There is a single set of rules covering the EU's 5 structural and investment funds (ESIF):
The purpose of these rules is to
The EU countries administer the funds on a decentralised basis through shared management. Each fund's website gives further information about the funding available and the application procedure.
The rules covering all 5 EU structural and investment funds are set out in the Common Provisions Regulation. Further regulations set out specific rules for each fund.
Partnership agreements between the European Commission and individual EU countries set out the national authorities' plans on how to use funding from the European Structural and Investment Funds between 2014 and 2020. They outline each country's strategic goals and investment priorities, linking them to the overall aims of the Europe 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.
For the funds to have maximum impact, national, regional and local authorities in EU countries must work together closely and in partnership with
Involving partners in planning, implementing, monitoring and evaluating EU-funded projects enables EU countries to focus funds where the need is greatest and to make optimum use of resources.
All EU countries must comply with these rules on preparing and implementing the programmes for 2014–20. They must ensure that all relevant views are taken into account when identifying priorities for funding, designing and implementing the most effective investment strategies.
A series of guidance notes are available to help EU countries programme and implement the funds.