
Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the Former Yugoslav
Republic of Macedonia (
3
). The assistance should also be
consistent with the development policy of the Com-
munity in accordance with Article 181a of the EC
Treaty.
(13) Assistance for candidate countries as well as for potential
candidate countries should continue to support them in
their efforts to strengthen democratic institutions and
the rule of law, reform public administration, carry out
economic reforms, respect human as well as minority
rights, promote gender equality, support the develop-
ment of civil society and advance regional cooperation
as well as reconciliation and reconstruction, and contri-
bute to sustainable development and poverty reduction
in these countries, and it should therefore be targeted at
supporting a wide range of institution-building
measures.
31.7.2006 L 210/82 Official Journal of the European Union EN
(
1
) Opinion delivered on 6 July 2006 (not yet published in the Official
Journal).
(
2
) OJ C 231, 20.9.2005, p. 67.
(
3
) OJ L 306, 7.12.2000, p. 1. Regulation as last amended by Regu-
lation (EC) No 2112/2005 (OJ L 344, 27.12.2005, p. 23).
139
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(14) Assistance for candidate countries should additionally
focus on the adoption and implementation of the full
acquis communautaire, and in particular prepare candidate
countries for the implementation of the Community's
agricultural and cohesion policy.
(15) Assistance for potential candidate countries may include
some alignment with the acquis communautaire, as well as
support for investment projects, aiming in particular at
building management capacity in the areas of regional,
human resources and rural development.
(16) Assistance should be provided on the basis of a compre-
hensive multi-annual strategy that reflects the priorities
of the Stabilisation and Association Process, as well as
the strategic priorities of the pre-accession process.
(17) In order to assist with the financial part of this strategy,
and without prejudice to the prerogatives of the
Budgetary Authority, the Commission should present its
intentions for the financial allocations to be proposed
for the three forthcoming years by means of a
multi-annual indicative financial framework, as an inte-
gral part of its annual enlargement package.
(18) The Transition Assistance and Institution Building, and
Cross-Border Cooperation Components should be acces-
sible to all beneficiary countries, in order to assist them
in the process of transition and approximation to the
EU, as well as to encourage regional cooperation
between them.
(19) The Regional Development Component, the Human
Resources Development Component, and the Rural
Development Component should be accessible only to
candidate countries accredited to manage funds in a
decentralised manner, in order to help them prepare for
the time after accession, in particular for the implemen-
tation of the Community's cohesion and rural develop-
ment policies.
(20) Potential candidate countries and candidate countries
that have not been accredited to manage funds in a
decentralised manner should however be eligible, under
the Transition Assistance and Institution Building
Component, for measures and actions of a similar nature
to those which will be available under the Regional
Development Component, the Human Resources Devel-
opment Component and the Rural Development
Component.
(21) Assistance should be managed in accordance with the
rules for External Aid contained in Council Regulation
(EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 of 25 June 2002 on the
Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of
the European Communities (
1
), making use of the struc-
tures that have proved their worth in the pre-accession
process, such as decentralised management, twinning
and TAIEX (Technical Assistance Information Exchange
Instrument), but should also allow for innovative
approaches such as the implementation through
Member States via shared management in case of cross-
border programmes on the external borders of the Euro-
pean Union. The transfer of knowledge and expertise
regarding the implementation of the acquis communau-
taire, from Member States with relevant experience to
the beneficiaries of this Regulation, should be particu-
larly beneficial in this context.
(22) The actions necessary for the implementation of this
Regulation are management measures relating to the
implementation of programmes with substantial
budgetary implications. They should therefore be
adopted in accordance with Council Decision
1999/468/EC of 28 June 1999 laying down the proce-
dures for the exercise of implementing powers conferred
on the Commission (
2
), by submitting the multi-annual
indicative planning documents to a Management
Committee.
(23) The annual or multi-annual programmes on a horizontal
and per country basis for the implementation of assis-
tance under the Transition Assistance and Institution
Building Component and the Cross-Border Cooperation
Component should also be submitted to a Management
Committee in accordance with Decision 1999/468/EC.
(24) The multi-annual programmes for the implementation
of the Regional Development Component, the Human
Resources Development Component, and the Rural
Development Component should also be submitted to a
Management Committee, in accordance with Deci-
sion 1999/468/EC. Since these actions will be closely
aligned to Structural Fund and Rural Development prac-
tices, they should make use as far as possible of the
existing Committees which are in place for Structural
Funds and Rural Development.
(25) Where the Commission implements this Regulation
through centralised management, it should take the
utmost care to protect the financial interests of the Com-
munity, in particular by applying the rules and standards
of the acquis communautaire in that respect, and where
the Commission implements this Regulation through
other forms of management, the financial interests of
the Community should be safeguarded through the
conclusion of appropriate agreements containing suffi-
cient guarantees in that respect.
(26) Rules determining the eligibility of participation in
tenders and grant contracts, as well as rules concerning
the origin of supplies should be laid down in accordance
with recent developments within the European Union
concerning the untying of aid, but should leave the flex-
ibility to react to new developments in this field.
31.7.2006 L 210/83 Official Journal of the European Union EN
(
1
) OJ L 248, 16.9.2002, p. 1. (
2
) OJ L 184, 17.7.1999, p. 23.
140
(27) Where a beneficiary country violates the principles on
which the European Union is founded, or makes insuffi-
cient progress with respect to the Copenhagen criteria
and the priorities laid down in the European or Acces-
sion Partnership, the Council must, on the basis of a
proposal from the Commission, be in a position to take
the necessary measures. Full and immediate information
to the European Parliament should be ensured.
(28) Provision should be made to enable the Council to
amend this Regulation by way of a simplified procedure
with respect to the status of a beneficiary country as
defined in this Regulation.
(29) Countries which are beneficiaries under the other
regional External Assistance Instruments should, on the
basis of reciprocity, be able to participate in actions
under this Regulation, where this offers an added value
on account of the regional, cross-border, transnational
or global nature of the action in question.
(30) Since the objective of this Regulation, namely the
progressive alignment of the beneficiary countries with
the standards and policies of the European Union,
including where appropriate the acquis communautaire,
with a view to membership, cannot sufficiently be
achieved by the Member States and can therefore be
better achieved at Community level, the Community
may adopt measures in accordance with the principle of
subsidiarity as set out in Article 5 of the EC Treaty. In
accordance with the principle of proportionality as set
out in that Article, this Regulation does not go beyond
what is necessary in order to achieve this objective.
(31) Given that Article 181a of the EC Treaty stipulates that
measures in the area of economic, financial and tech-
nical cooperation with third countries are to be comple-
mentary to those carried out by the Member States, the
Commission and the Member States are committed to
ensure coordination, coherence and complementarity of
their assistance, in line with the established EU 2001
guidelines for strengthening operational coordination
between the Community and the Member States in the
field of external assistance, in particular through regular
consultations and frequent exchanges of relevant infor-
mation during the different phases of the assistance
cycle.
(32) A financial reference amount, within the meaning of
point 38 of the Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May
2006 between the European Parliament, the Council and
the Commission on budgetary discipline and sound
financial management (
1
), is included in this Regulation
for the entire duration of the instrument, without
thereby affecting the powers of the budgetary authority
as they are defined by the EC Treaty.
(33) The institution of the new system of Community pre-
accession assistance makes it necessary to repeal Council
Regulation (EEC) No 3906/89 of 18 December 1989 on
economic aid to the Republic of Hungary and the Polish
People's Republic (
2
), Commission Regulation (EC)
No 2760/98 of 18 December 1998 concerning the
implementation of a programme for cross-border coop-
eration in the framework of the PHARE programme (
3
),
Council Regulation (EC) No 1266/1999 of 21 June
1999 on coordinating aid to the applicant countries in
the framework of the pre-accession strategy (
4
), Council
Regulation (EC) No 1267/1999 of 21 June 1999 estab-
lishing an Instrument for Structural Policies for Pre-
accession (
5
), Council Regulation (EC) No 1268/1999 of
21 June 1999 on Community support for pre-accession
measures for agriculture and rural development in the
applicant countries of central and eastern Europe in the
pre-accession period (
6
), Council Regulation (EC) No 555/
2000 of 13 March 2000 on the implementation of
operations in the framework of the pre-accession
strategy for the Republic of Cyprus and the Republic of
Malta (
7
), Council Regulation (EC) No 2500/2001 of
17 December 2001 concerning pre-accession financial
assistance for Turkey (
8
) and Council Regulation (EC)
No 2112/2005 of 21 November 2005 on access to
Community external assistance. Equally, this Regulation
should replace Regulation (EC) No 2666/2000, which
expires on 31 December 2006,
HAS ADOPTED THIS REGULATION:
TITLE I
GENERAL PROVISIONS
Article 1
Beneficiaries and overall objective
The Community shall assist the countries listed in Annexes I
and II in their progressive alignment with the standards and
policies of the European Union, including where appropriate
the acquis communautaire, with a view to membership.
31.7.2006 L 210/84 Official Journal of the European Union EN
(
1
) OJ C 139, 14.6.2006, p. 1.
(
2
) OJ L 375, 23.12.1989, p. 11. Regulation as last amended by Regu-
lation (EC) No 2257/2004 (OJ L 389, 31.12.2004, p. 1).
(
3
) OJ L 345, 19.12.1998, p. 49. Regulation as last amended by Regu-
lation (EC) No 1045/2005 (OJ L 172, 5.7.2005, p. 78).
(
4
) OJ L 161, 26.6.1999, p. 68.
(
5
) OJ L 161, 26.6.1999, p. 73.
(
6
) OJ L 161, 26.6.1999, p. 87. Regulation as last amended by Regu-
lation (EC) No 2112/2005.
(
7
) OJ L 68, 16.3.2000, p. 3. Regulation as last amended by Regulation
(EC) No 769/2004 (OJ L 123, 27.4.2004, p. 1).
(
8
) OJ L 342, 27.12.2001, p. 1. Regulation as last amended by Regu-
lation (EC) No 2112/2005.
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Article 2
Scope
1. Assistance shall, where appropriate, be used in the benefi-
ciary countries listed in Annexes I and II to support the
following areas:
(a) strengthening of democratic institutions, as well as the rule
of law, including its enforcement;
(b) the promotion and the protection of human rights and
fundamental freedoms and enhanced respect for minority
rights, the promotion of gender equality and non-discrimi-
nation;
(c) public administration reform, including the establishment
of a system enabling decentralisation of assistance manage-
ment to the beneficiary country in accordance with the
rules laid down in Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/
2002;
(d) economic reform;
(e) the development of civil society;
(f) social inclusion;
(g) reconciliation, confidence-building measures and recon-
struction;
(h) regional and cross-border cooperation.
2. In the case of countries listed in Annex I, assistance shall
also be used to support the following areas:
(a) the adoption and implementation of the acquis communau-
taire;
(b) support for the policy development as well as preparation
for the implementation and management of the Communi-
ty's common agricultural and cohesion policies.
3. In the case of countries listed in Annex II, assistance shall
also be used to support the following areas:
(a) progressive alignment with the acquis communautaire;
(b) social, economic and territorial development including, inter
alia, infrastructure and investment related activities, in par-
ticular in the areas of regional, human resources and rural
development.
Article 3
Components
1. Assistance shall be programmed and implemented
according to the following components:
(a) Transition Assistance and Institution Building;
(b) Cross-Border Cooperation;
(c) Regional Development;
(d) Human Resources Development;
(e) Rural Development.
2. The Commission shall ensure coordination and coherence
between assistance granted under the different components.
3. The Commission shall adopt rules for the implementation
of this Regulation in accordance with the procedure laid down
in Articles 4 and 7 of Decision 1999/468/EC. To that effect,
the Commission shall be assisted by the IPA Committee
referred to in Article 14(1).
The period laid down in Article 4(3) of Decision 1999/468/EC
shall be set at two months.
Article 4
Political framework for assistance
Assistance under this Regulation shall be provided in accord-
ance with the general policy framework for pre-accession,
defined by the European and Accession Partnerships, and
taking due account of the Reports and the Strategy Paper
comprised in the annual Enlargement package of the Commis-
sion.
Article 5
Information on proposed indicative financial allocations
1. With a view to supporting the strategic planning as
provided for in Article 6, the Commission shall present
annually to the European Parliament and the Council its inten-
tions for the financial allocations to be proposed for the three
forthcoming years, in the form of a multi-annual indicative
financial framework, taking into consideration the financial
framework, as well as the European Partnerships, Accession
Partnerships, Reports and Strategy Paper.
2. This multi-annual indicative financial framework shall
present the Commission's intentions for the allocation of funds,
broken down by component, country and multi-country action.
It shall be elaborated on the basis of a set of objective and
transparent criteria, including needs assessment, absorption
capacity, respect of conditionalities and capacity of manage-
ment. Due account shall also be taken of any exceptional assis-
tance measures or interim response programmes adopted
under a Regulation establishing the Stability Instrument.
3. The multi-annual indicative financial framework shall be
included in the Commission's annual Enlargement package,
while maintaining a three-year planning horizon.
Article 6
Planning of assistance
1. Assistance under this Regulation shall be provided on the
basis of multi-annual indicative planning documents established
by country in close consultation with the national authorities,
so as to support national strategies and ensure the engagement
and involvement of the country concerned. Civil society and
other stakeholders shall be associated where appropriate. Other
programmes of assistance will also be taken into account.
31.7.2006 L 210/85 Official Journal of the European Union EN
142
2. For countries listed in Annex I, assistance shall be based
in particular on the Accession Partnerships. Assistance shall
cover the priorities and overall strategy resulting from a regular
analysis of the situation in each country and on which prepara-
tions for accession must concentrate. Assistance shall be
planned in view of the criteria defined by the Copenhagen
European Council of June 1993 and the progress made in the
adoption and implementation of the acquis communautaire, as
well as regional cooperation.
3. For countries listed in Annex II, assistance shall be based
in particular on the European Partnerships. Assistance shall
cover the priorities and overall strategy resulting from a regular
analysis of the situation in each country and on which prepara-
tion for further integration into the European Union must
concentrate. Assistance shall be planned in view of the criteria
defined by the Copenhagen European Council of June 1993
and the progress made in implementing the stabilisation and
association agreements, including regional cooperation.
4. Multi-annual indicative planning documents shall present
indicative allocations for the main priorities within each
component, taking into account the indicative breakdown per
country and per component proposed in the multi-annual indi-
cative financial framework. They shall also set out, as appro-
priate, any funding provided for multi-country programmes
and horizontal initiatives.
5. Multi-annual indicative planning documents shall be
established following a three-year perspective. They shall be
reviewed annually.
6. The Commission shall adopt the multi-annual indicative
planning documents and annual reviews thereof in accordance
with the procedure referred to in Article 14(2)(a).
Article 7
Programming
1. Assistance under this Regulation shall be provided
through multi-annual or annual programmes, established by
country and by component, or, as appropriate, by group of
countries or by theme in accordance with the priorities defined
in the multi-annual indicative planning documents.
2. Programmes shall specify the objectives pursued, the
fields of intervention, the expected results, the management
procedures and total amount of financing planned. They shall
contain a summary description of the type of operations to be
financed, an indication of the amounts allocated for each type
of operation and an indicative implementation timetable.
Where relevant, they shall include the results of any lessons
learned from previous assistance. Objectives shall be specific,
relevant and measurable and have time-bound benchmarks.
3. The Commission shall adopt the multi-annual and annual
programmes, and any reviews thereof, in accordance with the
procedures provided for in Article 14(2).
TITLE II
RULES CONCERNING SPECIFIC COMPONENTS
Article 8
Transition Assistance and Institution Building Component
1. The Transition Assistance and Institution Building
Component shall assist the countries listed in Annexes I and II
in the attainment of the objectives set out in Article 2.
2. It may, inter alia, be used to finance capacity and institu-
tion building as well as investment in as far as the latter is not
covered by Articles 9 to 12.
3. Assistance under this component may also support the
participation of countries listed in Annexes I and II in Com-
munity programmes and agencies. In addition, assistance may
be provided for regional and horizontal programmes.
Article 9
Cross-Border Cooperation Component
1. The Cross-Border Cooperation Component may support
the countries listed in Annexes I and II in cross-border, and,
where appropriate, transnational and interregional cooperation
among themselves and between them and the Member States.
2. Such cooperation shall have the objective of promoting
good neighbourly relations, fostering stability, security and
prosperity in the mutual interest of all countries concerned,
and of encouraging their harmonious, balanced and sustainable
development.
3. In the event of cross-border cooperation with Member
States, the rules governing the financial contributions of the
European Regional Development Fund and this Regulation
shall be the relevant provisions of Article 21 of Council Regu-
lation (EC) No 1083/2006 of 11 July 2006 laying down
general provisions on the European Regional Development
Fund, the European Social Fund and the Cohesion Fund (
1
).
4. Cooperation will be coordinated with other Community
instruments for cross-border, trans-national and interregional
cooperation. In case of cross-border cooperation with Member
States, this component shall cover the regions on both sides of
the respective border or borders, either terrestrial or maritime.
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) See page 25 of this Official Journal.
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5. Within the objectives of this article, this component may
inter alia be used to finance capacity and institution building as
well as investment.
Article 10
Regional Development Component
1. The Regional Development Component shall support
countries listed in Annex I in policy development as well as
preparation for the implementation and management of the
Community's cohesion policy, in particular in their preparation
for the European Regional Development Fund and the Cohe-
sion Fund.
2. It may in particular contribute towards the financing of
the type of actions provided for under Regulation (EC)
No 1080/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council
of 5 July 2006 on the European Regional Development
Fund (
1
) and Council Regulation (EC) No 1084/2006 of 11 July
2006 establishing a Cohesion Fund (
2
).
Article 11
Human Resources Development Component
1. The Human Resources Development Component shall
support countries listed in Annex I in policy development as
well as preparation for the implementation and management of
the Community's cohesion policy, in particular in their
preparation for the European Social Fund.
2. It may in particular contribute towards the financing of
the type of actions provided for under Regulation (EC)
No 1081/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council
of 5 July 2006 on the European Social Fund (
3
).
Article 12
Rural Development Component
1. The Rural Development Component shall support coun-
tries listed in Annex I in policy development as well as prepara-
tion for the implementation and management of the Communi-
ty's common agricultural policy. It shall in particular contribute
to the sustainable adaptation of the agricultural sector and rural
areas and to the candidate countries' preparation for the imple-
mentation of the acquis communautaire concerning the
Common Agricultural Policy and related policies.
2. It may in particular contribute towards the financing of
the type of actions provided for under Regulation (EC)
No 1698/2005 of 20 September 2005 on support for rural
development by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural
Development (EAFRD) (
4
).
TITLE III
MANAGEMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION
Article 13
Management of assistance, reporting
1. The Commission shall be responsible for the implementa-
tion of this Regulation, acting in accordance with the proce-
dures referred to in Article 14 and the implementing rules
referred to in Article 3(3).
2. Actions under this Regulation shall be managed, moni-
tored, evaluated and reported on in accordance with Regulation
(EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002. Community financing can take
in particular the form of financing agreements between the
Commission and the beneficiary country, procurement
contracts or grant agreements with national or international
public sector bodies or natural or legal persons responsible for
carrying out the action, or employment contracts. For cross-
border programmes with Member States according to Article 9
of this Regulation, implementation tasks may be delegated to
Member States, in which case they shall be implemented
through shared management in accordance with the relevant
provisions of Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002. In case
of shared management, the managing authority shall operate in
accordance with the principles and rules laid down in Regu-
lation (EC) No 1083/2006.
3. The Commission may also receive and manage funds
from other donors, as assigned revenue in accordance with
Article 18 of Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002, in
order to implement actions with these donors.
4. In duly justified cases, the Commission may, in accord-
ance with Article 54 of Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/
2002, decide to entrust tasks of public authority, and in par-
ticular budget implementation tasks, to the bodies listed in
Article 54(2) of that Regulation. The bodies defined in
Article 54(2)(c) of that Regulation may be entrusted with tasks
of public authority if they are of recognised international
standing, comply with internationally recognised systems of
management and control, and are supervised by a public
authority.
5. Budgetary commitments for actions extending over more
than one financial year may be broken down over several years
into annual instalments.
6. Each year the Commission shall send to the European
Parliament and the Council a report on the implementation of
Community assistance under this Regulation. The report shall
contain information on the actions financed during the year
and on the findings of monitoring work, and shall give an
assessment of the results achieved in the implementation of the
assistance.
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Article 14
Committees
1. An IPA Committee shall be established, composed of the
representatives of the Member States and chaired by a represen-
tative of the Commission. It shall assist the Commission in par-
ticular in its task to ensure the coordination and coherence
between assistance granted under the different components as
required by Article 3(2).
The IPA Committee shall adopt its rules of procedure.
2. (a) The Commission shall adopt the multi-annual indicative
planning documents and annual reviews thereof referred
to in Article 6 of this Regulation, and the programmes
concerning assistance to be provided under Articles 8
and 9 of this Regulation, in accordance with the proce-
dure laid down in Articles 4 and 7 of Decision 1999/
468/EC. To that effect, the Commission shall be assisted
by the IPA Committee.
The period laid down in Article 4(3) of Decision
1999/468/EC shall be set at one month.
(b) The Commission shall adopt the programmes
concerning assistance to be provided under Article 10
of this Regulation, in accordance with the procedure
laid down in Articles 4 and 7 of Decision 1999/468/EC.
To that effect, the Commission shall be assisted by the
Coordination Committee of the Funds referred to in
Article 103 of Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006.
The period laid down in Article 4(3) of Decision
1999/468/EC shall be set at one month.
(c) The Commission shall, after having consulted the
Committee provided for in Article 147 of the EC Treaty,
adopt the programmes concerning assistance to be
provided under Article 11 of this Regulation, in accord-
ance with the procedure laid down in Articles 4 and 7
of Decision 1999/468/EC. To that effect, the Commis-
sion shall be assisted by the Coordination Committee of
the Funds referred to in Article 103 of Regulation (EC)
No 1083/2006.
The period laid down in Article 4(3) of Decision 1999/
468/EC shall be set at one month.
(d) The Commission shall adopt the programmes
concerning assistance to be provided under Article 12
of this Regulation, in accordance with the procedure
laid down in Articles 4 and 7 of Decision 1999/468/EC.
To that effect, the Commission shall be assisted by the
Rural Development Committee established by Article 90
of Regulation (EC) No 1698/2005.
The period laid down in Article 4(3) of Decision
1999/468/EC shall be set at one month.
3. Financing decisions not covered by a multi-annual or
annual programme shall be adopted by the Commission, in
accordance with the procedure provided for in paragraph 2(a)
of this Article.
4. The Commission shall adopt the amendments to the
multi-annual and annual programmes and the decisions
referred to in paragraph 3 where they do not comprise substan-
tial changes to the nature of the original programmes and
actions and, as regards the financial element, where they do
not exceed 20 % of the total amount allocated for the
programme or action in question, subject to a limit of
EUR 4 million. The Committee which gave an opinion on the
original programme or action shall be informed of all
amending decisions.
5. An observer from the European Investment Bank shall
take part in the Committees' proceedings with regard to ques-
tions concerning the Bank.
Article 15
Types of assistance
1. Assistance under this Regulation may, inter alia, finance
investments, procurement contracts, grants including interest
rate subsidies, special loans, loan guarantees and financial assis-
tance, budgetary support, and other specific forms of budgetary
aid, and the contribution to the capital of international financial
institutions or the regional development banks to the extent
that the financial risk of the Community is limited to the
amount of these funds. Budgetary support shall be exceptional,
with precise objectives and related benchmarks, and be contin-
gent on the administration of public finances of the beneficiary
country being sufficiently transparent, reliable and efficient, and
on well-defined sectoral or macroeconomic policies approved
in principle by international financing institutions having been
put in place. Disbursement of budgetary support shall be condi-
tional on satisfactory progress towards achieving the objectives
in terms of impact and results.
2. Assistance may be implemented through administrative
cooperation measures involving public-sector experts
dispatched from Member States. Such projects shall be imple-
mented according to implementing rules laid down by the
Commission.
3. Assistance may also be used to cover the costs of the
Community's participation in international missions, initiatives
or organisations active in the interest of the beneficiary
country, including administrative costs.
4. Community financing shall in principle not be used for
paying taxes, duties or charges in beneficiary countries listed in
Annexes I and II.
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Article 16
Support measures
Assistance may also be used to cover the costs of actions linked
to preparation, follow-up, control, audit and evaluation directly
necessary for the administration of the programme and the
attainment of its objectives, in particular studies, meetings,
information and publicity, expenses linked to informatics
networks aiming at information exchange, as well as any other
expenses for administrative and technical assistance of which
the Commission can avail itself for the administration of the
programme. It also covers the cost of the administrative
support for the purposes of devolved programme management
in the Commission delegations in third countries.
Article 17
Implementation of assistance
1. The Commission and the beneficiary countries shall
conclude framework agreements on the implementation of the
assistance.
2. Subsidiary agreements concerning implementation of
assistance shall be concluded between the Commission and the
beneficiary country or its implementing authorities as required.
Article 18
Protection of the Community's financial interests
1. Any agreements resulting from this Regulation shall
contain provisions ensuring the protection of the Community's
financial interest, in particular with respect to fraud, corruption
and any other irregularities in accordance with Council Regu-
lation (EC, Euratom) No 2988/95 of 18 December 1995 on the
protection of the European Communities financial interests (
1
),
Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 2185/96 of 11 November
1996 concerning on-the-spot checks and inspections carried
out by the Commission in order to protect the European
Communities' financial interests against fraud and other irregu-
larities (
2
) and Regulation (EC) No 1073/1999 of the European
Parliament and of the Council of 25 May 1999 concerning
investigations conducted by the European Anti-Fraud
Office (OLAF) (
3
).
2. Agreements shall expressly provide for the Commission
and the Court of Auditors to have the power of audit, on the
basis of documents and on the spot, over all contractors and
subcontractors who have received Community funds. They
shall also expressly authorise the Commission to carry out on-
the-spot checks and inspections as laid down in Regulation (EC,
Euratom) No 2185/96.
3. All contracts resulting from the implementation of assis-
tance shall ensure the rights of the Commission and the Court
of Auditors as provided for in paragraph 2, both during and
after the implementation of contracts.
Article 19
Rules of participation and origin, eligibility for grants
1. Participation in the award of procurement or grant
contracts financed under this Regulation shall be open to all
natural persons who are nationals of and legal persons who are
established in a Member State, a country that is a beneficiary of
this Regulation, a country that is a beneficiary of the European
Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument, or a Member State
of the European Economic Area.
2. Participation in the award of procurement or grant
contracts financed under this Regulation shall also be open to
all natural persons who are nationals of and legal persons who
are established in any country other than those referred to in
paragraph 1, where reciprocal access to their external assistance
has been established.
Reciprocal access to the Community's external assistance shall
be established by means of a specific decision concerning a
given country or a given regional group of countries. Such a
decision shall be adopted by the Commission in accordance
with the procedure laid down in Article 14(2)(a) and shall be in
force for a minimum period of one year.
The granting of reciprocal access to the Community's external
assistance shall be based on a comparison between the Com-
munity and other donors and shall proceed at sectoral level or
entire country level, whether it be a donor or a recipient
country. The decision of granting this reciprocity to a donor
country shall be based on the transparency, consistency and
proportionality of the aid provided by that donor, including its
qualitative and quantitative nature. The beneficiary countries
shall be consulted in the process described in this paragraph.
3. Participation in the award of procurement or grant
contracts financed under this Regulation shall be open to inter-
national organisations.
4. Experts proposed in the context of procedures for the
award of contracts are not required to comply with the nation-
ality condition of paragraphs 1 and 2.
5. All supplies and materials purchased under a contract
financed under this Regulation must originate from the Com-
munity or a country eligible according to paragraphs 1 or 2.
The term ‘origin’ for the purpose of this Regulation is defined
in the relevant Community legislation on rules of origin for
customs purposes.
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6. The Commission may, in duly substantiated exceptional
cases, authorise the participation of natural persons who are
nationals of and legal persons who are established in other
countries than those referred to in paragraphs 1 and 2, or the
purchase of supplies and materials of different origin from that
set out in paragraph 5. Derogations may be justified on the
basis of the unavailability of products and services in the
markets of the countries concerned, for reasons of extreme
urgency, or if the eligibility rules would make the realisation of
a project, a programme or an action impossible or exceedingly
difficult.
7. In conformity with Article 114 of Regulation (EC,
Euratom) No 1605/2002 natural persons may receive grants.
8. Whenever Community funding covers an operation
implemented through an international organisation, participa-
tion in the appropriate contractual procedures shall be open to
all natural or legal persons who are eligible pursuant to para-
graphs 1 and 2 as well as to all natural or legal persons who
are eligible pursuant to the rules of that organisation, care
being taken to ensure that equal treatment is afforded to all
donors. The same rules shall apply in respect of supplies, mate-
rials and experts.
Whenever Community funding covers an operation co-financed
with a Member State, with a third country, subject to recipro-
city as defined in paragraph 2, or with a regional organisation,
participation in the appropriate contractual procedures shall be
open to all natural or legal persons who are eligible pursuant
to paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 as well as to all natural or legal
persons who are eligible under the rules of such Member State,
third country or regional organisation. The same rules shall
apply in respect of supplies, materials and experts.
Article 20
Coherence, compatibility and coordination
1. Programmes and projects financed under this Regulation
shall be consistent with EU policies. They shall comply with
the agreements concluded by the Community and its Member
States with the beneficiary countries and respect commitments
under multilateral agreements to which they are parties.
2. The Commission and the Member States shall ensure
coherence between Community assistance provided under this
Regulation and financial assistance provided by the Community
and the Member States through other internal and external
financial instruments and by the European Investment Bank.
3. The Commission and the Member States shall ensure
coordination of their respective assistance programmes with
the aim of increasing effectiveness and efficiency in the delivery
of assistance in line with the established guidelines for strength-
ening operational coordination in the field of external assis-
tance, and for the harmonisation of policies and procedures.
Coordination shall involve regular consultations and frequent
exchanges of relevant information during the different phases
of the assistance cycle, in particular at field level and shall
constitute a key step in the programming processes of the
Member States and the Community.
4. The Commission will, in liaison with the Member States,
take the necessary steps to ensure proper coordination and
harmonisation and cooperation with multilateral and regional
organisations and entities, such as international financial insti-
tutions, United Nations agencies, funds and programmes, and
non-EU donors.
Article 21
Suspension of assistance
1. Respect for the principles of democracy, the rule of law
and for human rights and minority rights and fundamental
freedoms is an essential element for the application of this
Regulation and the granting of assistance under it. Community
assistance for Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the
former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and
Serbia, including Kosovo, shall also be subject to the conditions
defined by the Council in its Conclusions of 29 April 1997, in
particular as regards the recipients' undertaking to carry out
democratic, economic and institutional reforms.
2. Where a beneficiary country fails to respect these princi-
ples or the commitments contained in the relevant Partnership
with the EU, or where progress toward fulfilment of the acces-
sion criteria is insufficient, the Council, acting by qualified
majority on a proposal from the Commission, may take appro-
priate steps with regard to any assistance granted under this
Regulation. The European Parliament shall be fully and immedi-
ately informed of any decisions taken in this context.
Article 22
Evaluation
The Commission shall regularly evaluate the results and effi-
ciency of policies and programmes and the effectiveness of
programming in order to ascertain whether the objectives have
been met and enable it to formulate recommendations with a
view to improving future operations. The Commission shall
send relevant evaluation reports to the Committees referred to
in Article 14 for discussion. These results shall feed back into
programme design and resource allocation.
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TITLE IV
TRANSITIONAL AND FINAL PROVISIONS
Article 23
Status of Beneficiary Country
If a beneficiary country listed in Annex II is granted candidate
status for accession to the EU, the Council, acting by qualified
majority on the basis of a proposal from the Commission will
transfer that country from Annex II to Annex I.
Article 24
Cross-instrument provision
In order to ensure consistency and efficiency of Community
assistance, the Commission can decide, in accordance with the
procedure referred to in Article 14(2)(a), that other third coun-
tries, territories and regions can benefit from actions under this
Regulation, if the project or programme in question has a
regional, cross-border, transnational or global character. In so
doing, the Commission shall strive to avoid duplication with
regard to other instruments of external financial assistance.
Article 25
Transitional provisions
1. Regulations (EEC) No 3906/89, (EC) No 2760/98,
(EC) No 1266/1999, (EC) No 1267/1999, (EC) No 1268/1999,
(EC) No 555/2000, (EC) No 2500/2001 and (EC) No 2112/
2005 shall be repealed with effect from 1 January 2007.
These Regulations, as well as Regulation (EC) No 2666/2000,
shall continue to apply for legal acts and commitments imple-
menting the budget years preceding 2007, and for the imple-
mentation of Article 31 of the Act concerning the conditions
of accession of the Republic of Bulgaria and Romania and the
adjustments to the Treaties on which the European Union is
founded (
1
).
2. Should specific measures be necessary to facilitate the
transition from the system established by Regulations (EEC)
No 3906/89, (EC) No 2760/98, (EC) No 1266/1999,
(EC) No 1267/1999, (EC) No 1268/1999, (EC) No 555/2000,
(EC) No 2666/2000 or (EC) No 2500/2001 to the one estab-
lished by this Regulation, such measures shall be adopted by
the Commission in accordance with the procedures referred to
in Article 14 of this Regulation.
Article 26
Financial reference amount
The financial reference amount for the implementation of this
Regulation for the period from 2007 to 2013 shall be EUR
11 468 million. The annual appropriations shall be authorised
by the budgetary authority within the limits of the financial
framework.
Article 27
Review
The Commission shall submit to the European Parliament and
the Council, by 31 December 2010, a report evaluating the
implementation of this Regulation in the first three years, if
appropriate with a legislative proposal introducing the neces-
sary modifications to this Regulation.
Article 28
Entry into force
This Regulation shall enter into force on the day following its
publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.
It shall apply from 1 January 2007 to 31 December 2013.
This Regulation shall be binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all Member States.
Done at Brussels, 17 July 2006.
For the Council
The President
E. TUOMIOJA
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ANNEX I
— Croatia
— Turkey
— The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
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ANNEX II
— Albania
— Bosnia
— Montenegro
— Serbia, including Kosovo (
1
)
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150 150
EUROPEAN COMMISSION
ERDF and Cohesion Fund
Regional Policy Directorate-General
B-1049 Bruxelles
Tel. (32-2) 296 06 34
E-mail: regio-info@ec.europa.eu
European Social Fund
Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities Directorate-General
B-1049 Bruxelles
Tel. (32-2) 299 54 41
E-mail: empl-info@ec.europa.eu
BELGIUM
ERDF
Walloon Ministry — Directorate-General for Economy and Employment
Ministère de la région wallonne — Direction générale de l’économie et de l’emploi
Place de la Wallonie 1
B-5100 Jambes
Tel. (32-81) 33 37 00
Flemish Ministry for Economy, Science and Innovation
Vlaams Ministerie van Economie, Wetenschap en Innovatie
Agentschap Economie
Entiteit Europa Economie
Koning Albert II-laan 35, bus 12
B-1030 Brussel
Tel. (32-2) 553 37 05
Bussels-Capital Region Ministry
Ministère de la Région de Bruxelles-Capitale
Rue Ducale 7-9
B-1000 Bruxelles
Tel. (32-2) 506 32 31
ESF
The Flemish-Speaking Community of Belgium — ESF Agency
Vlaamse Gemeenschap — ESF Agentschap vzw
Gasthuisstraat 31 (9
de
verdieping)
B-1000 Brussel
Tel. (32-2) 546 22 11
The French-Speaking Community of Belgium — ESF Agency
Communauté française — Agence FSE
Chaussée de Charleroi, 111
B-1060 Bruxelles
Tel. (32-2) 234 39 40
Contact addresses
151 151
Brussels-Capital Region
Région Bruxelles-Capitale
ESF — ORBEM
Boulevard Anspach, 65
B-1000 Bruxelles
Tel. (32-2) 505 14 11
The German-Speaking Community of Belgium — Ministry of the German-Speaking Community
of Belgium
European Social Fund
Deutschsprachige Gemeinschaft — Ministerium der Deutschsprachigen Gemeinschaft Belgiens
Europaischer Sozialfonds
Gospertstraße 1
B-4700 Eupen
Tel. (32-87) 78 96 21
Federal Government Department of Employment, Labour and Social Dialogue
Federale Overheidsdienst voor Werkgelegenheid, Arbeid en Sociaal Overleg
Rue Ernest Blerot 1
B-1070 Bruxelles
Tel. (32-2) 233 41 11
BULGARIA
ERDF, ESF and Cohesion Fund
Ministry of Economy, Directorate-General for the Management of European Union Funds
Министерство на финансите, Управление на средствата от Европейския съюз
102 Rakovski Street
BG-1040 Sofia
Tel. (359-2) 98 59 29 01
CZECH REPUBLIC
ERDF, ESF and Cohesion Fund
Regional Development Ministry
Ministerstvo pro mistni rozvoj
Staroměstské náměstí 6
CZ-11015 Praha 1
Tel. (420-2) 24 86 11 11
DENMARK
ERDF and ESF
National Agency of Economy and Construction — Regional Development
Erhvervs-og Byggestyrelsen — Regionaludvikling
Vejlsøvej 29
DK-8600 Silkeborg
Tel. (45-35) 46 60 00
152
GERMANY
ERDF
Federal Ministry of Economy and Technology
Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Technologie
Referat EA4
Scharnhorststraße 34-37
D-11019 Berlin
Tel. (49-30) 20 14 0
ESF
Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs
Bundesministerium für Arbeit und Soziales
Referat VI a 3
Villemombler Straße 76
D-53107 Bonn
Tel. (49-228) 995 27 35 58
ESTONIA
ERDF, ESF and Cohesion Fund
Ministry of Finance
Rahandusministeerium
Suur-Ameerika 1
EE- Tallinn 15006
Tel. (372-61)135 58
IRELAND
ERDF
Department of Finance
Government Buildings
Upper Merrion Street
Dublin 2 Ireland
Tel. (353-1) 676 75 71
ESF
Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment
23 Kildare Street
IDublin 2 Ireland
Tel. (353-1) 631 21 21
GREECE
ERDF and Cohesion Fund
Ministry of the Economy and Finance
Υπουργείο Οικονομίας και Οικονομικών
5-7, Nikis street
GR-101 80 Athens
Tel. (30-21) 03 33 20 00
153
ESF
Ministry of Employment and Social Protection — General Secretary for the Management of
European Funds and Other Funds
Υπουργείο Απασχόλησης και Κοινωνικής Προστασίας — Γενική Γραμματεία Διαχείρισης Κοινοτικών
και άλλων πόρων
9, Deligiorgi street
GR-104 37 Athens
Tel. (30-21) 05 20 12 00
SPAIN
ERDF
Ministry of Economy and Finance — Directorate-General for Community Funds
Ministerio de Economía y Hacienda — Dirección General de Fondos Comunitarios
Paseo de la Castellana 162
E-28046 Madrid
Tel. (34-91) 583 51 00
ESF
Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs — European Social Fund Unit
Ministerio de Trabajo y Asuntos Sociales — Unidad Fondo Social Europeo
Pio Baroja 6
E-28009 Madrid
Tel. (34-91) 363 18 00
FRANCE
ERDF
Inter-Ministerial Delegation of Territory Development and Competitiveness (DIACT)
Délégation interministérielle à l’aménagement et à la compétitivité des territoires (DIACT)
Av. Charles Floquet 1
F-75343 Paris Cedex 07
Tel. (33-1) 40 65 12 34
Overseas Territories Secretary of State
Directorate for Economic, Social and Cultural Affairs
European Affairs Department
Secrétariat d’État à l’outre-mer
Direction des affaires économiques, sociales et culturelles
Département des affaires européennes
Rue Oudinot 27
F-75358 Paris 07 SP
Tel. (33-1) 53 69 20 00
ESF
Ministry of Employment, Social Cohesion and Housing
ESF Sub-Directorate
Ministère de l’emploi, de la cohésion sociale et du logement
Sous-direction du FSE
Square Max Hymans 7
F-75741 Paris Cedex 15
Tel. (33-1) 44 38 38 38
154
ITALY
ERDF
Ministry of Economic Development — Department of Development and Cohesion
Structural Funds Policy Section
Ministero dello Sviluppo economico — Dipartimento per le politiche di sviluppo e di coesione
Servizio per le Politiche dei Fondi Strutturali Comunitari
Via Sicilia 162/D
I-00187 Roma
Tel. (39-06) 47 61 99 52
ESF
Minsitry for Labour and Social Policy — Directorate-General for Vocational Guidance and Training
Ministero del lavoro e delle politiche sociali — Direzione Generale per le politiche per l’orientamento
e la formazione
Via Fornovo, 8 – pal. C
I-00192 Roma
Tel. (39-06) 36 75 47 60
CYPRUS
ERDF, ESF and Cohesion Fund
Planning Bureau
Γραφείο Προγραμματισμού
29 Vironos Avenue
CY-1096 Nicosia
Tel. (357-22) 60 29 00
LATVIA
ERDF, ESF and Cohesion Fund
Ministry of Economy — European Union Funds Department
Finansu Ministrija — Eiropas Savienibas Fondu Departements
Smilšu iela 1,
LV-1919 Rīga
Tel. (371-7) 09 54 05
LITHUANIA
ERDF, ESF and Cohesion Fund
Ministry of Economy
Finansų ministerija
J. Tumo-Vaižganto g. 8a/2
LT-01512 Vilnius
Tel. (370-5) 239 01 00
155
LUXEMBURG
ERDF
Ministry of Economy
Ministère de l’économie
Boulevard Royal 6
L-2449 Luxembourg
Tel. (352) 478 41 37
ESF
Ministry of Labour and Employment
Ministère du travail et de l’emploi
Rue Zithe 26
L-2939 Luxembourg
Tel. (352) 478 61 19
HUNGARY
ERDF, ESF and Cohesion Fund
National Development Agency
Nemzeti Fejlesztesi Ugynokseg
Pozsonyi út 56.
H-1133 Budapest
Tel. (36-1) 237 42 33
MALTA
ERDF, ESF and Cohesion Fund
Planning and Priorities Coordination Division — Offi ce of the Prime Minister
12 St Paul’s Street
Valletta
Malta
Tel. (356) 22 00 11 42
THE NETHERLANDS
ERDF
Ministry of Economic Affairs — Directorate-General for Enterprise and Innovation
Ministerie van Economische Zaken — Directoraat-generaal van Ondernemen en Innovatie
Directie REB
Postbus 20101
NL-2500 EC Den Haag
Tel. (31-70) 379 89 11
ESF
Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment
Ministerie van Sociale Zaken en Werkgelegenheid
Agentschap SZW
Wilhelmina van Pruisenweg 104
NL-2595 AN Den Haag
Tel. (31-70) 333 60 00
156
AUSTRIA
ERDF
Federal Chancellery
Bundeskanzleramt
Ballhausplatz 2
A-1014 Vienna
Tel. (43-1) 53115-0
ESF
Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Labour
Bundesministerium fur Wirtschaft und Arbeit
Abteilung II.9
Stubenring 1
A-1010 Vienna
Tel. (43-1) 71100-0
POLAND
ERDF, ESF and Cohesion Fund
Ministry of Regional Development
Ministerstwo Rozwoju Regionalnego
Ul. Wspólna 2/4,
PL-00-926 Warszawa
Tel. (48-22) 461 30 00
PORTUGAL
ERDF and Cohesion Fund
Directorate-General for Rural Development
Direcção-Geral do Desenvolvimento Regional
Rua S. Julião 63
P-1149-030 Lisboa
Tel. (351-21) 881 40 00
ESF
European Social Fund Management Institute
Instituto de Gestao do Fundo Social Europeu
Rua Castilho, 5, 7o-8o
P-1250-066 Lisboa
Tel. (351-21) 359 16 00
ROMANIA
ERDF, ESF and Cohesion Fund
Ministry of Public Finances
Ministerul Finantelor Publice
44, Mircea Voda Blvd.
Sector 3
RO-Bucharest
Tel. (40-1) 410 3400
157
SLOVENIA
ERDF, ESF and Cohesion Fund
Governmental Offi ce for Autonomous Local Government and Regional Policy
Služba Vlade za lokalno samoupravo in regionalno politiko
Kotnikova 28
SI-1000 Ljubljana
Tel. (386-1) 30 83 178
SLOVAKIA
ERDF and Cohesion Fund
Ministry of Construction and Regional Development
Ministerstvo vystavby a regionalneho rozvoja SR
Prievozská 2/B
SK-825 25 Bratislava 26
Tel. (421-2) 583 17 111
ESF
Ministry of Education
Ministerstvo školstva SR
Address: Stromová 1
SK-813 30 Bratislava
Tel. (421-2) 5937 4111
Ministry of Employment, Social Affairs and Family
Ministerstvo prace, soc. veci a rodiny SR
Špitálska 4
SK-816 43 Bratislava
Tel. (421-2) 5975 1111
FINLAND
ERDF
Ministry of Home Affairs
Sisaasiainministerio
PO Box 26
FI- 00023 Valtioneuvosto
Helsinki
Tel. (358-9) 160 01
ESF
Ministry of Labour
Tyoministerio
PO Box 34
FI-00023 Valtioneuvosto
Helsinki
Tel. (358-10) 60 40 01
158
SWEDEN
ERDF
Swedish Agency for the Development of Enterprises
Verket for Naringslivsutveckling
Box 3034
SE-831 03 Östersund
Sweden
Tel. (46-8) 681 91 00
ESF
Swedish ESF Council
Radet for Europeiska socialfonden i Sverige
Box 471 41
SE- 100 74 Stockholm
Sweden
Tel. (46-8) 579 171 00 or (46-8) 203 333 90
UNITED KINGDOM
ERDF
England
Department for Communities and Local Government
Eland House
Bressenden Place
London SW1E 5DU United Kingdom
Tel. (44-20) 79 44 44 00
Gibraltar
Government of Gibraltar — Department of Trade, Industry and Telecommunications
Suite 631 Europort
Gibraltar United Kingdom
Tel. (44-350) 520 52
Northern Ireland
PEACE Programme and Cross-border cooperation Programme
The Special EU Programmes Body
6 Cromac Place
Belfast BT7 2JB United Kingdom
Tel. (44-28) 90 26 66 60
Regional competitiveness and employment Programme — Department of Finance and Personnel
Central Finance Group
European Division, Annexe F
Health Estates
Stoney Road
Belfast BT16 1US United Kingdom
Tel. (44-28) 90 52 37 07
159
Scotland
Scottish Executive — European Structural Funds Division
Meridian Court
Cadogan Street
Glasgow G2 6AT United Kingdom
Tel. (44-141) 242 54 13
Wales
Welsh European Funding Offi ce
Rhydycar
Merthyr Tydfil CF48 1UZ United Kingdom
Tel. (44-845) 010 33 55
ESF
European Social Fund Division
Department for Work and Pensions
Moorfoot
Sheffi eld S1 4PQ United Kingdom
Tel. (44-114) 267 72 90

Instrument for Pre-Accession
Assistance contact addresses
FORMER YUGOSLAV REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA
European Commission Delegation
Marsal Tito 12
FYRM-1000 Skopje
Tel. (389-2) 312 20 32
E-mail: delegation-FYRMacedonia@ec.europa.eu
CROATIA
European Commission Delegation
Trg žrtava fašizma 6
HR-10000 Zagreb
Tel. (385-1) 4896 500
E-mail: delegation-croatia@ec.europa.eu
TURKEY
European Commission Delegation
Uğur Mumcu Cad. No 88
Gaziosmanpaşa
TR-Ankara
Tel. (90-312) 459 87 00
E-mail: delegation-turkey@ec.europa.eu
160
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you have concerning the European Union
Just one, free number (*)
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(*) Some mobile phone operators do not allow access to 00 800 numbers and may charge you for such calls
Neither the European Commission, nor any person acting in the name of the Commission, is responsible
for any use that might made of the information below.
The opinions expressed in this publication are the responsibility of the author and do not necessarily
reflect the European Commission’s attitude.
Much more information on the European Union is available on the internet through the Europa server
(http://europa.eu).
A bibliographical reference is found at the end of the document.
Luxemburg: Offi ce for Offi cial Publications of the European Communities, 2007
ISBN 92-79-03805-2
© The European Communities, 2007
Reproduction authorised, as long as the source is mentioned
Printed in Belgium
Cover photograph : Checking the radiation levels of electrical appliances Caddsdown Business Support
Centre in Devon in the United Kingdom, a project co-financed by the European Regional Development
Fund © European Commission, Directorate-General for Regional Policy / Mike St Maur Sheil
The maps on pp. 15, 17, 19, 21, 22, 23, 38, 137: © EuroGeographics Association for the administrative
boundaries
European Commission
Cohesion policy 2007–13 — Commentaries and offi cial texts
Luxembourg: Offi ce for Offi cial Publications of the European Communities
2007 — 160 p. — 21 x 29.7 cm
ISBN 92-79-03805-2
Cohesion policy
2007–13
Commentaries and offi cial texts
• European Regional Development Fund
• European Social Fund
• Cohesion Fund
• European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation
• Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance
EN
Guide January 2007
The European Union’s cohesion policy, built into the Treaties since 1986, has been given the
objective of reducing the gap in the different regions’ levels of development, in order to strengthen
economic and social cohesion. With the integration of 10 new countries in 2004, then of Bulgaria
and Romania in 2007, this attempt at harmonisation had to be reinforced. The main beneficiaries
of the funds have been asked to contribute to the economic development of their new partners.
To organise the 2007–13 cohesion policy, new legislative provisions have proved necessary. This
guide covers the texts of the main regulations in force (General Regulation, ERDF, ESF, Cohesion
Fund, European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation and the Instrument for Pre-Accession
Assistance) and it presents a commentary on each one.
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Europe Direct is a service which aims to help you to find responses to the questions you have concerning the European Union Just one, free number (*)

00 800 6 7 8 9 10 11
(*) Some mobile phone operators do not allow access to 00 800 numbers and may charge you for such calls

Neither the European Commission, nor any person acting in the name of the Commission, is responsible for any use that might made of the information below. The opinions expressed in this publication are the responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect the European Commission’s attitude. Much more information on the European Union is available on the internet through the Europa server (http://europa.eu). A bibliographical reference is found at the end of the document. Luxemburg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, 2007 ISBN 92-79-03805-2 © The European Communities, 2007 Reproduction authorised, as long as the source is mentioned Printed in Belgium Cover photograph : Checking the radiation levels of electrical appliances Caddsdown Business Support Centre in Devon in the United Kingdom, a project co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund © European Commission, Directorate-General for Regional Policy / Mike St Maur Sheil The maps on pp. 15, 17, 19, 21, 22, 23, 38, 137: © EuroGeographics Association for the administrative boundaries

Cohesion policy

2007–13 cial texts Commentaries and offi

• European Regional Development Fund • European Social Fund • Cohesion Fund • European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation • Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance

.

It is our common point of reference as we move forward to create a new future for our citizens by making the best use of these resources. for example. The cohesion policy will operate in a simpler and more efficient way because. Jaspers will assist Member States and regions in the preparation of major projects. the cohesion policy is modernised through a new architecture placing greater emphasis on the need for a strategic vision in pursuit of a common set of Community priorities. it is often the regions that have the responsibility for key decisions in matters such as project selection and management.Foreword I believe that the European Union has every reason to be proud of its policy to promote cohesion. The new regulations set out a coherent framework so that the cohesion policy can continue to deliver real results. it combines this with a decentralisation of responsibilities to those on the ground in the Member States and regions that have the experience or expertise necessary to ensure successful implementation. the European Parliament and the Commission have worked hard to create this solid framework. Jeremie will increase access to finance for the development of SMEs. In fact. the European cohesion policy will be the major instrument at Community level for the modernisation of the Union’s economy in the years to come. which is backed by an investment effort of EUR 50 billion per year. strategic approach which is a fundamental principle of the policy. The Member States. and Member States and regions are asked for more transparency and communication. Danuta Hübner Member of the European Commission responsible for regional policy 3 . the European Investment Bank and other financial institutions will help Member States and regions to establish sound and efficient management of the funds and to make better use of financial engineering instruments. These priorities are summed up in the Growth and Jobs Agenda which was launched by the Union in 2005. Naturally. Jessica will promote sustainable investment in urban areas. Once the overall strategy is agreed with the Commission. While the policy is strategic in nature. The new regulatory framework provides for a number of reforms compared to the programming period 2000–06. the number of financial instruments has been reduced from six to three. national eligibility rules apply instead of Community rules. Important steps have been taken to streamline legislation and simplify rules for the management of cohesion programmes. which reflects the long-term. a policy which is creating new opportunities and reducing the gaps in income levels between regions. First of all. the European cohesion policy places a particular emphasis on helping the less developed regions to undertake new investment which would not otherwise take place. Finally. They will remain in force for seven years until 2013. three initiatives jointly launched by the European Commission. a new ‘proportionality’ principle provides for less bureaucracy. These regulations provide a common framework for the implementation of the cohesion policy. But it also addresses the problems of lack of opportunity in other regions in an effort to help them face up to increased competition in the global economy.

Contents
Introduction .....................................................................................................................................................................6

1

General information ...........................................................................................................................................9
Commentary..................................................................................................................................................................10
1. Objectives and general rules...................................................................................................................10
1.1. Convergence objective ..............................................................................................................................13 1.2. Regional competitiveness and employment objective ........................................................18 1.3. European territorial cooperation objective ...................................................................................20 1.4. Financial resources ........................................................................................................................................24 2. Intervention principles..................................................................................................................................27 3. Strategic approach............................................................................................................................................28 3.1. Community strategic guidelines..........................................................................................................28 3.2. National strategic reference framework .........................................................................................28 3.3. Strategic follow-up .......................................................................................................................................30 4. Programming.........................................................................................................................................................32 5. Efficiency....................................................................................................................................................................34 6. Management, follow-up and control ...............................................................................................35 7. Financial management ................................................................................................................................36 General Regulation................................................................................................................................................39

2 3

European Regional Development Fund .....................................................................95
Commentary..................................................................................................................................................................96 ERDF Regulation .......................................................................................................................................................97

European Social Fund ............................................................................................................................... 109
Commentary............................................................................................................................................................... 110 ESF Regulation ......................................................................................................................................................... 111

4

4 5 6

Cohesion Fund ......................................................................................................................................................119
Commentary...............................................................................................................................................................120 Cohesion Fund Regulation .......................................................................................................................121

European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation ............................................125
Commentary...............................................................................................................................................................126 EGTC Regulation ....................................................................................................................................................127

Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance ...............................................................135
Commentary...............................................................................................................................................................136 IPA Regulation ..........................................................................................................................................................138

Contact addresses ...........................................................................................................................................150

5

Introduction
The European Union’s cohesion policy, built into the Treaties since 1986, has been given the objective of reducing the gap in the different regions’ levels of development, in order to strengthen economic and social cohesion. With the integration of 10 new countries in 2004, then of Bulgaria and Romania in 2007, this attempt at harmonisation had to be reinforced. The main beneficiaries of the funds have been asked to contribute to the economic development of their new partners. At the same time, the whole of the Union is facing up to the challenges resulting from the acceleration of economic restructuring following globalisation, the opening up of trade, the effects of the technological revolution, the development of a knowledge-based economy, of an ageing population and the growth of immigration. To tackle these different challenges, new legislative provisions have proved necessary. For the period 2007–13 it is composed of the following elements(1)(2): • a general regulation which defines common rules, applicable to the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), European Social Fund (ESF) and the Cohesion Fund. Based on the principle of management shared between the Union, the Member States and the regions, this regulation offers a new programming process as well as new norms for financially managing, controlling and evaluating the projects. The cohesion policy is reorganised around three new priority objectives: convergence, regional competitiveness and employment, and European territorial cooperation; • a regulation for each of the sources of financing [European Regional Development Fund, European Social Fund, Cohesion Fund and the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA)(3)]; • a new regulation creating a cross-border authority to carry out the cooperation programmes.

A more strategic policy
The Community strategic guidelines and the national strategic reference framework are the principal contributions to the new regulations; they offer a strategic dimension to the new policy. The Member States and the regions are also invited to transform Community priorities into national priorities, all the while retaining their specificities. The financial aid is, in other respects, less dispersed and is concentrated on the European Union strategy geared towards growth and employment (known as the Lisbon strategy). Its major priorities are: research and technological development, innovation and the spirit of enterprise, a knowledge-based society, transport, energy, the protection of the environment as well as investment in human capital, employment market policy and improving worker and business adaptability. The European Commission is, in many respects, the guarantor of the implementation of this strategy across the whole programming. It ensures that investments focus on priorities.

(1) This guide incorporates corrections made to Annex 3 and Annex 4 of the Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 (notably following the accession of Bulgaria and Romania) which appeared respectively in the OJ L 27 of 2.2.2007 and in the OJ L 239 of 1.9.2006. (2) A Commision regulation defines the details of how these regulations are applied. It does not appear in this guide but is published in the Official Journal: Regulation (EC) No 1828/2006 which appeared in the OJ L 45 of 15.2.2007. (3) The regulation on the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance is presented for the sake of completeness even if

6

which leaves the matter up to an insurance declaration drawn up by a national control organisation. All the parties win. The rules governing the Cohesion Fund and the Structural Funds have been harmonised. A regulation which simplifies the cohesion policy The new regulation alleviates the role of the Commission. which is more than a third of the whole of the European budget.europa. Expenditure eligibility rules are now national rather than Community based. If the State provides proof from the start that its control system is trustworthy. A Europe showing solidarity must also be a dynamic.eu/inforegio 7 . productive and innovative Europe. The competitiveness of economies benefits the whole of the European territories. which is the real added value of the Community. Regularly updated information is available on the Inforegio website: http://ec. the Member States have more room for manoeuvre in implementing operational programmes. Furthermore the whole of the Union’s territory and citizens can now benefit from the cohesion policy thanks to changes in the geographical eligibility rules. The cohesion policy has been allocated a budget of EUR 347 billion for the period 2007–13 (in current prices). But the big change concerns monitoring and control rules. regional and national level. This simplification manifests itself mainly in a reduction in the number of funds and programming stages. But it does not solely rest on simple financial aid.More confidence placed in the Member States In a general way. its obligations are lessened vis-à-vis the Commission. The issue is to improve competitiveness and the potential for growth at local. including convergence regions. which can thus concentrate on a strategic approach.

.

1 GENERAL INFORMATION .

Objectives and general rules The previous Structural Funds as well as Community initiatives for the period 2000–06 give way to a new architecture which simplifies the system.1. 10 . as well as of the regional competitiveness and employment objective. The cohesion policy architecture 2000–06 Objectives Community initiatives Cohesion Fund Objective 1 Regions lagging behind in development terms 2007–13 Objectives Financial instruments Financial instruments ERDF ESF EAGGF-Guarantee EAGGF-Guidance FIFG Cohesion Fund ERDF ESF Convergence ERDF ESF Cohesion Fund Cohesion Fund Objective 2 Economic and social conversion zones Objective 3 Training systems and employment policies Interreg III URBAN II(*) EQUAL (*) Leader + ESF ERDF ERDF ESF EAGGF-Guidance Regional competitiveness ERDF and ESF employment European territorial cooperation ERDF Rural development and EAGGF-Guarantee restructuring of the fishing sector FIFG beyond Objective 1 4 objectives 4 Community initiatives Cohesion Fund 6 instruments 3 objectives 3 instruments (*) In 2007–13. Urban II and Equal will be part of the convergence objective.

The EAFRD and the EFF now have their own legal basis and are no longer involved in the cohesion policy. Equal and Urban II. the Cohesion Fund no longer functions independently but participates in the Convergence objective. • The three new objectives incorporate the missions of the previous Objectives 1. The same programming and management rules apply to the three Funds. the Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance (FIFG) becomes the European Fisheries Fund (EFF).• In 2007–13. 2 and 3 as well as the previous Community initiatives: Interreg III. REFERENCES General Regulation: Articles 3 and 4 11 GENERAL INFORMATION . • The Leader + programme and European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF) are replaced by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD). • Interreg III is integrated into the European territorial cooperation objective • The Urban II and Equal programmes are integrated into the convergence and regional competitiveness and employment objectives.

.

2007–13 No change Tapering transitional support up to 2013 for regions who would have been eligible for the convergence objective if the threshold had remained 75 % of the average GDP of the EU-15 and not the EU-25. 13 Convergence GENERAL INFORMATION . It highlights innovation and the knowledge-based society. 14-15) and Member States who are eligible for the Cohesion Fund on a national criteria basis (GNI less than 90 % of the European average. see pp. Convergence objective The convergence objective aims to stimulate growth and employment in the least developed regions. It is financed by the ERDF and the ESF as well as the Cohesion Fund and targets the least well-developed Member States and regions. Article 8. 16-17) REFERENCES General Regulation: Articles 3 to 5. but in 2000–06 are no longer eligible for Objective 1 (phasing-out) Member States whose per capita gross national income (GNI) is below 90 % of the Community average Corresponds to the transitional support of the regional competitiveness and employment objective (see p. 18) No change Cohesion Fund Tapering transitional support for Member States who would have been eligible for the Cohesion Fund objective if the threshold had remained 90 % of the average GNI of EU-15 and not EU-25 The areas eligible for the convergence objective combine the regions eligible on a regional criteria basis (GDP is less than 75 % of the Community average. Objective 1 Transitional support for regions and areas which were eligible for regionalised objectives for the period 1994–99. Eligibility for the convergence objective 2000–06 NUTS 2 regions whose per capita gross domestic product (GDP) is less than 75 % of the Community average.1.1. see pp. adaptability to economic and social changes and the quality of the environment and administrative efficiency.

Martinique. Ciudad Autónoma de Ceuta. Sicilia • Latvia: all the teritory • Lithuania: all the territory • Hungary: Közép-Dunántúl. Nyugat-Dunántúl. Észak-Magyarország. Puglia. Severovýchod. Ipeiros. Dytiki Makedonia.Regions eligible for the convergence objective • Bulgaria: all the territory • Czech Republic: Střední Čechy. Észak-Alföld. Dessau. Thüringen • Estonia: all the territory • Greece: Anatoliki Makedonia. Réunion • Italy: Campania. Dytiki Ellada. Moravskoslezsko • Germany: Brandenburg-Nordost. Střední Morava. Jihovýchod. Thessalia. Magdeburg. Ionia Nisia. Ciudad Autónoma de Melilla • Italy: Basilicata • Austria: Burgenland • Portugal: Algarve • United Kingdom: Highlands and Islands REFERENCES Commission Decision 2006/595/EC 14 . Severozápad. Castilla-La Mancha. Centro. Východné Slovensko • United Kingdom: Cornwall and Isles of Scilly. Voreio Aigaio. Stredné Slovensko. Jihozápad. Thraki. Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Attiki • Spain: Principado de Asturias. Dél-Dunántúl. Calabria. Guyane. West Wales and the Valleys Regions eligible for the convergence objective transitional support system (phasing-out) • Belgium: Province du Hainaut • Germany: Brandenburg-Südwest. Andalucía • France: Guadeloupe. Alentejo. Halle • Greece: Kentriki Makedonia. Leipzig. Região Autónoma dos Açores • Romania: all the territory • Slovenia: all the territory • Slovakia: Západné Slovensko. Lüneburg. Dél-Alföld • Malta: the whole island • Poland: all the territory • Portugal: Norte. Kriti • Spain: Galicia. Región de Murcia. Chemnitz. Peloponnisos. Extremadura. Dresden.

Convergence — ERDF and ESF From 2007 to 2013 Regions eligible for the convergence objective Regions eligible for the convergence objective transitional support system (phasing-out) 15 GENERAL INFORMATION .

States eligible for Cohesion Fund financing • Bulgaria • Czech Republic • Estonia • Greece • Cyprus • Latvia • Lithuania • Hungary • Malta • Poland • Portugal • Romania • Slovenia • Slovakia State eligible for Cohesion Fund transitional support • Spain REFERENCES Commision Decision 2006/596/EC 16 .

Convergence — Cohesion Fund From 2007 to 2013 States eligible for the Cohesion Fund States eligible for Cohesion Fund transitional support 17 GENERAL INFORMATION .

From now on the elaboration of a coherent strategy. Regions eligible for the regional competitiveness and employment objective The European Union regions which are not eligible for the convergence objective or for the transitional support of the regional competitiveness and employment ‘phasing in’ objective are all eligible for the regional competitiveness and employment objective.). contrary to the previous Objective 2 (urban and rural zones. Eligibility for the regional competitiveness and employment objective 2000–06 Objective 2: industrial. Regional competitiveness and employment objective The regional competitiveness and employment objective covers all the areas of the European Union not eligible for the convergence objective. etc. applicable to the whole of a region is privileged.1. It aims to reinforce the regions’ competitiveness and attractiveness as well as employment. There is no longer any Community zoning for the regional competitiveness and employment objective. It is funded by the ERDF and the ESF. Community ceiling platform at 18 % Objective 3: all the regions not included in Objective 1 2007–13 All the regions not covered by the convergence objective or by transitional support (NUTS 1 and NUTS 2 regions according to the Member States) Previous Objective 1 transitional support (called ‘phasing-out’) Transitional support for NUTS 2 regions which were covered by Objective 1 but whose GDP exceeds 75 % of the EU-15 GDP average (called ‘phasing-in’). South Yorkshire REFERENCES General Regulation: Articles 3 to 6. meeting certain criteria. by anticipating economic and social changes.2. for example. Comunidad Valenciana. Midland and Western • Greece: Sterea Ellada. rural and urban areas or fishing. Canarias • Italy: Sardegna • Cyprus: all the territory • Hungary: Közép-Magyarország • Portugal: Região Autónoma da Madeira • Finland: Itä-Suomi • United Kingdom: Merseyside. See the list below. Regions eligible for the transitional support of the regional competitiveness and employment ‘phasing-in’ objective • Éire-Ireland: Border. Notio Aigaio • Spain: Castilla y León. instead of micro-zoning at borough or village level. Article 8 Commission Decision 2006/597/EC 18 .

Regional competitiveness and employment (ERDF and ESF) From 2007 to 2013 Regions eligible for the regional competitiveness and employment objective Regions eligible for the transitional support of the regional competitiveness and employment objective (phasing-in) 19 GENERAL INFORMATION .

The status of territorial cooperation has changed and it is now raised to the level of an entirely separate objective. 22-23). and setting up networks and exchanges of experience: all the European regions are eligible. rural and coastal development. 21) For transnational cooperation: all the regions are eligible but. is concerned with European territorial cooperation.3. risk prevention and integrated water management. Switzerland. see the corresponding maps on pp. but a single programme covers the whole of the European Union (against four for Interreg III C). transnational and interregional level. • The whole of Europe remains eligible for interregional cooperation. mainly in so far as maritime cooperation is concerned. etc. It aims to promote common solutions for the authorities of different countries in the domain of urban. Eligibility For cross-border cooperation: NUTS 3 level regions are eligible. along maritime borders separated by a maximum distance of 150 km. (The list of these regions is published in the Commission decision of 31 October 2006 (*). which do not receive European Union financial assistance (Liechtenstein. — ESPON: an observation network for spatial planning. Cooperation with countries outside the European Union is no longer aided by the Structural Funds but by two new supports: the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI) and the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA). — Urbact: a thematic city network. development. the Commission has identified 13 cooperation zones (these zones were defined in the decision of 31 October 2006 (*). Only cooperation with nonMember States. • Cross-border cooperation embraces a geographical area larger than the previous Interreg III. For interregional cooperation. the development of economic relations and the setting up of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). It is financed by the ERDF.1. the knowledge-based society.). Norway. see the corresponding map on p. It acts as a complement to the two other objectives. The cooperation is centred on research. • The setting-up of networks and exchanges of experience is covered by three different programmes presented by the 27 Member States: — Interact: support for cooperation programme management organisations. European territorial cooperation objective The European territorial cooperation objective aims to reinforce cooperation at cross-border. in consultation with the Member States. along all the land-based internal borders and some external borders. which gives it greater visibility and greater legal basis. as the eligible regions are also eligible for the convergence and regional competitiveness and employment objectives. REFERENCES General Regulation: Articles 3 to 7 (*) Commission Decision 2006/769/EC 20 .

Cross-border cooperation (ERDF) From 2007 to 2013 Regions eligible for cross-border cooperation 21 GENERAL INFORMATION .

Transnational cooperation areas Northern Periphery Baltic Sea North West Europe North Sea Atlantic Coast South West Europe 22 .

Alpine Space East-Central Europe Mediterranean South East Europe Açores-Madeira-Canarias (Macaronesia) Indian Ocean Area Caribbean Area The definition of cooperation areas outside the European Union is purely indicative and subject to modification 23 GENERAL INFORMATION .

5 % for European territorial cooperation objective.4 % Regional competitiveness and employment: 12.410 billion (in today’s prices): • 81. 24 .6 % Cohesion Fund: 20 % Interregional/network cooperation 0.041 billion (in 2004 prices) or EUR 347. • 2.1 % ‘PEACE’ programme: 0.5 % Phasing-out : 4 % Regions with a per capita GDP less than 75 % EU average: 57. • 16 % for the Regional competitiveness and employment objective.1.4 Financial resources Allocation by objective The available resources amount to EUR 308.5 % for the convergence objective.8 % Transnational cooperation: 0. Phasing-in: 3.1 % (1) Cross-border cooperation: 1.5 % European territorial cooperation Regional competitiveness and employment Phasing-in Phasing-out Convergence Cohesion Fund BE BG CZ DK DE EE IE EL ES FR IT CY LV LT LU HU MT NL AT PL PT RO SI SK FI SE UK (1) The ‘PEACE’ programme aims to consolidate the peace process in Northern Ireland.

and rate of unemployment. in million EUR) Convergence Regional competitiveness and employment Regional competitiveness and employment 1 425 European territorial cooperation Cohesion Convergence Phasing-out Phasing-in Fund Total Belgium Bulgaria Czech Republic Denmark Germany Estonia Éire-Ireland Greece Spain France Italy Cyprus Latvia Lithuania Luxembourg Hungary Malta Netherlands Austria Poland Portugal Romania Slovenia Slovakia Finland Sweden United Kingdom Interregional/ Network cooperation Technical Assistance Total 69 578 199 322 2 738 22 176 3 060 6 552 1 412 3 899 44 377 17 133 12 661 2 689 7 013 8 642 284 14 248 556 213 1 540 2 305 2 991 4 470 3 697 3 543 9 420 21 054 3 191 21 211 1 152 11 864 2 252 2 283 8 819 4 391 17 064 638 194 179 2 258 6 853 26 692 613 26 340 3 456 901 20 420 35 217 14 319 28 812 640 4 620 6 885 65 25 307 855 1 907 1 461 67 284 21 511 19 668 4 205 11 588 1 716 1 891 10 613 445 419 510 4 215 9 409 389 103 851 52 458 6 458 1 583 635 4 955 293 151 210 3 522 10 257 559 872 846 28 90 109 430 972 399 5 353 50 2 031 15 386 15 1 660 177 1 027 247 257 731 280 448 490 99 455 104 449 545 1 051 1 626 174 965 6 014 227 120 265 722 445 868 13 955 11 409 43 556 8 723 347 410 NB: The figures having been rounded off. regional and national prosperity. Indicative allocation by Member State.Allocation by Member State The Commission is moving towards indicative annual financial breakdowns of Member States. using the following criteria among others: the eligible population. 25 GENERAL INFORMATION . 2007–13 (current prices. the totals might not correspond.

.

environmental partners. this consists of modulating the obligations attributed to the Member States. equality between men and women and non-discrimination. • The principle of additionality is applied differently. follow-up and evaluation). the following principles are introduced: proportionality. The Commission and the Member States see to it that at least 60 % of the spending of all the Member States on the convergence objective and at least 75 % of the expenditure on the regional competitiveness and employment objective are assigned to these priorities. This ‘Lisbon targeting’ is a new principle in the regulation. The Structural Funds must not substitute a State’s infrastructural spending. • Proportionality is a new principle. the State has less obligations. The Funds must now target the European Union priorities in terms of the promotion of competitiveness and employment creation (as defined by Annex 4 of the General Regulation). there moreover exists a financial corrective mechanism in the event of this principle not being respected. • Fund expenditure targets the Union’s priorities. The principle of additionality: for those regions covered by the convergence objective the Commission and the Member States verify the level of public expenditure. which is to say that any appropriate organisation representing civil society. contingent on the total amount of expenditure on an operational programme. coordination. REFERENCES General Regulation: Articles 9 to 17 and 74 27 GENERAL INFORMATION . • The principle of partnership is extended. non-governmental organisations and organisations responsible for promoting equality between men and women can participate in negotiations concerning the use of Structural Funds. The principle of partnership is widened. management and reports (Article 13. sustainable development and using the funds to focus on the Lisbon strategy priorities. The auditing authority is not obliged to present an auditing strategy to the Commission (Article 74). the obligations in terms of evaluation. • control and monitoring: if the programme does not exceed EUR 750 million and if the contribution of the Commission does not exceed 40 % of public expenditure. coherence. This rule concerns: • the choice of indicators used to measure up a programme. Furthermore. which was not the case in 2000–06. the principles of intervention are the same as for the period 2000–06. For the new programming period. The principle of proportionality: newly introduced. conformity and additionality.2.1). which is to say: complementarity. It not only participates in management but is involved at every programming stage (setting up. Intervention principles Within the framework of the three objectives.

National strategic reference framework The national strategic reference framework (NSRF) is a new system programming instrument applicable for the period 2007–13. The NSRF is applied to the convergence objective and the regional competitiveness and employment objective. The NSRF is prepared by the Member States. the national level and the implementation of programmes. REFERENCES General Regulation: Articles 25 to 28 Council Decision 2006/702/EC of 6 October 2006 28 . an indication of the annual allocation from each Fund for each programme.2. and the strengths and weaknesses of the whole territory.3). It is not a management instrument. information allowing verification that the principle of additionality is respected. The main points which the NSRF must consist of: • partners and actors involved in its preparation (Article 11). the Community strategic guidelines on cohesion policy. the level of expenditure to guarantee the convergence objective’s principle of additionality. There is now therefore greater interaction between the three levels of decision-making and action: the Community level. If the Member State so decides. and which will serve as a benchmark for the programming of funds.1. Strategic approach 3. • next. above all it defines policy priorities whilst suggesting the key elements of implementation. the contribution from each fund to each programme. • when it is received. it can also be applied to the European territorial cooperation objective. • for regions concerned with the convergence objective: information on the coordination with the EAFRD (European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development) and the EFF (European Fisheries Fund). the Member State has five months in which to send the NSRF. Timetable • after the adoption of the Community strategic guidelines by the Council of the European Union. • precisions concerning the contribution of the NSRF to the Lisbon strategy priorities (those presented in Article 9. taking into account trends in the European and global economies. each Member State presents a national strategic reference framework fitted to its strategic guidelines. As a result of this. • a definition of the chosen strategy. operation plans to reinforce administrative efficiency. as were the Community support frameworks (CSFs) used in preceding periods. • an analysis of the socio-economic situation. which consult their partners and hold dialogue with the Commission. following very close cooperation with the Member States. a list of operational programmes for the convergence objective and the regional competitiveness and employment objective.3. the Commission takes a decision on certain points of the NSRF of each Member State (defined by Article 28. if necessary. 3.3): the list of operational programmes. Community strategic guidelines The Commission has put forward. the Commission has three months to comment. These were officially adopted by the Council Decision of 6 October 2006 (*).

Objective 1 stages) 1. 2. decision by the Commission. Development plan submitted by the Member State 2007–13 1. reflecting the Union’s priorities. Single programming document adopted by the Commission. Two major innovations should be underlined: Priorities already existed in 2000–06 but from now on it will be a document adopted by the Council of the European Union (all the Member States). which will define programming priorities. in respecting the principle of partnership. 3. The national strategic reference framework introduces a single strategy. Community support framework established and adopted by the Commission following the development plan.Strategic approach and programming 2000–06 (As an example. Operational programmes suggested by the Member State. the Community strategic guidelines. 29 GENERAL INFORMATION . Programming complement by the Member States in addition to points 3 and 4. 2. suggested by the Member State. 4. decision by the Commission. adopted by the Council. Community strategic guidelines on cohesion policy. in accordance with the Parliament’s opinion. covering the Community support framework and the operational programmes. 5. 3. suggested by the Commission. National strategic reference framework (NSRF). Operational programmes (OPs) suggested by the Member State or region. a Commission decision on part of the NSRF. in other words a single overall vision at the level of each Member State.

then in 2013 Commission’s strategic report Commission The strategic follow-up did not exist in the preceding period. For the first time in 2007. the European institutions will evaluate the progress made concerning the strategic priorities and the results achieved. Deadline Document submitted Responsibility Annual report on the implementation of the national reform programme (NRP) Annual report presented to the spring European Council Contents Contribution of the operational programmes to the implementation of the national reform programme Summary of the Member States’ annual reports From 2007 (and then each year) Member States Before January/February of each year (starting in 2008) Commission Follow-up related to the cohesion policy Deadline Document submitted Responsibility Contents Information on the contribution of the programmes to the cohesion policy or Commission’s strategic guidelines Summary of the Member States’ strategic reports or a cohesion report Before the end of 2009. then before the end of 2012 Strategic report Member States Before 1 April 2010.3. the Member States have adopted national reform programmes (NRPs).3. The major change is thus the establishment of a new dialogue with the Council to adapt the cohesion policy to the priorities retained within the framework of the Lisbon strategy. Strategic follow-Up Follow-up related to the Lisbon strategy Within the framework of the Lisbon strategy. REFERENCES General Regulation: Articles 29 to 31 30 . annual reports related to these strategies must include a section explaining the contribution of the operational programmes to the implementation of the NRP. in the light of a document drawn up by the Commission on the basis of different national reports. Each year.

GENERAL INFORMATION .

a ceiling limits the use of technical assistance at the level of each operational programme: 4 % of the total allocated to a programme for the convergence and regional competitiveness and employment objectives. • of the national strategic reference framework. Key priorities The operational programme outlines the key priorities and their objectives. and 6 % to programmes within the European territorial cooperation objective. the Commission Decision concerning the NSRF must precede the Commission decision on each OP. as in 2000–06. • the implementation of the programmes (designating management. • the specific objectives of the key priorities. 32 . The Commission evaluates each programme put forward in order to determine if it contributes to the objectives and priorities: • of the Community strategic guidelines on cohesion policy. Details concerning management (as well as project selection criteria) are defined at regional and national level and do not feature in the programming. 0.2). • an indicative list of large projects (in other words environment projects which exceed EUR 25 million and other projects which exceed EUR 50 million).25 % of the annual provision of each fund can be allocated to technical assistance (as in 2000–06). • funding plans. There is one exception to this latter rule: the ERDF and the Cohesion Fund participate together for infrastructure and environmental programmes. An operational programme is only concerned with one of the three objectives (apart from the exceptions defined by Article 32. The main points which the OPs must consist of: • an analysis of the eligible area (strengths and weaknesses). The programmes are built around a Member State’s priorities. but it no longer details the measures envisaged to implement these priorities. The programming complement which existed in the past thus no longer exists. Programming Operational programmes The Member States’ operational programmes (OPs) cover the period from 1 January 2007 to 31 December 2013.4. The contribution of the funds at key priority level must represent at least 20 % of the public expenditure dedicated to this priority (Article 54).2) and only benefits from the funding of a single fund. The two decisions can nevertheless be taken simultaneously. Given that the NSRF constitutes the basis of operational programmes. description of evaluation and follow-up systems). When the initiative is taken by the Member State. A key priority corresponds to one of the priorities of the strategy retained in the operational programme (Article 2. • a justification of the priorities retained (in terms of Community strategic guidelines and the National Framework). auditing and certification authorities. Technical assistance Following a Commission initiative.

• Operational programmes are more strategic than in the past. The Member State has therefore a higher level of autonomy to implement its programme. in the 2007–13 programming. Once adopted the programmes can be revised at the request of the Member State or by the Commission. with the agreement of the Member State. • The new regulation leads to a simplification of the programming process through the creation of the national strategic reference framework (NSRF) and the cancelling of the Community support framework (CSF) related to Objective 1 and the single programming documents (SPDs) related to Objectives 2 and 3. The Commission adopts each programme no later than four months after its formal presentation by the Member State. • It should be noted that. REFERENCES General Regulation: Articles 32 to 46 33 GENERAL INFORMATION . there is now a strengthened coordination with the EIB and the EIF. the amounts involved are mentioned at priority rather than action level. notably for complex financial arrangements and public/private partnerships (Article 36).Timetable The State must present its operational programmes to the Commission. grants or allowances and European Investment Bank (EIB) and European Investment Fund (EIF) loans. Programming complements no longer exist and from now on the operational programme is the only programming and management tool. no later than five months after the adoption of the operational programmes. Participation of the European Investment Bank and of the European Investment Fund The regulation facilitates coordination between funds. The programme is less detailed.

rising to 3 % of its total allocation for each of the convergence and regional competitiveness and employment objectives. funds) • Mid-term evaluation according to needs Reserves In 2000–06 the Commission allocated. The State can also create a reserve to anticipate unpredictable events (economic and social restructuring. and are carried out in the principle of proportionality. They are carried out by independent evaluators and their results are made public. according to their contribution. The regulation offers greater flexibility by reducing the number of obligatory evaluations. in the mid-term. • We are witnessing a strengthening of subsidiarity whilst allowing Member States to carry out evaluations based on their needs. each State can take direct initiative in creating a national performance reserve. REFERENCES General Regulation: Articles 47 to 51 34 . for example).5. this was the performance reserve. Efficiency Evaluation Documents and activities connected to the Funds are evaluated in order to improve their quality. These evaluations are the responsibility of the Member State or the Commission. • The new rules concerning reserves lead to greater flexibility and the rapid reaction of the policy and its instruments to sector based and local crises. the Member States choose the level of evaluation according to needs (programme. mid-term and post-ante evaluation for each intervention 2007–13 • Ex-ante evaluation for each convergence objective programme • For each rregional competitiveness and employment and European territorial cooperation objective. It signals this reserve in the national strategic reference framework. Efficiency evaluation 2000–06 • Obligatory ex-ante. theme. a certain sum to the most effective programmes. In 2007–13. efficiency and the coherence of their intervention.

Management.6. the same authority can be assigned to a number of operational programmes. Information The Member States guarantee that information and the publicity of the Funds’ activities concerning citizens and beneficiaries will be delivered. • A certification authority which draws up and sends to the Commission a certified inventory concerning expenditure and requests for payment. The certification authority and the auditing authority replace the previous regulation’s paying authority and control authority. increased confidence is accorded to the Member States’ control systems when they are the main financial contributors to the development programmes (Article 74). notably as far as the follow-up to communication plans is concerned. and includes economic. created for each operational programme by the Member State. It takes charge of the audits it carries out on the basis of an appropriate sample. It is presided over by a representative of the Member State or the management authority and is constituted according to a decision made by the Member State. It assures the efficiency and the quality of the implementation of the operational programme. social and regional partners. If the trustworthiness of the projects is assured from the beginning of the period. writes up the annual control reports and offers an opinion on the audits carried out. However. Nonetheless. follow-up and control • A management authority responsible for the efficient. It delivers an annual performance report to the Commission each year by 30 June at the latest. follow-up and control Bodies responsible for management. Rules concerning information and publicity have been strengthened. A final report must also be delivered no later than 31 March 2017. The objective is to highlight the role of the Union and to guarantee transparency (Article 69). It must also certify the accuracy and the compliance of expenditure in terms of Community and national rules. It takes charge of accounting and assures the recovery of Community credits in the case of irregularities. • A follow-up committee. 67 and 68 do not instigate any major change in comparison with the preceding period. audits of the Commission services will only be carried out in exceptional circumstances. as well as information concerning (potential) beneficiaries and the obligation of beneficiaries to communicate to the public the contribution the Funds have made to different projects. effective and correct management and implementation of an operational programme. REFERENCES General Regulation: Articles 58 to 74 35 GENERAL INFORMATION . The follow-up methods specified by Articles 66. • An auditing authority which is an operationally independent body designated by the Member State for each operational programme. The responsibilities of these bodies are practically the same as for 2000–06.

5 % REFERENCES General Regulation: Articles 75 to 102 36 . the delay is fixed for the end of the third year (n + 3) between 2007 and 2010 in respect of their programmes. Greece. Latvia. Financial management A new rule simplifying the management of the Funds comes into force: One programme = one Fund Under this rule. a pre-financing sum is allocated for the 2007–13 period. the ERDF and the ESF can each finance in complementary and limited ways activities related to the scope of assistance of the other fund (within 10 % of the credit facilities allocated by the Community to each operational programme’s key priorities). Malta. Cyprus.5 % 10.7. Commitments The budgetary commitments related to operational programmess are delivered by annual instalments concerning each fund and each objective.5 % 3% 4% 2. however. Estonia. Poland. Hungary. Romania. For Bulgaria. Thereafter. it pledges the instalments by 30 April each year (no change in relation to the period 2000–06). Part of the budget is automatically released by the Commission if it has not been used or no request for payment has been received at the end of the second year following that of the budgetary commitment (n + 2). the Czech Republic. Commission pre-financing 2007 Structural Funds EU-15 EU-10 + BG + RO 2% 2% 2008 3% 3% 2009 TOTAL 5% 2% 7% Cohesion Fund EU-15 EU-10 + BG + RO 2% 2. Slovenia and Slovakia. It is delivered in instalments and will not exceed a certain percentage of the Fund’s contribution to the operational programme. Portugal. Payments Payments by the Commission are made in three steps: • pre-financing • interim payments • payment of the final balance Following the Commission decision concerning an operational programme.5 % 4% 7. Lithuania. The Commission pledges the first annual instalment before the adoption of the operational programme.

• The first interim payment can only be made if the Member State provides the Commission a description of the running of its management. 37 GENERAL INFORMATION . Community rules only intervene when necessary to implement cooperation operations. • As far as eligibility of expenditure is concerned. it must be incurred between 1 January 2007 and 31 December 2015. • All these financial management rules are also applicable to the Cohesion Fund. Co-financed operations do not need to be fully realised before the date eligibility commences. Eligibility of expenditure 2000–06 Common eligibility of expenditure rules determined at Community level for Structural Funds and Cohesion Fund 2007–13 National eligibility rules.Financing conditions Co-financing rates There are ceilings concerning co-financing rates (outlined in Annex 3 of the General Regulation) but these are no longer dependent on priorities (the environment. • Pre-financing represented 7 % of the Fund’s allocation to the programme concerned in 2000 (for the 15 older Member States) and 16 % for the 10 new Member States in 2004. The rules are established at national level. Now prefinancing is spread over two or three years and the percentages are smaller. for example). apart from exceptions anticipated in the regulations relating to each fund. • Financial management is more flexible: the partial closure of operations already completed is possible (before the programme in its entirety is closed). Maximum co-financing rates (see exceptions in the regulation’s Annex): Convergence: between 75 % and 85 % Regional competitiveness and employment: between 50 % and 85 % European territorial cooperation: between 75 % and 85 % Cohesion Funds: 85 % Eligibility of expenditure For expenditure to be eligible. • The request for the first interim payment must be made within 24 months after the Commission has paid the first pre-financing instalment (if not the State must repay the pre-financing). • The rule n + 3 is introduced for the 12 new Member States as well as for Greece and Portugal up until 2010. certificating and auditing authorities. the rules are simplified to facilitate the implementation of programmes and to avoid conflicts between national and Community rules. • Repayments are calculated at key priority level (and not at quantity level as in 2000–06).

Cohesion policy at a glance From 2007 to 2013 Convergence Phasing-out Phasing-in Regional competitiveness and employment 38 .

OJ C 231. Article 158 of the Treaty provides that. 20.2006 EN Official Journal of the European Union COUNCIL REGULATION (EC) No 1083/2006 of 11 July 2006 L 210/25 laying down general provisions on the European Regional Development Fund. (5) (11) The outermost regions should benefit from specific measures and additional funding to offset the handicaps resulting from the factors referred to in Article 299(2) of the Treaty. social and territorial disparities at both regional and national level have increased in the enlarged European Union. 2. 39 GENERAL REGULATION .31. 1. Assent of 4 July 2006 (not yet published in the Official Journal).2005. the European Social Fund (ESF) and the Cohesion Fund. 1. namely the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development pursuant to Council Regulation (EC) No 1698/2005 of 20 September 2005 on support for rural development by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EARDF) (5). Cohesion policy should contribute to increasing growth.10. The Funds providing assistance under the cohesion policy are therefore limited to the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the other existing Financial Instruments. (8) Under Article 55 of Council Regulation (EC) No 1260/ 1999 of 21 June 1999 laying down general provisions on the Structural Funds (6). 14. 21. (6) Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community. Regulation as last amended by Regulation (EC) No 173/2005 (OJ L 29. p.2005. Having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee (2).2005. Those instruments should be integrated into the instruments under the common agricultural policy and the common fisheries policy and coordinated with those under the cohesion policy.2005. Having regard to the assent of the European Parliament (1). 26. In order to implement the reform of the Funds proposed by this Regulation. in order to strengthen its economic and social cohesion. namely a European Fisheries Fund (EFF). transnational and interregional cooperation in the Community should be increased. p.2. the European Social Fund and the Cohesion Fund and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1260/1999 THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION. including rural areas. OJ C 121. The increase in the number of the Community's land and sea borders and the extension of its territory mean that the value added of cross-border. and for the fisheries sector.2005. The Cohesion Fund should be integrated into the programming of structural assistance in the interest of greater coherence in the intervention of the various Funds. the Community is to aim at reducing disparities between the levels of development of the various regions and the backwardness of the least favoured regions or islands. p. Whereas: (1) (7) The role of the instruments providing aid for rural development. Article 159 of the Treaty requires this action to be supported by the Structural Funds. Having regard to the opinion of the Committee of the Regions (3). OJ C 255. should be specified. p. 14. p. (6) OJ L 161. 1. Regulation (EC) No 1260/99 should be repealed. regional competitiveness and employment and European territorial cooperation. the work of the Structural Funds and of the Cohesion Fund should be concentrated and simplified and the objectives set out in Regulation (EC) No 1260/ 1999 redefined accordingly as seeking the convergence of the Member States and the regions. both economic and social characteristics and territorial characteristics should be taken into account in an appropriate fashion. Actions for convergence. (4) (10) Within those three objectives.1999. (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) OJ L 277. 20. competitiveness and employment by incorporating the Community's priorities for sustainable development as defined at the Lisbon European Council of 23 and 24 March 2000 and at the Göteborg European Council of 15 and 16 June 2001. p.9.5.10. Having regard to the proposal from the Commission.7. (2) (9) (3) To increase the value added of Community cohesion policy. 3). Economic. Having regard to the opinion of the Court of Auditors (4). 161 and 162 of the Treaty. 79.6. The rules applicable to each Fund are to be specified in implementing regulations adopted under Articles 148. and in particular Article 161 thereof. the Council is to review that Regulation on the basis of a proposal from the Commission by 31 December 2006 at the latest. competitiveness and employment should therefore be increased throughout the Community.

21. (2) See page 82 of this Official Journal. mountainous areas and areas with a low population density.2005. 25. particularly medium-sized ones. A Regional competitiveness and employment objective is to cover the territory of the Community outside the Convergence objective. To this end. as well as for certain border areas of the Community following enlargement. The regions suffering from the statistical effect linked to the reduction in the Community average following the enlargement of the European Union are to benefit for that reason from substantial transitional aid in order to complete their convergence process. 1). In accordance with the principle of proportionality. This aid is to end in 2013 and is not to be followed by a further transitional period.e.L 210/26 (12) EN Official Journal of the European Union 31. with full regard to the institutional arrangements of the Member States. the areas for transnational cooperation being defined with regard to actions promoting integrated territorial development and support for interregional cooperation and exchange of experience. require appropriate financial treatment to offset the effects of these handicaps. the Community may adopt measures. Multiannual programming should be directed towards achieving the Funds' objectives by ensuring the availability of the necessary financial resources and the consistency and continuity of joint action by the Community and the Member States. Since the Convergence. A Convergence objective is to cover the Member States and regions whose development is lagging behind. in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity as set out in Article 5 of the Treaty.2003. Regulation as amended by Regulation (EC) No 1888/2005 (OJ L 309.2006 The problems of accessibility and remoteness from large markets confronting areas with an extremely low population density. as referred to in Protocol 6 on special provisions for Objective 6 in the framework of the Structural Funds in Finland and Sweden to the 1994 Act of Accession. The contribution from the ERDF to such cooperation along the external borders of the Community assists in redressing the main regional imbalances in the Community and thus in strengthening its economic and social cohesion. The partnership should be strengthened through arrangements for the participation of various types of partner. Action by the Community should be complementary to that carried out by Member States or seek to contribute to it.7. to regional development. Regional competitiveness and employment. (20) (14) (21) (15) Action for areas with a natural handicap. The activities of the Funds and the operations which they help to finance should be consistent with the other Community policies and comply with Community legislation. as set out in that Article. and European territorial cooperation objectives cannot be sufficiently achieved by the Member States by reason of the extent of the disparities and the limit on the financial resources of the Member States and regions eligible under the Convergence objective and can therefore be better achieved at Community level through the multiannual guarantee of Community finance which allows cohesion policy to be concentrated on the Community's priorities. p. The regions eligible are those under Objective 1 in the 2000 to 2006 programming period which no longer satisfy the regional eligibility criteria of the Convergence objective and which there- (22) (16) (23) (17) (24) (25) (18) (1) OJ L 154.6. greater account should be taken of them by developing their role in programming to promote urban regeneration. this Regulation does not go beyond what is necessary in order to achieve those objectives. 40 . The Funds should take special and complementary action over and above that of the EAFRD and of the EFF to promote the economic diversification of rural areas and of areas dependent on fisheries. (19) (13) A European territorial cooperation objective is to cover regions having land or sea frontiers. fore benefit from a transitional aid. the identification of the priority regions and areas at Community level should be based on the common system of classification of the regions established by Regulation (EC) No 1059/ 2003 of the European Parliament and the Council of 26 May 2003 on the establishment of a common classification of territorial units for statistics (NUTS) (1). Objective criteria for designating eligible regions and areas should be fixed.11. in particular regional and local authorities. in particular a European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument and the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance established by Council Regulation (EC) No 1085/2006 (2). should be strengthened to cope with their particular development difficulties. 1. The Member States targeted by the Convergence objective whose per capita gross national income (GNI) is less than 90 % of the Community average are to benefit under the Cohesion Fund. The improvement and simplification of cooperation along the external borders of the Community entail the use of the instruments of the Community's external assistance. In view of the importance of sustainable urban development and the contribution of towns and cities. The regions targeted by the Convergence objective are those whose per capita gross domestic product (GDP) measured in purchasing power parities is less than 75 % of the Community average. i. certain islands. p. as well as all the other regions of the Community.

the conclusions of the European Council of 15 and 16 December 2005 and the Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006 between the European Parliament. the effort in favour of the Regional competitiveness and employment objective to improve competitiveness and employment in the rest of the Community should be maintained and the resources for European territorial cooperation objective should be increased in view of its particular value added. the Commission should take note of the national strategic reference framework and take a decision on certain of its elements. religion or belief. Programming should ensure coordination of the Funds between themselves and with the other existing financial instruments. of the principle of additionality should concentrate on the regions under the Convergence objective because of the extent of the financial resources allocated to them and may result in a financial correction if additionality is not observed.2006 (26) EN Official Journal of the European Union L 210/27 It is appropriate to set measurable targets for Member States of the European Union as constituted before 1 May 2004 to aim to achieve through expenditure under the Convergence and Regional competitiveness and employment objectives with a view to promoting competitiveness and creating jobs. which should constitute the framework for preparing operational programmes. the Council should adopt strategic guidelines on a proposal from the Commission. it is appropriate that each Member State prepare. disability. in dialogue with the Commission.6. (40) (32) (1) OJ C 139. (39) With a view to improving complementarities and simplifying execution. racial or ethnic origin. with each being able to finance in a complementary and limited fashion actions which fall under the scope of the other Fund. In the context of its effort in favour of economic and social cohesion. (33) within the enlarged European Union.31. has as its goals to eliminate inequalities and to promote equality between men and women as enshrined in Articles 2 and 3 of the Treaty. On the basis of the national strategy. Such coordination should also cover the preparation of complex financial schemes and public-private partnerships. (35) The appropriations available under the Funds should be indexed on a flat-rate basis for use in programming. Verification. p. Applying these conditions should enable the Commission to satisfy itself that Member States are using the Funds in a legal and regular manner and in accordance with the principle of sound financial management within the meaning of the Financial Regulation. at all stages of implementation of the Funds. age or sexual orientation. It is necessary to identify appropriate ways to measure and report the attainment of those targets. 14. in the context of shared management. as well as combating discrimination based on sex. the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline and sound financial management (1) with a view to achieving a significant concentration on the regions whose development is lagging behind. the Community. the EIB and the European Investment Fund (EIF). (27) It is appropriate to strengthen the subsidiarity and proportionality of the intervention of the Structural Funds and of the Cohesion Fund. 41 GENERAL REGULATION . (34) The annual appropriations allocated to a Member State under the Funds should be limited to a ceiling fixed with regard to its capacity for absorption. a national reference document on its development strategy. 1. (37) (30) On the basis of the strategic guidelines adopted by the Council. through partnership. taking into account the Commission's proposal. The Commission should establish the indicative annual breakdown of available commitment appropriations using an objective and transparent method. (38) (31) The programming and management of the Structural Funds should be simplified having regard to their specific features by providing for operational programmes to be financed by either the ERDF or the ESF. including those receiving transitional support because of the statistical effect. contributions from the Structural Funds should not replace public expenditure by Member States under the terms of this Regulation.2006. (36) (29) To increase the strategic content and promote the transparency of cohesion policy through integration with the Community's priorities. In order to ensure a genuine economic impact. the assistance of the Cohesion Fund and the ERDF should be jointly programmed in the case of operational programmes on transport and the environment and should have a national geographical coverage. the conditions allowing the Commission to exercise its responsibilities for implementation of the general budget of the European Union should be specified and the responsibilities of cooperation by the Member States clarified.7. Financial concentration on the Convergence objective should be increased because of the greater disparities Three per cent of the Structural Funds appropriations allocated to Member States under the Convergence and Regional competitiveness and employment objectives may be placed in a national reserve for rewarding performance. (28) Under Article 274 of the Treaty. The Council should examine the implementation of those guidelines by Member States on the basis of strategic reporting by the Commission.

In other cases. regions and managing authorities may organise sub-delegation to urban authorities in respect of priorities concerning the regeneration of towns and cities. the EIB and the EIF could be awarded a grant by the Commission to undertake technical assistance actions in the area of sustainable urban development or to support restructuring measures for sustainable economic activity in regions significantly affected by economic crisis.7. (51) (42) When appraising major productive investment projects. (43) The programming period is to last for a single period of seven years in order to maintain the simplification of the management system defined in Regulation (EC) No 1260/ 1999. as well as the arrangements for the planned use of Community resources. (52) Similarly it is appropriate to provide that the EIF could be awarded a grant from the Commission to undertake an evaluation of the needs of innovative financial engineering instruments available for micro. small and medium-sized enterprises and for investing in public-private partnerships and other projects included in an integrated plan for sustainable urban development. (55) Within their national envelope under the Convergence and Regional competitiveness and employment objectives. Under the same conditions. (46) Within the operational programmes co-financed by the ERDF under the Convergence and the Regional competitiveness and employment objectives. if necessary in consultation with the EIB. or regional and local authorities. The EIB has a role to play in providing such assistance and could be awarded a grant by the Commission to this end. (56) (47) The additional allocation to offset the additional costs faced by the outermost regions should be integrated into the operational programmes financed by the ERDF in those regions. Member States may decide to set up a holding fund through the award of public contracts pursuant to public procurement law. in order to ensure that Community funding does not support relocation within the European Union There is a need to ensure that sufficient resources are devoted to assist Member States in project preparation and appraisal. the Community support framework and the programme complement provided for in Regulation (EC) No 1260/1999 should be discontinued. 42 . For the same reasons as mentioned above. (49) The Commission should be able to approve major projects included in operational programmes.L 210/28 (41) EN Official Journal of the European Union (48) 31. to this end it is appropriate to refer to the contribution of the ‘bodies governed by public law’ as defined in the Community public procurement directives since such bodies comprise several types of public or private body established for the specific purpose of meeting needs in the general interest not having an industrial or commercial character and which are controlled by the State. There should be separate arrangements for implementation of the European territorial cooperation objective financed by the ERDF. in order to evaluate their purpose and impact. (50) It is useful to specify the types of action which the Funds should support as technical assistance. programming and financial management should be carried out at the level of the operational programmes and priority axes alone. (53) (44) Member States and managing authorities may organise within the operational programmes co-financed by the ERDF the arrangements for interregional cooperation and may take account of the special features of areas with natural handicaps. Member States may provide for a small reserve to respond swiftly to unexpected sectoral or local shocks resulting from socio-economic restructuring or the effects of trade agreements.2006 It is appropriate to ensure that improved access to finance and innovative financial engineering are available primarily to micro. national law may provide for the possibility of awarding a grant to other financial institutions without a call for proposal. the Commission should have all necessary information to consider whether the financial contribution from the Funds does not result in a substantial loss of jobs in existing locations within the European Union. including any derogation in national law compatible with Community law. where Member States are satisfied that public procurement law is not applicable. (54) (45) In order to address the need for simplification and decentralisation. It is appropriate to define what expenditure in a Member State can be assimilated to public expenditure for the purpose of calculating the total national public contribution to an operational programme. The responsibilities of Member States and the Commission in this regard should be specified. the definition of tasks of the EIF and the EIB justifies that Member States award them a grant that is a direct financial contribution from operational programmes by way of donation. Member States. small and medium-sized enterprises. The effectiveness of assistance from the Funds also depends on the incorporation of a reliable evaluation into programming and monitoring.

monitoring committees should be set up and their responsibilities defined. in the context of its strategy of control of national systems. Member States should adopt adequate measures to guarantee the proper functioning of their management and control systems. Member States should have the primary responsibility for the implementation and control of the interventions. In order to facilitate the execution of operational programmes. (58) (64) (59) Monitoring of operational programmes is necessary to ensure the quality of their implementation. (62) (68) (63) (1) See page 1 of this Official Journal. It is also necessary to define the notion of a revenue-generating project and to identify the community principles and rules for calculating the contribution from the Funds. and the prevention. it is necessary to establish that the Commission differentiates the means by which Member States should fulfil the functions of certification of expenditures and of verification of the management and control system and to establish the conditions under which the Commission is entitled to limit its own audit and rely on the assurances provided by national bodies. it is necessary to establish the general principles and the necessary functions which the control systems of all operational programmes are to fulfil on the basis of the body of Community law in force for the programming period 2000 to 2006. Where a Member State is the main provider of the financing for a programme. Regulation (EC) No 1081/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 July 2006 on the European Social Fund (2) and Council Regulation (EC) No 1084/2006 of 11 July 2006 on the Cohesion Fund (3). The extent and intensity of Community controls should be proportionate to the extent of the Community's contribution. In accordance with the principle of subsidiarity and subject to exceptions provided for in Regulation (EC) No 1080/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 July 2006 on the European Regional Development Fund (1). the certification of expenditure. The starting and closing dates for the eligibility of expenditure should be defined so as to provide a uniform and equitable rule applying to the implementation of the Funds across the Community. to increase the multiplier effect of Community resources. there should be provisions guaranteeing that investments in businesses are long-lasting and preventing the Funds from being used to introduce undue advantage. it is appropriate that there should be an option for that Member State to organise certain elements of the control arrangements according to national rules. It is necessary to clarify the nature and quality of the information on which these requests are based and. In order to improve the exchange of information on the implementation of operational programmes. To this end.2006 (57) EN Official Journal of the European Union L 210/29 It is necessary to determine the elements for modulating the contribution from the Funds to operational programmes. for some investments it is objectively not possible to estimate the revenue in advance and it is therefore necessary to define the methodology for ensuring that this revenue is excluded from public funding. To this end. It is also appropriate to establish the maximum ceilings which contributions from the Funds cannot exceed on the basis of the type of Fund and objective. In particular. the level of assurance it can obtain from national audit bodies. To ensure the effectiveness. concerning management and control. (3) See page 79 of this Official Journal. (2) See page 12 of this Official Journal. (61) (67) Without prejudice to the Commission's powers as regards financial control.31. It is also necessary to guarantee uniform quality standards for the certification of expenditures and of payment requests before they are sent to the Commission. together with the information to be transmitted to the Commission and the framework for examining that information. it is necessary to establish the procedures by which Member States give the assurance that the systems are in place and function satisfactorily. It is therefore necessary to designate a single managing authority for each operational programme and to clarify its responsibilities as well as the functions of the audit authority. the principle of exchange of data by electronic means should be established. (65) In accordance with the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality. cooperation between the Member States and the Commission in this field should be increased and criteria should be established which allow the Commission to determine. fairness and sustainable impact of the intervention of the Funds. to establish the functions of the certifying authority. In these same circumstances. detection and correction of irregularities and infringements of Community law should be specified to guarantee the efficient and correct implementation of operational programmes. it is appropriate to establish that the starting date for the eligibility of expenditure may be prior to 1 January 2007 if the Member State concerned submits an operational programme before that date. (60) (66) The obligations on the Member States as regards management and control systems. 43 GENERAL REGULATION . in particular. to this end.7. there should be national rules on the eligibility of expenditure. It is necessary to ensure that investments which benefit from assistance under the Funds can be written off over a sufficiently long period.

1999. electronic exchange of data and publicity after obtaining the opinion of the Coordination Committee of the Funds acting as a management committee. management and control.7. the appropriate framework for doing so should be provided. (73) (70) (71) HAS ADOPTED THIS REGULATION: (1) OJ L 184. the indicative guidelines on the cost-benefit analysis necessary for the preparation and submission of major projects and for revenue generating projects.5 % (for Member States of the European Union as constituted before 1 May 2004) and of 10. it is appropriate to define the arrangements for their application and the parts of the budgetary commitment which may be excluded from them. financial engineering. in accordance with the schedule which they select.7. The Commission is to adopt the measures implementing this Regulation for ensuring the transparency and clarifying the provisions applicable to the management of operational programmes as regards the categorisation of expenditure.5 % (for Member States that acceded to the European Union on or after 1 May 2004). The measures necessary for the implementation of this Regulation should be adopted in accordance with Council Decision 1999/468/EC of 28 June 1999 laying down the procedures for the exercise of implementing powers conferred on the Commission (1). p. there should be measures allowing the authorising officer by delegation to interrupt payments where there is evidence to suggest a significant deficiency in the sound operation of these systems. to help speed up implementation of operational programmes. the indicative guidelines on evaluation and the list of actions eligible under technical assistance at the initiative of the Commission after consultation of the Coordination Committee of the Funds acting as a consultative committee. It is appropriate that the Commission publishes the list of eligible areas for the European territorial cooperation objective in application of the criteria set out in this Regulation. The rules on automatic decommitment will speed up the implementation of programmes. abnormal or unforeseeable and whose consequences cannot be avoided despite the diligence shown. provisions should be made for payments on account for the Structural Funds of 5 % (for Member States of the European Union as constituted before 1 May 2004) and of 7 % (for Member States that acceded to the European Union on or after 1 May 2004). In addition to the suspension of payments where a serious deficiency is detected in the management and control systems.L 210/30 (69) EN Official Journal of the European Union (72) 31. and for the Cohesion Fund of 7. to partially close an operational programme in respect of completed operations. To this end. 44 . 17.2006 The payment on account at the start of operational programmes ensures a regular cash flow which facilitate payments to beneficiaries in the implementation of the operational programme. The procedures for closure should be simplified by offering the possibility to those Member States which so wish. notably when delays in implementation result from circumstances which are independent of the party concerned. 23. Therefore.

....... FINANCIAL FRAMEWORK .................. Equality between men and women and non-discrimination .............................. Regional competitiveness and employment ............................................................................................................................................................................... Definitions ........... Transitional support ................ Adoption and review ........................................................................................................................ Sustainable development ........................2006 EN Official Journal of the European Union TABLE OF CONTENTS L 210/31 TITLE I CHAPTER I Article 1 Article 2 CHAPTER II Article 3 Article 4 CHAPTER III Article 5 Article 6 Article 7 Article 8 CHAPTER IV Article 9 Article 10 Article 11 Article 12 Article 13 Article 14 Article 15 Article 16 Article 17 CHAPTER V Article 18 Article 19 Article 20 Article 21 Article 22 Article 23 Article 24 TITLE II CHAPTER I Article 25 Article 26 CHAPTER II Article 27 Article 28 OBJECTIVES AND GENERAL RULES ON ASSISTANCE ................ Resources for the performance reserve .......................................................................... Convergence ............................................................................................................................................... Resources for the Convergence objective ........ Content ............................31......................... Objectives ....................... Programming ................................................ Partnership ................. Territorial level of implementation ........................................................................................................................................................................ consistency................................................................. GEOGRAPHICAL ELIGIBILITy ................ Non transferability of resources ................................................................... 36 36 36 36 36 36 37 37 37 38 38 38 38 38 39 39 39 39 39 40 40 40 40 40 41 41 41 42 42 42 42 42 42 42 43 43 43 45 GENERAL REGULATION ...................................... SCOPE AND DEFINITIONS ....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... coordination and compliance ....................................................... OBJECTIVES AND MISSIONS .................... Preparation and adoption ...................... Global resources ......................................................................................................................... Complementarity......................................................................................................... STRATEGIC APPROACH TO COHESION ...... Proportional intervention ............................................. COMMUNITY STRATEGIC GUIDELINES ON COHESION ........................... European Territorial Cooperation ...................................................... Instruments and missions .........................7.............................................................................................. Resources for the Regional competitiveness and employment objective .......... Subject matter ........ Resources for technical assistance .............................. Additionality ................. PRINCIPLES OF ASSISTANCE ...................... NATIONAL STRATEGIC REFERENCE FRAMEWORK .............................................................. Shared management ............................................... Content ........................................................................................................... Resources for the European territorial cooperation objective ...............................

................. EFFECTIVENESS ....... FINANCIAL ENGINEERING ........................... Content .................................................................2006 CHAPTER III Article 29 Article 30 Article 31 TITLE III CHAPTER I Article 32 Article 33 Article 34 Article 35 Article 36 CHAPTER II SECTION 1 Article 37 Article 38 SECTION 2 Article 39 Article 40 Article 41 SECTION 3 Article 42 Article 43 SECTION 4 Article 44 SECTION 5 Article 45 Article 46 TITLE IV CHAPTER I Article 47 Article 48 Article 49 CHAPTER II Article 50 Article 51 46 ...................................................... EVALUATION ............................................................................................................................................... General provisions .................................................................................................... Revision of operational programmes ................................ GLOBAL GRANTS ..L 210/32 EN Official Journal of the European Union STRATEGIC FOLLOW UP ......................................... Specific character of the Funds ................. Participation by the European Investment Bank and the European Investment Fund ......................................................................................................... PROGRAMMING CONTENT ......................... Geographical scope .................................................................................................................................................... Financial engineering instruments .................................................................................... Information submitted to the Commission ............................................................. Technical assistance of the Member States .................................................. 44 44 44 44 45 45 45 45 45 45 46 46 46 46 47 47 47 47 48 48 48 48 48 48 49 49 49 50 50 50 50 50 51 51 51 31... Preparation and approval of operational programmes ............ Implementing rules ....................................................................................... General provisions ...........................................................7................................................... GENERAL PROVISIONS ON THE STRUCTURAL FUNDS AND THE COHESION FUND ................. Operational programmes for the Convergence and Regional competitiveness and employment objectives ............................................................................................... Responsibility of the Commission .... Technical assistance at the initiative of the Commission .............................. OPERATIONAL PROGRAMMES .......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... RESERVES .................................... MAJOR PROJECTS ....................................................................................................................... Cohesion report .................... Strategic reporting by the Commission and debate on cohesion policy .................................................................................................................................................................................... Operational programmes for the European territorial cooperation objective ............................................................................................................................................................................................. National performance reserve . Strategic reporting by the Member States ......... National contingency reserve ......... PROGRAMMING ... Decision of the Commission ........................................................................................ Responsibility of Member States ............................... TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE ......

.................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... Responsibilities of the Commission ..............31........................................................................................................................................... RESPONSIBILITIES OF MEMBER STATES ....................................................................................................................................................... Composition ................ Setting up of management and control systems ........... Functions of the audit authority ............................................................................................................................... 51 51 51 51 52 52 52 53 53 53 53 53 53 53 54 54 55 55 56 56 56 56 56 56 57 58 58 58 58 58 58 59 59 59 59 59 60 60 60 60 47 GENERAL REGULATION .......................................................................................... MANAGEMENT........................................................................................... DURABILITY OF OPERATIONS ......... MONITORING AND CONTROLS ..................... CONTRIBUTION FROM THE FUNDS ................. Management and control .....2006 EN Official Journal of the European Union L 210/33 TITLE V CHAPTER I Article 52 Article 53 Article 54 CHAPTER II Article 55 CHAPTER III Article 56 CHAPTER IV Article 57 TITLE VI CHAPTER I Article 58 Article 59 Article 60 Article 61 Article 62 CHAPTER II Article 63 Article 64 Article 65 Article 66 Article 67 Article 68 CHAPTER III Article 69 CHAPTER IV SECTION 1 Article 70 Article 71 SECTION 2 Article 72 Article 73 SECTION 3 Article 74 TITLE VII CHAPTER I SECTION 1 Article 75 FINANCIAL CONTRIBUTION FROM THE FUNDS ....................................................7......... Annual examination of programmes ................. FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT ................ Contribution from the Funds ...... REVENUE-GENERATING PROJECTS ................. Eligibility of expenditure . RESPONSIBILITIES OF MEMBER STATES AND OF THE COMMISSION . FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT ...... Tasks ...................... Modulation of the contribution rates ................................................................................ MANAGEMENT AND CONTROL SYSTEMS ............................................................................................................................................. RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE COMMISSION ................................................ Durability of operations .............................. Functions of the managing authority ............................................... MONITORING ............................................... INFORMATION AND PUBLICITY .......................... Other provisions ...... Designation of authorities ........................................................ Arrangements for monitoring ............................................................................................................. BUDGET COMMITMENTS ....... Information and publicity ................................. PROPORTIONALITY IN THE CONTROL OF OPERATIONAL PROGRAMMES Proportional control arrangements ............ Monitoring committee ............. Annual report and final report on implementation ................................................. General principles of the management and control systems ........................................................................................... Revenue-generating projects ....................................................................................................................................................................................................................... ELIGIBILITY OF EXPENDITURE ............................................. Functions of the certifying authority ................................................................... Cooperation with the audit authorities of the Member States ................................................ Budget commitments ..............

........... 60 60 60 61 61 62 62 62 62 62 62 63 63 63 63 63 63 63 64 64 64 64 65 65 65 65 65 65 66 66 66 66 66 66 67 67 67 67 67 67 67 31........................................................................................................................................................................... COMMITTEES ............................... Interest .......... Clearance ................. Common rules for payments .................................................. Exceptions to the automatic decommitment .. Availability of documents ............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. Accumulation of pre-financing and of interim payments ....................... Criteria for the corrections ....................... Period of interruption for legal proceedings and administrative appeals ................................................................................................................................... Committee procedure ......................................... Procedure ............................... Repayment .....................................................................................................L 210/34 EN Official Journal of the European Union COMMON RULES FOR PAYMENTS ...................................................................... COORDINATION COMMITTEE OF THE FUNDS .... FINANCIAL CORRECTION BY MEMBER STATES . Obligations of Member States .................................. COMMITTEE UNDER ARTICLE 147 OF THE TREATY ............................. Acceptability of applications for payment ..................... PROGRAMME CLOSURE AND PAYMENT OF FINAL BALANCE ..................................................... Period for interruption for major projects and aid schemes ............. Interruption of the payment deadline ............... Wholeness of payment to beneficiaries ...................................................................................................................................................................................................... AUTOMATIC DECOMMITMENT ........................................ INTERRUPTION OF THE PAYMENT DEADLINE AND SUSPENSION OF PAYMENTS ....................................................................................................................... Committee under Article 147 of the Treaty ..............................................................2006 SECTION 2 Article 76 Article 77 Article 78 Article 79 Article 80 Article 81 SECTION 3 Article 82 Article 83 Article 84 SECTION 4 Article 85 Article 86 Article 87 SECTION 5 Article 88 Article 89 Article 90 SECTION 6 Article 91 Article 92 SECTION 7 Article 93 Article 94 Article 95 Article 96 Article 97 CHAPTER II SECTION 1 Article 98 SECTION 2 Article 99 Article 100 Article 101 Article 102 TITLE VIII CHAPTER I Article 103 CHAPTER II Article 104 48 ...................................................................................................................... FINANCIAL CORRECTIONS BY THE COMMISSION ................... Use of the euro .................................................................... Payment ................................................ Principles ..... INTERIM PAYMENTS ....................................... Procedure ................... FINANCIAL CORRECTIONS ................................................................................... Statement of expenditure ...................................... Common rules for calculating interim payments and payments of the final balance ................................................................................................................................... PRE-FINANCING ........................................ Financial corrections by Member States ....................................................................................... Partial closure . Date of presentation of applications for payment and payment delays .................................................................................................................................... Suspension of payments ........................................................................ Interim payments ...................................................... Conditions for the payment of the final balance ................7................

................................................... Annual breakdown of commitment appropriations for 2007 to 2013 ............................2006 EN Official Journal of the European Union L 210/35 TITLE IX Article 105 Article 106 Article 107 Article 108 ANNEX I ANNEX II ANNEX III ANNEX IV FINAL PROVISIONS ................... Repeal ...................................................................... Transitional provisions ............................................................................................................................................................................. Entry into force ...................7................................. Ceilings applicable to co-financing rates .... Review clause ........................................................................................... 68 68 68 68 68 70 71 75 76 49 GENERAL REGULATION ... Financial framework ..........................................31........................................... Categories of expenditure ......................................

CHAPTER II Objectives and missions Article 2 Definitions For the purposes of this Regulation. (3) ‘operation’: a project or group of projects selected by the managing authority of the operational programme concerned or under its responsibility according to criteria laid down by the monitoring committee and implemented by one or more beneficiaries allowing achievement of the goals of the priority axis to which it relates. in the case of the Convergence objective. (7) ‘irregularity’: any infringement of a provision of Community law resulting from an act or omission by an economic operator which has. or. the national strategic reference framework and the process for examination at Community level. the European Social Fund (ESF) (hereinafter referred to as the Structural Funds) and the Cohesion Fund. public supply contracts and public service contracts (1) shall be regarded as similar expenditure. beneficiaries are public or private firms carrying out an individual project and receiving public aid. 114. evaluation. Any contribution to the financing of operations whose origin is the budget of public law bodies or associations of one or more regional or local authorities or public law bodies acting in accordance with Directive 2004/18/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 31 March 2004 on the coordination of procedures for the award of public works contracts. without prejudice of the specific provisions laid down in Regulations (EC) No 1080/2006. including financial management. the financial resources available and the criteria for their allocation. with the aid of the Cohesion Fund and the ERDF. the Community's priorities in favour of sustainable development by strengthening growth.7. The action taken by the Community under Article 158 of the Treaty shall be designed to strengthen the economic and social cohesion of the enlarged European Union in order to promote the harmonious. 30. monitoring and control on the basis of responsibilities shared between the Member States and the Commission. whether public or private. the following terms shall have the meanings assigned to them here: (1) ‘operational programme’: document submitted by a Member State and adopted by the Commission setting out a development strategy with a coherent set of priorities to be carried out with the aid of a Fund. this Regulation lays down the principles and rules on partnership. Article 3 Objectives 1.04. of regional and local authorities. the criteria for Member States and regions to be eligible under those Funds. To this end. or which carries out duties on behalf of such an authority vis-à-vis beneficiaries implementing operations. (2) ‘priority axis’: one of the priorities of the strategy in an operational programme comprising a group of operations which are related and have specific measurable goals. p. at national and regional level. or would have.2006 OBJECTIVES AND GENERAL RULES ON ASSISTANCE CHAPTER I Scope and definitions (4) ‘beneficiary’: an operator. (1) OJ L 134. of the European Communities related to the Structural Funds and the Cohesion Fund and any similar expenditure. social and territorial disparities which have arisen particularly in countries and regions whose development is lagging behind and in connection with economic and social restructuring and the ageing of the population. the European Investment Bank (EIB) and other existing financial instruments. This Regulation defines the objectives to which the Structural Funds and the Cohesion Fund (hereinafter referred to as the Funds) are to contribute. programming. competitiveness. 50 .2004. (EC) No 1081/2006 and (EC) No 1084/2006. Article 1 Subject matter This Regulation lays down the general rules governing the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). (5) ‘public expenditure’: any public contribution to the financing of operations whose origin is the budget of the State. (6) ‘intermediate body’: any public or private body or service which acts under the responsibility of a managing or certifying authority. employment and social inclusion and by protecting and improving the quality of the environment. balanced and sustainable development of the Community. body or firm. the effect of prejudicing the general budget of the European Union by charging an unjustified item of expenditure to the general budget.L 210/36 EN TITLE I Official Journal of the European Union 31. responsible for initiating or initiating and implementing operations. It shall be aimed at reducing the economic. The action taken under the Funds shall incorporate. management. This Regulation defines the context for cohesion policy. In the context of aid schemes under Article 87 of the Treaty. including the method for establishing the Community strategic guidelines on cohesion. This action shall be taken with the aid of the Funds.

the ESF. through the increasing and improvement of the quality of investment in human capital. The regions eligible for funding from the Structural Funds under the Convergence objective shall be regions corresponding to level 2 of the common classification of territorial units for statistics (hereinafter NUTS level 2) within the meaning of Regulation (EC) No 1059/2003 whose gross domestic product (GDP) per capita. innovation and the promotion of the knowledge society. and (c) the European territorial cooperation objective. (b) the Regional competitiveness and employment objective: the ERDF and the ESF. the Commission shall adopt the list of regions fulfilling the criteria under paragraph 1 and of Member States fulfilling the criteria under paragraph 2. The Cohesion Fund shall also intervene in those regions not eligible for support from the Convergence objective under the criteria set out in Article 5(1) which belong to: (a) a Member State eligible for support from the Cohesion Fund under the criteria set out in Article 5(2).31. The Member States eligible for funding from the Cohesion Fund shall be those whose gross national income (GNI) per capita. Under the three objectives referred to in paragraph 2. The assistance shall also support areas affected by geographical or natural handicaps which aggravate the problems of development. which shall be aimed at speeding up the convergence of the least-developed Member States and regions by improving conditions for growth and employment through the increasing and improvement of the quality of investment in physical and human capital. and (c) the European territorial cooperation objective: the ERDF. To that end. and strengthening interregional cooperation and exchange of experience at the appropriate territorial level. the EIB and the other existing Community financial instruments shall each contribute in an appropriate way towards achieving the following three objectives: (a) the Convergence objective. entrepreneurship. (a) the Convergence objective: the ERDF. and administrative efficiency. the ERDF. and the improvement of accessibility. measured in purchasing power parities and calculated on the basis of Community figures for the period 2001 to 2003. the ESF and the Cohesion Fund. strengthening transnational cooperation by means of actions conducive to integrated territorial development linked to the Community priorities. 3. including those linked to the opening of trade. 3. outside the least-developed regions. certain islands and island Member States. 2. the development of innovation and of the knowledge society. particularly in the outermost regions as referred to in Article 299(2) of the Treaty as well as the northern areas with very low population density. This objective shall constitute the priority of the Funds.2006 EN Official Journal of the European Union L 210/37 2. This list shall be valid from 1 January 2007 to 31 December 2013. The Funds shall contribute towards the financing of technical assistance on the initiative of the Member States and the Commission. Article 4 Instruments and missions 1. and mountainous areas. CHAPTER III Geographical eligibility Article 5 Convergence 1. which shall be aimed at strengthening cross-border cooperation through joint local and regional initiatives. is less than 75 % of the average GDP of the EU-25 for the same reference period. (b) the Regional competitiveness and employment objective. on the other. 2. The assistance shall. according to their nature. Immediately following the entry into force of this Regulation. and (b) a Member State eligible for support from the Cohesion Fund under the criteria set out in Article 8(3).7. assistance from the Funds shall. support sustainable urban development particularly as part of regional development and the renewal of rural areas and of areas dependent on fisheries through economic diversification. in an appropriate manner. 3. the Cohesion Fund. adaptability to economic and social changes. The Funds shall contribute. which shall. The eligibility of Member States for the Cohesion Fund shall be reviewed in 2010 on the basis of Community GNI figures for the EU-25. adaptability of workers and businesses as well as the development of inclusive job markets. the protection and improvement of the environment. on the one hand. take into account specific economic and social features. the protection and improvement of the environment. be aimed at strengthening regions' competitiveness and attractiveness as well as employment by anticipating economic and social changes. is less than 90 % of the average GNI of the EU-25 and which have a programme for meeting the economic convergence conditions referred to in Article 104 of the Treaty. and specific territorial features. towards achieving the three objectives referred to in Article 3(2) as follows: 51 GENERAL REGULATION . measured in purchasing power parities and calculated on the basis of Community figures for the period 2000 to 2002. each in accordance with the specific provisions governing it.

on a transitional and specific basis. in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 103(2). p. the Commission shall adopt.7. cooperation networks and exchange of experience. including meeting the objectives of the Integrated Guidelines for Growth and Jobs (2005 to 2008) as set out by Council Decision 2005/600/EC of 12 July 2005 (1). measured and calculated according to Article 5(1). Cyprus shall benefit in 2007 to 2013 from the transitional financing applicable to the regions referred to in the first subparagraph. but which lose eligibility because their nominal per capita GNI will exceed 90 % of the average GNI of the EU-25 measured and calculated according to Article 5(2).L 210/38 EN Official Journal of the European Union Article 6 31. These targets. each Member State concerned shall indicate the NUTS level 1 or NUTS level 2 regions for which it will present a programme for financing by the ERDF. For the purpose of interregional cooperation. When presenting the national strategic reference framework referred to in Article 27. Article 8 Transitional support 1. For the purpose of cross-border cooperation. the list of the eligible regions. Cyprus should have been eligible for Objective 1 in 2004 to 2006. policies and priorities of the Community and complementary to other financial instruments of the Community. the Commission. Recognising that. The Commission and the Member States shall ensure that assistance from the Funds is consistent with the activities. shall apply as an average over the entire programming period. for financing by the Structural Funds under the Convergence objective. the Commission and the Member States shall ensure that 60 % of expenditure for the Convergence objective and 75 % of expenditure for the Regional competitiveness and employment objective for all the Member States of the European Union as constituted before 1 May 2004 is set for the abovementioned priorities. shall adopt the list of the eligible transnational areas broken down by programme. To this end. This consistency and complementarity shall be indicated in particular in Community strategic guidelines on cohesion. integrating into them the priorities of the Community. coordination and compliance 1. 52 . consistency. 3. 2. Immediately following the entry into force of this Regulation. 2. 2. in accordance with their respective responsibilities. 21. measured and calculated according to Article 5(1). The assistance co-financed by the Funds shall target the European Union priorities of promoting competitiveness and creating jobs.8. as a general rule.2006 Regional competitiveness and employment The regions eligible for funding from the Structural Funds under the Regional competitiveness and employment objective shall be those not covered by Article 5(1) and Article 8(1) and (2). 4. based on the categories of expenditure in Annex IV. This list shall be valid from 1 January 2007 to 31 December 2013. on a transitional and specific basis. will exceed 75 % of the average GDP of the EU15 shall be eligible. The NUTS level 2 regions totally covered by Objective 1 in 2006 under Article 3 of Regulation (EC) No 1260/1999 whose nominal GDP level per capita. the NUTS level 3 regions of the Community along all internal and certain external land borders and all NUTS level 3 regions of the Community along maritime borders separated. for financing by the Structural Funds under the Regional competitiveness and employment objective. but which lose eligibility because their nominal GDP per capita level will exceed 75 % of the average GDP of the EU-25. on a transitional and specific basis. CHAPTER IV Principles of assistance Article 9 Complementarity. the entire territory of the Community shall be eligible. This list shall be valid from 1 January 2007 to 31 December 2013. 3. Immediately following the entry into force of this Regulation. on the basis of revised figures for the period 1997 to 1999.2005. This list shall be valid from 1 January 2007 to 31 December 2013. in the national strategic reference framework and in the operational programmes. including actions at the regional and local levels. shall be eligible. by a maximum of 150 kilometres shall be eligible for financing taking into account potential adjustments needed to ensure the coherence and continuity of the cooperation action. 6. 3. The Funds shall provide assistance which complements national actions. in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 103(2). shall be eligible. the Commission shall adopt the list of regions fulfilling the criteria under paragraphs 1 and 2 and of Member States fulfilling the criteria under paragraph 3. for financing by the Cohesion Fund under the Convergence objective. For the purpose of transnational cooperation. Article 7 European Territorial Cooperation 1. The Member States eligible for funding from the Cohesion Fund in 2006 which would have continued to be eligible had the eligibility threshold remained at 90 % of the average GNI of the EU-15. The NUTS level 2 regions which would have been eligible for Convergence objective status under Article 5(1) had the eligibility threshold remained at 75 % of the average GDP of the EU-15. (1) OJ L 205.

and a system of management and control. (b) the evaluation under Articles 47 and 48. Article 14 Shared management 1. (hereinafter referred to as partnership). The budget of the European Union allocated to the Funds shall be implemented within the framework of shared management between the Member States and the Commission. the EFF and the interventions of the EIB and of other existing financial instruments. (1) OJ L 248. the Commission and that Member State may decide to complement in an appropriate manner the list of categories of Annex IV. are taken into account. specific provisions relating to proportionality in relation to controls are set out in Article 74 of this Regulation. The partnership shall cover the preparation. the Commission and the Member States shall ensure the coordination between the assistance from the Funds. Each Member State shall organise. Euratom) No 1605/2002 of 25 June 2002 on the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities (1). where appropriate. That responsibility shall be exercised in accordance with this Regulation. The principle of sound financial management shall be applied in accordance with Article 48(2) of Regulation (EC. Member States that acceded to the European Union on or after 1 May 2004 may decide to apply these provisions. legal and financial powers of each partner category as defined in paragraph 1. shall be proportional to the total amount of expenditure allocated to an operational programme. monitoring and evaluation of operational programmes. Each Member State shall designate the most representative partners at national. where appropriate and in accordance with current national rules and practices. The financial and administrative resources employed by the Commission and Member States in the implementation of the Funds in relation to: (a) the choice of indicators provided for in Article 37(1)(c). At their own initiative. a partnership with authorities and bodies such as: (a) the competent regional. including the priorities identified in the national reform programme of each Member State concerned. 16. p. between the Commission and each Member State. the financing.9. in accordance with the institutional system specific to each Member State. The objectives of the Funds shall be pursued in the framework of close cooperation. The partnership shall be conducted in full compliance with the respective institutional. with the exception of the technical assistance referred to in Article 45 of this Regulation. 3. Article 12 Territorial level of implementation Implementation of operational programmes referred to in Article 32 shall be the responsibility of Member States at the appropriate territorial level. each of the relevant partners. taking account of the need to promote equality between men and women and sustainable development through the integration of environmental protection and improvement requirements. in the different stages of programming within the time limit set for each stage. local. 2. Member States shall involve. and particularly the regions. environmental partners. In accordance with their respective responsibilities. regional and local level and in the economic.2002. (c) any other appropriate body representing civil society. (b) the economic and social partners. non-governmental organisations.31. (d) the reporting as referred to in Article 67. 53 GENERAL REGULATION . Each year the Commission shall consult the organisations representing the economic and social partners at European level on assistance from the Funds. Article 11 Partnership 1. social. Operations financed by the Funds shall comply with the provisions of the Treaty and of acts adopted under it.2006 EN Official Journal of the European Union L 210/39 With a view to ensuring that specific national circumstances. Each Member State concerned shall contribute to these targets. (c) the general principles of management and control systems referred to in Article 58(e) and (f). Euratom) No 1605/2002. 1. Article 13 Proportional intervention 1. and bodies responsible for promoting equality between men and women. 2. implementation.7. In addition. environmental or other spheres (hereinafter referred to as partners). in accordance with national rules and practices. 5. the EAFRD. urban and other public authorities. in accordance with Article 53(1)(b) of Council Regulation (EC. Article 10 Programming The objectives of the Funds shall be pursued in the framework of a multiannual programming system organised in several stages comprising the identification of the priorities. 4.

The level of expenditure by a Member State shall be one of the items covered by the decision of the Commission on the national strategic reference framework referred to in Article 28(3). Article 16 Equality between men and women and non-discrimination Article 15 Additionality 1. in cooperation with each Member State. The Member State shall transmit to the Commission the information required to enable the verification of compliance with the level of public or equivalent structural expenditure determined ex ante. such as privatisations as well as an exceptional level of public or equivalent structural expenditure by the Member State during the previous programming period. Article 17 Sustainable development The objectives of the Funds shall be pursued in the framework of sustainable development and the Community promotion of the goal of protecting and improving the environment as set out in Article 6 of the Treaty. disability.7. racial or ethnic origin. after the conclusion of each of the three stages of verification.L 210/40 EN Official Journal of the European Union 31. The Member States and the Commission shall take appropriate steps to prevent any discrimination based on sex. in the access to them. For the purpose of programming and subsequent inclusion in the general budget of the European Union. The Commission shall. CHAPTER V Financial framework Article 18 Global resources 1. As part of this mid-term verification. 3. age or sexual orientation during the various stages of implementation of the Funds and. religion or belief. the Commission. methods of statistical estimation should be used. (b) the Commission shall interrupt the payment deadline or suspend all or part of payments in accordance with Articles 91 and 92 if the national management and control systems fail. in accordance with the procedures described in Articles 100 and 101. The Commission shall. in particular. Where necessary. verify additionality mid-term in 2011 for the Convergence objective. As a general rule. the level of the expenditure referred to in paragraph 2 shall be at least equal to the amount of average annual expenditure in real terms attained during the previous programming period. in cooperation with each Member State. 72 and 73. the level of expenditure shall be determined with reference to the general macroeconomic conditions in which the financing is carried out and taking into account certain specific or exceptional economic situations. 2. For regions covered by the Convergence objective. in consultation with the Member State. the Commission and the Member State shall determine the level of public or equivalent structural expenditure which the Member State shall maintain in all the regions concerned during the programming period. may decide to modify the required level of structural expenditure if the economic situation in the Member State concerned has significantly changed from the one existing at the moment of the determination of the level of public or equivalent structural expenditure referred to in paragraph 2. Commission referred to in Article 28(3) shall be amended to reflect this adjustment. accessibility for disabled persons shall be one of the criteria to be observed in defining operations co-financed by the Funds and to be taken into account during the various stages of implementation. In particular. shall provide guidance. (c) the Commission shall check reimbursements of payments on account and automatically decommit budget commitments in accordance with the procedures laid down in Article 82(2) and Articles 93 to 97. The resources available for commitment from the Funds for the period 2007 to 2013 shall be EUR 308 041 000 000 at 2004 prices in accordance with the annual breakdown shown in Annex I. Furthermore. The decision of the The Member States and the Commission shall ensure that equality between men and women and the integration of the gender perspective is promoted during the various stages of implementation of the Funds. The Commission shall exercise its responsibility for implementing the general budget of the European Union in the following ways: (a) the Commission shall check the existence and proper functioning of management and control systems in the Member States in accordance with the procedures described in Articles 71.2006 2. The Commission shall publish the results by Member State of the verification of the additionality. 54 . Contributions from the Structural Funds shall not replace public or equivalent structural expenditure by a Member State. The methodological paper of the Commission. adopted in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 103(3). the amount referred to in the first subparagraph shall be indexed at 2 % per year. 4. verify additionality ex post on 31 December 2016 for the Convergence objective. including the methodology and sources of information. and shall apply any other financial correction required.

51 % (i. cooperation networks and exchange of experience referred to in Article 7(3). this equivalence shall be subject to a maximum amount of EUR 465 690 000 under the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument and of EUR 243 782 000 under the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance.e. shall be distributed between the different components as follows: (a) 73.99 % (i.2006 EN Official Journal of the European Union L 210/41 The breakdown of budgetary resources by the objectives defined in Article 3(2) shall be such as to achieve a significant concentration on the regions of the Convergence objective. a total of EUR 1 581 720 322) for the financing of transnational cooperation referred to in Article 7(2). 55 GENERAL REGULATION . The amounts referred to in paragraphs 12 to 30 of Annex II shall be included in the amounts referred to in Articles 19. 3. (c) 23. a total of EUR 177 083 601 004) for the financing referred to in Article 5(1). using eligible population. The contribution from the ERDF to the cross-border and sea-basin programmes under the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument and to the cross-border programmes under the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1085/2006 shall be EUR 813 966 000. employment rate and population density as the criteria for calculating the indicative breakdowns by Member State.e. a total of EUR 49 127 784 318) and shall be distributed between the different components as follows: (a) 78. Article 21 Resources for the European territorial cooperation objective Article 19 Resources for the Convergence objective Overall resources for the Convergence objective shall amount to 81. regional prosperity.e. using population. a total of EUR 38 742 477 688) for the financing referred to in Article 6.86 % (i. 4. Article 20 Resources for the Regional competitiveness and employment objective Overall resources for the Regional competitiveness and employment objective shall amount to 15.e. (b) 21. using eligible population as the criterion for calculating the indicative breakdowns by Member State. as a result of the indication of each Member State concerned.e. using eligible population. However.22 % (i. unemployment rate. The Commission shall make indicative annual breakdowns by Member States in accordance with the criteria and methodology set out in Annex II without prejudice to the provisions referred to in Articles 23 and 24. regional prosperity. a total of EUR 10 385 306 630) for the transitional and specific support referred to in Article 8(2). (b) 4.95 % (i. 2.e. national prosperity.95 % of the resources referred to in Article 18(1) (i.e. (c) 5.e.86 % (i.e.19 % (i. a total of EUR 12 521 289 405) for the transitional and specific support referred to in Article 8(1). using eligible population. national prosperity and unemployment rate as the criteria for calculating the indicative breakdowns by Member State. a total of EUR 58 308 243 811) for the financing referred to in Article 5(2). and surface area as the criteria for calculating the indicative breakdowns by Member State. regional prosperity. national prosperity and unemployment rate as the criteria for calculating the indicative breakdowns by Member State. (d) 1. 20 and 21 and shall be clearly identified in the programming documents. a total of EUR 3 250 000 000) for the transitional and specific support referred to in Article 8(3). a total of EUR 392 002 991) for the financing of interregional cooperation. regional prosperity.e. and 3. national prosperity and unemployment rate as the criteria for calculating the indicative breakdowns by Member State. a total of EUR 251 163 134 221) and shall be distributed between the different components as follows: (a) 70. These ERDF contributions shall not be subject to reallocation between the Member States concerned.29 % (i. 1.e. deducted from their allocations under paragraph 1(a). using eligible population as the criterion for calculating the indicative breakdowns by Member State. using eligible population. (b) 20.7. The contribution from the ERDF to each cross-border and sea-basin programme under the instruments referred to in paragraph 2 shall be granted provided that the contribution from such instruments to each such programme is at least equivalent to the contribution from the ERDF. 2. Overall resources for the European territorial cooperation objective shall amount to 2.52 % of the resources referred to in Article 18(1) (i. The annual appropriations corresponding to the contribution from the ERDF mentioned in paragraph 2 shall be entered in the relevant budget lines of the cross-border strand of the instruments referred to in paragraph 2 with the 2007 budgetary exercise.31. a total of EUR 7 750 081 461) and. excluding the amount referred to in paragraph 22 of Annex II.14 % (i.54 % of the resources referred to in Article 18(1) (i.e. a total of EUR 5 576 358 149) for the financing of cross-border cooperation referred to in Article 7(1).

If. 6. including cooperation on external borders. 0. or (b) the programme cannot be implemented owing to problems arising in relations between the participating countries. following close cooperation with Member States. including cooperation on external borders. those guidelines shall in particular give effect to the priorities of the Community with a view to promoting the harmonious. By 1 February 2007 the Community strategic guidelines on cohesion shall be adopted in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 161 of the Treaty.7. taking account of other relevant Community policies. If by 30 June 2010 at the latest. at their request. Article 23 Resources for the performance reserve Three per cent of the resources referred to in Article 19(a) and (b) and Article 20 may be allocated in accordance with Article 50. social and territorial cohesion defining an indicative framework for the intervention of the Funds. the annual contribution from the ERDF mentioned in paragraph 2 for which no operational programme has been submitted to the Commission by 30 June at the latest under the cross-border and sea-basin strands of the instruments referred to in paragraph 2 shall then be made available to the Member State concerned for the financing of cross-border cooperation under paragraph 1(a). the Community strategic guidelines on cohesion referred to in Article 25 of this Regulation. comprising broad economic policy guidelines and employment guidelines. For each of the objectives of the Funds. Article 22 Non transferability of resources The total appropriations allocated by Member State under each of the objectives of the Funds and their components shall not be transferable between them. Those guidelines shall be established taking into account the integrated guidelines. The Community strategic guidelines on cohesion may be subject. the entire contribution from the ERDF mentioned in paragraph 2 for the remaining years up to 2013 shall then be made available to the Member States concerned for financing cross-border cooperation under paragraph 1(a). following the adoption by the Commission of the cross-border and sea basin programmes mentioned in paragraph 2. for the financing of cross-border cooperation under paragraph 1(a). adopted by the Council in accordance with the procedures laid down in Articles 99 and 128 of the Treaty. By way of derogation from the first subparagraph. there are still operational programmes under the cross-border and sea-basin strands of the instruments referred to in paragraph 2 which have not been submitted to the Commission. each Member State under the European territorial cooperation objective may transfer up to 15 % of the financial allocation of one of the components referred to in Article 21(1)(a) and (b) to the other. including cooperation on external borders. the contribution from the ERDF mentioned in paragraph 2 corresponding to the annual instalments not yet committed shall be made available to the Member States concerned. 56 . balanced and sustainable development of the Community referred to in Article 3(1). The mid-term review of the Community strategic guidelines on cohesion shall not impose an obligation on Member States to revise either the operational programmes or their respective national strategic reference frameworks. following close cooperation with Member States.25 % shall be devoted to technical assistance for the Commission as defined in Article 45. The Community strategic guidelines on cohesion shall be published in the Official Journal of the European Union. Article 26 Adoption and review The Commission shall propose. such programmes need to be discontinued on the grounds that: (a) the partner country does not sign the financing agreement by the end of the year following the adoption of the programme.L 210/42 EN Official Journal of the European Union Article 24 Resources for technical assistance 31. In 2008 and in 2009. Of the resources referred to in Article 18(1). TITLE II STRATEGIC APPROACH TO COHESION CHAPTER I Community strategic guidelines on cohesion Article 25 Content The Council shall establish at Community level concise strategic guidelines on economic. to mid-term review in accordance with the procedure laid down in the first subparagraph if required in order to take account of any major changes in the priorities of the Community.2006 5.

on the other. if a Member State so decides. The Member State shall prepare the national strategic reference framework in dialogue with the Commission. the following elements: (a) the procedure for coordination between Community cohesion policy and the relevant national. the EFF and. The national strategic reference framework shall apply to the Convergence objective and the Regional competitiveness and employment objective.7. The Member State shall present a national strategic reference framework which ensures that assistance from the Funds is consistent with the Community strategic guidelines on cohesion. after consultation with relevant partners as referred to in Article 11. (d) a description of how the expenditure for the Convergence and Regional competitiveness and employment objectives will contribute to the European Union priorities of promoting competitiveness and creating jobs. Where appropriate these priorities shall include actions relating to sustainable urban development. Each Member State shall transmit the national strategic reference framework to the Commission within five months following the adoption of the Community strategic guidelines on cohesion.2006 EN Official Journal of the European Union CHAPTER II L 210/43 National strategic reference framework (ii) the information required for ex ante verification of compliance with the additionality principle referred to in Article 15. (f) for regions of the Convergence objective only: (i) the action envisaged for reinforcing the Member State's administrative efficiency. information on the mechanisms for ensuring coordination between operational programmes themselves and between these and the EAFRD. The Member State may present at the same time the national strategic reference framework and the operational programmes referred to in Article 32. The information contained in the national strategic reference framework shall take account of the specific institutional arrangements of each Member State. information on the mechanisms for ensuring coordination between operational programmes themselves and between these and the EAFRD. 2. The national strategic reference framework shall be prepared by the Member State. (b) the strategy chosen on the basis of that analysis. including the thematic and territorial priorities. (ii) the amount of the total annual appropriation provided for under the EAFRD and the EFF. apply to the European territorial cooperation objective. 5. The national strategic reference framework shall contain the following elements: (a) an analysis of development disparities. and which identifies the link between Community priorities. 4. taking into account trends in the European and world economy. (g) for Member States eligible for the Cohesion Fund under Articles 5(2) and 8(3). In addition. with a view to ensuring a common approach. 3. and make such observations as it considers appropriate within three months from the date of receipt of the framework. Article 28 Preparation and adoption 1. 2. It may also. weaknesses and potential. on the one hand. (b) for Member States other than those referred to in paragraph 4(g). Each national strategic reference framework shall constitute a reference instrument for preparing the programming of the Funds. 6. Article 27 Content 1. 57 GENERAL REGULATION . The Commission shall take note of the national strategy and the priority themes chosen for assistance from the Funds. in accordance with the procedure that it considers most appropriate and with its institutional structure. the national strategic reference framework may also contain. (c) the list of operational programmes for the Convergence and Regional competitiveness and employment objectives. the EFF and the interventions of the EIB and of other existing financial instruments. where relevant. without prejudice to the future choices of other Member States concerned. and its national reform programme. (e) the indicative annual allocation from each Fund by programme. It shall cover the period 1 January 2007 to 31 December 2013.31. including meeting the objectives of the Integrated Guidelines for Growth and Jobs (2005 to 2008) as laid down in Article 9(3). sectoral and regional policies of the Member State concerned. the interventions of the EIB and of other existing financial instruments. the diversification of rural economies and areas dependent on fisheries. where appropriate.

the Commission shall include in its Annual Progress Report to the Spring European Council a section summarising the reports of the Member States referred to in Article 29(1). Article 30 Strategic reporting by the Commission and debate on cohesion policy 1. the level of expenditure guaranteeing compliance with the additionality principle referred to in Article 15 and the action envisaged for reinforcing administrative efficiency as referred to in Article 27(4)(f)(i). 2. For the first time in 2007. following consultation with the Member State. In the years 2010 and 2013. shall take a decision covering: (a) the list of operational programmes referred to in Article 27(4)(c). this report shall be incorporated as a specific section in the report referred to in Article 159 of the Treaty. the Commission shall prepare a strategic report summarising the reports of the Member States referred to in Article 29(2). Before or at the same time as the adoption of the operational programmes referred to in Article 32(5). As appropriate. in particular progress towards achieving the European Union priorities of promoting competitiveness and creating jobs. and (c) for the Convergence objective only. and annually thereafter. 2. each Member State shall include in the annual implementation report on its national reform programme a concise section on the contribution of the operational programmes co-financed by the Funds towards the implementation of the national reform programme. as well as the integration of Community priorities. (c) towards implementing the priorities detailed in the Community strategic guidelines on cohesion referred to in Article 25 and specified in the priorities set by the national strategic reference framework referred to in Article 27. challenges and future prospects in relation to implementation of the agreed strategy. and these institutions shall be invited to hold a debate on it. 4. 2. The report of the Commission referred to in Article 159 of the Treaty shall include in particular: (a) a record of the progress made on economic and social cohesion. References to the national reform programme in this Article shall relate to the Integrated Guidelines for Growth and Jobs (2005 to 2008) and shall equally apply to any equivalent guidelines defined by the European Council. the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions. It shall be submitted to the European Parliament.2006 3. (b) any proposed adjustments to the Community strategic guidelines on cohesion needed to reflect changes in Community policy. Each Member State shall define the content of the reports referred to in paragraph 2. CHAPTER III Strategic follow-up Article 29 Strategic reporting by the Member States 1. and at the latest by 1 April. and (d) towards achieving the objective of promoting competitiveness and job creation and working towards meeting the objectives of the Integrated Guidelines for Growth and Jobs (2005 to 2008) as laid down in Article 9(3). (b) achievements. Article 31 Cohesion report 1. 3. 58 . (b) towards fulfilling the tasks of the Funds as set out in this Regulation. The report shall also contain. (b) a record of the role of the Funds. At the latest by the end of 2009 and 2012. the EIB and the other financial instruments. as well as the effect of other Community and national policies on the progress made. the Commission. (b) the indicative annual allocation from each Fund by programme referred to in Article 27(4)(e).L 210/44 EN Official Journal of the European Union 31. with a view to identifying: (a) the socio-economic situation and trends. the Member States shall provide a concise report containing information on the contribution of the programmes co-financed by the Funds: (a) towards implementing the objectives of cohesion policy as established by the Treaty. including the socio-economic situation and development of the regions. The Council shall examine the strategic report referred to in paragraph 2 as soon as possible after its publication. including meeting the objectives of the Integrated Guidelines for Growth and Jobs (2005 to 2008) as laid down in Article 9(3).7. if necessary: (a) any proposals on Community measures and policies which should be adopted in order to strengthen economic and social cohesion. 3. For the first time in 2008. and (c) examples of good practice.

The Commission shall appraise the proposed operational programme to determine whether it contributes to the goals and priorities of the national strategic reference framework and the Community strategic guidelines on cohesion. in cooperation with the partners referred to in Article 11. considers that an operational programme does not contribute to the achievement of the objectives of the national strategic reference framework and the Community strategic guidelines on cohesion. Operational programmes submitted under the Convergence objective with a contribution from the Cohesion Fund shall be drawn up at national level. The Commission shall adopt a decision on a request for revision of operational programmes as soon as possible but no later than three months after its formal submission by the Member State. (c) in the light of the evaluation referred to in Article 48(3). the ERDF and the Cohesion Fund shall jointly provide assistance for operational programmes on transport infrastructure and the environment. including for major projects. An operational programme shall cover only one of the three objectives referred to in Article 3. They shall be drawn up by the Member State at the appropriate level if they are financed by the ESF. 3. in a complementary manner and subject to a limit of 10 % of Community funding for each priority axis of an operational programme. Article 35 Geographical scope 1. Article 33 Revision of operational programmes 1. it may invite the Member State to provide all necessary additional information and. Where the Commission.7. in one or more of the following cases: (a) following significant socio-economic changes. The activities of the Funds in the Member States shall take the form of operational programmes within the national strategic reference framework. 59 GENERAL REGULATION .2006 EN TITLE III PROGRAMMING Official Journal of the European Union L 210/45 (b) in order to take greater or different account of major changes in Community. In the Member States receiving support from the Cohesion Fund. to revise the proposed programme accordingly. as referred to in Article 26. 2. actions falling within the scope of assistance from the other Fund. be revised following allocation of the reserves referred to in Articles 50 and 51. Without prejudice to the derogations laid down in the specific regulations of the Funds. 2. where appropriate. Operational programmes shall receive financing from only one Fund. Operational programmes shall. save as otherwise agreed between the Commission and the Member State. At the initiative of the Member State or the Commission in agreement with the Member State concerned. The Commission shall adopt each operational programme as soon as possible but no later than four months following its formal submission by the Member State and not before 1 January 2007. if necessary. 2. in accordance with the institutional system specific to the Member State. if necessary. for regions benefiting from financing by the ERDF. operational programmes may be re-examined and. national or regional priorities. Article 34 Specific character of the Funds 1. 3. CHAPTER I General provisions on the structural funds and the cohesion fund Article 32 Preparation and approval of operational programmes 1. within two months following the receipt of the operational programme.31. 4. 5. the remainder of the programme revised. Operational programmes submitted under the Convergence objective shall be drawn up at the appropriate geographical level and at least at NUTS level 2. The Member State shall submit a proposal for an operational programme to the Commission containing all the components referred to in Article 37 as soon as possible but no later than five months following the adoption of the Community strategic guidelines on cohesion. or (d) following implementation difficulties. Operational programmes submitted under the Regional competitiveness and employment objective shall be drawn up at NUTS level 1 or NUTS level 2. 3. provided that they are necessary for the satisfactory implementation of the operation and are directly linked to it. 2. The revision of operational programmes shall not require revision of the decision of the Commission referred to in Article 28(3). save as otherwise agreed between the Commission and the Member State. Each operational programme shall cover a period between 1 January 2007 and 31 December 2013. Each operational programme shall be drawn up by the Member State or any authority designated by the Member State. save as otherwise provided in paragraph 3. the ERDF and the ESF may finance.

(c) information on the priority axes and their specific targets. The indicators shall make it possible to measure the progress in relation to the baseline situation and the achievement of the targets of the priority axis. (ii) a table specifying. in the programming of assistance from the Funds. in accordance with the modalities laid down in their statutes. The Member State. 3. where relevant.2006 3. 4. Operational programmes submitted under the European territorial cooperation objective for transnational cooperation shall be drawn up at the level of each transnational cooperation area. Article 36 Participation by the European Investment Bank and the European Investment Fund 1. in implementing the provisions of this Article. (e) a financing plan containing two tables: (i) a table breaking down for each year. CHAPTER II Programming content S e c ti on 1 Op erati onal programme s Article 37 Operational programmes for the Convergence and Regional competitiveness and employment objectives 1. and public-private partnerships. by the nature of their priorities. in agreement with the EIB and the EIF. request the EIB to examine the technical quality and economic and financial viability of the projects concerned. in particular major projects. (d) for information purposes. in particular as regards the financial engineering instruments to be implemented or developed. 60 . 2. the arrangement of finance. the national counterpart is made up of public expenditure. as well as the results of the ex ante evaluation referred to in Article 48. (b) a justification of the priorities chosen having regard to the Community strategic guidelines on cohesion.L 210/46 EN Official Journal of the European Union 31.7. the table shall indicate the amount of the national public contribution. The financing plan shall show separately within the total annual contribution from the Structural Funds the appropriations provided for regions receiving transitional support. The Commission may. 53 and 54. may award a grant to the EIB or the EIF. The Commission may consult the EIB and the EIF before adoption of the decision referred to in Article 28(3) and of the operational programmes. the amount of the total financial appropriation envisaged for the contribution from each Fund. Operational programmes relating to the Convergence and Regional competitiveness and employment objectives shall contain: (a) an analysis of the situation of the eligible area or sector in terms of strengths and weaknesses and the strategy chosen in response. the national strategic reference framework. Where in accordance with Article 53. the table shall give the indicative breakdown between the public and the private components. as a general rule. Operational programmes submitted under the European territorial cooperation objective for cross-border cooperation shall be drawn up. The total contribution from the Funds provided for annually shall be compatible with the applicable financial framework taking into account the phased reduction laid down in paragraph 6 of Annex II. That consultation shall relate in particular to operational programmes containing an indicative list of major projects or programmes which. at the request of Member States. including enclaves. The EIB and the EIF may. Where in accordance with Article 53. (f) information on complementarity with measures financed by the EAFRD and those financed by the EFF. an indicative breakdown by category of the programmed use of the contribution from the Funds to the operational programme in accordance with the implementing rules of this Regulation adopted by the Commission in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 103(3). The EIB and the EIF may participate. the amount of the total financial appropriation of the Community contribution and the national counterparts and the rate of contribution from the Funds. are suitable for mobilising loans or other types of market-based financing. in particular in the spheres of innovation and the knowledge economy. for each border or group of borders by an appropriate grouping at NUTS level 3. the national counterpart is made up of public and private expenditure. for the whole programming period. in accordance with Articles 52. for the operational programme and for each priority axis. if it considers it appropriate for the appraisal of major projects. participate in the preparation of national strategic reference frameworks and operational programmes. as well as in activities relating to the preparation of projects. taking into account the proportionality principle. 5. Interregional cooperation and exchange of experience programmes shall relate to the whole territory of the Community. for information. Those targets shall be quantified using a limited number of indicators for output and results. the environment and basic infrastructure projects. human capital. The Commission. It shall show. may concentrate the loans granted on one or more priorities of an operational programme. the contribution from the EIB and the other existing financial instruments.

61 GENERAL REGULATION . Without prejudice to the second subparagraph of Article 5 of Regulation (EC) No 1080/2006. which are expected to be submitted within the programming period for Commission approval. At the initiative of the Member State. 4. (iii) information about the competent body for receiving the payments made by the Commission and the body or bodies responsible for making payments to the beneficiaries. 2. geographical and financial concentration on the priorities as laid down respectively in Article 5 of that Regulation and in Article 4 of Regulation (EC) No 1081/2006. at least. Se c ti on 2 M aj or p r oj e c t s Article 39 Content As part of an operational programme. the operational programmes financed by the ERDF may also contain for the Convergence and Regional competitiveness and employment objectives: (a) the list of cities chosen for addressing urban issues and the procedures for sub-delegation to urban authorities. At the initiative of the Member State concerned. 6.7. Operational programmes affected by one or more specific allocations referred to in the additional provisions in Annex II shall contain information on the procedures foreseen to allocate and ensure the monitoring of these specific allocations. (ii) a description of the monitoring and evaluation systems. including: (i) designation by the Member State of all the entities referred to in Article 59 or. Operational programmes financed by the ERDF shall contain in addition for the Convergence and Regional competitiveness and employment objectives: (a) information on the approach to the sustainable urban development where appropriate. its financial volume and location. the operational programmes for the ESF may also contain for the Convergence and Regional Competitiveness and Employment objectives a horizontal approach or a dedicated priority axis for interregional and transnational actions involving the national. (b) information on the nature of the investment and a description of it.2006 EN Official Journal of the European Union for the operational L 210/47 (g) the implementing provisions programme. (iv) a definition of the procedures for the mobilisation and circulation of financial flows in order to ensure their transparency. regional or local authorities of at least one other Member State. 5. (c) the results of the feasibility studies. the designation of other bodies and procedures in accordance with the rules laid down in Article 74. one regional or local authority of another Member State. activities or services intended in itself to accomplish an indivisible task of a precise economic or technical nature. Operational programmes financed jointly by the ERDF and the Cohesion Fund with respect to transport and the environment shall contain priority axis specific to each Fund and a specific commitment by Fund. (vi) a description of the procedures agreed between the Commission and the Member State for the exchange of computerised data to meet the payment. (h) an indicative list of major projects within the meaning of Article 39. (v) the elements aiming at ensuring the publicity and the information of the operational programme as referred to in Article 69. (b) actions for interregional cooperation with. 3. the ERDF and the Cohesion Fund may finance expenditure in respect of an operation comprising a series of works. (b) Specific priority axis for the measures financed under the additional allocation referred to in paragraph 20 of Annex II in operational programmes providing assistance in outermost regions. if the Member State exercises the option provided for in Article 74. possibly by means of a global grant. which has clearly identified goals and whose total cost exceeds EUR 25 million in the case of the environment and EUR 50 million in other fields (hereinafter referred to as major projects). each operational programme under the Regional competitiveness and employment objective shall include a justification for the thematic. Article 40 Information submitted to the Commission The Member State or the managing authority shall provide the Commission with the following information on major projects: (a) information on the body to be responsible for implementation. Article 38 Operational programmes for the European territorial cooperation objective Specific rules on operational programmes are laid down in the Regulation (EC) No 1080/2006 as regards operational programmes under the European territorial cooperation objective.31. 7. monitoring and evaluation requirements laid down by this Regulation.

funds investing in public-private partnerships and other projects included in an integrated plan for sustainable urban development. 3. (c) the rates of assistance from the Funds and the rules governing that assistance. Where the Commission refuses to make a financial contribution from the Funds to a major project. the Structural Funds may finance expenditure in respect of an operation comprising contributions to support financial engineering instruments for enterprises. (d) the arrangements for monitoring. The Commission shall appraise the major project. the phases for which Community co-financing is requested during the 2007 to 2013 programming period.L 210/48 EN Official Journal of the European Union 31. including the indicative annual plan of the financial contribution from the ERDF or the Cohesion Fund for the major project. and the annual plan of financial contribution from the ERDF or the Cohesion Fund. regional development bodies or non-governmental organisations. designated by the Member State or the managing authority. (b) the criteria for selecting beneficiaries. that is. its contribution to achieving the goals of those priorities and its consistency with other Community policies. the EIB. (e) where applicable. the EIF and all other sources of Community financing. the amount to which the co-financing rate for the priority axis applies. it shall notify the Member State of its reasons within the period and the related conditions laid down in paragraph 2. primarily small and medium-sized ones. (g) a justification for the public contribution. such as venture capital funds. unless the Member State or the managing authority provides such guarantee according to the institutional arrangements of each Member State. of other regions of the Community. including as regards the use of any interest accruing. including the EIB.2006 (d) a timetable for implementing the project and. The Commission shall adopt a decision as soon as possible but no later than three months after the submission by the Member State or the managing authority of a major project. (e) a cost-benefit analysis. any use of a financial guarantee or equivalent facility. The Member State or the managing authority may entrust the management and implementation of a part of an opera- Financial engineering instruments As part of an operational programme. provided that the submission is in accordance with Article 40. guarantee funds and loan funds. Such delegation shall be without prejudice to the financial responsibility of the managing authority and of the Member States. including the arrangements for recovering amounts unduly paid and the presentation of accounts. Article 41 Decision of the Commission 1. 2. Se c ti on 4 F i n an ci al e n g i n e e ri n g Article 44 S e c ti on 3 Glob al grants Article 42 General provisions 1. its consistency with the priorities of the operational programme. Article 43 Implementing rules The agreement referred to in the first subparagraph of Article 42(1) shall detail in particular: (a) the types of operation to be covered by the global grant. in accordance with the provisions of an agreement concluded between the Member State or the managing authority and that body. tional programme to one or more intermediate bodies. 2. in the light of the factors referred to in Article 40. and for urban development funds. That decision shall define the physical object. if necessary consulting outside experts. where the implementation period for the operation concerned is expected to be longer than the programming period.7. evaluating and ensuring the financial control of the global grant referred to in Article 59(1) vis-à-vis the managing authority. (h) the financing plan showing the total planned financial resources and the planned contribution from the Funds. 62 . It shall as a general rule be established or represented in the region or regions covered by the operational programme at the moment of its designation. when possible and where appropriate. The intermediate body responsible for managing the global grant shall provide guarantees of its solvency and competence in the domain concerned as well as in administrative and financial management. The Commission shall provide indicative guidance on the methodology to be used in carrying out the cost-benefit analysis in (e) above in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 103(2). including a risk assessment and the foreseeable impact on the sector concerned and on the socio-economic situation of the Member State and/or the region and. including local authorities. (f) an analysis of the environmental impact.

(f) the installation. the award of a grant.31. the Funds may finance the preparatory. The Commission shall adopt a decision concerning the types of action listed under paragraph 1 of this Article. in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 103(2). in particular: (a) assistance for project preparation and appraisal. be undertaken within the framework of each operational programme. the Commission's reporting on cohesion policy and the three-yearly cohesion report. In this case. At the initiative of and/or on behalf of the Commission. in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 103(2). the proportion of the total amount of expenditure for technical assistance in respect of each operational programme shall not exceed the limits set in paragraph 1. when a contribution from the ERDF or the Cohesion Fund is foreseen. networking. (c) evaluations.2006 EN Official Journal of the European Union L 210/49 When such operations are organised through holding funds. (b) studies linked to the drawing up of the Community strategic guidelines on cohesion. the beneficiaries of assistance from the Funds and the general public. If the Member State decides to undertake technical assistance actions in the framework of each operational programme. including those of a general nature concerning the operation of the Funds. as appropriate. where the agreement is not a public service contract within the meaning of public procurement law. monitoring. in the form of a specific operational programme. (e) measures to disseminate information. evaluation. the Funds may finance the preparatory. such actions may be undertaken partially and subject to the overall limits for technical assistance set in paragraph 1. The Commission shall adopt a decision concerning the types of action listed under paragraph 1 of this Article. if this is pursuant to a national law compatible with the Treaty. including with the EIB through a grant or other forms of cooperation. For each of the three objectives. shall. however. funds set up to invest in several venture capital funds. where technical assistance actions are also undertaken in the form of a specific operational programme. Those actions shall include. when a contribution from the ESF is foreseen. (b) in other cases. On a complementary basis. or (ii) to a financial institution without a call for proposal. management. including information measures. the total amount of expenditure for technical assistance in such a specific programme shall not cause the total proportion of Funds allocated to technical assistance to exceed the limits set in paragraph 1.25 % of their respective annual allocation. evaluation. expert reports. raise awareness. statistics and studies.7. monitoring. subject to a ceiling of 0. guarantee funds. defined for this purpose as a direct financial contribution by way of a donation: (i) to the EIB or to the EIF. within the limits set in paragraph 1. loan funds and urban development funds. audit and inspection measures necessary for implementing this Regulation. Article 46 S e c ti on 5 Techni cal assistance Article 45 Technical assistance at the initiative of the Commission 1. (g) improvements in evaluation methods and the exchange of information on practices in this field. (d) measures aimed at the partners. 3. after consulting the committee referred to in Article 104. the Member State or the managing authority shall implement them through one or more of the following forms: (a) the award of a public contract in accordance with applicable public procurement law. (b) 6 % of the total amount allocated under the European territorial cooperation objective. inspection and evaluation. 2. monitoring. Technical assistance of the Member States 1. 2. operation and interconnection of computerised systems for management. administrative and technical support. The implementing rules of this Article shall be adopted by the Commission in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 103(3). information and control activities of operational programmes together with activities to reinforce the administrative capacity for implementing the Funds within the following limits: (a) 4 % of the total amount allocated under the Convergence and Regional competitiveness and employment objectives. At the initiative of the Member State. promote cooperation and exchange experiences throughout the Community. which may be carried out where appropriate by the EIB or the EIF through a grant or other forms of cooperation. 63 GENERAL REGULATION . in principle. that is. 3. technical assistance actions.

Ex ante evaluations shall be carried out under the responsibility of the authority responsible for the preparation of the programming documents. effectiveness and consistency of the assistance from the Funds and the strategy and implementation of operational programmes with respect to the specific structural problems affecting the Member States and regions concerned. For the European territorial cooperation objective.7. 64 . The Commission may carry out strategic evaluations. in accordance with the principle of proportionality set out in Article 13. 3. under the Convergence objective. internal or external. The results shall be sent to the monitoring committee for the operational programme and to the Commission. the extent to which the Community's priorities have been taken into account. The Member States shall provide the resources necessary for carrying out evaluations. organise the production and gathering of the necessary data and use the various types of information provided by the monitoring system. evaluations linked to the monitoring of operational programmes where the monitoring of programmes reveals a significant departure from the goals initially set.2006 CHAPTER I Evaluation 2. the lessons drawn from previous programming and the quality of the procedures for implementation. 4. They shall identify and appraise the disparities. 2. the goals to be achieved. During the programming period. monitoring. Evaluations shall be carried out under the responsibility of the Member State or the Commission. the results expected. as referred to in Article 33. They may also draw up. Member States shall carry out either an ex ante evaluation covering all the operational programmes or an evaluation for each Fund or an evaluation for each priority or an evaluation for each operational programme. the Member States shall jointly carry out an ex ante evaluation covering either each operational programme or several operational programmes. or of an operational nature in order to support the monitoring of an operational programme. in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 103(2). Evaluations shall be financed from the budget for technical assistance. as appropriate. Article 48 Responsibility of Member States 1. Evaluations shall aim to improve the quality. The Commission shall provide indicative guidance on evaluation methods. Article 49 Responsibility of the Commission 1. the quantified targets. In duly justified cases. in accordance with the principle of proportionality laid down in Article 13. The results shall be published according to the applicable rules on access to documents. while taking account of the objective of sustainable development and of the relevant Community legislation concerning environmental impact and strategic environmental assessment. Evaluations may be of a strategic nature in order to examine the evolution of a programme or group of programmes in relation to Community and national priorities. if necessary. functionally independent of the authorities referred to in Article 59(b) and (c). gaps and potential for development. Member States may carry out a single ex ante evaluation covering more than one operational programme. the coherence. of the strategy proposed for the region. Member States shall carry out an ex ante evaluation for each operational programme separately under the Convergence objective. 3. The results shall be sent to the monitoring committee for the operational programme. an evaluation plan presenting the indicative evaluation activities which the Member State intends to carry out in the different phases of the implementation.L 210/50 EN TITLE IV EFFECTIVENESS Official Journal of the European Union 31. including quality standards. evaluation and financial management. 2. Article 47 General provisions 1. Evaluations shall be carried out by experts or bodies. Evaluations shall be carried out before. where appropriate. The Commission may carry out. taking into account the proportionality principle as set out in Article 13 and as agreed between the Commission and the Member State. Member States shall carry out evaluations linked to the monitoring of operational programmes in particular where that monitoring reveals a significant departure from the goals initially set or where proposals are made for the revision of operational programmes. 5. during and after the programming period. the Community value-added. Ex ante evaluations shall aim to optimise the allocation of budgetary resources under operational programmes and improve programming quality. at its initiative and in partnership with the Member State concerned. For the Regional competitiveness and employment objective.

on the basis of proposals from and in close consultation with each Member State concerned.2006 EN Official Journal of the European Union TITLE V L 210/51 3. the coverage of areas with a geographical or natural handicap defined as follows: (i) island Member States eligible under the Cohesion Fund. The contribution from the Funds. The Member State may allocate the reserve for each objective to a specific national programme or within operational programmes. (f) under the Regional competitiveness and employment objective. (ii) mountainous areas as defined by the national legislation of the Member State. (b) the importance of each priority axis for the Community's priorities as set out in the Community strategic guidelines on cohesion. (iii) sparsely (less than 50 inhabitants per square kilometre) and very sparsely (less than 8 inhabitants per square kilometre) populated areas. 3. the Commission shall allocate the national performance reserve. 2. It shall be carried out for each of the objectives and shall aim to draw conclusions for the policy on economic and social cohesion. social or territorial nature. and other islands except those on which the capital of a Member State is situated or which have a fixed link to the mainland. 65 GENERAL REGULATION . (iv) the areas which were external borders of the Community on 30 April 2004 and which ceased to be so on the day after that date. At its own initiative. Ex post evaluation shall cover all the operational programmes under each objective and examine the extent to which resources were used.31. a Member State may reserve an amount of 1 % of the annual Structural Fund contribution to the Convergence objective and 3 % of the annual Structural Fund contribution to the Regional competitiveness and employment objective to cover unforeseen local or sectoral crises linked to economic and social restructuring or to the consequences of the opening up of trade. in particular of an economic. the effectiveness and efficiency of Fund programming and the socio-economic impact.7. principally through the application of the precautionary principle. FINANCIAL CONTRIBUTION FROM THE FUNDS CHAPTER I Contribution from the funds Article 52 Modulation of the contribution rates The contribution from the Funds may be modulated in the light of the following: (a) the gravity of the specific problems. a Member State may decide to establish a national performance reserve for the Convergence objective and/or the Regional competitiveness and employment objective. it shall assess under each of the objectives not later than 30 June 2011 the performance of its operational programmes. in particular under public-private partnerships. CHAPTER II Reserves Article 50 National performance reserve 1. (b) or the public eligible expenditure. It shall identify the factors contributing to the success or failure of the implementation of operational programmes and identify good practice. The Commission shall carry out an ex post evaluation for each objective in close cooperation with the Member State and managing authorities. (c) protection and improvement of the environment. 2. and the polluter-pays principle. Article 53 Article 51 National contingency reserve At its own initiative. Ex post evaluation shall be completed by 31 December 2015. Where a Member State has decided to establish such a reserve. as well as for national and regional priorities. in the fields concerned. (d) the rate of mobilisation of private financing. Not later than 31 December 2011. at the level of operational programmes. The contribution from the Funds at the level of operational programmes under the Convergence and Regional competitiveness and employment objectives shall be subject to the ceilings set out in Annex III. shall be calculated with reference to: (a) either the total eligible expenditure including public and private expenditure. consisting of 3 % of its total allocation for each one. (e) the inclusion of interregional cooperation as referred to in Article 37(6)(b) under the Convergence and Regional competitiveness and employment objectives. Contribution from the Funds 1. the principle of preventive action.

For operational programmes co-financed jointly: 4. The application for payment of the final balance shall be corrected accordingly. 4. 2. public aid granted under operational programmes shall observe the ceilings on State aid. During the period of eligibility referred to in Article 56(1): (a) a priority axis may receive assistance from only one Fund and one objective at a time. a revenue-generating project means any operation involving an investment in infrastructure the use of which is subject to charges borne directly by users or any operation involving the sale or rent of land or buildings or any other provision of services against payment. Where. Article 54 Other provisions 1. For State aid to enterprises within the meaning of Article 87 of the Treaty.L 210/52 EN Official Journal of the European Union 31. considerations of equity linked to the relative prosperity of the Member State concerned. 5. Where not all the investment cost is eligible for co-financing. 2. or (b) other projects where it is possible to objectively estimate the revenues in advance. or (b) by the additional allocation for the outermost regions provided for in Annex II. (c) an operation shall not receive an assistance from a Fund higher than the total public expenditure allocated. However. The deduction shall be made by the certifying authority at the latest at partial or at final closure of the operational programme. For all other operational programmes. The decision shall show separately the appropriations for regions receiving transitional support. the net revenue shall be allocated pro rata to the eligible and non-eligible parts of the investment cost. 3. The Commission's decision adopting an operational programme shall fix the maximum rate and the maximum amount of the contribution from Fund for each operational programme and for each priority axis. (b) an operation may receive assistance from a Fund under only one operational programme at a time. and. it is established that an operation has generated revenue that has not been taken into account under paragraphs 2 and 3.7. the category of project. the contribution from the ERDF shall not be higher than 75 % of the eligible expenditure co-financed by the ERDF. 66 . the decision adopting the operational programme shall fix the maximum rate and the maximum amount of the contribution for each Fund and allocation separately. if appropriate. In the calculation. the managing authority shall take account of the reference period appropriate to the category of investment concerned. For the purposes of this Regulation. 6. Where it is objectively not possible to estimate the revenue in advance. Eligible expenditure on revenue-generating projects shall not exceed the current value of the investment cost less the current value of the net revenue from the investment over a specific reference period for: (a) investments in infrastructure. 4. the ERDF and/or the Cohesion Fund. The contribution from the Funds for each priority axis shall not be less than 20 % of the eligible public expenditure. it shall be fixed so as to ensure compliance with the maximum amount of contribution from the Funds and the maximum contribution rate per Fund fixed at the level of the operational programme. the revenue generated within five years of the completion of an operation shall be deducted from the expenditure declared to the Commission. Technical assistance measures implemented at the initiative of or on behalf of the Commission may be financed at the rate of 100 %. the contribution from the ERDF shall not be higher than 85 % of the eligible expenditure. An expenditure co-financed by the Funds shall not receive assistance from another Community financial instrument.2006 3. at the latest three years after closure of the operational programme. CHAPTER II Revenue-generating projects Article 55 Revenue-generating projects 1. For operational programmes under the European territorial cooperation objective in which at least one participant belongs to a Member State whose average GDP per capita for the period 2001 to 2003 was below 85 % of the EU-25 average during the same period. the application of the polluter-pays principle. 5. 3. the profitability normally expected of the category of investment concerned. such revenue shall be refunded to the general budget of the European Union in proportion to the contribution from the Funds. (a) by the ERDF and the Cohesion Fund. The contribution from the Funds at the priority axis level shall not be subject to the ceilings set out in paragraph 3 and in Annex III.

shall be eligible for a contribution from the Funds if it has actually been paid between the date of submission of the operational programmes to the Commission or from 1 January 2007. 67 GENERAL REGULATION . 5. The Member State and the managing authority shall inform the Commission in the annual implementation report referred to in Article 67 of any modification referred to in paragraph 1. 2. within five years from the completion of the operation or three years from the completion of the operation in Member States which have exercised the option of reducing that time limit for the maintenance of an investment or jobs created by SMEs. and 31 December 2015. Article 56 Eligibility of expenditure 1. added at the moment of the revision of an operational programme referred to in Article 33.2006 EN Official Journal of the European Union CHAPTER IV Durability of operations L 210/53 5. undergo a substantial modification: (a) affecting its nature or its implementation conditions or giving to a firm or a public body an undue advantage. Expenditure shall be eligible for a contribution from the Funds only where incurred for operations decided on by the managing authority of the operational programme concerned or under its responsibility. Expenditure. Article 57 Durability of operations CHAPTER III Eligibility of expenditure 1. TITLE VI MANAGEMENT. 4. Member States may adopt procedures proportionate to the amounts concerned for monitoring revenues generated by operations whose total cost is below EUR 200 000. 3. (c) in the case of in-kind contributions. in accordance with criteria fixed by the monitoring committee. 3. depreciation costs and overheads may be treated as expenditure paid by beneficiaries in implementing operations under the following conditions: (a) the eligibility rules laid down under paragraph 4 provide for the eligibility of such expenditure. 2. This Article shall not apply to projects subject to the rules on State aid within the meaning of Article 87 of the Treaty. This Article shall be without prejudice to the expenditure referred to in Article 45. They shall cover the entirety of the expenditure declared under the operational programme. The Member State or managing authority shall ensure that an operation retains the contribution from the Funds only if that operation does not. MONITORING AND CONTROLS CHAPTER I Management and control systems Article 58 General principles of the management and control systems The management and control systems of operational programmes set up by Member States shall provide for: (a) the definition of the functions of the bodies concerned in management and control and the allocation of functions within each body. The Commission shall inform the other Member States. shall be eligible from the date of the submission to the Commission of the request for revision of the operational programme. the co-financing from the Funds does not exceed the total eligible expenditure excluding the value of such contributions. By way of derogation from paragraph 1. and (b) resulting either from a change in the nature of ownership of an item of infrastructure or the cessation of a productive activity. (b) the amount of the expenditure is justified by accounting documents having a probative value equivalent to invoices.7.31. in-kind contributions. 6. including for major projects. 4. Without prejudice to their obligations under Article 70(1). Operations must not have been completed before the starting date for eligibility. Sums unduly paid shall be recovered in accordance with Articles 98 to 102. The Member States and the Commission shall ensure that undertakings which are or have been subject to a procedure of recovery in accordance with paragraph 3 following the transfer of a productive activity within a Member State or to another Member State do not benefit from a contribution from the Funds. whichever is earlier. The rules on the eligibility of expenditure shall be laid down at national level subject to the exceptions provided for in the specific Regulations for each Fund. New expenditure.

regional or local public authority or a public or private body designated by the Member State to manage the operational programme. regional or local public authority or body. The same authority may be designated for more than one operational programme. (h) reporting and monitoring procedures for irregularities and for the recovery of amounts unduly paid. (e) a system of reporting and monitoring where the responsible body entrusts the execution of tasks to another body. 2. (f) setting up procedures to ensure that all documents regarding expenditure and audits required to ensure an adequate audit trail are held in accordance with the requirements of Article 90. verifications. The Commission shall adopt implementing rules of Articles 60. Article 60 Functions of the managing authority Article 59 Designation of authorities 1. functionally independent of the managing authority and the certifying authority. (b) a certifying authority: a national. (d) reliable accounting. Without prejudice to this Regulation. 4.7. (b) verifying that the co-financed products and services are delivered and that the expenditure declared by the beneficiaries for operations has actually been incurred and complies with Community and national rules.L 210/54 EN Official Journal of the European Union 31. Specific rules on management and control are laid down in the Regulation (EC) No 1080/2006 for operational programmes under the European territorial cooperation objective. 5. (d) ensuring that beneficiaries and other bodies involved in the implementation of operations maintain either a separate accounting system or an adequate accounting code for all transactions relating to the operation without prejudice to national accounting rules. legal and financial systems of the Member State concerned. designated by the Member State for each operational programme and responsible for verifying the effective functioning of the management and control system. audits and evaluation are collected. 68 . 61 and 62 in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 103(3). the Member State shall lay down the mutual relations between the authorities referred to in paragraph 1. (c) ensuring that there is a system for recording and storing in computerised form accounting records for each operation under the operational programme and that the data on implementation necessary for financial management. (e) ensuring that the evaluations of operational programmes referred to in Article 48(3) are carried out in accordance with Article 47. (g) systems and procedures to ensure an adequate audit trail. The Member State shall lay down rules governing its relations with the authorities referred to in paragraph 1 and their relations with the Commission. The Member State may designate one or more intermediate bodies to carry out some or all of the tasks of the managing or certifying authority under the responsibility of that authority. verifications on-the-spot of individual operations may be carried out on a sample basis in accordance with the detailed rules to be adopted by the Commission in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 103(3). 3. (f) arrangements for auditing the functioning of the systems.2006 (b) compliance with the principle of separation of functions between and within such bodies. 6. (c) an audit authority: a national. The managing authority shall be responsible for managing and implementing the operational programme in accordance with the principle of sound financial management and in particular for: (a) ensuring that operations are selected for funding in accordance with the criteria applicable to the operational programme and that they comply with applicable Community and national rules for the whole of their implementation period. monitoring and financial reporting systems in computerised form. Subject to Article 58(b). some or all of the authorities referred to in paragraph 1 may be part of the same body. monitoring. (c) procedures for ensuring the correctness and regularity of expenditure declared under the operational programme. regional or local public authority or body designated by the Member State to certify statement of expenditure and applications for payment before they are sent to the Commission. which shall carry out their tasks in full accordance with the institutional. For each operational programme the Member State shall designate the following: (a) a managing authority: a national.

(ii) the expenditure declared complies with applicable Community and national rules and has been incurred in respect of operations selected for funding in accordance with the criteria applicable to the programme and complying with Community and national rules. which shall be supported by a final control report. When a common system applies to several operational programmes. (k) providing the Commission with information to allow it to appraise major projects. (c) ensuring for the purposes of certification that it has received adequate information from the managing authority on the procedures and verifications carried out in relation to expenditure included in statements of expenditure. The audit authority of an operational programme shall be responsible in particular for: (a) ensuring that audits are carried out to verify the effective functioning of the management and control system of the operational programme. (d) by 31 December each year from 2008 to 2015: (i) submitting to the Commission an annual control report setting out the findings of the audits carried out during the previous 12 month-period ending on 30 June of the year concerned in accordance with the audit strategy of the operational programme and reporting any shortcomings found in the systems for the management and control of the programme. a single audit strategy may be submitted. The information concerning the audits carried out after 1 July 2015 shall be included in the final control report supporting the closure declaration referred to in point (e). a declaration for partial closure assessing the legality and regularity of the expenditure concerned. (ii) issuing an opinion. so as to provide a reasonable assurance that statements of expenditure presented to the Commission are correct and as a consequence reasonable assurance that the underlying transactions are legal and regular. (e) maintaining accounting records in computerised form of expenditure declared to the Commission.. (f) keeping an account of amounts recoverable and of amounts withdrawn following cancellation of all or part of the contribution for an operation. The first report to be submitted by 31 December 2008 shall cover the period from 1 January 2007 to 30 June 2008.31. where applicable under Article 88. the sampling method for audits on operations and the indicative planning of audits to ensure that the main bodies are audited and that audits are spread evenly throughout the programming period. (b) ensuring that audits are carried out on operations on the basis of an appropriate sample to verify expenditure declared.2006 EN Official Journal of the European Union L 210/55 (g) ensuring that the certifying authority receives all necessary information on the procedures and verifications carried out in relation to expenditure for the purpose of certification. the information referred to in point (i) may be grouped in a single report. (b) certifying that: (i) the statement of expenditure is accurate.7. (d) taking account for certification purposes of the results of all audits carried out by or under the responsibility of the audit authority. (h) guiding the work of the monitoring committee and providing it with the documents required to permit the quality of the implementation of the operational programme to be monitored in the light of its specific goals. (i) drawing up and. results from reliable accounting systems and is based on verifiable supporting documents. on the basis of the controls and audits that have been carried out under its responsibility. (e) submitting to the Commission at the latest by 31 March 2017 a closure declaration assessing the validity of the application for payment of the final balance and the legality and regularity of the underlying transactions covered by the final statement of expenditure. (j) ensuring compliance with the information and publicity requirements laid down in Article 69. and the opinion and declaration issued under points (ii) and (iii) may cover all the operational programmes concerned. Article 62 Functions of the audit authority 1. submitting to the Commission the annual and final reports on implementation. 69 GENERAL REGULATION . as to whether the management and control system functions effectively. Where a common system applies to several operational programmes. Amounts recovered shall be repaid to the general budget of the European Union prior to the closure of the operational programme by deducting them from the next statement of expenditure. Article 61 Functions of the certifying authority The certifying authority of an operational programme shall be responsible in particular for: (a) drawing up and submitting to the Commission certified statements of expenditure and applications for payment. (iii) submitting. the method to be used. (c) presenting to the Commission within nine months of the approval of the operational programme an audit strategy covering the bodies which will perform the audits referred to under points (a) and (b). after approval by the monitoring committee.

(d) it shall consider and approve the annual and final reports on implementation referred to in Article 67. The managing authority and the monitoring committee shall carry out monitoring by reference to financial indicators and the indicators referred to in Article 37(1)(c) specified in the operational programme. 3. in accordance with the following provisions: (a) it shall consider and approve the criteria for selecting the operations financed within six months of the approval of Annual report and final report on implementation 1. 2. The Commission shall provide its comments on the audit strategy presented under paragraph 1(c) no later than three months from receipt thereof. and of any relevant comments the Commission may make after examining that report or relating to that part of the report. 4. (f) it may propose to the managing authority any revision or examination of the operational programme likely to make possible the attainment of the Funds' objectives referred to in Article 3 or to improve its management. Data exchange between the Commission and the Member States for this purpose shall be carried out electronically. (c) it shall examine the results of implementation.2006 2.L 210/56 EN Official Journal of the European Union 31. Where the audits and controls referred to in paragraph 1(a) and (b) are carried out by a body other than the audit authority. the operational programme and approve any revision of those criteria in accordance with programming needs. 2. The monitoring committee shall be chaired by a representative of the Member State or the managing authority. in accordance with the implementing rules of this Regulation adopted by the Commission in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 103(3). Where the nature of the assistance permits. At its own initiative or at the request of the monitoring committee. 2.7. particularly the achievement of the targets set for each priority axis and the evaluations referred to in Article 48(3). A single monitoring committee may be set up for several operational programmes. statistics shall be broken down by sex and by the size of the recipient undertakings. For the first time in 2008 and by 30 June each year. In the absence of comments within this period it shall be considered to be accepted. (g) it shall consider and approve any proposal to amend the content of the Commission decision on the contribution from the Funds. Each monitoring committee shall draw up its rules of procedure within the institutional. including its financial management. 3. The audit authority shall ensure that the audit work takes account of internationally accepted audit standards. Its composition shall be decided by the Member State in agreement with the managing authority. The managing authority and the monitoring committee shall ensure the quality of the implementation of the operational programme. a representative of the Commission shall participate in the work of the monitoring committee in an advisory capacity. in agreement with the managing authority. 70 . Article 64 Composition 1. (b) it shall periodically review progress made towards achieving the specific targets of the operational programme on the basis of documents submitted by the managing authority. the managing authority shall send the Commission an annual report and by 31 March 2017 a final report on the implementation of the operational programme. CHAPTER II Monitoring Article 63 Monitoring committee 1. The Member State shall set up a monitoring committee for each operational programme. A representative of the EIB and the EIF may participate in an advisory capacity for those operational programmes to which the EIB or the EIF makes a contribution. Article 65 Article 67 Tasks The monitoring committee shall satisfy itself as to the effectiveness and quality of the implementation of the operational programme. the audit authority shall ensure that such bodies have the necessary functional independence. within three months from the date of the notification to the Member State of the decision approving the operational programme. Article 66 Arrangements for monitoring 1. legal and financial framework of the Member State concerned and adopt them in agreement with the managing authority in order to exercise its missions in accordance with this Regulation. or of the part of the report referring to the operational programme concerned. (e) it shall be informed of the annual control report.

the Commission and the managing authority shall examine the progress made in implementing the operational programme. (c) for information purposes only. The reports referred to in paragraph 1 shall be judged admissible where they contain all the appropriate information listed in paragraph 2. After the examination referred to in paragraph 1. The Commission shall inform the Member State of its opinion on the content of an admissible annual report on implementation submitted by the managing authority within two months from the date of receipt. wherever and whenever they lend themselves to quantification. Where appropriate. 3. Where appropriate. including data collection arrangements. The Commission shall inform the Member State on the admissibility of the annual report within 10 working days from the date of its receipt. the indicative breakdown of the allocation of Funds by categories. (b) the financial implementation of the programme. (ii) the total payments received from the Commission and quantification of the financial indicators referred to in Article 66(2). Annual examination of programmes 1. the principal results achieved over the previous year. including the response to comments made under Article 68(2) where appropriate. (g) where appropriate.2006 EN Official Journal of the European Union L 210/57 2. (f) information about significant problems relating to compliance with Community law which have been encountered in the implementation of the operational programme and the measures taken to deal with them.31. Every year. (h) the use made of assistance released following cancellation as referred to in Article 98(2) to the managing authority or 71 GENERAL REGULATION . (g). 3. verifiable targets. the report shall be deemed to be accepted. the time limit shall be a maximum of five months from the date of receipt of an admissible report. the progress and financing of major projects. 4. the overall results may be examined in the next annual examination. the expenditure paid out by the beneficiaries included in applications for payment sent to the managing authority and the corresponding public contribution. Information referred to in points (d). When the ex post evaluations of assistance granted over the 2000 to 2006 programming period. (i) cases where a substantial modification has been detected under Article 57. detailing for each priority axis: (i) operational to another public authority during the period of implementation of the operational programme. financial implementation in areas receiving transitional support shall be presented separately within each operational programme. (h) and (i) shall not be included if there has been no significant modification since the previous report. where appropriate. The breadth of information transmitted to the Commission shall be proportional to the total amount of expenditure of the operational programme concerned. The reports referred to in paragraph 1 shall include the following information in order to obtain a clear view of the implementation of the operational programme: (a) the progress made in implementing the operational programme and priority axes in relation to their specific. referred to in Article 62(1)(d)(i). such information may be provided in summary form. with a quantification. in accordance with the implementation rules adopted by the Commission in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 103(3). in particular: (i) monitoring and evaluation measures. (ii) a summary of any significant problems encountered in implementing the operational programme and any measures taken. Article 68 (d) the steps taken by the managing authority or the monitoring committee to ensure the quality and effectiveness of implementation.7. (iii) the use made of technical assistance. using the indicators referred to in Article 37(1)(c) at the level of the priority axis. If the Commission does not respond within the time limit laid down. and (iii) the expenditure paid out by the body responsible for making payments to the beneficiaries. The Member State shall inform the Commission of the action taken in response to those comments. the financial implementation and other factors with a view to improving implementation. may also be examined. when the annual report on implementation referred to in Article 67 is submitted. (e) the measures taken to provide information on and publicise the operational programme. are available. Any aspects of the operation of the management and control system raised in the last annual control report. 2. the Commission may make comments to the Member State and the managing authority. For the final report on an operational programme. which shall inform the monitoring committee thereof.

the priority axis or axes concerned. 2. 5. upon confirmation to the Commission that corrective measures concerning key elements of the systems have been implemented. The Commission shall adopt implementing rules for this Article in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 103(3). 3. and the corresponding reservations withdrawn. covering in particular the organisation and procedures of: (a) the managing and certifying authorities and intermediate bodies. The implementing rules for paragraphs 1 and 2 shall be adopted by the Commission in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 103(3). If the opinion contains reservations.7. Where a common system applies to several operational programmes. 3. The Member State and the managing authority for the operational programme shall provide information on and publicise operations and co-financed programmes. the report shall indicate the seriousness of the shortcomings and. The Member State shall inform the Commission of the corrective measures to be taken and the timetable for their implementation and subsequently provide confirmation of the implementation of the measures and the withdrawal of the corresponding reservations. detecting and correcting irregularities and recovering amounts unduly paid together with interest on late payments where appropriate. in particular through the following measures: (a) ensuring that management and control systems for operational programmes are set up in accordance with Articles 58 to 62 and function effectively. and in the absence of observations by the Commission within two months of the date of confirmation. Before the submission of the first interim application for payment or at the latest within twelve months of the approval of each operational programme. The implementing rules for paragraphs 1 to 4 shall be adopted by the Commission in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 103(3). 2. a description of the common system may be notified under paragraph 1 accompanied by a single report and opinion under paragraph 2. The description referred to in paragraph 1 shall be accompanied by a report setting out the results of an assessment of the systems set up and giving an opinion on their compliance with Articles 58 to 62. the Member State shall be responsible for reimbursing the amounts lost to the general budget of the European Union. when it is established that the loss has been incurred as a result of fault or negligence on its part.2006 Information and publicity Setting up of management and control systems 1. where the shortcomings do not concern the whole programme. and the first interim payment shall be made. (b) preventing. When amounts unduly paid to a beneficiary cannot be recovered. 2. Where the reservations concern only a single priority axis. the Member States shall submit to the Commission a description of the systems. (b) the audit authority and any other bodies carrying out audits under its responsibility. the first interim payment shall be made as regards the other priority axes of the operational programme for which there is no reservation. 72 . The report and the opinion referred to in paragraph 2 shall be drawn up by the audit authority or by a public or private body functionally independent of the managing and certifying authorities. The report referred to in the first subparagraph shall be deemed to be accepted. (b) if the opinion contains reservations. 4. in the following circumstances: (a) within two months of the date of receipt of the report when the opinion referred to in the first subparagraph is without reservations and in the absence of observations by the Commission. which shall carry out its work taking account of internationally accepted audit standards. The managing authority for the operational programme shall be responsible for publicity in accordance with the implementing rules of this Regulation adopted by the Commission in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 103(3). They shall notify these to the Commission and keep the Commission informed of the progress of administrative and legal proceedings. The information shall be addressed to European Union citizens and beneficiaries with the aim of highlighting the role of the Community and ensure that assistance from the Funds is transparent.L 210/58 EN Official Journal of the European Union CHAPTER III Article 71 31. CHAPTER IV Responsibilities of Member States and of the Commission S e c ti on 1 Responsibilities of Member States Article 70 Management and control 1. Article 69 Information and publicity 1. Member States shall be responsible for the management and control of operational programmes.

Where the Commission reaches such a conclusion.31. it shall inform the Member State concerned accordingly. Without prejudice to audits carried out by Member States. The aforementioned powers of audit shall not affect the application of national provisions which reserve certain acts for agents specifically designated by national legislation. or where reservations have been withdrawn following corrective measures. except in urgent cases.7. Article 73 Cooperation with the audit authorities of the Member States 1. 2. The Commission may require a Member State to carry out an on-the-spot audit to verify the effective functioning of systems or the correctness of one or more transactions. Se c ti on 3 Pro p o rt i on al i t y i n t h e co n t r ol o f o p e r a t i on al programmes Article 74 Proportional control arrangements 1. and the coordination body. In determining its own audit strategy. it may require the Member State to carry out audits in accordance with Article 72(3) or it may carry out its own audits under Article 72(2). with a minimum of 10 working days' notice. they shall have access to information thus obtained. Where there is evidence to suggest shortcomings. the results of audits carried out on management and control systems in order to make the best possible use of resources and to avoid unjustified duplication of work. Commission officials or authorised Commission representatives. relating to expenditure financed by the Funds. The Commission shall satisfy itself in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 71 that the Member States have set up management and control systems that comply with Articles 58 to 62 and. in home visits or the formal questioning of persons within the framework of the national legislation of the Member State concerned. The Commission shall cooperate with the audit authorities of operational programmes to coordinate their respective audit plans and audit methods and shall immediately exchange 73 GENERAL REGULATION . where such a body has been designated. on the basis of the annual control reports and annual opinion of the audit authority and its own audits. 2. including documents and metadata drawn up or received and recorded on an electronic medium. However. the Commission may conclude that it can rely principally on the opinion referred to in Article 62(1)(d)(ii) with regard to the effective functioning of the systems and that it will carry out its own on-the-spot audits only if there is evidence to suggest shortcomings in the system affecting expenditure certified to the Commission in a year for which an opinion under Article 62(1)(d)(ii) has been provided which contains no reservation in respect of such shortcomings. which may include audits on operations included in operational programmes. For those programmes. Commission officials or authorised Commission representatives may carry out on-the-spot audits to verify the effective functioning of the management and control systems. Commission officials or authorised Commission representatives may take part in such audits.2006 EN Official Journal of the European Union S e c ti on 2 L 210/59 Re spon si b i l i t i es of t he Commi ssion Article 72 Responsibilities of the Commission 1. shall meet on a regular basis and at least once a year unless otherwise agreed between them in order to examine together the annual control report and opinion presented under Article 62 and to exchange views on other issues relating to the improvement of the management and control of operational programmes. Authorised Commission representatives shall not take part. shall have access to the books and all other documents. that the systems function effectively during the periods of implementation of operational programmes. 3. the Commission shall identify those operational programmes for which the opinion on the compliance of systems under Article 71(2) is without reservations. In order to facilitate this cooperation in cases where a Member State designates several audit authorities. inter alia. The Commission and the audit authorities. 3. duly empowered to carry out on-the-spot audits. For operational programmes for which the total eligible public expenditure does not exceed EUR 750 million and for which the level of Community co-financing does not exceed 40 % of the total public expenditure: (a) the audit authority is not required to present to the Commission an audit strategy under Article 62(1)(c). the Member State may designate a coordination body. Officials or authorised representatives of the Member State may take part in such audits. The implementing rules of this Regulation concerning the use of data collected during audits shall be adopted by the Commission in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 103(3). where the audit strategy of the audit authority is satisfactory and where reasonable assurance has been obtained that the management and control systems function effectively on the basis of the results of audits by the Commission and the Member State.

Where there is evidence to suggest shortcomings it may require the Member State to carry out audits in accordance with Article 72(3) or it may carry out its own audits under Article 72(2). In cases of force majeure. 2. Where no payment has been made. When the Commission adopts implementing rules for Articles 60. Member States shall send the Commission a provisional forecast of their likely applications for payment for the current financial year and the subsequent financial year. it shall inform the Member State concerned accordingly. as a general rule. it shall specify the provisions which shall not apply to operational programmes for which the option in this paragraph has been exercised by the Member State concerned. The Community budget commitments in respect of operational programmes (hereinafter budget commitments) shall be effected annually for each Fund and objective during Article 77 Common rules for calculating interim payments and payments of the final balance Interim payments and payments of the final balance shall be calculated by applying the co-financing rate laid down in the decision on the operational programme concerned for each priority axis to the eligible expenditure mentioned under that priority axis in each statement of expenditure certified by the certifying authority. (b) the functions of the certifying authority under Article 61. Payments shall take the form of pre-financing. 2. Where a Member State exercises this option it need not designate a certifying authority and an audit authority under Article 59(1) (b) and (c). the Commission may conclude that it can rely principally on the opinion referred to in Article 62(1)(d)(ii) with regard to the effective functioning of the systems and that it will carry out its own on-the-spot audits only if there is evidence to suggest shortcomings in the system affecting expenditure certified to the Commission in a year for which an opinion under Article 62(1)(d)(ii) has been provided which contains no reservation in respect of such shortcomings. and in particular of malfunction of the common computerised system or a lack of a lasting connection. Payments by the Commission of the contribution from the Funds shall be made in accordance with the budget appropriations. interim payments and payment of the final balance. by 30 April each year by the Commission on the basis of the decision to grant a contribution from the Funds referred to in Article 32. a Member State may in addition exercise the option to establish according to national rules the bodies and procedures for carrying out: (a) the functions of the managing authority in relation to the verification of the co-financed products and services and expenditure declared under Article 60(b). All exchanges concerning financial transactions between the Commission and the authorities and bodies designated by the Member States shall be made by electronic means. Member States may forward statements of expenditure and applications for payment in hard copy. The Member State shall specify in its request the operational programmes benefiting from that transfer. The first budget commitment shall be made before the adoption by the Commission of the decision approving the operational programme.L 210/60 EN Official Journal of the European Union 31. by 30 September of the year n at the latest. They shall be made to the body designated by the Member State. 3. Where the Commission reaches such a conclusion.7. or where reservations have been withdrawn following corrective measures. Se c ti on 2 Com m o n r u l e s f o r p a y m e n t s Article 76 Common rules for payments 1.2006 (b) where the opinion on the compliance of systems under Article 71(2) is without reservations. the Member State may request. Each payment shall be posted to the earliest open budget commitments of the Fund concerned. the transfer of any commitments in respect of operational programmes related to the national contingency reserve referred to in Article 51 to other operational programmes. For the operational programmes referred to in paragraph 1. Each subsequent commitment shall be made. TITLE VII FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT the period between 1 January 2007 and 31 December 2013. in accordance with the implementing rules of this Regulation adopted by the Commission in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 103(3). 4. At the latest by 30 April each year. 2. 61 and 62. 74 . CHAPTER I Financial management S e c ti on 1 B u d g e t c om m i t m e n t s Article 75 Budget commitments 1. Article 71 shall apply mutatis mutandis. and (c) the functions of the audit authority under Article 62.

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However the Community contribution through the interim payments and payments of the final balance shall not be higher than the public contribution and the maximum amount of assistance from the Funds for each priority axis as laid down in the decision of the Commission approving the operational programme.

any information on expenditure other than public expenditure shall not affect the amount due as calculated on the basis of the payment request. 6. By way of derogation from paragraph 1, as regards financial engineering instruments as defined in Article 44, the statement of expenditure shall include the total expenditure paid in establishing or contributing to such funds or holding funds. However, at the partial or final closure of the operational programme, eligible expenditure shall be the total of: (a) any payments from urban development funds for investment in public private partnerships or other projects included in an integrated plan for urban development; or (b) any payments for investment in enterprises from each of the abovementioned funds; or (c) any guarantees provided including amounts committed as guarantees by guarantee funds; and (d) eligible management costs. The co-financing rate shall be applied to the eligible expenditure paid by the beneficiary. The corresponding statement of expenditure shall be corrected accordingly. 7. Interest generated by payments from operational programmes to funds as defined in Article 44, shall be used to finance urban development projects in the case of urban development funds or financial engineering instruments for small and medium-sized enterprises in other cases. Resources returned to the operation from investments undertaken by funds as defined in Article 44 or left over after all guarantees have been honoured shall be reused by the competent authorities of the Member States concerned for the benefit of urban development projects or of small and medium-sized enterprises.

Article 78 Statement of expenditure 1. All statements of expenditure shall include, for each priority axis, the total amount of eligible expenditure, in accordance with Article 56, paid by beneficiaries in implementing the operations and the corresponding public contribution paid or due to be paid to the beneficiaries according to the conditions governing the public contribution. Expenditure paid by beneficiaries shall be supported by receipted invoices or accounting documents of equivalent probative value. However, as regards aid schemes within the meaning of Article 87 of the Treaty only, in addition to the conditions set out in the previous subparagraph, the public contribution corresponding to the expenditure included in a statement of expenditure shall have been paid to the beneficiaries by the body granting the aid. 2. By way of derogation from paragraph 1, as regards State aid within the meaning of Article 87 of the Treaty, the statement of expenditure may include advances paid to the beneficiaries by the body granting the aid, under the following cumulative conditions: (a) they shall be subject to a bank guarantee or a financial public facility having an equivalent effect; (b) they shall not exceed 35 % of the total amount of the aid to be granted to a beneficiary for a given project; (c) they shall be covered by expenditure paid by beneficiaries in implementing the project and supported by receipted invoices or accounting documents of equivalent probative value at the latest three years after the year of the payment of the advance or on 31 December 2015, whichever earlier; if they are not, the next statement of expenditure shall be corrected accordingly. 3. Statements of expenditure shall identify, for each operational programme, the elements referred to in paragraph 1 relating to regions receiving transitional assistance. 4. In the case of major projects as defined in Article 39, only expenditure related to major projects already adopted by the Commission may be included in statements of expenditure. 5. Where the contribution from the Funds is calculated with reference to public expenditure as provided for in Article 53(1),

Article 79 Accumulation of pre-financing and of interim payments 1. The cumulative total of pre-financing and interim payments made shall not exceed 95 % of the contribution from the Funds to the operational programme. 2. When this ceiling is reached, the certifying authority shall continue transmitting to the Commission any certified statement of expenditure on 31 December of year n, as well as the amounts recovered during the year for each Fund, at the latest by the end of February of year n+1.

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in 2008 3 % of the contribution from the Structural Funds to the operational programme; (b) for Member States that acceded to the European Union on or after 1 May 2004, in 2007 2 % of the contribution from the Structural Funds to the operational programme, in 2008 3 % of the contribution from the Structural Funds to the operational programme, and in 2009 2 % of the contribution from the Structural Funds to the operational programme; (c) if the operational programme falls under the European territorial cooperation objective and at least one of the participants is a Member State that acceded to the European Union on or after 1 May 2004, in 2007 2 % of the contribution from the ERDF to the operational programme, in 2008 3 % of the contribution from the ERDF to the operational programme, and in 2009 2 % of the contribution from the ERDF to the operational programme; (d) for Member States of the European Union as constituted before 1 May 2004, in 2007 2 % of the contribution from the Cohesion Fund to the operational programme, in 2008 3 % of the contribution from the Cohesion Fund to the operational programme, and in 2009 2,5 % of the contribution from the Cohesion Fund to the operational programme; (e) for Member States that acceded to the European Union on or after 1 May 2004, in 2007 2,5 % of the contribution from the Cohesion Fund to the operational programme, in 2008 4 % of the contribution from the Cohesion Fund to the operational programme, and in 2009 4 % of the contribution from the Cohesion Fund to the operational programme. 2. The total amount paid as pre-financing shall be reimbursed to the Commission by the body designated by the Member State if no application for payment under the operational programme is sent within 24 months from the date on which the Commission pays the first instalment of the pre-financing amount. The total contribution from the Funds to the operational programme shall not be affected by such reimbursement.

Wholeness of payment to beneficiaries Member States shall satisfy themselves that the bodies responsible for making the payments ensure that the beneficiaries receive the total amount of the public contribution as quickly as possible and in full. No amount shall be deducted or withheld and no specific charge or other charge with equivalent effect shall be levied that would reduce these amounts for the beneficiaries.

Article 81 Use of the euro 1. Amounts set out in operational programmes submitted by Member States, certified statements of expenditure, applications for payment and expenditure mentioned in the annual and final report of implementation shall be denominated in euro. 2. Commission decisions on operational programmes and Commission commitments and payments, shall be denominated and carried out in euro. 3. Member States which have not adopted the euro as their currency on the date of an application for payment shall convert into euro the amounts of expenditure incurred in national currency. This amount shall be converted into euro using the monthly accounting exchange rate of the Commission in the month during which the expenditure was registered in the accounts of the certifying authority of the operational programme concerned. This rate shall be published electronically by the Commission each month. 4. When the euro becomes the currency of a Member State, the conversion procedure set out in paragraph 3 shall continue to apply to all expenditure recorded in the accounts by the certifying authority before the date of entry into force of the fixed conversion rate between the national currency and the euro.

S e c ti on 3 P re -f i n an c i n g Article 82 Payment 1. Following the Commission decision approving a contribution from the Funds to an operational programme, a single pre-financing amount for the 2007 to 2013 period shall be paid by the Commission to the body designated by the Member State. The pre-financing amount shall be paid in different instalments as follows: (a) for Member States of the European Union as constituted before 1 May 2004, in 2007 2 % of the contribution from the Structural Funds to the operational programme, and

Article 83 Interest Any interest generated by the pre-financing shall be posted to the operational programme concerned, being regarded as a resource for the Member State in the form of a national public contribution, and shall be declared to the Commission at the time of the final closure of the operational programme.

Article 84 Clearance The amount paid as pre-financing shall be totally cleared from the Commission accounts when the operational programme is closed in accordance with Article 89.

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In t e rim p aym e n t s Article 85 Interim payments Interim payments shall be made for each operational programme. The first interim payment shall be made in accordance with Article 71(2).

Programme cl osure and p ayme nt of f i nal b al ance Article 88 Partial closure 1. Partial closure of operational programmes may be made at periods to be determined by the Member State. Partial closure shall relate to operations completed during the period up to 31 December of the previous year. For the purposes of this Regulation, an operation shall be deemed completed where the activities under it have been actually carried out and for which all expenditure by the beneficiaries and the corresponding public contribution have been paid. 2. Partial closure shall be made on the condition that the Member State sends the following to the Commission by 31 December of a given year: (a) a statement of expenditure relating to the operations referred to in paragraph 1; (b) a declaration for partial closure in accordance with Article 62(1)(d)(iii). 3. Any financial corrections made in accordance with Articles 98 and 99 concerning operations subject to partial closure shall be net financial corrections.

Article 86 Acceptability of applications for payment 1. Each interim payment made by the Commission shall be subject to the following conditions being met: (a) the Commission must have been sent a application for payment and a statement of expenditure in accordance with Article 78; (b) no more than the maximum amount of assistance from the Funds as laid down in the decision of the Commission approving the operational programme has been paid by the Commission during the whole period for each priority axis; (c) the managing authority must have sent the Commission the most recent annual implementation report in accordance with Article 67(1) and (3); (d) there is no reasoned opinion by the Commission in respect of an infringement under Article 226 of the Treaty as regards the operation(s) for which the expenditure is declared in the application for payment in question. 2. If one or more of the conditions referred to in paragraph 1 are not met, the Member State and the certifying authority shall be informed by the Commission within a period of one month so that the necessary steps can be taken to remedy the situation.

Article 89 Conditions for the payment of the final balance 1. The Commission shall pay the final balance provided that: (a) the Member State has sent an application for payment comprising the following documents by 31 March 2017: (i) an application for payment of the final balance and a statement of expenditure in accordance with Article 78;

Article 87 Date of presentation of applications for payment and payment delays 1. The certifying authority shall satisfy itself that requests for interim payments for each operational programme are grouped together and sent to the Commission, as far as possible, on three separate occasions a year. For a payment to be made by the Commission in the current year, the latest date on which a application for payment shall be submitted is 31 October. 2. Subject to available funding, and the absence of a suspension of payments in accordance with Article 92, the Commission shall make the interim payment no later than two months after the date on which a application for payment meeting the conditions referred to in Article 86 is registered with the Commission.

(ii) the final implementation report for the operational programme, including the information set out in Article 67; (iii) a closure declaration referred to in Article 62(1)(e); and (b) there is no reasoned opinion by the Commission in respect of an infringement under Article 226 of the Treaty as regards the operation(s) for which the expenditure is declared in the application for payment in question. 2. Failure to send any of the documents referred to in paragraph 1 to the Commission shall automatically result in the decommitment of the final balance, in accordance with Article 93. 3. The Commission shall inform the Member State of its opinion on the content of the closure declaration referred to in paragraph 1(a)(iii) within five months of the date of its receipt. The closure declaration shall be deemed to be accepted in the absence of observations by the Commission within that fivemonth period.

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Subject to available funding. the managing authority shall ensure that all the supporting documents regarding expenditure and audits on the operational programme concerned are kept available for the Commission and the Court of Auditors for: (a) a period of three years following the closure of an operational programme as defined in Article 89(3). The Member State and the certifying authority shall be informed immediately of the reasons for the interruption. Without prejudice to the rules governing State aid under Article 87 of the Treaty. These periods shall be interrupted either in the case of legal proceedings or at the duly motivated request of the Commission. The Commission may decide to suspend all or part of interim payments after having given the Member State the opportunity to present its observations within a period of two months. Se c ti on 6 In t e r r u p t i o n of the payment deadline s u s p e n si o n o f p a y m e n t s Article 91 Interruption of the payment deadline 1. Euratom) No 1605/2002 for a maximum period of six months if: (a) in a report of a national or Community audit body there is evidence to suggest a significant deficiency in the functioning of the management and control systems. 3. The managing authority shall make available to the Commission on request a list of completed operations which have been subject to partial closure under Article 88. the Commission may adopt the decision to cancel all or part of the Community contribution to the operational programme in accordance with Article 99. Such amendment of the balance shall not affect the date of the closure of the operational programme as set out in paragraph 5.2006 4. The payment deadline may be interrupted by the authorising officer by delegation within the meaning of Regulation (EC. 5. The interruption shall be ended as soon as the necessary measures have been taken by the Member State. where there is a negative balance to be reimbursed by the Member State. Without prejudice to paragraph 6. (b) a period of three years following the year in which partial closure took place. Notwithstanding the results of any audits performed by the Commission or the European Court of Auditors. 6. The documents shall be kept either in the form of the originals or in versions certified to be in conformity with the originals on commonly accepted data carriers. The closure of the operational programme shall be on the date of the earliest of the following three events: (a) the payment of the final balance determined by the Commission on the basis of the documents referred to in paragraph 1. The Commission shall end suspension of all or part of interim payments where the Member State has taken the necessary measures to enable the suspension to be lifted. in the case of documents regarding expenditure and audits on operations referred to in paragraph 2. or (b) expenditure in a certified statement of expenditure is linked to a serious irregularity which has not been corrected. 3. (c) the decommitment of the final balance of the budgetary commitment. 78 . 2. within nine months of the date on which the debit note is issued. (b) the authorising officer by delegation has to carry out additional verifications following information coming to his attention alerting him that expenditure in a certified statement of expenditure is linked to a serious irregularity which has not been corrected. The Commission shall inform the Member State about the date of the closure of the operational programme within a deadline of two months.L 210/64 EN Official Journal of the European Union 31. and (b) the date on which it accepts the closure declaration referred to in paragraph 1(a)(iii) of this Article. Where the required measures are not taken by the Member State. the Commission shall pay the final balance within no more than 45 days from the later of the following dates: (a) the date on which it accepts the final report in accordance with Article 67(4). 2. 2. the final balance paid by the Commission for the operational programme may be amended within nine months of the date on which it is paid or. an d Article 92 Suspension of payments 1. or (c) there is a serious breach by a Member State of its obligations under Article 70(1) and (2). All or part of the interim payments at the level of priority axes or programmes may be suspended by the Commission where: (a) there is a serious deficiency in the management and control system of the programme which affects the reliability of the procedure for certification of payments and for which corrective measures have not been taken. Article 90 Availability of documents 1.7. the balance of the budgetary commitment shall be decommitted 12 months following the payment. (b) the sending of a debit note for sums unduly paid by the Commission to the Member State in respect of the operational programme.

The abovementioned reduction may be requested once if the suspension lasted up to one year or several times corresponding to the number of years between the date of the legal or administrative decision suspending the implementation of the operation and the date of the final legal or administrative decision. Article 96 Exceptions to the automatic decommitment The following shall be disregarded in calculating the automatic decommitment: (a) that part of the budget commitment for which a application for payment has been made but whose reimbursement has been interrupted or suspended by the Commission on 31 December of the second or third year following the year of the budget commitment pursuant to Article 93 and in accordance with Articles 91 and 92.31. The Commission shall inform the Member State and the authorities concerned of the amount of the automatic decommitment resulting from the information in its possession. (b) that part of the budget commitment for which a application for payment has been made but whose reimbursement has been capped in particular due to a lack of budget resources. This deadline shall also apply to the annual budget commitment from 2007 to 2010 in an operational programme falling under the European territorial cooperation objective if at least one of the participants is a Member State referred to in the first subparagraph. the automatic decommitment rule shall be applied to that part of the budget commitment which is concerned. the time limit referred to in Article 93(2) shall be interrupted under these same conditions in respect of the amount relating to the operations concerned. For Member States whose GDP from 2001 to 2003 was below 85 % of the EU-25 average in the same period. the period after which the first automatic decommitment as referred to in paragraph 1 may be made shall be extended. the deadline referred to in paragraph 1 shall be 31 December of the third year following the year of the annual budget commitment from 2007 to 2010 under their operational programmes.7. The Commission shall inform the Member State and the authorities concerned in good time whenever there is a risk of application of automatic decommitment under Article 93. If this Regulation enters into force after 1 January 2007.2006 EN Official Journal of the European Union S e c ti on 7 L 210/65 A u t om at i c de c o m m i t m e n t Article 93 Principles 1. Article 97 Procedure Article 95 Period of interruption for legal proceedings and administrative appeals The amount potentially concerned by automatic decommitment shall be reduced by the amounts that the certifying 1. 2. 3. Article 94 Period for interruption for major projects and aid schemes When the Commission takes a decision to authorise a major project or an aid scheme. When the problem resulting in the interruption or suspension has been resolved. That part of commitments still open on 31 December 2015 shall be automatically decommitted if the Commission has not received an acceptable application for payment for it by 31 March 2017. with the exception mentioned in paragraph 2. the amounts potentially concerned by automatic decommitment shall be reduced by the annual amounts concerned by such major projects or aid schemes. 79 GENERAL REGULATION . The national authorities claiming force majeure shall demonstrate its direct consequences on the implementation of all or part of the operational programme. for the first commitment. as listed in Annex II. the starting date for the calculation of the automatic decommitment deadlines referred to in Article 93 shall be the date of the subsequent decision necessary in order to authorise such major projects or aid schemes. For these annual amounts. For that part of commitments still open on 31 December 2015. 4. authority has not been able to declare to the Commission because of operations suspended by a legal proceeding or an administrative appeal having suspensory effect. by the number of months between 1 January 2007 and the date of the first budget commitment. (c) that part of the budget commitment for which it has not been possible to make an acceptable application for payment for reasons of force majeure seriously affecting implementation of the operational programme. The Commission shall automatically decommit any part of a budget commitment in an operational programme that has not been used for payment of the pre-financing or interim payments or for which an application for payment has not been sent in conformity with Article 86 by 31 December of the second year following the year of budget commitment under the programme. on condition that the Member State sends the Commission information stating the reasons by 31 December of the second or third year following the year of the budget commitment pursuant to Article 93.

(b) expenditure contained in a certified statement of expenditure is irregular and has not been corrected by the Member State prior to the opening of the correction procedure under this paragraph. the Commission may. When a Member State does not comply with its obligations as referred to in Article 15(4). 2. The Commission shall base its financial corrections on individual cases of irregularity identified. the Commission shall reduce the amounts allocated to each priority axis proportionately. nor. for existing operations within the whole or part of the priority axis where the systemic irregularity occurred. 2. for the year concerned. 3. take account of the nature and gravity of the irregularity and the extent and financial implications of the deficiencies found in the operational programme concerned. The Member States shall in the first instance bear the responsibility for investigating irregularities. 80 . the Member State shall extend its enquiries to cover all operations liable to be affected. the reports supplied under Article 70(1)(b). (c) a Member State has not complied with its obligations under Article 98 prior to the opening of the correction procedure under this paragraph. The Member State shall produce within two months of the date of decommitment a revised financing plan reflecting the reduced amount of assistance over one or several priority axes of the operational programme. when deciding the amount of a correction.2006 2. The Member State shall take into account the nature and gravity of the irregularities and the financial loss to the Funds. 4. The Commission shall carry out the automatic decommitment not later than nine months after the deadline referred to in Article 93. The resources from the Funds released in this way may be reused by the Member State until 31 December 2015 for the operational programme concerned in accordance with the provisions referred to in paragraph 3. The Member State shall have two months from the date of receipt of that information to agree to the amount or submit its observations. F i n a n c i a l co r r e c t i o n s b y t h e Com m i s s i o n Article 99 Criteria for the corrections 1. where a financial correction is made for a systemic irregularity. The Member State shall make the financial corrections required in connection with the individual or systemic irregularities detected in operations or operational programmes. The rate applicable to the financial correction referred to in this paragraph shall be laid down in the implementing rules of this Regulation adopted by the Commission in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 103(3). CHAPTER II Financial corrections S e c ti on 1 F i n a n c i al c or r e c t i on by Me m b e r St a t e s Article 98 Financial corrections by Member States 1.L 210/66 EN Official Journal of the European Union Se c ti on 2 31. it concludes that: (a) there is a serious deficiency in the management and control system of the programme which has put at risk the Community contribution already paid to the programme. acting upon evidence of any major change affecting the nature or the conditions for the implementation or control of operations or operational programmes and making the financial corrections required. it shall draw its own conclusions regarding the financial consequences after examining the measures taken by the Member State concerned under Article 98(2). Failing this. In the case of a systemic irregularity. The Commission may make financial corrections by cancelling all or part of the Community contribution to an operational programme where. The Commission shall. taking account of the systemic nature of the irregularity to determine whether a flatrate or extrapolated correction should be applied. Article 100 Procedure 1.7. by the amount automatically decommitted. Before taking a decision on a financial correction. Where the Commission bases its position on facts established by auditors other than those of its own services. the Commission shall open the procedure by informing the Member State of its provisional conclusions and requesting the Member State to submit its comments within two months. 5. 3. after carrying out the necessary examination. and any replies from the Member State. The contribution cancelled in accordance with paragraph 2 may not be reused for the operation or operations that were the subject of the correction. The Fund's contribution to the operational programme shall be reduced. The corrections made by a Member State shall consist of cancelling all or part of the public contribution to the operational programme. 3. in relation to the degree of non-compliance with these obligations. make a financial correction by cancelling all or part of the Structural Funds contribution to the Member State concerned. 4.

1. 4.3. The EIB and the EIF shall each appoint a non-voting representative. one representative of the workers' organisations and one representative of the employers' organisations from each Member State. 2.1999. In the absence of agreement. The Commission shall be assisted by a coordination committee of the Funds (hereinafter referred to as the Coordination Committee of the Funds). Article 101 Obligations of Member States A financial correction by the Commission shall not prejudice the Member State's obligation to pursue recoveries under Article 98(2) of this Regulation and to recover State aid under Article 87 of the Treaty and under Article 14 of Council Regulation (EC) No 659/1999 of 22 March 1999 laying down detailed rules for the application of Article 88 of the EC Treaty (1). 4. Editorial note: the title of Regulation (EC) No 659/ 1999 has been adjusted to take account of the renumbering of the Articles of the Treaty establishing the European Community. in which both sides in cooperation based on the partnership shall make efforts to reach an agreement concerning the observations and the conclusions to be drawn from them. Except in duly justified cases. starting on the due date and ending on the date of actual payment. Regulation as amended by the 2003 Act of Accession. the original reference was to Article 93 of the Treaty. p. through an examination of the documentation concerned. the Commission shall take a decision on the financial correction within six months of the date of the hearing taking account of all information and observations submitted during the course of the procedure.7. The rate of such interest shall be one-and-a-half percentage points above the rate applied by the European Central Bank in its main refinancing operations on the first working day of the month in which the due date falls. the Member State shall be given the opportunity to demonstrate. 5. The (1) OJ L 83. 2. Where the Member State does not accept the provisional conclusions of the Commission. 27. The Coordination Committee of the Funds shall adopt its Rules of Procedure. 5. In case of an agreement. Article 104 Committee under Article 147 of the Treaty 1. Where reference is made to this paragraph. The Member of the Commission responsible for chairing the Committee may delegate that responsibility to a senior Commission official. the six-month period shall begin to run two months after the date of the letter of invitation sent by the Commission. due date shall be the last day of the second month following the issuing of the order. The Commission shall take account of any evidence supplied by the Member State within the time limits mentioned in paragraph 1. 3. Where reference is made to this paragraph. in accordance of Article 12 of the Treaty of Amsterdam. If no hearing takes place. Articles 4 and 7 of Decision 1999/468/EC shall apply. Any repayment due to be made to the general budget of the European Union shall be effected before the due date indicated in the order for recovery drawn up in accordance with Article 72 of Regulation (EC. 3. Any delay in effecting repayment shall give rise to interest on account of late payment. Euratom) No 1605/2002. The Commission shall be assisted by a committee set up under Article 147 of the Treaty (hereinafter referred to as the Committee). 2. CHAPTER II Committee under Article 147 of the treaty Article 102 Repayment 1. that the actual extent of irregularity was less than the Commission's assessment.31. TITLE VIII COMMITTEES CHAPTER I Coordination committee of the funds Article 103 Committee procedure 1. The Committee shall be composed of one government representative. 81 GENERAL REGULATION . the Member State may limit the scope of this examination to an appropriate proportion or sample of the documentation concerned. the time allowed for this examination shall not exceed a further period of two months after the two-month period referred to in the first subparagraph. The period referred to in Article 4(3) of Decision 1999/468/EC shall be set at three months. the Member State shall be invited to a hearing by the Commission. Articles 3 and 7 of Decision 1999/468/EC shall apply. In agreement with the Commission.2006 EN Official Journal of the European Union L 210/67 Where the Commission proposes a financial correction on the basis of extrapolation or at a flat rate. the Member State may reuse the Community funds concerned in conformity with the second subparagraph of Article 98(2).

(EC) No 1164/94 (3) and (EC) No 1260/1999 or any other legislation which applies to that assistance on 31 December 2006. training and social inclusion strategies at EU level relevant to the ESF. For the items on the agenda affecting it. They may be reappointed. 3 ( ) Council Regulation (EC) No 1164/94 of 16 May 1994 establishing a Cohesion Fund (OJ L 130. 52 to 54. Amounts relating to operations or programmes which have been suspended due to legal proceedings or administrative appeals having suspensory effect shall be disregarded in calculating the amount to be automatically decommitted. 32 to 40. the alternate shall be automatically entitled to take part in the proceedings. TITLE IX FINAL PROVISIONS Article 106 Review clause The Council shall review this Regulation by 31 December 2013 at the latest in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 161 of the Treaty. Each Member State shall nominate a representative and an alternate for each representative of each category referred to in paragraph 1. The members and alternates shall be appointed by the Council. endeavour to ensure fair representation of the different categories concerned.5. including the total or partial cancellation.2006 2. giving rise to the repayment of amounts unduly paid. The Council shall. the final report on implementation and the statement referred to in Article 38(1)(f) of that Regulation have not been sent to the Commission within15 months after the final date of eligibility of expenditure laid down in the decision granting a contribution from the Funds.L 210/68 EN Official Journal of the European Union 31. The Commission shall inform the Committee of the manner in which it has taken account of its opinions. 25. The other provisions shall apply from 1 January 2007. Regulation as last amended by the 2003 Act of Accession. This Regulation shall not affect the continuation or modification. partial sums committed for assistance co-financed by the ERDF or the ESF approved by the Commission between 1 January 2000 and 31 December 2006 for which the certified statement of expenditure actually paid. Regulation (EC) No 1260/1999 is hereby repealed as of 1 January 2007. 6. Article 108 Entry into force This Regulation shall enter into force on the day following its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union. In the absence of one member. 56. Article 107 Repeal Without prejudice to the provisions laid down in Article 105(1) of this Regulation. Regulation repealed by Regulation (EC) No 1260/1999. 1). laying down provisions for implementing Regulation (EEC) No 2052/88 as regards coordination of the activities of the different Structural Funds between themselves and with the operations of the European Investment Bank and the other existing financial instruments (OJ L 374. The Commission may consult the Committee on questions other than those referred to in paragraph 4. While taking decision on operational programmes. the Commission shall take account of any assistance co-financed by the Structural Funds or of any project co-financed by the Cohesion Fund approved by the Council or by the Commission (1) Council Regulation (EEC) No 2052/88 of 24 June 1988 on the tasks of the Structural Funds and their effectiveness and on coordination of their activities between themselves and with the operations of the European Investment Bank and the other existing financial instruments (OJ L 185. 5. 9).1988. 15.7. for a period of three years. acting on a proposal from the Commission. 103 to 105 and 108 shall apply from the date of entry into force of this Regulation only for programmes for the period 2007 to 2013. 1). The provisions laid down in Articles 1 to 16. By way of derogation from Articles 31(2). the opinions of the Committee shall require an absolute majority of the votes validly cast.1994. 47 to 49. p. 32(4) and 37(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1260/1999. 69 to 74. Article 105 Transitional provisions 1. 4. 25 to 28. p. The Committee shall: before the entry into force of this Regulation and having financial repercussions during the period covered by those operational programmes. 82 .12. p. 3. For their adoption. 2. (c) be consulted when it deals with the categories of technical assistance measure referred to in Article 45 in the case of support from the ESF and other relevant issues having an impact on the implementation of employment.1988. Regulation repealed by Regulation (EC) No 1260/1999. References to the repealed Regulation shall be construed as references to this Regulation. (b) deliver opinions on the draft Commission decisions relating to programming in the case of support from the ESF. which shall consequently apply thereafter to that assistance or the projects concerned until their closure. of assistance co-financed by the Structural Funds or of a project co-financed by the Cohesion Fund approved by the Commission on the basis of Regulations (EEC) No 2052/88 (1). as regards the composition of the Committee. shall be automatically decommitted by the Commission not later than 6 months after that deadline. 58 to 62. 3. the EIB and the EIF may appoint a non-voting representative. (a) deliver its opinion on the implementing rules of this Regulation. 31. (EEC) No 4253/ 88 (2).7. (2) Council Regulation (EEC) No 4253/88 of 19 December 1988.

HEINÄLUOMA 83 GENERAL REGULATION .7. 11 July 2006.31. Done at Brussels. For the Council The President E.2006 EN Official Journal of the European Union L 210/69 This Regulation shall be binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all Member States.

L 210/70 EN Official Journal of the European Union ANNEX I Annual breakdown of commitment appropriations for 2007 to 2013 (referred to in Article 18) 31.2006 (EUR.7. 2004 prices) 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 42 863 000 000 43 318 000 000 43 862 000 000 43 860 000 000 44 073 000 000 44 723 000 000 45 342 000 000 84 .

Each eligible Member State's a priori allocation of the theoretical financial envelope corresponds to a percentage based on its population. The share of each Member State concerned is the sum of the shares of its eligible regions.67 %. if. weighted as indicated: total population (weighting 0. increase or decrease of its total share by + 5 %/-5 % according to whether its GDP per capita is below or above the average GDP per capita for the group). The total theoretical financial envelope for the Cohesion Fund is obtained by multiplying an average per capita aid intensity of EUR 44.15).2006 EN Official Journal of the European Union ANNEX II Financial framework Criteria and methodology referred to in Article 18 L 210/71 Allocation method for the regions eligible under the Convergence objective referred to in Article 5(1) 1.2). applied to the number of persons unemployed in that region exceeding the number that would be unemployed if the average unemployment rate of all the EU convergence regions applied. an amount resulting from the allocation of a premium of EUR 700 per unemployed person.7. Allocation method for the Member States eligible for the Cohesion Fund under Article 5(2) 2. if applicable. exceeds or falls below the average GNI per capita of all the eligible Member States (average expressed as 100 %).: — for regions in Member States whose level of GNI per capita is below 82 % of the Community average: 4.70 by the eligible population. surface area and national prosperity and obtained by applying the following steps: (a) calculation of the arithmetical average of that Member State's population and surface area shares of the total population and surface area of all the eligible Member States. Allocation method for the Member States and regions eligible under the Regional competitiveness and employment objective referred to in Article 6 4. In order to reflect the significant needs in terms of transport and environment infrastructure of the Member States that acceded to the Union on or after 1 May 2004. which are determined on the basis of the following criteria. (c) to the amount obtained under step (b) is added. a Member State's share of total population exceeds its share of total surface area by a factor of five or more. of the Member State in which the eligible region is situated.e. i. the share of the Cohesion Fund will be set at one third of their total financial allocation (Structural Funds plus Cohesion Fund) on average over the period. (b) adjustment of the percentage figures so obtained by a coefficient representing one third of the percentage by which that Member State's GNI per capita.25 % — for regions in Member States whose level of GNI per capita is between 82 % and 99 % of the Community average: 3. The shares are then adjusted according to relative regional prosperity (for each region.10).05). number of jobs needed to reach an employment rate of 70 % (weighting 0. their financial envelope will result directly from the allocation method described in paragraph 2. which are calculated on the basis of relative regional and national prosperity and the unemployment rate according to the following steps: (a) determination of an absolute amount (in euro) obtained by multiplying the population of the region concerned by the difference between that region's GDP per capita. The share of each Member State will not however be less than three-quarters of its share in 2006 of combined funding under Objectives 2 and 3. only the share of total population will be used for this step. number of unemployed people in NUTS level 3 regions with an unemployment rate above the group average (weighting 0. number of employed people with a low educational level (weighting 0. as compared to the EU-25 average. 3. (b) application of a percentage to the above absolute amount in order to determine that region's financial envelope.5). Each Member State's allocation is the sum of the allocations for its individual eligible regions. and low population density (weighting 0. reflecting an extremely high population density.36 % — for regions in Member States whose level of GNI per capita is over 99 % of the Community average: 2. 85 GENERAL REGULATION . and the EU-25 average GDP per capita.31. this percentage is graduated to reflect the relative prosperity. For the other Member States. measured in purchasing power parities. however. measured in purchasing power parities.

in 2011 EUR 200 million.4293 % of their GDP — for Member States whose average 2001 to 2003 GNI per capita (PPS) is equal to or above 65 % and below 70 % of the EU-25 average: 3. (b) for the regions defined in Article 8(2). applied to the number of persons unemployed in that region exceeding the number that would be unemployed if the average unemployment rate of all the EU convergence regions applied. In order to contribute to the objectives of adequately concentrating cohesion funding on the least developed regions and Member States and reducing disparities in average per capita aid intensities resulting from capping. To the allocation thus obtained is added. (b) for the transnational component as referred to in Article 7(2). on the basis of the total population of the Member State. an amount resulting from the allocation of a premium of EUR 600 per unemployed person. Maximum level of transfers from funds supporting cohesion 7.3346 % of their GDP — for Member States whose average 2001 to 2003 GNI per capita (PPS) is equal to or above 70 % and below 75 % of the EU-25 average: 3. on the basis of the population of the NUTS level 3 regions in terrestrial and maritime border areas. if applicable. in 2008 EUR 850 million. 80 % of their individual 2006 per capita aid intensity level in 2007 and a linear reduction thereafter to reach the national average per capita aid intensity level for the Regional competitiveness and employment objective in 2013. in 2012 EUR 150 million and in 2013 EUR 100 million. as a share of the total population of all the Member States concerned. The allocations under the transitional support referred to in Article 8 will result from the application of the following parameters: (a) for the regions defined in Article 8(1).L 210/72 EN Official Journal of the European Union Allocation method for the European territorial cooperation objective referred to in Article 7 31.2006 5. To the allocation thus obtained is added. as a share of the total population of all the eligible regions. in 2009 EUR 500 million.6188 % of their GDP — for Member States whose average 2001 to 2003 GNI per capita (PPS) is equal to or above 55 % and below 60 % of the EU-25 average: 3. the maximum level of transfer from the Funds to each individual Member State pursuant to this Regulation will be as follows: — for Member States whose average 2001 to 2003 GNI per capita (PPS) is under 40 % of the EU-25 average: 3. the allocation will be degressive over seven years. with the amount in 2007 being EUR 1.2398 % of their GDP — thereafter.2 billion. Allocation method for the Member States and regions eligible for the transitional support referred to in Article 8 6.7893 % of their GDP — for Member States whose average 2001 to 2003 GNI per capita (PPS) is equal to or above 40 % and below 50 % of the EU-25 average: 3. (c) for the Member States defined in Article 8(3).7135 % of their GDP — for Member States whose average 2001 to 2003 GNI per capita (PPS) is equal to or above 50 % and below 55 % of the EU-25 average: 3. The allocation of resources among the beneficiary Member States (including the contribution from the ERDF to the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument and the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance referred to in Article 21(2)) is determined as follows: (a) for the cross-border component as referred to in Article 7(1). if applicable.09 percentage points of GDP for each increment of 5 percentage points of average 2001 to 2003 per capita GNI (PPS) as compared to the EU-25 average. the maximum level of transfer is reduced by 0. 75 % of their individual 2006 per capita aid intensity level in 2007 and a linear reduction thereafter to reach the national average per capita aid intensity level for the Regional competitiveness and employment objective by 2011.7. an amount resulting from the allocation of a premium of EUR 600 per unemployed person. applied to the number of persons unemployed in that region exceeding the number that would be unemployed if the average unemployment rate of all the EU convergence regions applied.5240 % of their GDP — for Member States whose average 2001 to 2003 GNI per capita (PPS) is equal to or above 60 % and below 65 % of the EU-25 average: 3. in 2010 EUR 250 million. 86 .

This funding will amount to EUR 35 per inhabitant per year and will be in addition to any funding for which these regions are otherwise eligible. Individual national growth rates of GDP for 2007 to 2013.31. the NUTS level 2 region of Közép-Magyarország will be allocated an additional envelope of EUR 140 million over the period 2007 to 2013. as projected by the Commission in April 2005. and from the EFF. whether positive or negative. The NUTS level 2 regions of Itä-Suomi and Madeira. Podkarpackie. Warmińsko-Mazurskie. Notwithstanding paragraph 7. if the net effect is positive. of these adjustments may not exceed EUR 3 billion. 75 % in 2008. and from the part of the EAFRD originating from the Guidance Section of the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund. while keeping the status of phasing-in regions. 65 % in 2010. including as a consequence of exchange rate changes. This additional funding will amount to EUR 107 per inhabitant over the period 2007 to 2013 under the Convergence objective. 55 % in 2012 and 50 % in 2013. the NUTS level 2 region of Prague will be allocated an additional envelope of EUR 200 million over the period 2007 to 2013 under the Regional competitiveness and employment objective. Additional provisions 12. Finland and Sweden will. 87 GENERAL REGULATION . benefit from additional funding from the ERDF. As far as allocations under the cross-border strand of the European territorial cooperation objective referred to in Article 7(1) are concerned. The outermost regions identified in Article 299 of the Treaty and the NUTS level 2 regions fulfilling the criteria laid down in Article 2 of Protocol No 6 to the Treaty of Accession of Austria. or whose eligibility started in 2004. Podlaskie and Świętokrzyskie. will benefit from the transitional financial arrangements laid down in paragraph 6(a). the starting point in 2007 for those regions which were not eligible for Objective 1 status in the 2000 to 2006 period. the result of the application of the maximum level of transfer as defined in paragraph 7 for Poland will be multiplied by a coefficient 1. total additional resources will be limited to the level of under-spending against the ceilings for category 1B set out for the years 2007 to 2010 in the Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006 on budgetary discipline and sound financial management. 70 % in 2009. EN Official Journal of the European Union L 210/73 The ceilings referred to in paragraph 7 above include the contributions from the ERDF to the financing of the cross-border strand of the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument and of the Instrument for PreAccession Assistance. Notwithstanding paragraph 7. its starting point in 2007 being established in accordance with paragraph 13. Calculations of GDP by the Commission will be based on the statistics published in April 2005. 18. In order to reflect the value of the Polish zloty in the reference period. 14. 60 % in 2011. In any event. Any upward adjustment of the amounts allocated to Poland pursuant to paragraph 10 will be net of this additional funding. the Polish NUTS level 2 regions of Lubelskie.2006 8.7. whose GDP per capita levels (PPS) are the five lowest in the EU-25. will be 90 % of their theoretical 2006 per capita aid intensity level calculated on the basis of the 1999 Berlin allocation method with their regional GDP per capita level being assimilated to 75 % of the EU 15 average. aid intensity for regions along the former external terrestrial borders between the EU-15 and the EU-12 and between the EU-25 and the EU ‘+2’ will be 50 % higher than for the other regions concerned. 13. 11. If it is established in 2010 that any Member State's cumulated GDP for the years 2007 to 2009 has diverged by more than ±5 % from the cumulated GDP estimated in according with paragraph 9 above. will be applied for each Member State separately. As far as the transitional arrangements under paragraphs 6(a) and (b) are concerned. 20. The total net effect. 15. 17. Final adjustments will be spread in equal proportions over the years 2011 to 2013. For this region the same regulatory provisions would apply as for the regions referred to in Article 8(1) 16.04 for the period up to the review referred to in paragraph 10 (2007 to 2009). the amounts allocated for that period to that Member State pursuant to paragraph 7 will be adjusted accordingly. 21. 10. The NUTS level 2 region of the Canaries will benefit from an additional envelope of EUR 100 million over the period 2007 to 2013 under the transitional support referred to in Article 8(2). in view of their specific constraints. 9. Cyprus will benefit in 2007 to 2013 from the transitional arrangements applicable to the regions defined in paragraph 6(b). Notwithstanding paragraph 7. 19. When in a given Member State the phasing-out regions defined in Article 8(1)) represent at least one third of the total population of the regions fully eligible for Objective 1 assistance in 2006. will benefit from funding from the ERDF over and above the funding to which they are otherwise eligible. the rates of assistance will be 80 % of their individual 2006 per capita aid intensity level in 2007.

France will receive an additional allocation of EUR 100 million over the period 2007 to 13 under the Regional competitiveness and employment objective in recognition of the particular circumstances of Corsica (EUR 30 million) and French Hainaut (EUR 70 million). The eligible area will be the whole of Northern Ireland and the border counties of Ireland. 31. will include. The Austrian regions falling under the Regional competitiveness and employment objective and situated on the former external borders of the European Union will be allocated an additional ERDF envelope of EUR 150 million. Ceuta and Melilla will be allocated an additional ERDF envelope of EUR 50 million over the period 2007 to 2013 under the transitional support referred to in Article 8(1). EUR 111 million for the region eligible for the transitional support referred to in Article 8(1). 26. a total of EUR 200 million will be allocated for the PEACE Programme for the period 2007 to 2013.L 210/74 EN Official Journal of the European Union 31. 88 . EUR 251 million for the region eligible for the transitional support referred to in Article 8(2) and EUR 210 million for the regions eligible under the Regional competitiveness and employment objective referred to in Article 6. 27. An additional allocation of EUR 58 million will be allocated to the eastern Länder of Germany eligible for the transitional support referred to in Article 8(1). which represent single NUTS II regions.2006 22. Notwithstanding paragraph 7. The PEACE programme will be implemented as a cross-border programme within the meaning of Article 3(2)(c) and. 28. 23. 30. actions to promote cohesion between communities. The Swedish regions falling under the Regional competitiveness and employment objective will be allocated an additional ERDF envelope of EUR 150 million. notably. 24. development and innovation by and for the benefit of enterprises as set out in Articles 4(1) and 5(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1080/2006. will each be allocated additional funding of EUR 35 per inhabitant over the period 2007 to 2013. 25. In recognition of the special effort for the peace process in Northern Ireland.4 billion under the Structural Funds as follows: EUR 828 million for the regions eligible under the Convergence objective referred to in Article 5(1).5 % for the regions eligible for the transitional support referred to in Article 8(1). Spain will benefit from an additional allocation of EUR 2.0 billion under the ERDF to enhance research. An additional allocation of EUR 167 million will be allocated to the eastern Länder of Germany which are eligible for support under the Convergence objective referred to in Article 5(1). This programme will be implemented under the European territorial cooperation objective in full compliance with additionality of structural fund interventions. 29. Bavaria will similarly be allocated an additional envelope of EUR 75 million under the Regional competitiveness and employment objective. Notwithstanding paragraph 7. 10 % for the regions eligible under the Regional competitiveness and employment objective referred to in Article 6 and 15 % for the regions eligible for the transitional support referred to in Article 8(2). Estonia.7. Italy will be allocated an additional envelope of EUR 1. in order to promote social and economic stability in the regions concerned. The indicative split will be 70 % for the regions eligible under the Convergence objective referred to in Article 5. Latvia and Lithuania. an additional ERDF envelope of EUR 300 million is allocated to the European territorial cooperation objective as follows: EUR 200 million to transnational cooperation within the meaning of Article 7(2) and EUR 100 million to interregional cooperation within the meaning of Article 7(3).

6. Annex III to Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 should be adapted in order to take into account the accession of Bulgaria and Romania to the European Union. by Member State and by objective. 203. (2) This Regulation shall be binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all Member States.2.6. 21. 11. Having regard the Act of Accession of Bulgaria and Romania (2). and the necessary adaptations have not been provided for in the Act of Accession or its Annexes. Pursuant to Article 56 of the Act of Accession. the necessary acts shall be adopted by the Council. Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 (3) defines the general rules governing the assistance of the European Regional Development Fund. where acts which remain valid beyond 1 January 2007. For the Council The President J. and in particular Article 56 thereof. Having regard to the Treaty of Accession of Bulgaria and Romania (1).7. Whereas: (1) (3) basis of objective criteria. Annex III to that Regulation establishes the ceilings applicable to co-financing rates in the operational programmes. p. p. 21. Done at Brussels. 21 December 2006.2005. Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 should therefore be amended accordingly. and require adaptation by reason of accession.2005. unless the Commission adopted the original act. and in particular Article 4(3) thereof. 89 GENERAL REGULATION . (3) OJ L 210.2007 EN Official Journal of the European Union L 27/5 Corrigendum to Council Regulation (EC) No 1989/2006 of 21 December 2006 amending Annex III to Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 laying down general provisions on the European Regional Development Fund. It is necessary to ensure that any technical adaptation to the Structural and Cohesion Funds legislation is adopted as soon as possible so as to allow Bulgaria and Romania to present programming documents as from the date of their accession to the European Union. 25. p. the European Social Fund and the Cohesion Fund and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1260/1999 (Official Journal of the European Union L 411 of 30 December 2006) Regulation (EC) No 1989/2006 should read as follows: COUNCIL REGULATION (EC) No 1989/2006 of 21 December 2006 amending Annex III to Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 laying down general provisions on the European Regional Development Fund.2. the European Social Fund and the Cohesion Fund and their objectives. (2) OJ L 157. on the (4) HAS ADOPTED THIS REGULATION: Article 1 Annex III to Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 is replaced by the text in the Annex to this Regulation. KORKEAOJA (1) OJ L 157.2006. Having regard to the proposal from the Commission. 31. Article 2 This Regulation shall enter into force only subject to and on the date of the entry into force of the Treaty of Accession of Bulgaria and Romania. Pursuant to Article 53. the European Social Fund and the Cohesion Fund and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1260/1999 THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION.

Italy. Outermost Regions referred to in Article 299(2) of the Treaty 50 % — Spain.2007 ANNEX ‘ANNEX III Ceilings applicable to co-financing rates (referred to in Article 53) Cohesion Fund Percentage of eligible expenditure Criteria Member States ERDF and ESF Percentage of eligible expenditure 1. Austria. Hungary. Italy. France and Portugal 75 % for the Convergence objective — 4. Czech Greece. Sweden and United Kingdom Belgium. Outermost Regions referred to in Article 299(2) of the Treaty benefiting from the additional allocation for these regions provided for in paragraph 20 of Annex II 6. Finland. Member States other than those referred to under 1 and 2 Belgium. Member States other than those referred to under 1 and 2 50 % for the Regional competitiveness and employment objective — 5. Luxemburg. Member States whose average GDP per capita for the period 2001 to 2003 was below 85 % of the EU-25 average during the same period 2. France. the Netherlands. France and Portugal 85 % under the Convergence and Regional competitiveness and employment objectives —’ 90 . Austria. Spain Republic. the Netherlands. Luxemburg. Cyprus.L 27/6 EN Official Journal of the European Union 2. Romania. Ireland. Denmark. Sweden and United Kingdom Spain. Latvia. Poland. France. Malta. Germany. Slovakia 85 % for the Convergence and Regional competitiveness and employment objectives 85 % 80 % for the Convergence and the phasingin regions under the Regional competitiveness and employment objective 50 % for the Regional competitiveness and employment objective outside phasing-in regions 85 % 3. Denmark. Slovenia. Lithuania. Germany. Member States other than those under (1) eligible for the transitional regime of the Cohesion Fund on 1 January 2007 Bulgaria. Finland.2. Ireland. Estonia. Portugal.

) Services and applications for SMEs (e-commerce.) Other measures for improving access to and efficient use of ICT by SMEs 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 12 13 14 15 91 GENERAL REGULATION . etc. post-secondary education establishments of all kinds. instrumentation and high-speed computer networks linking research centres) and centres of competence in a specific technology Technology transfer and improvement of cooperation networks between small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs). risk-prevention. research centres and scientific and technological poles (scientific and technological parks.L 239/248 EN Official Journal of the European Union 1. education and training.9. between these and other businesses and universities. e-inclusion.) Assistance to R&TD. particularly in SMEs (including access to R&TD services in research centres) Advanced support services for firms and groups of firms Assistance to SMEs for the promotion of environmentally-friendly products and production processes (introduction of effective environment managing system. security. e-learning.2006 CORRIGENDA Corrigendum to Council Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 of 11 july 2006 laying down general provisions on the European Regional Development Fund. the European Social Fund and the Cohesion Fund and repealing regulation (EC) No 1260/1999 (Official Journal of the European Union L 210 of 31 July 2006) On page 76. innovation and entrepreneurship 01 02 R&TD activities in research centres R&TD infrastructure (including physical plant. Annex IV shall read as follows: ‘ANNEX IV Categories of expenditure (referred to in Article 9(3)) Objectives: Convergence and Regional competitiveness and employment Objective: Convergence and regions referred to in Article 8(2) without prejudice to the decision taken in accordance with last subparagraph of Article 5(3) of Regulation (EC) No 1080/2006. e-content. research. etc. technopoles. etc. interoperability. existing R&TD centres and firms. regional authorities. e-government. adoption and use of pollution prevention technologies.) Other investment in firms Other measures to stimulate research and innovation and entrepreneurship in SMEs Information society 10 11 Telephone infrastructures (including broadband networks) Information and communication technologies (access. establishment of new firms by universities. networking. innovation. etc. integration of clean technologies into firm production) Investment in firms directly linked to research and innovation (innovative technologies. Code Priority themes Research and technological development (R&TD).) Information and communication technologies (TEN-ICT) Services and applications for the citizen (e-health. etc.

9.2006 EN Official Journal of the European Union L 239/249 Transport 16 17 20 21 26 27 28 29 30 32 Railways Railways (TEN-T) Motorways Motorways (TEN-T) Multimodal transport Multimodal transport (TEN-T) Intelligent transport systems Airports Ports Inland waterways (TEN-T) Energy 34 36 38 39 40 41 42 43 Electricity (TEN-E) Natural gas (TEN-E) Petroleum products (TEN-E) Renewable energy: wind Renewable energy: solar Renewable energy: biomass Renewable energy: hydroelectric. energy management Environmental protection and risk prevention 52 Promotion of clean urban transport Increasing the adaptability of workers and firms. training and services for employees to step up their adaptability to change. geothermal and other Energy efficiency. training and support in connection with restructuring of sectors and firms. such as facilitating access to childcare and care for dependent persons Specific action to increase participation of migrants in employment and thereby strengthen their social integration 70 92 . enterprises and entrepreneurs 62 63 64 Development of life-long learning systems and strategies in firms. co-generation.1. and development of systems for anticipating economic changes and future requirements in terms of jobs and skills Improving access to employment and sustainability 65 66 67 68 69 Modernisation and strengthening of labour market institutions Implementing active and preventive measures on the labour market Measures encouraging active ageing and prolonging working lives Support for self-employment and business start-up Measures to improve access to employment and increase sustainable participation and progress of women in employment to reduce gender-based segregation in the labour market and to reconcile work and private life. promoting entrepreneurship and innovation Design and dissemination of innovative and more productive ways of organising work Development of specific services for employment.

9.L 239/250 EN Official Journal of the European Union 1. and networking activities between universities. Measures to increase participation in education and training throughout the life-cycle. in particular through post-graduate studies and training of researchers. research centres and businesses’ 73 74 93 GENERAL REGULATION . including through action to achieve a reduction in early school leaving. improving the labour market relevance of initial and vocational education and training.2006 Improving the social inclusion of less-favoured persons 71 Pathways to integration and re-entry into employment for disadvantaged people. updating skills of training personnel with a view to innovation and a knowledge based economy. introduction and implementation of reforms in education and training systems in order to develop employability. combating discrimination in accessing and progressing in the labour market and promoting acceptance of diversity at the workplace Improving human capital 72 Design. gender-based segregation of subjects and increased access to and quality of initial vocational and tertiary education and training Developing human potential in the field of research and innovation.

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2 EUROPEAN REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT FUND .

ERDF operations aim to solve cities’ economic. which was not the case for the previous programming period. the following regulation only covers the points which differ from the general provisions. In 2000–13 expenditure eligibility rules are national. This facilitates common financial management when several regions or States are involved. environmental and social problems. A list of the ERDF’s intervention priorities (Articles 4 to 6) This regulation defines the list of priorities assigned to the ERDF for each of its objectives. It should be noted that the ERDF regulation contains an innovation. in comparison to the previous period. whilst infrastructural investment continues to play an important role. It also anticipates compensation for additional costs falling on the most remote regions (the French overseas departments. which fixes the limit at 10 %. the Azores. the ERDF can finance operations falling within the ESF domain (within a limit of 15 % of the credits allocated by the Community to each key priority of an operational programme). environmental questions and risk prevention. Priority financing is aimed at research. The regulation anticipates that in the case of sustainable urban development. Madeira and the Canary Islands). This is an exemption from Article 34 of the General Regulation. Treatment of specific situations (Articles 8 to 11) Activity related to the urban dimension is integrated into the operational programmes. This allocation is the only one which allows running costs to be financed. notably in the least developed areas. List of non-eligible expenditures (Article 7) In 2000–06 expenditures eligible for ERDF contributions were defined Community-wide. in other words the designation of a ‘first beneficiary’ of a fund. General provisions for the European territorial cooperation objective (Articles 12 to 21) Within the context of the third objective (cross-border. We are witnessing a strengthening of the cooperation with third countries which share a border with a Union Member State. transnational and interregional cooperation) the ERDF can finance from 10 % to 20 % of its total contribution to an operational programmes (the specifics are detailed in the regulation) for programmes outside the European Community. The regulation read ‘what the ERDF could finance’. innovation. responsible for transferring money to other beneficiaries. The whole of the general regulation being applied to the ERDF. in terms of European territorial cooperation. taking into account their geographical location and their specific constraints. and are based on the experience of the URBAN initiative.European Regional Development Fund The role of the ERDF is to promote investment and correct the main regional imbalances of the European Union. with the exception of various ‘non-eligible’ expenditures defined in the regulation hereafter. 96 .

including rural and urban areas. Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 provides that rules on eligibility of expenditure are to be established at national level. and in particular regional and local authorities. Whereas: (1) (5) (4) The ERDF should provide assistance within the framework of an overall strategy for cohesion policy which ensures greater concentration of assistance on the priorities of the Community. (1) OJ C 255. the European Social Fund and the Cohesion Fund (4). age or sexual orientation during the various stages of implementation of the operational programmes co-financed by the ERDF. (2) OJ C 231. sparsely populated areas and border regions. are lagging behind. Having regard to the proposal from the Commission. mountainous areas. 14. it is considered necessary to support limited actions to renovate housing in areas experiencing or threatened by physical deterioration and social exclusion in the Member States that acceded to the European Union on or after 1 May 2004.31. (2) (7) Efficient and effective implementation of actions supported by the ERDF depends on good governance and partnership among all the relevant territorial and socio-economic partners. (8) The Member States and the Commission should ensure that there is no discrimination based on sex. Specific provisions concerning the type of activities which may be financed by the ERDF under the objectives defined in that Regulation should be laid down. Acting in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 251 of the Treaty (3). declining industrial regions. 91. 4 ( ) See page 25 of this Official Journal.10.7. (6) It is necessary to establish that the contribution from the ERDF to housing expenditure should concern the provision of good quality accommodation for lower income groups. religion or belief. 19. with certain exceptions for which it is necessary to lay down specific provisions. Having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee (1).2005. including recently privatised housing stock. p.2005. disability.2006 EN Official Journal of the European Union L 210/1 I (Acts whose publication is obligatory) REGULATION (EC) No 1080/2006 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 5 July 2006 on the European Regional Development Fund and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1783/1999 THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION. as well as accommodation for vulnerable social groups. p. Article 160 of the Treaty provides that the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) is intended to help to redress the main regional imbalances in the Community. 20. The provisions common to the Structural Funds and the Cohesion Fund are set out in Council Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 of 11 July 2006 laying down general provisions on the European Regional Development Fund. racial or ethnic origin. (3) Opinion of the European Parliament of 6 July 2005 (not yet published in the Official Journal). areas with a geographical or natural handicap. Within the framework of an integrated urban development operation. Specific provisions should therefore be laid down for the exceptions related to the ERDF. and in particular the first paragraph of Article 162 and the second subparagraph of Article 299(2) thereof. as well as any other appropriate body during the various stages of implementation of the operational programmes co-financed by the ERDF. such as islands. (3) Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community. Council Common Position of 12 June 2006 (not yet published in the Official Journal) and Position of the European Parliament of 4 July 2006 (not yet published in the Official Journal). Having regard to the opinion of the Committee of the Regions (2).9. 97 ERDF REGULATION . The ERDF therefore contributes to reducing the gap between the levels of development of the various regions and the extent to which the least favoured regions.

p. 3). there should be synergy between support granted from the ERDF. Regulation (EC) No 1783/1999 of the European Parliament and the Council of 12 July 1999 on the European Regional Development Fund (5) should therefore be repealed.1999. sustainable urban development should be reinforced by fully integrating measures in that field into the operational programmes co-financed by the ERDF. insularity. Furthermore. p. the scope of the ERDF to the financing of operating aid linked to the offsetting of the additional costs resulting from their specific economic and social situation.7. mountainous areas. The ERDF is governed by Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 and by this Regulation. small size. including the conversion of declining industrial regions and regions lagging behind. and that granted from the European Social Fund pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1081/ 2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 July 2006 on the European Social Fund (2). 13. 98 . CHAPTER I GENERAL PROVISIONS Article 1 Subject matter 1. which is compounded by their remoteness. 1. the ERDF shall contribute to the financing of assistance which aims to reinforce economic and social cohesion by redressing the main regional imbalances through support for the development and structural adjustment of regional economies. transnational and interregional cooperation. and support for cross-border. 21. Article 2 (13) The ERDF should address the problems of accessibility to and remoteness from large markets confronting areas with an extremely low population density. (5) OJ L 213. 1. technological development and demonstration activities and the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme. management. (16) HAVE ADOPTED THIS REGULATION: (11) It is necessary to ensure that actions supported by the ERDF in favour of small and medium-sized enterprises take into account and support the implementation of the European Charter for Small Enterprises adopted at the Santa Maria da Feira European Council of 19 and 20 June 2000.2005. p. border regions and sparsely populated areas whose geographical situation slows down their development with a view to supporting their sustainable development. Regulation as last amended by Regulation (EC) No 173/2005 (OJ L 29. it is appropriate to authorise on an exceptional basis the financing of assistance from the ERDF for projects located on the territory of third countries where they are for the benefit of the regions of the Community.2006 Building on the experience and strengths of the URBAN Community initiative provided for in Article 20(1)(b) of Council Regulation (EC) No 1260/1999 of 21 June 1999 laying down general provisions on the Structural Funds (1). Accordingly. (2) See page 12 of this Official Journal. and in particular with the Seventh Framework Programme for research. (12) Specific attention should be paid to the outermost regions. transnational and interregional cooperation with the Community's neighbouring countries where this is necessary to ensure that the regions of the Member States which border third countries can be effectively assisted in their development. (15) (10) Particular attention should be paid to ensuring complementarity and consistency with other Community policies.2.L 210/2 (9) EN Official Journal of the European Union 31. on the one hand. on an exceptional basis. (1) OJ L 161.1999. Regional competitiveness and employment and European territorial cooperation objectives as defined in Article 3(2) of Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006. monitoring and control of operational programmes under the European territorial cooperation objective. 2. the scope of its assistance with regard to the Convergence. the Cohesion Fund pursuant to Council Regulation (EC) No 1084/ 2006 of 11 July 2006 establishing a Cohesion Fund (3). 26. 1.6. as referred to in Protocol No 6 on special provisions for Objective 6 in the framework of the Structural Funds in Finland and Sweden to the 1994 Act of Accession. (4) OJ L 277. namely by extending. the permanence and combination of which severely restrain their development. and the rules on eligibility for assistance. Such specific measures require the use of Article 299(2) of the Treaty as a legal basis. 2.8.2005. p. This Regulation establishes the tasks of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). certain islands. on the other hand. the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development pursuant to Council Regulation (EC) No 1698/2005 of 20 September 2005 on support for rural development by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) (4) and a European Fisheries Fund. (14) It is necessary to lay down specific provisions concerning the programming. paying particular attention to local development and employment initiatives and their potential for innovation. The ERDF should also address the specific difficulties encountered by Purpose Pursuant to Article 160 of the Treaty and Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006.10. difficult topography and climate and their economic dependence on a few products. (3) See page 79 of this Official Journal. In the interest of clarity. It is necessary to support effective cross-border.

aid to SMEs to promote sustainable production patterns through the introduction of cost-effective environmental management systems and the adoption and use of pollution-prevention technologies. aid to improve the supply of tourism services through new higher added-value services and to encourage new. including investments in NATURA 2000 sites. loan and guarantee funds. including strengthening research and technological development capacities. local content. including promotion of natural assets as potential for the development of sustainable tourism. creation and development of financing instruments such as venture capital. improvement of links between tourism. (b) investment in infrastructure. tertiary education institutions. These measures include support for and services to enterprises. interest subsidies. This shall be achieved primarily through the following priorities. (c) development of endogenous potential by measures which support regional and local development. innovation and entrepreneurship. including development of electronic communications infrastructure. integrated pollution prevention and control. sustainable tourism and improved regional attractiveness. (a) productive investment which contributes to creating and safeguarding sustainable jobs. and their integration into the European Research Area. including protection. promotion and preservation of cultural heritage. where such actions are outside the scope of Regulation (EC) No 1081/2006. 5 and 6. 99 ERDF REGULATION . 2. prevention. the ERDF shall focus its assistance on supporting sustainable integrated regional and local economic development and employment by mobilising and strengthening endogenous capacity through operational programmes aimed at the modernisation and diversification of economic structures and at the creation and safeguarding of sustainable jobs. environment. protection and enhancement of natural heritage in support of socio-economic development. 8. development of business networks. prevention of risks. improvement of secure access to and development of on-line public services. including improvement of trans-European networks and links to the TEN-T network. 4. the precise policy mix depending on the specificities of each Member State: 1. The range of investments and measures listed above under points (a) to (d) shall be available to implement the thematic priorities in accordance with Articles 4. more sustainable patterns of tourism. The type and range of actions to be financed within each priority shall reflect the different nature of the Convergence. waste-water treatment and air quality. 5. local development initiatives and aid for structures providing neighbourhood services to create new jobs. networking. promotion of biodiversity and nature protection. to achieving a more balanced modal split. control and fight against desertification. and to technology transfer. and in particular the need to strengthen competitiveness and innovation. (d) technical assistance as referred to in Articles 45 and 46 of Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006. public-private partnerships and clusters. research and technological development (R&TD). development of cultural infrastructure in support of socio-economic development.31.7. SMEs. support for the provision of business and technology services to groups of SMEs. in particular SMEs. create and safeguard sustainable jobs. including infrastructures. information society. aid to mitigate the effects of climate change. the ERDF shall give effect to the priorities of the Community. including investments connected with water supply and water and waste management. and ensure sustainable development. aid and services to SMEs to adopt and effectively use information and communication technologies (ICTs) or to exploit new ideas. including development and implementation of plans to prevent and cope with natural and technological risks. and fostering of entrepreneurship and innovation funding for SMEs through financial engineering instruments. local development funds. 3. to promoting intermodal systems and to reducing environmental impacts. 6. Article 3 Scope of assistance 1. investments in culture. including contaminated sites and land and brownfield redevelopment. primarily through direct aid to investment primarily in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). economic and environmental actors. The ERDF shall focus its assistance on thematic priorities. 7. towns. Article 4 Convergence Under the Convergence objective. transport investments. aid to R&TD. The ERDF shall contribute towards the financing of: 2. and aid to improve the supply of cultural services through new higher added-value services.2006 EN Official Journal of the European Union L 210/3 In so doing. rehabilitation of the physical environment. 5 and 6. integrated strategies for clean transport which contribute to improving the access to and quality of passenger and goods services. cooperation and exchange of experience between regions. research institutions and research and technology centres. services and applications. notably in SMEs. and relevant social. Regional competitiveness and employment and European territorial cooperation objectives in accordance with Articles 4.

which contribute to increasing attractiveness and quality of life. the Member States and the Commission may decide to extend support to the priorities referred to in Article 4 of this Regulation. and in particular: (a) strengthening secondary transport networks by improving links to TEN-T networks. including in vocational training. particularly in urban areas. 2. access to transport and telecommunication services of general economic interest. and in particular: (a) enhancing regional R&TD and innovation capacities directly linked to regional economic development objectives by supporting industry or technology-specific competence centres. the development of action plans for very small and craft enterprises. providing radial links to main railway lines and promoting regional and local inland waterways and short-sea shipping. environment and risk prevention.g. In addition. in particular by facilitating the economic exploitation of new ideas and fostering the creation of new firms by appropriate tertiary education and research institutions and existing firms. EN Official Journal of the European Union 31. equipment. the establishment of public Internet access points. and the development of services and applications. regional railway hubs. (b) stimulating innovation and entrepreneurship in all sectors of the regional and local economy by supporting the introduction of new or improved products. desertified and brownfield sites and land.2006 energy investments. including.L 210/4 9. droughts. (d) creating financial engineering instruments and incubation facilities that are conducive to the research and technological development capacity of SMEs and to encouraging entrepreneurship and the formation of new businesses. investments in health and social infrastructure which contribute to regional and local development and increasing the quality of life. (d) promoting clean and sustainable public transport. SMEs and technology transfer. improving access to finance by SMEs. universities and technology centres which take into account local needs.7. airports and ports or multimodal platforms. education investments. especially knowledge-intensive SMEs. (b) promoting access to. the integration of environmental considerations. Regional competitiveness and employment Under the Regional competitiveness and employment objective. (b) promoting the development of infrastructure linked to biodiversity and investments in NATURA 2000 sites. facilitating SMEs' access to business support services and supporting the integration of cleaner and innovative technologies in SMEs. 3. including through the creation and strengthening of efficient regional innovation economies. for operational programmes supported by the ERDF in the regions eligible for the specific and transitional financing referred to in Article 8(2) of Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006. (e) developing plans and measures to prevent and cope with natural risks (e. and efficient use of ICTs by SMEs by supporting access to networks. while promoting employment. the improvement of energy efficiency and the development of renewable energies. including in improvements to transEuropean networks which contribute to improving security of supply. (c) promoting entrepreneurship. innovation and the knowledge economy. 11. where this contributes to sustainable economic development and/or diversification of rural areas. processes and services onto the market by SMEs. promoting industrial R&TD. and in particular: (a) stimulating investment for the rehabilitation of the physical environment. promoting cooperation networks between enterprises and appropriate tertiary education and research institutions. systemic relations between the private and public sectors. primarily on the following three priorities: 1. fires and floods) and technological risks. supporting business networks and clusters. in particular. 10. the ERDF shall focus its assistance in the context of sustainable development strategies. developing technology forecasting and international benchmarking of policies to promote innovation and supporting inter-firm collaboration and joint R&TD and innovation policies. including contaminated. (f) protection and enhancement of the natural and cultural heritage in support of socio-economic development and the promotion of natural and cultural assets as potential for the development of sustainable tourism. Article 5 (c) stimulating energy efficiency and renewable energy production and the development of efficient energy management systems. take up. desertification. 100 .

and sharing of human resources and facilities for R&TD. Actions may include: protection and management of river basins. the ERDF may contribute to promoting legal and administrative cooperation. links to improve access to scientific knowledge and technology transfer between R&TD facilities and international centres of RTD excellence. and the enhancement of regional R&TD and innovation capacities. and development of joint financial engineering instruments directed at supporting R&TD in SMEs. (b) exchanges of experience concerning the identification. the promotion of maritime security and protection against natural and technological risks. transfer and dissemination of best practice including on sustainable urban development as referred to in Article 8. waste and energy systems and facilities. the establishment and development of transnational cooperation. the ERDF shall in addition to the abovementioned actions contribute to promote social and economic stability in the regions concerned. gender equality and equal opportunities. and cross-border water. training and social inclusion. local employment initiatives. improved local and regional access to national and transnational networks. coastal zones. risk prevention and environmental protection activities with a clear transnational dimension. and protection and enhancement of the natural heritage in support of socio-economic development and sustainable tourism. as well as the prevention of natural and technological risks. (d) by reducing isolation through improved access to transport. the development of cross-border economic. and (c) actions involving studies. and the observation and analysis of development trends in the Community. energy efficiency.31. including bilateral cooperation between maritime regions not covered under point 1. concentrating primarily on the following priority areas: (a) innovation: the creation and development of scientific and technological networks. In addition. 2. 101 ERDF REGULATION Under the European territorial cooperation objective. fire. 1. data collection. marine resources. 3. (e) by developing collaboration. national and regional level. capacity and joint use of infrastructures. the ERDF shall focus its assistance on the following priorities: (b) environment: water management. reinforcement of the effectiveness of regional policy by promoting: (a) interregional cooperation focusing on innovation and the knowledge economy and environment and risk prevention in the sense of Article 5(1) and (2). drought and flood prevention. (b) by encouraging and improving the joint protection and management of natural and cultural resources. water services and wetlands. and primarily: (a) by encouraging entrepreneurship. . notably by actions to promote cohesion between communities. tourism. social and environmental activities through joint strategies for sustainable territorial development. Actions may include: the establishment of networks between appropriate tertiary education and research institutions and (c) accessibility: activities to improve access to and quality of transport and telecommunications services where these have a clear transnational dimension. and the strategic integration of development zones on a transnational basis. and cross-border trade. As regards the PEACE Programme between Northern Ireland and the border counties of Ireland as envisaged under paragraph 22 of Annex II to Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006. and promotion of advanced information and communication technologies. preservation and promotion of the cultural heritage. tourism and education. Assistance to bilateral cooperation between maritime regions may be extended to the priorities referred to in point 1. culture. culture. information and communication networks and services. (d) sustainable urban development: strengthening polycentric development at transnational. where these make a direct contribution to the balanced economic development of transnational areas. enhanced interoperability of national and regional systems. twinning of technology transfer institutions. through the financing of networks and of actions conducive to integrated territorial development. in particular in sectors such as health. in particular the development of SMEs. Actions may include: investments in cross-border sections of trans-European networks. the integration of cross-border labour markets.2006 EN Official Journal of the European Union Article 6 L 210/5 European territorial cooperation SMEs.7. (c) by supporting links between urban and rural areas. with a clear transnational impact. Actions may include: the creation and improvement of urban networks and urban-rural links. strategies to tackle common urban-rural issues.

the ERDF may in particular contribute towards the financing of investments aimed at improving accessibility. and where these activities are implemented through a specific operational programme or priority axis within an operational programme. environmental and social problems affecting urban areas. The eligibility rules set out in Article 11 of Regulation (EC) No 1081/2006 shall apply to actions co-financed by the ERDF falling within the scope of Article 3 of that Regulation. local employment and community development. promoting the sustainable use of natural resources. integrated and sustainable strategies to tackle the high concentration of economic. Article 10 Areas with geographical and natural handicaps CHAPTER II SPECIFIC PROVISIONS ON THE TREATMENT OF PARTICULAR TERRITORIAL FEATURES Regional programmes co-financed by the ERDF covering areas facing geographical and natural handicaps as referred to in point (f) of Article 52 of Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 shall pay particular attention to addressing the specific difficulties of those areas. Member States shall set out in each operational programme the demarcation criteria for the operations supported by the ERDF and those supported by the other Community support instruments. brownfield redevelopment. (d) recoverable value added tax. Without prejudice to Articles 4 and 5. or — buildings owned by public authorities or non-profit operators for use as housing designated for low-income households or people with special needs. support the development of participative. The Commission shall adopt the list of criteria needed for determining the areas referred to under point (a) and the list of eligible interventions in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 103(3) of Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006. 2. Expenditure on housing shall be eligible only for those Member States that acceded to the European Union on or after 1 May 2004 and in the following circumstances: (a) expenditure shall be programmed within the framework of an integrated urban development operation or priority axis for areas experiencing or threatened by physical deterioration and social exclusion. promoting and developing economic activities related to cultural and natural heritage. In exceptional and duly justified cases. the ERDF may. the preservation and development of natural and cultural heritage.7. development as referred to in Article 37(4)(a) of Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006. (b) the allocation to housing expenditure shall be either a maximum of 3 % of the ERDF allocation to the operational programmes concerned or 2 % of the total ERDF allocation. Article 8 Sustainable urban development In addition to the activities listed in Articles 4 and 5 of this Regulation. a higher percentage may be permitted by the managing authority for operations concerning environmental conservation. the rehabilitation of the physical environment. (c) decommissioning of nuclear power stations. the ERDF funding of measures under the Regional competitiveness and employment objective falling within the scope of Regulation (EC) No 1081/ 2006 may be raised to 15 % of the programme or priority axis concerned. where appropriate. and encouraging sustainable tourism. The following expenditure shall not be eligible for a contribution from the ERDF: (a) interest on debt. (b) the purchase of land for an amount exceeding 10 % of the total eligible expenditure for the operation concerned. 3. including Axis 3 of the EAFRD and the sustainable development of coastal fishing areas under the EFF.L 210/6 EN Official Journal of the European Union Article 7 31. in the case of action involving sustainable urban 102 .2006 Eligibility of expenditure 1. By way of derogation from Article 34(2) of Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006. Article 9 Coordination with the EAFRD and the EFF Where an operational programme supported by the ERDF targets operations also eligible under another Community support instrument. and the provision of services to the population taking account of changing demographic structures. (c) expenditure shall be limited to: — multi-family housing. the promotion of entrepreneurship. These strategies shall promote sustainable urban development through activities such as: strengthening economic growth.

4. (b) aids to transport of persons Article 87(2)(a) of the Treaty. 4.7. in accordance with Articles 52. in accordance with that Article. as regards programmes for cross-border cooperation. 8. (a) designation by the Member States of all the authorities referred to in Article 14. The indicators shall make it possible to measure the progress in relation to the baseline situation and the achievement of the targets of the priority axis. and may cover the total eligible costs in the case of expenditure for investment. (b) a table specifying. a list of the eligible areas within the programme area including. Where. with no breakdown by Member State. the amount of the total financial appropriation of the Community contribution and the national counterparts. and the results of the ex ante evaluation referred to in Article 48(2) of Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006. The amount to which the rate of co-financing applies shall be proportional to the additional costs as mentioned in paragraph 1 incurred by the beneficiary in the case of operating aid and expenditure covering public service obligations and contracts only. the implementing provisions programme. including: for the operational (a) operations involving products falling within Annex I to the Treaty. 103 ERDF REGULATION . linked to the handicaps defined in Article 299(2) of the Treaty. (b) freight transport services and start up aid for transport services. incurred in the outermost regions in supporting: (a) the priorities referred to in Articles 4 and/or 5 as appropriate. (b) a description of the monitoring and evaluation systems. an indicative breakdown by category of the programmed use of the contribution from the ERDF to the operational programme in accordance with the implementing rules adopted by the Commission in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 103(3) of Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006. comprising two tables: (a) a table breaking down for each year. 3. for the operational programme and for each priority axis. an analysis of the situation of the cooperation area in terms of strengths and weaknesses and the strategy chosen in response. The specific additional allocation referred to in paragraph 20 of Annex II to Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 shall be used to offset the additional costs. a single financing plan. the national counterpart is made up of public and private expenditure. Within the scope of Article 3. Financing under this Article may not be used to support: 2. (c) operations linked to storage constraints. the table shall indicate the amount of the national public contribution. the excessive size and maintenance of production tools.2006 EN Official Journal of the European Union Article 11 L 210/7 Outermost regions 1. information on complementarity with measures financed by the EAFRD and those financed by the EFF. the table shall give the indicative breakdown between the public and the private component. for the whole programming period. 2. for information purposes only. where relevant. a justification of the priorities chosen having regard to the Community strategic guidelines on cohesion. Those targets shall be quantified using a limited number of indicators for output and results. CHAPTER III SPECIFIC PROVISIONS ON THE EUROPEAN TERRITORIAL COOPERATION OBJECTIVE SECTION 1 Operational programmes Article 12 Content Each operational programme under the European territorial cooperation objective shall contain the following information: 1. 5. Where. the specific additional allocation may finance investment costs. 6. in accordance with Article 53 of Regulation (EC) No 1083/ 2006. 53 and 54 of Regulation (EC) No 1083/ 2006. In addition. 3. 7. the specific additional allocation shall be used to a minimum of 50 % to help finance operating aid and expenditure covering public service obligations and contracts in the outermost regions. taking into account the principle of proportionality. and the rate of the ERDF contribution. The total ERDF contribution provided for annually shall be compatible with the applicable financial framework.31. the national strategic reference framework where the Member State has chosen to include actions financed under the European territorial cooperation objective within it. the amount of the total financial appropriation envisaged for the contribution from the ERDF. the flexibility areas as referred to in Article 21(1). information on the priority axes and their specific targets. the national counterpart is made up of public expenditure. and lack of human capital in the local market. authorised under (c) tax exemptions and exemption of social charges.

it shall satisfy itself that the expenditure of each beneficiary participating in an operation has been validated by the controller referred to in Article 16(1) of this Regulation. (f) a description of the procedures agreed between the Commission and Member States for the exchange of computerised data to meet the payment. It shall draw up its own rules of procedure. The managing authority. where appropriate in agreement with the lead beneficiary. The managing authority shall lay down the implementing arrangements for each operation.7. a single certifying authority and a single audit authority. (e) the elements aimed at ensuring the publicity and the information of the operational programme as referred to in Article 69 of Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006. 3. 2. the audit authority. an indicative list of major projects within the meaning of Article 39 of Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 expected to be submitted during the programming period for Commission approval. as a general rule. Article 15 Function of the managing authority 1. Article 16 Control system 1. 2. in carrying out their respective duties. It shall be chaired by the audit authority for the operational programme. after consultation with the Member States represented in the programme area. common rules on the eligibility of expenditure in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 103(3) of Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006. where appropriate. The auditors shall be independent of the control system referred to in Article 16(1).2006 (c) information about the competent body for receiving the payments made by the Commission and the body or bodies responsible for making payments to the beneficiaries. each Member State shall set up a control system making it possible to verify the delivery of the products and services co-financed. SECTION 2 Eligibility Article 13 Rules on eligibility of expenditure The relevant national rules agreed by the participating Member States in an operational programme under the European territorial cooperation objective shall apply to determine the eligibility of expenditure except where Community rules are laid down. Where Article 7 provides for different rules of eligibility of expenditure in different Member States participating in an operational programme under the European territorial cooperation objective. monitoring and control Article 14 Designation of authorities 1. the soundness of the expenditure declared for operations or parts of operations implemented on its territory. The latter shall assist the managing authority and the monitoring committee. as set out under point (b) of that Article. Each Member State participating in the operational programme shall appoint representatives to sit on the monitoring committee referred to in Article 63 of Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006. SECTION 3 Management. The Commission shall lay down. and. The managing authority shall perform the duties provided for in Article 60 of Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006. The certifying authority shall receive the payments made by the Commission and. (d) a definition of the procedures for the mobilisation and circulation of financial flows in order to ensure their transparency. The participating Member States may decide by unanimity that the audit authority is authorised to carry out directly the duties provided for in Article 62 of Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 in the whole of the territory covered by the programme without the need for a group of auditors as defined in the first subparagraph. shall make the payments to the lead beneficiary. In this connection. the most extensive eligibility rules shall apply throughout the programme area. monitoring and evaluation requirements laid down by Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006. in accordance with Article 56(4) of Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 and without prejudice to Article 7 of this Regulation. and the compliance of such expenditure and of related operations. the latter being situated in the Member State of the managing authority. with Community rules and its national rules. Member States participating in an operational programme shall appoint a single managing authority. or parts of those operations. 104 .L 210/8 EN Official Journal of the European Union 31. with the exception of those concerning the regularity of operations and expenditure in relation to national and Community rules. The group of auditors shall be set up at the latest within three months of the decision approving the operational programme. shall set up a joint technical secretariat. The audit authority for the operational programme shall be assisted by a group of auditors comprising a representative of each Member State participating in the operational programme and carrying out the duties provided for in Article 62 of Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006. 9. In order to validate the expenditure.

In addition to the tasks referred to in Article 65 of Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006. The selected operations fulfilling the abovementioned conditions may be implemented in a single country provided that they have been presented by entities belonging to at least two countries. or (b) three countries. Each Member State shall ensure that the expenditure can be validated by the controllers within a period of three months. 105 ERDF REGULATION . The abovementioned conditions shall not apply to those actions under the PEACE Programme referred to in the third subparagraph of Article 6(1). joint implementation. of which at least two must be Member States. a lead beneficiary shall be appointed by the beneficiaries among themselves. whenever possible according to the type of the operation. the verification shall be performed by the controller of the Member State where the lead beneficiary is located or by the managing authority. Article 20 Responsibilities of the lead beneficiary and the other beneficiaries 1. the monitoring committee or a steering committee reporting to it shall be responsible for selecting operations. Where the delivery of the products and services co-financed can be verified only in respect of the entire operation. joint implementation.7. If the lead beneficiary does not succeed in securing repayment from a beneficiary. each Member State shall continue to assume financial responsibility. Operations selected for operational programmes involving interregional cooperation. joint staffing and joint financing. at regional or local level. of which at least one shall be a Member State. The beneficiaries shall cooperate in the following ways for each operation: joint development. In this context. joint staffing and joint financing. shall include beneficiaries. Article 17 Financial management 1. 2. Article 18 European grouping of territorial cooperation Member States participating in an operational programme under the European territorial cooperation objective may make use of the European grouping of territorial cooperation under Regulation (EC) No 1082/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 July 2006 on a European grouping of territorial cooperation (EGTC) (1) with a view to making that grouping responsible for managing the operational programme by conferring on it the responsibilities of the managing authority and of the joint technical secretariat. Without prejudice to the Member States' responsibility for detecting and correcting irregularities and for recovering amounts unduly paid. provisions guaranteeing the sound financial management of the funds allocated to the operation. SECTION 4 Operations Article 19 Selection of operations 1. 2. The beneficiaries shall repay the lead beneficiary any amounts unduly paid in accordance with the agreement existing between them. inter alia. Member States may decide to designate a single controller for the whole programme area.31. 3. The ERDF contribution shall be paid into a single account with no national sub-accounts. and at establishing and developing transnational cooperation as referred to in Article 6(2) shall include beneficiaries from at least two countries. the certifying authority shall ensure that any amount paid as a result of an irregularity is recovered from the lead beneficiary. 3. The lead beneficiary shall assume the following responsibilities: (a) it shall lay down the arrangements for its relations with the beneficiaries participating in the operation in an agreement comprising. Operations selected for operational programmes aimed at developing cross-border activities as referred to in Article 6(1) (1) See page 19 of this Official Journal. as referred to in Article 6(3)(a). which shall cooperate in at least two of the following ways for each operation: joint development. apply the conditions set out in the first subparagraph of this paragraph. 2. Operations selected for operational programmes as referred to in Article 6(3)(b) shall. where a beneficiary from a third country is involved. including the arrangements for recovering amounts unduly paid. For each operation. from at least: (a) three Member States.2006 EN Official Journal of the European Union L 210/9 For this purpose each Member State shall designate the controllers responsible for verifying the legality and regularity of the expenditure declared by each beneficiary participating in the operation. the Member State on whose territory the beneficiary concerned is located shall reimburse the certifying authority for the amount unduly paid to that beneficiary.

the ERDF may finance expenditure incurred in implementing operations or parts of operations up to a limit of 20 % of the amount of its contribution to the operational programme concerned in NUTS level 3 areas adjacent to the eligible areas for the programme referred to in Article 7(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 or surrounded by such adjacent areas. Member States shall ensure the legality and regularity of these expenditures. In the context of transnational cooperation and in duly justified cases. Each beneficiary participating in the operation shall: tory of countries outside the European Community up to a limit of 10 % of the amount of its contribution to the operational programme concerned. 2. Regulation (EC) No 1783/1999 is hereby repealed with effect from 1 January 2007. 2. if the project would have difficulty in achieving its objectives without that partner's participation. (a) assume responsibility in the event of any irregularity in the expenditure which it has declared. 2 and 3. Article 25 Entry into force 3. Applications made under Regulation (EC) No 1783/1999 shall remain valid. transnational and interregional cooperation.7. This Regulation shall not affect either the continuation or modification. of assistance approved by the Commission on the basis of Regulation (EC) No 1783/1999 or any other legislation applying to that assistance on 31 December 2006. 2. 106 . At project level. References to the repealed Regulation shall be construed as references to this Regulation. where such expenditure is for the benefit of the regions in the cooperation objective area. (e) it shall be responsible for transferring the ERDF contribution to the beneficiaries participating in the operation. where they are for the benefit of the regions of the Community. CHAPTER IV FINAL PROVISIONS Article 22 Transitional provisions 1. Article 24 Review clause The European Parliament and the Council shall review this Regulation by 31 December 2013 in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 162 of the Treaty. 4.2006 (b) it shall be responsible for ensuring the implementation of the entire operation. the ERDF may finance expenditure incurred by partners located outside the area participating in operations up to a limit of 20 % of the amount of its contribution to the operational programme concerned. (d) it shall verify that the expenditure presented by the beneficiaries participating in the operation has been validated by the controllers.L 210/10 EN Official Journal of the European Union 31. (c) it shall ensure that the expenditure presented by the beneficiaries participating in the operation has been incurred for the purpose of implementing the operation and corresponds to the activities agreed between those beneficiaries. Without prejudice to the provisions laid down in Article 22 of this Regulation. In exceptional cases as agreed between the Commission and Member States. (b) inform the Member State in which it is located about its participation in an operation in the case that this Member State as such is not participating in the operational programme concerned. Repeal 1. the ERDF may finance expenditure incurred in implementing operations or parts of operations on the terri- This Regulation shall enter into force on the day following its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union. this flexibility may be extended to the NUTS level 2 areas in which the areas referred to in Article 7(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 are located. 2. including the total or partial cancellation. expenditure incurred by partners located outside the programme area as defined in the first subparagraph may be eligible. Article 21 Special conditions governing the location of operations Article 23 1. In the context of cross-border cooperation and in duly justified cases. In the context of cross-border. The managing authority shall confirm the selection of operations outside the eligible areas as referred to under paragraphs 1. which shall consequently apply thereafter to that assistance or the projects concerned until their closure.

31.7. For the European Parliament The President J.2006 EN Official Journal of the European Union L 210/11 This Regulation shall be binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all Member States. Done at Strasbourg. LEHTOMÄKI 107 ERDF REGULATION The President . 5 July 2006. BORRELL FONTELLES For the Council P.

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EUROPEAN SOCIAL FUND .

Five priorities concern both the convergence and the regional competitiveness and employment objectives. The ESF must concentrate its aid closely in line with guidelines and regulations outlined within the regional competitiveness and employment objective. A list of non-eligible expenditure (Article 11) Throughout the 2000–06 period. combating discrimination. and a Member State will have more freedom to determine its own eligibility rules. increasing and improving investment in human capital and strengthening the capacity and efficiency of administrations and public services. To this effect. regional and local level. Focus on innovative actions and transnational and interregional cooperation (Articles 3. What follows only defines the specific changes to the regulation that concern the ESF. Strengthening administrative efficiency (Article 3) A major innovation of this regulation is the priority given to convergence regions to strengthen the capacity and efficiency of administrations and public services at national. 7. at the service of the European employment strategy (Articles 2 to 4) The link between the European Social Fund and the Lisbon strategy (of which the European strategy for employment forms an integral part) is strengthened. the regulation read ‘what the ESF could finance’. 110 . it supports Member States’ actions in improving the adaptability of workers and enterprises. Two priorities are added. social. increasing access to employment. networking measures. In 2007–13. employment. in order to reform and produce better regulation and good governance especially in the economic. notably through information and good practice exchange. an increase by 10 % of the co-financing rate can be allocated to Member States. and through complementary approaches.European Social Fund The ESF contributes to the Union’s economic and social policy by improving employment and the possibilities of employment. education. the regulation clearly defines what expenditure shall not be eligible for an ESF contribution. New priorities (Article 3) The ESF’s scope of assistance is defined in Article 3. in ESF programmes. follow up the type of innovation and cooperation successfully aided by EQUAL. strengthening social dialogue — and enterprise activities undertaken jointly with social partners. The participation of social partners is encouraged and an appropriate amount of ESF convergence objective resources must be allocated to capacity building — including training. The regulation obliges the Member States to accentuate innovation and transnational and interregional actions in their programmes. the missions of the previous Community EQUAL initiative are integrated into the objectives. and 8) For the 2007–13 period. The definition of these priorities within the regulation is an innovation which assures its consistency with the Lisbon strategy. environmental and judicial fields. reinforcing the social inclusion of disadvantaged people. The ESF. Member States must also assure appropriate consultation with non-governmental stakeholders at the relevant territorial level. In order to stimulate transnational cooperation. Supporting social partners (Article 5) Good governance and partnership are two key points of the new ESF regulation. uniquely within the scope of the convergence objective. The whole of the regulation applies to the ESF. The Member States must thus.

programming. in particular. (2) OJ C 164.L 210/12 EN Official Journal of the European Union 31. (6) Council Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 of 11 July 2006 laying down general provisions on the European Regional Development Fund. In this connection. employment opportunities for both women and men. Particular attention should be paid to the participation of target groups.2005.9. on improving the adaptability of workers and enterprises. Having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee (1). in accordance with the provisions of Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006. encouraging economically inactive persons to enter the labour market and promoting partnerships for reform. Council Common Position of 12 June 2006 (not yet published in the Official Journal) and Position of the European Parliament of 4 July 2006 (not yet published in the Official Journal). the promotion of equality. (3) (8) The ESF should also act to tackle the relevant dimensions and consequences of demographic changes in the active population of the Community. 25 of this Official Journal. non-discrimination. in particular. (7) (2) The ESF should support the policies of Member States which are closely in line with the guidelines and recommendations under the European Employment Strategy and the relevant objectives of the Community in relation to social inclusion. outreach to groups marginalised in relation to the labour market. p. 27. (4) (9) (1) OJ C 234. It is therefore necessary to define the mission of the European Social Fund (ESF) in relation to the tasks prescribed under Article 146 of the Treaty and in the context of the work by Member States and the Community towards developing a coordinated strategy for employment under Article 125 of the Treaty. With a view to better anticipating and managing change and increasing economic growth. innovation and experimentation techniques. and access to and management of projects taken on by non-governmental organisations. national and European action. In this regard. and in particular Article 148 thereof. reinforcing the social inclusion of disadvantaged people. and with a view to refocusing the Lisbon strategy on growth and jobs. principles and rules concerning partnership. the Council has adopted an integrated package comprising Broad Economic Policy Guidelines and Employment Guidelines. 22. the importance of the European social model and its modernisation should be acknowledged. priorities and targets. including those seeking asylum. The ESF should strengthen economic and social cohesion by improving employment opportunities within the framework of the tasks entrusted to the ESF by Article 146 of the Treaty and of the tasks entrusted to the Structural Funds by Article 159 of the Treaty. in order to better contribute to the implementation of the objectives and targets agreed at the Lisbon European Council of 23 and 24 March 2000 and at the Goteborg European Council of 15 and 16 June 2001. p. These lessons should be integrated into ESF support. the latter setting out employment objectives. especially in respect of the combination of local. (5) Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community. and education and training. New lessons have been learnt from the Community initiative EQUAL. 48. Having regard to the opinion of the Committee of the Regions (2).2006 REGULATION (EC) No 1081/2006 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 5 July 2006 on the European Social Fund and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1784/1999 THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION. evaluation and management. 4 ( ) See p. Having regard to the proposal from the Commission. the integration of migrants. including cohesion policy. and quality and productivity at work under the Regional competitiveness and employment and Convergence objectives. (3) Opinion of the European Parliament of 6 July 2005 (not yet published in the Official Journal).2005. methodologies for transnational cooperation. 5. regional. enhancing human capital and access to employment and participation in the labour market. Specific provisions concerning the type of activities which may be financed by the ESF under the objectives set out in Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 should be laid down.7. combating discrimination. the objectives. 111 ESF REGULATION . assistance from the ESF should focus. the identification of policy issues and their subsequent mainstreaming. in particular through lifelong vocational training. This is all the more important in the light of the challenges arising from the enlargement of the Union and the phenomenon of economic globalisation. Whereas: (1) In accordance with Articles 99 and 128 of the Treaty. Acting in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 251 of the Treaty (3). the Brussels European Council of 22 and 23 March 2005 called for the mobilisation of all appropriate national and Community resources. the European Social Fund and the Cohesion Fund (4) establishes the framework for action by the Structural Funds and the Cohesion Fund and lays down. the impact of social issues on the internal market.7.

promote social inclusion. The Member States and the Commission are to ensure that the implementation of the priorities financed by the ESF under the Convergence and Regional competitiveness and employment objectives contribute to the promotion of equality and the elimination of inequalities between women and men. and quality and productivity at work. 2. 1. including those at national. considered that the operational programme should take account of significant socioeconomic changes or take greater or different account of major changes in Community. HAVE ADOPTED THIS REGULATION: Article 1 (14) Efficient and effective implementation of actions supported by the ESF depends on good governance and partnership between all relevant territorial and socioeconomic actors. Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 provides that rules on eligibility of expenditure are to be established at national level. where employers and workers collectively contribute to financially supporting ESF actions.7. would be included for the purposes of calculating ESF co-financing. In this context. (19) (13) It is necessary to ensure that the action of the ESF is consistent with the policies provided for under the European Employment Strategy and to concentrate ESF support on the implementation of the guidelines and recommendations under that strategy. Regulation (EC) No 1784/1999 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 July 1999 on the European Social Fund (1) should therefore be repealed. or in the light of evaluations or following implementation difficulties. The ESF shall contribute to the priorities of the Community as regards strengthening economic and social cohesion by improving employment and job opportunities. employment opportunities for both women and men. including the access of disadvantaged people to employment. in particular to prepare and implement reforms and enforce the acquis. In order to foster cooperation. this financial contribution. and the types of priority action financed by the ESF should allow for a margin of flexibility to respond to these challenges. and reduce national. with certain exceptions for which it is necessary to lay down specific provisions. regional and local employment disparities. or the Commission in agreement with a Member State.1999. Specific provisions should therefore be laid down for the exceptions related to the ESF. The social partners have a central role in the broad partnership for change. the selection of ESF interventions should be flexible in order to address the specific challenges in each Member State. (1) OJ L 213. Subject matter 1. and in particular the social partners and other stakeholders.8. administrative and judicial capacity. national or regional priorities. it is necessary to expand and improve investment in human capital and to improve institutional. with a particular focus on encouraging mutual learning through exchanges of experience and dissemination of good practice and on highlighting the contribution of the ESF to the policy objectives and priorities of the Community in relation to employment and social inclusion. (17) (11) Within the range of these priorities. under the Convergence objective and with a view to increasing economic growth. Member States should programme transnational and interregional actions using a horizontal approach or through a dedicated priority axis. the scope of its assistance. It shall do so by supporting Member States' policies aiming to achieve full employment and quality and productivity at work. (18) (12) The promotion of innovative transnational and interregional activities is an important dimension which should be integrated in the scope of the ESF. although private expenditure. and their commitment to strengthening economic and social cohesion by improving employment and job opportunities is essential. 13. However. A gender mainstreaming approach should be combined with specific action to increase the sustainable participation and progress of women in employment. The ESF is governed by Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 and by this Regulation. encouraging a high level of employment and more and better jobs. Article 2 Tasks (15) The ESF should support actions in line with the guidelines and relevant recommendations under the European Employment Strategy.2006 (10) EN Official Journal of the European Union (16) L 210/13 In addition to these priorities. 112 . The ESF should also support technical assistance. p.31. regional and local level. changes to the guidelines and recommendations would require the revision of an operational programme only where a Member State. 5. In the interest of clarity. This Regulation establishes the tasks of the European Social Fund (ESF). specific provisions and the types of expenditure eligible for assistance. in the least developed regions and Member States.

training and support services. encouraging active ageing and (iv) specific action to increase the participation of migrants in employment and thereby strengthen their social integration and to facilitate geographic and occupational mobility of workers and integration of crossborder labour markets. as incorporated into the Integrated Guidelines for Growth and Jobs. including in the field of the social economy. increasing the participation of economically inactive people in the labour market. especially SMEs. (ii) the design and dissemination of innovative and more productive forms of work organisation. and increasing participation in the labour market.2006 In particular. longer working lives. including cooperative enterprises. flexible measures to keep older workers in employment longer. and the accompanying recommendations. (b) enhancing access to employment and the sustainable inclusion in the labour market of job seekers and inactive people. through the development and implementation of systems and strategies. the development of qualifications and competences. self-employment and business creation. direct and indirect. for workers in the context of company and sector restructuring. in particular by promoting: (i) Article 3 (iii) mainstreaming and specific action to improve access to employment. the ESF shall support the priorities of the Community as regards the need to reinforce social cohesion. and the development of specific employment. such as people experiencing social exclusion. job search. strengthen productivity and competitiveness. and workers. enterprises and entrepreneurs with a view to improving the anticipation and positive management of economic change. early school leavers. including better health and safety at work. (ii) acceptance of diversity in the workplace and the combating of discrimination in accessing and progressing in the labour market. and measures to reconcile work and private life. In carrying out the tasks referred to in paragraph 1. Within the framework of the Convergence and Regional competitiveness and employment objectives. of gender pay gaps. the involvement of local communities and enterprises and the promotion of local employment initiatives. the ESF shall support actions in line with measures taken by Member States on the basis of the guidelines adopted under the European Employment Strategy. the ESF shall take into account the relevant priorities and objectives of the Community in the fields of education and training. Scope of assistance 1. such as facilitating access to childcare and care for dependent persons. and the promotion of entrepreneurship and innovation and business start-ups. including through guidance. and accompanying actions and relevant support. through employability measures. in particular by promoting: (i) pathways to integration and re-entry into employment for disadvantaged people. including outplacement.7. (c) reinforcing the social inclusion of disadvantaged people with a view to their sustainable integration in employment and combating all forms of discrimination in the labour market. language training and validation of competences and acquired skills. low-skilled and older workers. in particular long-term and youth unemployment. the identification of future occupational and skills requirements. the ESF shall support actions in Member States under the priorities listed below: (a) increasing adaptability of workers. and promote economic growth and sustainable development. In so doing. including apprenticeships. 113 ESF REGULATION 2. such as tailored training. including by addressing the root causes. . preventing unemployment. the dissemination of information and communication technologies. which ensure improved access to training by. eco-friendly technologies and management skills. incentives to encourage participation in the labour market. in particular by promoting: (i) lifelong learning and increased investment in human resources by enterprises. minorities. (ii) the implementation of active and preventive measures ensuring the early identification of needs with individual action plans and personalised support. combating social exclusion — especially that of disadvantaged groups such as people with disabilities — and promoting equality between women and men and non-discrimination. elearning. the modernisation and strengthening of labour market institutions. people with disabilities and people providing care for dependent persons. community and care services that improve employment opportunities. increase the sustainable participation and progress of women in employment and reduce genderbased segregation in the labour market.L 210/14 EN Official Journal of the European Union 31. including through awareness-raising. outplacement and mobility. in particular. access to vocational education and training. in particular employment services and other relevant initiatives in the context of the strategies of the European Union and the Member States for full employment.

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(d) enhancing human capital, in particular by promoting: (i) the design and introduction of reforms in education and training systems in order to develop employability, the improvement of the labour market relevance of initial and vocational education and training and the continual updating of the skills of training personnel with a view to innovation and a knowledge-based economy; (ii) networking activities between higher education institutions, research and technological centres and enterprises; (e) promoting partnerships, pacts and initiatives through networking of relevant stakeholders, such as the social partners and non-governmental organisations, at the transnational, national, regional and local levels in order to mobilise for reforms in the field of employment and labour market inclusiveness. 2. Within the framework of the Convergence objective, the ESF shall support actions in Member States under the priorities listed below: (a) expanding and improving investment in human capital, in particular by promoting: (i) the implementation of reforms in education and training systems, especially with a view to raising people's responsiveness to the needs of a knowledge-based society and lifelong learning;

partmental coordination and dialogue between relevant public and private bodies; (ii) capacity building in the delivery of policies and programmes in the relevant fields, including with regard to the enforcement of legislation, especially through continuous managerial and staff training and specific support to key services, inspectorates and socio-economic actors including social and environmental partners, relevant non-governmental organisations and representative professional organisations. 3. Within the priorities referred to in paragraphs 1 and 2, Member States may concentrate on those which are the most appropriate to address their specific challenges.

4. The ESF may support actions set out in Article 3(2) of this Regulation throughout the territory of the Member States eligible for support or transitional support under the Cohesion Fund, as determined respectively in Articles 5(2) and 8(3) of Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006.

5. In implementing the objectives and priorities referred to in paragraphs 1 and 2, the ESF shall support the promotion and mainstreaming of innovative activities in the Member States.

6. The ESF shall also support transnational and interregional actions in particular through the sharing of information, experiences, results and good practices, and through developing complementary approaches and coordinated or joint action.

(ii) increased participation in education and training throughout the life-cycle, including through actions aiming to achieve a reduction in early school leaving and in gender-based segregation of subjects and increased access to and quality of initial, vocational and tertiary education and training; (iii) the development of human potential in research and innovation, notably through post-graduate studies and the training of researchers; (b) strengthening institutional capacity and the efficiency of public administrations and public services at national, regional and local level and, where relevant, of the social partners and non-governmental organisations, with a view to reforms, better regulation and good governance especially in the economic, employment, education, social, environmental and judicial fields, in particular by promoting: (i) mechanisms to improve good policy and programme design, monitoring and evaluation, including through studies, statistics and expert advice, support for interde-

7. By way of derogation from Article 34(2) of Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006, the funding of measures under the social inclusion priority referred to in paragraph 1(c)(i) of this Article and within the scope of Regulation (EC) No 1080/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 July 2006 on the European Regional Development Fund (1) may be raised to 15 % of the priority axis concerned.

Article 4

Consistency and concentration of support

1. The Member States shall ensure that the actions supported by the ESF are consistent with and contribute to actions undertaken in pursuance of the European Employment Strategy. In particular, they shall ensure that the strategy set out in the national strategic reference framework and the actions set out in the operational programmes promote the objectives, priorities and targets of the strategy in each Member State within the framework of the national reform programmes and national action plans for social inclusion.
(1) See p. 1 of this Official Journal.

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The Member States shall also concentrate support, where the ESF can contribute to policies, on the implementation of the relevant employment recommendations made under Article 128(4) of the Treaty and of the relevant employment-related objectives of the Community in the fields of social inclusion, education, and training. Member States shall do so in a stable programming environment.

3. The managing authority of each operational programme shall encourage adequate participation of the social partners in actions funded under Article 3. Under the Convergence objective, an appropriate amount of ESF resources shall be allocated to capacity-building, which shall include training, networking measures, strengthening the social dialogue and activities jointly undertaken by the social partners, in particular as regards adaptability of workers and enterprises referred to in Article 3(1)(a). 4. The managing authority of each operational programme shall encourage adequate participation and access by nongovernmental organisations to the funded activities, notably in the domains of social inclusion, gender equality and equal opportunities.

3. Where appropriate, a concise section on the contribution of the ESF to promoting the relevant labour market aspects of social inclusion shall be included in Member States' national reports under the open method of coordination on social protection and social inclusion.

Article 6 Gender equality and equal opportunities The Member States shall ensure that operational programmes include a description of how gender equality and equal opportunities are promoted in the preparation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of operational programmes. Member States shall promote a balanced participation of women and men in the management and implementation of operational programmes at local, regional and national level, as appropriate.

4. The indicators included in the operational programmes co-financed by the ESF shall be strategic in nature and limited in number and shall reflect those used in the implementation of the European Employment Strategy and in the context of the relevant Community objectives in the fields of social inclusion and education and training.

5. Evaluations undertaken in relation to ESF action shall also assess the contribution of the actions supported by the ESF to the implementation of the European Employment Strategy and to the Community objectives in the fields of social inclusion, non-discrimination and equality between women and men, and education and training in the Member State concerned.

Article 7 Innovation In the framework of each operational programme, particular attention shall be paid to the promotion and mainstreaming of innovative activities. The managing authority shall choose the themes for the funding of innovation in the context of partnership and shall define the appropriate implementation arrangements. It shall inform the monitoring committee referred to in Article 63 of Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 of the themes chosen.

Article 5

Good governance and partnership Article 8 1. The ESF shall promote good governance and partnership. Its support shall be designed and implemented at the appropriate territorial level taking into account the national, regional and local level according to the institutional arrangements specific to each Member State. Transnational and interregional actions 1. Where Member States support actions in favour of transnational and/or interregional actions as set out in Article 3(6) of this Regulation as a specific priority axis within an operational programme, the contribution from the ESF may be increased by 10 % at the priority axis level. This increased contribution shall not be included in the calculation of the ceilings set out in Article 53 of Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006.

2. The Member States shall ensure the involvement of the social partners and adequate consultation and participation of other stakeholders, at the appropriate territorial level, in the preparation, implementation and monitoring of ESF support.

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2. Within operational programmes, resources shall be directed towards the most important needs and focus on those policy areas where ESF support can have a significant effect in attaining the objectives of the programme. To maximise the efficiency of ESF support, operational programmes shall, where appropriate, take particular account of the regions and localities facing the most serious problems, such as deprived urban and outermost regions, declining rural and fisheries-dependent areas, and areas particularly adversely affected by business relocations.

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2. Member States shall, with the assistance of the Commission where appropriate, ensure that the ESF does not support specific operations being concurrently supported through other Community transnational programmes, in particular in the field of education and training.

2. The following expenditure shall not be eligible for a contribution from the ESF: (a) recoverable value added tax; (b) interest on debt;

Article 9 Technical assistance The Commission shall promote, in particular, exchanges of experience, awareness-raising activities, seminars, networking and peer reviews serving to identify and disseminate good practice and encourage mutual learning and transnational and interregional cooperation with the aim of enhancing the policy dimension and contribution of the ESF to the Community objectives in relation to employment and social inclusion.

(c) purchase of furniture, equipment, vehicles, infrastructure, real estate and land. 3. The following costs shall be expenditure eligible for a contribution from the ESF as defined in paragraph 1 provided that they are incurred in accordance with national rules, including accountancy rules, and under the specific conditions provided for below: (a) the allowances or salaries disbursed by a third party for the benefit of the participants in an operation and certified to the beneficiary; (b) in the case of grants, indirect costs declared on a flat-rate basis, up to 20 % of the direct costs of an operation;

Article 10 Reports The annual and final implementation reports referred to in Article 67 of Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 shall contain, where appropriate, a synthesis of the implementation of: (a) gender mainstreaming as well as of any gender-specific action; (b) action to increase participation of migrants in employment and thereby strengthen their social integration; (c) action to strengthen integration in employment and thereby improve the social inclusion of minorities; (d) action to strengthen integration in employment and social inclusion of other disadvantaged groups, including people with disabilities; (e) innovative activities, including a presentation of the themes and their results, dissemination and mainstreaming; (f) transnational and/or interregional actions. Article 12 Transitional provisions 1. This Regulation shall not affect either the continuation or modification, including the total or partial cancellation, of assistance approved by the Commission on the basis of Regulation (EC) No 1784/1999 or any other legislation applying to that assistance on 31 December 2006, which shall consequently apply thereafter to that assistance or the projects concerned until their closure. 2. Applications made under Regulation (EC) No 1784/1999 shall remain valid. (c) the depreciation costs of depreciable assets listed under paragraph 2(c), allocated exclusively for the duration of an operation, to the extent that public grants have not contributed towards the acquisition of those assets. 4. The eligibility rules set out in Article 7 of Regulation (EC) No 1080/2006 shall apply to actions co-financed by the ESF which fall within the scope of Article 3 of that Regulation.

Article 11 Eligibility of expenditure

Article 13 1. The ESF shall provide support towards eligible expenditure which, notwithstanding Article 53(1)(b) of Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 may include any financial resources collectively contributed by employers and workers. The assistance shall take the form of non-reimbursable individual or global grants, reimbursable grants, loan interest rebates, micro-credits, guarantee funds and the purchase of goods and services in compliance with public procurement rules. Repeal 1. Without prejudice to the provisions laid down in Article 12 of this Regulation, Regulation (EC) No 1784/1999 is hereby repealed with effect from 1 January 2007.

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Done at Strasbourg. For the European Parliament The President J. Entry in force This Regulation shall enter into force on the day following its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.L 210/18 EN Official Journal of the European Union Article 15 31.2006 2. This Regulation shall be binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all Member States. 5 July 2006. References to the repealed Regulation shall be construed as references to this Regulation. Article 14 Review clause The European Parliament and the Council shall review this Regulation by 31 December 2013 in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 148 of the Treaty.7. BORRELL FONTELLES For the Council The President P. LEHTOMÄKI 117 ESF REGULATION .

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COHESION FUND .

and no longer at the project level. 34. the purchase of land for an amount exceeding 10 % of the total eligible expenditure for the operation concerned.2 million Europeans (that is.Cohesion Fund This has EUR 70 billion available and aims to strengthen economic and social cohesion in the Community. so that the suspension of credits has heavier consequences. It is thus subject to the same programming. housing. 120 . and recoverable value added tax. the Council of the European Union can decide to suspend in part or completely the Fund’s commitment. if a beneficiary State runs up an excessive government deficit and does not take the necessary measures. A list of non-eligible expenditure (Article 3) A certain amount of expenditure shall not be eligible for a contribution from the Fund. in the interests of promoting sustainable development. It represents a third of the budget allocation given to new Member States (against 12 % previously). The difference in relation to the previous programming period is that the Commission’s commitment is now made at the level of a whole programme. renewable energy. The big new innovation is that the Fund no longer operates outside the objectives of the cohesion policy but from now on is classed together with the ERDF and ESF. Some 167. which leads to less bureaucracy and the Member States having greater responsibility.4 % of the EU-27 population) live in a region aided by the Cohesion Fund. Extending the list of Cohesion Fund priorities (Article 2) The Fund continues to promote trans-European transport networks and the protection of the environment but has now been assigned new priorities such as sustainable development. Macroeconomic conditionality (Article 4) The Cohesion Fund is the only fund subject to this form of conditionality (which already existed in 2000–06. etc. It concerns interest on debt. management and control rules (see the general regulation). particularly in the domains of trans-European transport networks and the protection of the environment. decommissioning of nuclear power stations. The Commission no longer has to approve each Cohesion Fund project (except in the case of ‘major’ projects defined by Article 39 of the General Regulation). In the context of the stability and growth pact.

4. p. 1.1994. ensuring an appropriate balance. p.2006 EN Official Journal of the European Union COUNCIL REGULATION (EC) No 1084/2006 of 11 July 2006 establishing a Cohesion Fund and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1164/94 L 210/79 THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION. p. p. It is therefore necessary to specify the mission of the Cohesion Fund in relati on to the new framework for its action and in relation to the purpose assigned to it in the Treaty and to repeal. 2. It sets out.2005.9. Specific provisions should therefore be laid down for the exceptions related to the Cohesion Fund. A Cohesion Fund (hereinafter referred to as ‘the Fund’) is hereby established for the purpose of strengthening the economic and social cohesion of the Community in the interests of promoting sustainable development. Having regard to the proposal from the Commission. p. 7. HAS ADOPTED THIS REGULATION: Article 1 Establishment and purpose of the Cohesion Fund 1. Conditionality provisions should not.1997. The Fund shall be governed by Regulation (EC) No 1083/ 2006 and by this Regulation. in the interests of clarity. 1). Having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee (2).2004. the objectives.10. evaluation and management. (4) Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community.7. 30. leading to the avoidance of excessive government deficits referred to in Article 104 of the Treaty.5. Regulation as last amended by Regulation (EC) No 1055/2005 (OJ L 174.9. Member States having adopted the euro are to implement stability programmes and Member States not having adopted the euro convergence programmes. Trans-European transport network projects financed by the Cohesion Fund are to comply with the guidelines for trans-European transport networks adopted by the Council and the European Parliament. through the Cohesion Fund. 1. Conditionality provisions in the granting of financial assistance should continue to apply in conjunction with the fulfilment of the conditions of economic convergence as set out in Article 99 of the Treaty and the need for sound government finances. and in particular Article 161(2) thereof. 6 ( ) OJ L 228. Whereas: (1) Council Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 of 11 July 2006 laying down general provisions on the European Regional Development Fund. 1. Having regard to the opinion of the Committee of the Regions (3). 14. OJ L 130. OJ C 231. p.8. The Community may. See p. as defined in Council Regulation (EC) No 1466/97 of 7 July 1997 on the strengthening of the surveillance of budgetary positions and the surveillance and coordination of economic policies (7). 88. (2) (3) Article 2 Scope of assistance 1.2005. in particular. (5) Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 provides that rules on eligibility of expenditure are to be established at national level. 1). 25. 9. apply to commitments already made at the time of suspension.31. and according to the investment and infrastructure needs specific to each Member State receiving assistance: (7) OJ L 209. Decision as last amended by Decision No 884/2004/EC (OJ L 167. the principles and the rules concerning partnership. contribute to action in pursuit of the Community's environmental objectives specified in Articles 6 and 174 of the Treaty. Council Regulation (EC) No 1164/94 of 16 May 1994 establishing the Cohesion Fund (5). In order to concentrate efforts. (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) Assent of 4 July 2006 (not yet published in the Official Journal). Assistance from the Fund shall be given to actions in the following areas. In this respect. 20. 25 of this Official Journal. 35. however. Having regard to the assent of the European Parliament (1). OJ C 255.7. 121 COHESION FUND REGULATION . programming. priority should be given to projects of common interest as defined in Decision No 1692/96/ EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 July 1996 on Community guidelines for the development of the trans-European transport network (6). p. 2. Regulation as last amended by the 2003 Accession Act.2005.1996. the European Social Fund and the Cohesion Fund (4) establishes a new framework for the action of the Structural Funds and the Cohesion Fund. with certain exceptions for which it is necessary to lay down specific provisions.

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(a) trans-European transport networks, in particular priority projects of common interest as identified by Decision No 1692/96/EC; (b) the environment within the priorities assigned to the Community environmental protection policy under the policy and action programme on the environment. In this context, the Fund may also intervene in areas related to sustainable development which clearly present environmental benefits, namely energy efficiency and renewable energy and, in the transport sector outside the trans-European networks, rail, river and sea transport, intermodal transport systems and their interoperability, management of road, sea and air traffic, clean urban transport and public transport. 2. The appropriate balance of assistance shall be agreed in partnership between Member States and the Commission.

on a proposal from the Commission, to re-budget the suspended commitment in accordance with the procedure set out in the Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline and sound financial management (1). 3. The Council shall take the decisions referred to in paragraphs 1 and 2 by qualified majority on a proposal from the Commission.

Article 5 Transitional provisions 1. This Regulation shall not affect either the continuation or the modification, including the total or partial cancellation, of project or other forms of assistance approved by the Commission on the basis of Regulation (EC) No 1164/94, which shall consequently apply thereafter to that assistance or the projects concerned until their closure. 2. Applications for major projects within the meaning of Articles 39, 40 and 41 of Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 made to the Commission under Regulation (EC) No 1164/94 shall remain valid provided that such applications are supplemented, where necessary, so as to comply with the requirements of this Regulation and the abovementioned Articles of Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 within not more than two months as of 1 January 2007.

Article 3 Eligibility of expenditure The following expenditure shall not be eligible for a contribution from the Fund: (a) interest on debt; (b) the purchase of land for an amount exceeding 10 % of the total eligible expenditure for the operation concerned; (c) housing; (d) decommissioning of nuclear power stations; and (e) recoverable value added tax.

Article 6 Repeal 1. Without prejudice to the provisions of Article 105(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 and Article 5 of this Regulation, Regulation (EC) No 1164/94 is hereby repealed with effect from 1 January 2007. 2. References to the repealed Regulation shall be construed as references to this Regulation.

Article 4 Conditions applying to access to Fund assistance 1. Assistance from the Fund shall be conditional on the following rules: (a) if the Council has decided in accordance with Article 104(6) of the Treaty that excessive government deficit exists in a beneficiary Member State, and (b) has established in accordance with Article 104(8) of the Treaty that the Member State concerned has not taken effective action in response to a Council recommendation made under Article 104(7) of the Treaty, it may decide to suspend either the totality or part of the commitments from the Fund for the Member State concerned with effect from 1 January of the year following the decision to suspend. 2. If the Council establishes that the Member State concerned has taken the necessary corrective action, it shall decide, without delay, to lift the suspension of the commitments concerned. At the same time, the Council shall decide,

Article 7 Review The Council shall review this Regulation by 31 December 2013 at the latest in accordance with Article 161 of the Treaty.

Article 8 Entry into force This Regulation shall enter into force on the day following its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.
(1) OJ C 139, 14.6.2006, p. 1.

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This Regulation shall be binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all Member States. Done at Brussels, 11 July 2006. For the Council The President
E. HEINÄLUOMA

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EUROPEAN GROUPING OF TERRITORIAL COOPERATION .

Within the limits of its tasks.European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation Contrary to the other regulations. The convention specifies the task. The Community regulation on EGTC is a first in the sense that it allows a grouping of bodies from different Member States without the need to sign prior international accords ratified by national parliaments. It is restricted to the cooperation domain decided by its members and specifies their responsibilities.b of the General Regulation or by the ESF according to Article 8. the EGTC acts in the name and on behalf of its members. They decide if the EGTC has a separate legal personality or if they confide its tasks to one of the members. Nonetheless. this text comes into force on the 1 August 2007 at the latest so that the Member States can take the general provisions necessary for its application.6. Its constitution is decided by its members. but also in respect of the other two objectives (for example specific interregional cooperation operations cofinanced by the ERDF in line with Article 37. The EGTC is not only used to manage cooperation projects within this latter objective. and any other organisation considered as a public body or the associations of such administrations or bodies. The law applicable for the interpretation and application of the convention is that of the Member State in which the EGTC’s official headquarters is located. It also possesses the legal capacity accorded to legal persons under the particular Member State’s national law. This grouping will implement cross-border programmes or projects. In certain cases the Member States can delegate to an EGTC the responsibilities of the management authority of an operational programme in the interests of European cross-border cooperation (see Article 18 on the ERDF Regulation). the European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation (EGTC) has the goal of overcoming obstacles to cross-border cooperation. 126 . It may therefore acquire or sell movable and immovable property and employ staff. regional and local administrations. the Member States must give their assent to the participation of potential members on their territory. Founded by Article 159 of the Treaty establishing the European Community. The competences of the EGTC are fixed in an obligatory cooperation convention.1 of the ESF Regulation). It functions on the basis of a convention agreed between national. the length and the conditions of dissolution of the EGTC.

notably under the Structural Funds in conformity with Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 and Regulation (EC) No 1080/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 July 2006 on the European Regional Development Fund (5). 46. with regard to the management of both Community funds and national funds. Council Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 of 11 July 2006 laying down general provisions on the European Regional Development Fund.31. or for the purpose of carrying out actions of territorial cooperation which are at the sole initiative of the Member States and their regional and local authorities with or without a financial contribution from the Community. The existing instruments. An EGTC should be able to act. in order to achieve the objective of social and economic cohesion envisaged by the Treaty. invested with legal personality. social and territorial cohesion imply the strengthening of territorial cooperation. In order to overcome the obstacles hindering territorial cooperation.2005. It is likewise necessary to facilitate and follow up the implementation of territorial cooperation actions without a financial contribution from the Community. Having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee (1). The harmonious development of the entire Community territory and greater economic. called ‘European groupings of territorial cooperation’ (EGTC). Council Common Position of 12 June 2006 (not yet published in the Official Journal) and Position of the European Parliament of 4 July 2006 (not yet published in the Official Journal). It is appropriate for an EGTC to be given the capacity to act on behalf of its members. 127 EGTC REGULATION The third subparagraph of Article 159 of the Treaty provides for specific actions to be decided upon outside the Funds which are the subject of the first subparagraph of that Article.2005. (9) . Recourse to an EGTC should be optional. Acting in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 251 of the Treaty (3). Having regard to the opinion of the Committee of the Regions (2). p. by regional and local authorities in implementing and managing actions of territorial cooperation within the framework of differing national laws and procedures. the European Social Fund and the Cohesion Fund (4) increases the means in support of European territorial cooperation. (3) Opinion of the European Parliament of 6 July 2005 (not yet published in the Official Journal). it is necessary to facilitate the reinforcement of territorial cooperation in the Community. (2) OJ C 71. as well as that of Member States. in particular. have proven ill-adapted to organising structured cooperation under the INTERREG initiative during the 2000-2006 programming period. and notably the regional and local authorities of which it is composed. To this end it is appropriate to adopt the measures necessary to improve the implementation conditions for actions of territorial cooperation. (4) See page 25 of this Official Journal. The tasks and competencies of an EGTC are to be set out in a convention. (6) The Council of Europe acquis provides different opportunities and frameworks within which regional and local authorities can cooperate across borders. (11) (3) (4) (12) (1) OJ C 255. (5) Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community. such as the European economic interest grouping.2006 EN Official Journal of the European Union L 210/19 REGULATION (EC) No 1082/2006 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 5 July 2006 on a European grouping of territorial cooperation (EGTC) THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION. 14. 76. is not affected by the formation of an EGTC. (5) See page 1 of this Official Journal.10. Having regard to the proposal from the Commission. Whereas: (1) (8) (7) (10) (2) Measures are necessary to reduce the significant difficulties encountered by Member States and. Taking into account notably the increase in the number of land and maritime borders in the Community following its enlargement. p. 22.7. It should be specified that the financial responsibility of regional and local authorities. and in particular the third subparagraph of Article 159 thereof. either for the purpose of implementing territorial cooperation programmes or projects co-financed by the Community.3. This instrument is not intended to circumvent those frameworks or provide a set of specific common rules which would uniformly govern all such arrangements throughout the Community. it is necessary to institute a cooperation instrument at Community level for the creation of cooperative groupings in Community territory.

A European grouping of territorial cooperation. or only partly. as well as rules for its budget and for the exercise of its financial responsibility. The conditions for territorial cooperation should be created in accordance with the subsidiarity principle enshrined in Article 5 of the Treaty. p. an EGTC shall be treated as an entity of the Member State where it has its registered office. 30. recourse to an EGTC being optional. regulated by this Regulation. as set out in that Article. An EGTC shall have legal personality. Each prospective member shall: 4. 2. Directive as last amended by Commission Regulation (EC) No 2083/2005 (OJ L 333. 2. 114. 20. the reference to the law applicable under paragraph 1(c) shall include the law of those entities. It is necessary for an EGTC to establish its statutes and equip itself with its own organs.2005. notably police and regulatory powers. in accordance with the constitutional system of each Member State. (14) (15) (16) Article 3 Composition of an EGTC 1. hereinafter referred to as ‘territorial cooperation’. p. An EGTC shall be made up of members located on the territory of at least two Member States. 31. (c) in the case of matters not. The adoption of a Community measure allowing the creation of an EGTC should not. The decision to establish an EGTC shall be taken at the initiative of its prospective members. may be established on Community territory under the conditions and subject to the arrangements provided for by this Regulation. 2. belonging to one or more of the following categories: (a) Member States.2004. transnational and/or interregional cooperation. however.7. with the exclusive aim of strengthening economic and social cohesion. 128 . 28).L 210/20 (13) EN Official Journal of the European Union (a) this Regulation. An EGTC shall be made up of members. within the limits of their competences under national law. and Article 2 Applicable law 1. (b) where expressly authorised by this Regulation. Article 4 Establishment of an EGTC 1. the laws of the Member State where the EGTC has its registered office. It may. this Regulation does not go beyond what is necessary in order to achieve its objectives. the provisions of the convention and the statutes referred to in Articles 8 and 9. Associations consisting of bodies belonging to one or more of these categories may also be members. 2. HAVE ADOPTED THIS REGULATION: (b) regional authorities. Article 1 Nature of an EGTC 1. in particular. The objective of an EGTC shall be to facilitate and promote cross-border. taking into account the constitutional structure of the Member State concerned. cannot be the subject of a convention. (a) notify the Member State under whose law it has been formed of its intention to participate in an EGTC. Where a Member State comprises several territorial entities which have their own rules of applicable law.2006 It should be specified that the powers exercised by regional and local authorities as public authorities. An EGTC shall be governed by the following: (b) send that Member State a copy of the proposed convention and statutes referred to in Articles 8 and 9. (c) local authorities. between its members as set out in Article 3(1). In accordance with the principle of proportionality.4. exclude the possibility of entities from third countries participating in an EGTC formed in accordance with this Regulation where the legislation of a third country or agreements between Member States and third countries so allow. hereinafter referred to as ‘EGTC’. acquire or dispose of movable and immovable property and employ staff and may be a party to legal proceedings. Where it is necessary under Community or international private law to establish the choice of law which governs an EGTC's acts. public supply contracts and public service contracts (1). 3. (1) OJ L 134.12. The third subparagraph of Article 159 of the Treaty does not allow the inclusion of entities from third countries in legislation based on that provision. (d) bodies governed by public law within the meaning of the second subparagraph of Article 1(9) of Directive 2004/18/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 31 March 2004 on the coordination of procedures for the award of public works contracts. An EGTC shall have in each Member State the most extensive legal capacity accorded to legal persons under that Member State's national law.

reach its decision within a deadline of three months from the date of receipt of an admissible application in accordance with paragraph 2.7. 2. the Member State concerned shall. with details of its name. the tasks of an EGTC shall be limited primarily to the implementation of territorial cooperation programmes or projects co-financed by the Community through the European Regional Development Fund. 2. where the tasks of an EGTC mentioned under the first or second subparagraph of Article 7(3) include actions which are co-financed by the Community. In such a case. The EGTC shall acquire legal personality on the day of registration or publication. The EGTC shall ensure that. An EGTC may carry out other specific actions of territorial cooperation between its members in pursuit of the objective referred to in Article 1(2). An EGTC shall carry out the tasks given to it by its members in accordance with this Regulation. 3. The Member State where an EGTC has its registered office shall inform the other Member States concerned of any difficulties encountered during the controls. as a general rule. 5.31. Substantial amendments to the statutes shall be those entailing. Specifically. 5. members and registered office. In deciding on the prospective member's participation in the EGTC. unless it considers that such participation is not in conformity with this Regulation or national law. the relevant legislation concerning the control of funds provided by the Community shall apply. directly or indirectly. a request is sent to the Office for Official Publications of the European Communities for publication of a notice in the Official Journal of the European Union announcing the establishment of the EGTC. Any amendment to the convention and any substantial amendment to the statutes shall be approved by the Member States according to the procedure set out in this Article. the Member State shall give a statement of its reasons for withholding approval. 2. including the prospective member's powers and duties. Article 7 Tasks Article 5 Acquisition of legal personality and publication in the Official Journal 1. Control of an EGTC's management of public funds shall be organised by the competent authorities of the Member State where the EGTC has its registered office. which shall be limited to the facilitation and promotion of territorial cooperation to strengthen economic and social cohesion and be determined by its members on the basis that they all fall within the competence of every member under its national law. 1. All controls shall be carried out according to internationally accepted audit standards. in conformity with Articles 4 and 8. Following notification under paragraph 2 by a prospective member. 2 and 3. 6. An EGTC shall act within the confines of the tasks given to it. within 10 working days from registration and/or publication of the statutes. 129 EGTC REGULATION .2006 EN Official Journal of the European Union Article 6 Control of management of public funds L 210/21 3. Its tasks shall be defined by the convention agreed by its members. Member States shall designate the competent authorities to receive the notifications and documents as set out in paragraph 2. the authorities of the Member State where an EGTC has its registered office shall make arrangements for the appropriate authorities in the other Member States concerned to carry out controls on their territory for those acts of the EGTC which are performed in those Member States and to exchange all appropriate information. Where required under the national legislation of the other Member States concerned. whichever occurs first. Member States may apply the national rules. objectives. The members shall inform the Member States concerned and the Committee of the Regions of the convention and the registration and/or publication of the statutes. Notwithstanding paragraphs 1. approve the prospective member's participation in the EGTC. The statutes referred to in Article 9 and any subsequent amendments thereto shall be registered and/or published in accordance with the applicable national law in the Member State where the EGTC concerned has its registered office. taking into account its constitutional structure. 4. 4. The members shall agree on the convention referred to in Article 8 and the statutes referred to in Article 9 ensuring consistency with the approval of the Member States in accordance with paragraph 3 of this Article. the European Social Fund and/or the Cohesion Fund. an amendment to the convention. The Member State shall. with or without a financial contribution from the Community. The Member State where the EGTC has its registered office shall designate the competent authority for this task before giving its approval to participation in the EGTC under Article 4. 1. 3. or that such participation is not justified for reasons of public interest or of public policy of that Member State.

justice and foreign policy. notably concerning personnel management.2006 Member States may limit the tasks that EGTCs may carry out without a Community financial contribution. an operational component. as a minimum. (b) the extent of the territory in which the EGTC may execute its tasks. in particular. including on financial issues. shall be governed as provided for by Article 2(1)(c). insolvency. The statutes of an EGTC shall contain. The members of an EGTC may decide by unanimity to empower one of the members to execute its tasks. such as police and regulatory powers. 2. insolvency. if necessary. (a) an assembly. even where such acts do not fall within the tasks of the EGTC. An EGTC shall have at least the following organs: (a) the name of the EGTC and its registered office. an EGTC shall be governed by the laws of the Member State where it has its registered office. (e) the arrangements for the members' financial contributions and the applicable accounting and budgetary rules. which shall be located in a Member State under whose laws at least one of the members is formed. (f) the appropriate arrangements for mutual recognition. where required. of each of the members of the EGTC with respect to it. The tasks given to an EGTC by its members shall not concern the exercise of powers conferred by public law or of duties whose object is to safeguard the general interests of the State or of other public authorities. and (h) the procedures for amending the statutes. Article 9 Statutes 1. unless otherwise provided in paragraphs 2 and 3. which shall be the law of the Member State where the EGTC has its registered office. a component on running costs and. An EGTC shall be governed by a convention concluded unanimously by its members in accordance with Article 4. cessation of payments and liability 1. The preparation of its accounts including. and (g) the procedures for amending the convention. 4. cessation of payments and similar procedures. Article 12 Liquidation. (e) the law applicable to the interpretation and enforcement of the convention. An EGTC shall establish an annual budget which shall be adopted by the assembly. which is made up of representatives of its members. 5. The convention shall specify: Article 10 Organisation of an EGTC 1. 130 . including for the purposes of financial control. (c) the specific objective and tasks of the EGTC. However. the accompanying annual report. which shall comply with the obligations set out in Articles 4 and 5.L 210/22 EN Official Journal of the European Union 31. (d) the list of the EGTC's members. The statutes may provide for additional organs with clearly defined powers. who represents the EGTC and acts on its behalf. as well as the number of representatives of the members in the relevant organs. 2. (c) the working language or languages. As regards liquidation. containing. and the auditing and publication of those accounts. (d) the arrangements for its functioning. all the provisions of the convention together with the following: (a) the operating provisions of the EGTC's organs and their competencies. those tasks shall include at least the cooperation actions listed under Article 6 of Regulation (EC) No 1080/2006. Article 11 Budget 1. which shall comply with the obligations set out in Articles 4 and 5. 3. 2. (f) the arrangements for members' liability in accordance with Article 12(2). 2. (b) the decision-making procedures of the EGTC.7. The statutes of an EGTC shall be adopted on the basis of the convention by its members acting unanimously. (g) the authorities responsible for the designation of independent external auditors. recruitment procedures and the nature of personnel contracts. its duration and the conditions governing its dissolution. (b) a director. An EGTC shall be liable for the acts of its organs as regards third parties. Article 8 Convention 1.

The competent courts for the resolution of disputes under Article 4(3) or (6) or under Article 13 shall be the courts of the Member State whose decision is challenged. a competent body of that Member State may prohibit that activity on its territory or require those members which have been formed under its law to withdraw from the EGTC unless the EGTC ceases the activity in question. no financial liability shall arise for Member States on account of this Regulation in relation to an EGTC of which they are not a member. Third parties who consider themselves wronged by the acts or omissions of an EGTC shall be entitled to pursue their claims by judicial process. 3. its members shall be liable for the EGTC's debts whatever their nature. public health or public morality. each member's share being fixed in proportion to its contribution. Article 15 Jurisdiction 1. Such prohibitions shall not constitute a means of arbitrary or disguised restriction on territorial cooperation between the EGTC's members. for obligations arising out of activities of the EGTC during their membership. after they have ceased to be members of an EGTC.2006 EN Official Journal of the European Union Article 14 Dissolution L 210/23 2. the competent court or authority shall order it to be wound up. in particular. In any case which is not provided for in such Community legislation. and (c) access to information. Except where otherwise provided for in this Regulation. If the EGTC fails to do so within the time allowed. formed under the laws of the Member State where that EGTC has its registered office. (b) access to services in their own language. If the liability of at least one member of an EGTC is limited as a result of the national law under which it is formed. The arrangements for contributions shall be fixed in the statutes. The members may provide in the statutes that they will be liable. 1. Review of the competent body's decision by a judicial authority shall be possible. The competent court or authority shall inform all the Member States under whose law the members have been formed of any application to dissolve an EGTC. Community legislation on jurisdiction shall apply to disputes involving an EGTC.31. Notwithstanding the provisions on dissolution contained in the convention. 2. public security.7. unless the national law under which a member is formed excludes or limits the liability of that member. Article 13 Public interest Where an EGTC carries out any activity in contravention of a Member State's provisions on public policy. 3. the other members may also limit their liability in the statutes. 131 EGTC REGULATION . the competent courts for the resolution of disputes shall be the courts of the Member State where the EGTC has its registered office. Nothing in this Regulation shall deprive citizens from exercising their national constitutional rights of appeal against public bodies which are members of an EGTC in respect of: (a) administrative decisions in respect of activities which are being carried out by the EGTC. In these cases the competent courts shall be those of the Member State under whose constitution the rights of appeal arise. To the extent that the assets of an EGTC are insufficient to meet its liabilities. the competent court or authority of the Member State where an EGTC has its registered office shall order the EGTC to be wound up if it finds that the EGTC no longer complies with the requirements laid down in Articles 1(2) or 7 or. that the EGTC is acting outside the confines of the tasks laid down in Article 7. 2. or in contravention of the public interest of a Member State. A Member State may prohibit the registration on its territory of an EGTC whose members have limited liability. on an application by any competent authority with a legitimate interest. statutes and accounts of an EGTC whose members have limited liability shall be at least equal to that required for other kinds of legal entity whose members have limited liability. Publication of the convention. Without prejudice to the financial responsibility of Member States in relation to any funding from the Structural and/or Cohesion Funds provided to an EGTC. The name of an EGTC whose members have limited liability shall include the word ‘limited’. The competent court or authority may allow the EGTC time to rectify the situation. An EGTC shall be liable for its debts whatever their nature.

Where required under the terms of that Member State's national law. Member States may provide for the payment of fees in connection with the registration of the convention and statutes. 2. By 1 August 2011. however. with the exception of Article 16. a Member State may establish a comprehensive list of the tasks which the members of an EGTC within the meaning of Article 3(1) formed under its laws already have. where appropriate. Article 18 Entry into force This Regulation shall enter into force on the day following its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union. It shall apply by 1 August 2007. This Regulation shall be binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all Member States. the Commission shall forward to the European Parliament and the Council a report on the application of this Regulation and proposals for amendments. as far as territorial cooperation within that Member State is concerned. Done at Strasbourg. The Member State shall inform the Commission and the other Member States accordingly of any provisions adopted under this Article. exceed the administrative cost thereof.L 210/24 EN Official Journal of the European Union Article 16 Final provisions Article 17 Report and review clause 31. For the European Parliament The President J. Member States shall make such provisions as are appropriate to ensure the effective application of this Regulation. which shall apply from 1 August 2006.2006 1. Those fees may not. LEHTOMÄKI 132 . 5 July 2006.7. BORRELL FONTELLES For the Council The President P.

EGTC REGULATION .

.

INSTRUMENT FOR PREACCESSION ASSISTANCE .

the programmes are implemented by this single financial instrument. the aid is implemented through multiannual programmes whose management structures must be accredited in advance. CARDS and the pre-accession financial assistance for Turkey. During the drawing up of the various programmes implemented by the IPA. the beneficiaries must integrate Community priorities. The beneficiary countries are divided into two groups: • candidate countries (the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. for programmes of cooperation between the countries eligible for the IPA. as with the other countries eligible for the IPA. 1. which are only eligible for the first two components. 3. economic and social development and aiding the adoption of the acquis communautaire. Croatia and Turkey) which will be eligible for the five components. With the exception of the institutional capacity component (see point 1 of the above list) and the cross-border cooperation component (point 2 on the list). the financial instruments previously applied to Turkey and the Balkans: PHARE. replacing the preceding instrument. the environment and economic development. through an indicative multiannual financial framework updated each year. The aid is arranged around five components. Rural development. adopted by the Commission for each eligible country for a period of three years. targeting operations to strengthen human capital and the fight against exclusion. and no longer by the Structural Funds. 4. by beneficiary country and by component. recognised by the Thessaloniki European Council of June 2003 as engaged in the path to accession (Albania. as much with the Member States. 136 . The candidate countries must be initiated into drawing up and implementing operational programmes as well as constructing perennial management evaluations beyond accession. for the countries concerned. Cross-border cooperation. 2. from January 2007. Ease of transition and institutional capacity building aimed at promoting the strengthening of institutions and democratisation. Resources are allocated. including Kosovo). presented in detail for each component in the multiannual indicative planning documents. 5.Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance The Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) replaces. • potential candidate countries in the western Balkans. ISPA. Sapard. Sapard. targeting investment in the transport sector. Bosnia and Herzegovina. Human resources. Montenegro and Serbia. For cross-border cooperation with the Member States. Regional development.

As far as the regional development component goes. information and communication technologies. following the example of internal borders. etc. Cooperation — Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance Candidate countries Cross-border cooperation areas Other areas Potential candidate countries Cross-border cooperation areas Other areas European Union Cooperation within the European Union (EU-27) NB: The regional cutting within countries which are not European Union Members is purely indicative. with the introduction of rules for automatic decommitment. The cross-border cooperation component concerns programmes with the Member States and its principal innovation is to be found in its integrated approach.). 137 IPA REGULATION . it replaces the instrument for structural policy for pre-accession (ISPA).The objective of the IPA is to group at the heart of a single instrument. A human resources development component is created. prefiguring European Social Fund actions. with a single fund and competent management structures on both sides of the border. covering transport and environmental infrastructures as well as economic development (innovation. and features: • management by multiannual programme and not by project. endowed with homogenous management principles and structures. the different components of preaccession assistance. • adapted modes of financial management. • decentralised management structures. contracting. by programme. • a wider eligible thematic domain.

Bosnia and Herzegovina. (10) On 15 and 16 December 2005 the Brussels European Council decided to grant candidate country status to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. 7. promote gender equality. respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. The Thessaloniki European Council 2003 also indicated that the Stabilisation and Association Process would constitute the overall framework for the European course of the Western Balkan countries all the way to their future accession. (3) OJ L 306. and the rule of law may apply to become a member of the Union.7. on 19 and 20 June 2003. and in particular Article 181a thereof. Whereas: (1) (9) (8) In its resolution on the Thessaloniki European Council Conclusions. At its meeting in Thessaloniki. the European Council stressed that the countries of the Western Balkans were potential candidates for membership of the European Union. the Brussels European Council recommended that parallel to accession negotiations. All the Western Balkan countries can therefore be considered as potential candidate countries. democracy. Pre-accession assistance has been made available to the Republic of Turkey since 2002. p. the European Parliament recognised that each of the Western Balkan countries was moving towards accession. indicating that they would become an integral part of the European Union. The Brussels European Council on 16 and 17 December 2004 recommended that accession negotiations should be opened with Turkey. Having regard to the opinion of the Committee of the Regions (2).2006 THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION. (3) (12) (4) (5) In the interests of coherence and consistency of Community assistance. a new framework for programming and delivery of assistance has been envisaged. The assistance should also be consistent with the development policy of the Community in accordance with Article 181a of the EC Treaty. 20. the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (3). In order to improve the efficiency of the Community's External Aid. 23).12.2000. (2) OJ C 231. Having regard to the proposal from the Commission.2005. Croatia. p. however. 138 . The present instrument constitutes one of the general instruments directly supporting European External Aid policies.12. (13) (6) Assistance for candidate countries as well as for potential candidate countries should continue to support them in their efforts to strengthen democratic institutions and the rule of law. and contribute to sustainable development and poverty reduction in these countries. (2) (11) Further. (7) Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community. carry out economic reforms. the European Union should engage an intensive political and cultural dialogue with every candidate country. but at the same time insisted that each country should be judged on its own merits. Regulation as last amended by Regulation (EC) No 2112/2005 (OJ L 344. a clear distinction should be made between candidate countries and potential candidate countries. respect human as well as minority rights.L 210/82 EN Official Journal of the European Union COUNCIL REGULATION (EC) No 1085/2006 of 17 July 2006 establishing an Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) 31. Article 49 of the Treaty on European Union states that any European State which respects the principles of liberty. once they met the established criteria. taking advantage of the lessons learned from earlier pre-accession instruments as well as Council Regulation (EC) No 2666/2000 of 5 December 2000 on assistance for Albania. on 16 and 17 December 2004. At its meeting at Santa Maria da Feira on 20 June 2000. Having regard to the opinion of the European Parliament (1). support the development of civil society and advance regional cooperation as well as reconciliation and reconstruction. On 17 and 18 June 2004 the Brussels European Council recommended that accession negotiations should be opened with Croatia. the European Council recalled the conclusions of its meetings in Copenhagen in December 2002 and Brussels in March 2003 and reiterated its determination to fully and effectively support the European perspective of the Western Balkan countries. 1.9. p. reform public administration.2005. assistance for candidate countries as well as for potential candidate countries should be granted in the context of a coherent framework. and it should therefore be targeted at supporting a wide range of institution-building measures. (1) Opinion delivered on 6 July 2006 (not yet published in the Official Journal). The Republic of Turkey's application for membership to the European Union was accepted by the European Council in Helsinki in 1999. 27. 67.

as well as support for investment projects. the Human Resources Development Component. as well as to encourage regional cooperation between them. 139 IPA REGULATION Where the Commission implements this Regulation through centralised management. 17.1999. twinning (25) (17) The actions necessary for the implementation of this Regulation are management measures relating to the implementation of programmes with substantial budgetary implications. (20) (21) (26) Rules determining the eligibility of participation in tenders and grant contracts. In order to assist with the financial part of this strategy. and where the Commission implements this Regulation through other forms of management. making use of the structures that have proved their worth in the pre-accession process.9. it should take the utmost care to protect the financial interests of the Community. p. the Commission should present its intentions for the financial allocations to be proposed for the three forthcoming years by means of a multi-annual indicative financial framework. they should make use as far as possible of the existing Committees which are in place for Structural Funds and Rural Development.2002. in order to assist them in the process of transition and approximation to the EU. 1. Assistance for potential candidate countries may include some alignment with the acquis communautaire. . 16. and Cross-Border Cooperation Components should be accessible to all beneficiary countries. The transfer of knowledge and expertise regarding the implementation of the acquis communautaire. should be particularly beneficial in this context. under the Transition Assistance and Institution Building Component.2006 (14) EN Official Journal of the European Union L 210/83 Assistance for candidate countries should additionally focus on the adoption and implementation of the full acquis communautaire. Potential candidate countries and candidate countries that have not been accredited to manage funds in a decentralised manner should however be eligible. (24) (19) The multi-annual programmes for the implementation of the Regional Development Component. p. in particular by applying the rules and standards of the acquis communautaire in that respect. They should therefore be adopted in accordance with Council Decision 1999/468/EC of 28 June 1999 laying down the procedures for the exercise of implementing powers conferred on the Commission (2). from Member States with relevant experience to the beneficiaries of this Regulation. The Transition Assistance and Institution Building. and without prejudice to the prerogatives of the Budgetary Authority.7. (22) (15) and TAIEX (Technical Assistance Information Exchange Instrument). (23) (18) The annual or multi-annual programmes on a horizontal and per country basis for the implementation of assistance under the Transition Assistance and Institution Building Component and the Cross-Border Cooperation Component should also be submitted to a Management Committee in accordance with Decision 1999/468/EC. Since these actions will be closely aligned to Structural Fund and Rural Development practices. in particular for the implementation of the Community's cohesion and rural development policies. by submitting the multi-annual indicative planning documents to a Management Committee. but should also allow for innovative approaches such as the implementation through Member States via shared management in case of crossborder programmes on the external borders of the European Union. and the Rural Development Component should be accessible only to candidate countries accredited to manage funds in a decentralised manner. (2) OJ L 184. Euratom) No 1605/2002 of 25 June 2002 on the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities (1). (16) Assistance should be provided on the basis of a comprehensive multi-annual strategy that reflects the priorities of the Stabilisation and Association Process. as well as the strategic priorities of the pre-accession process. in accordance with Decision