Management and monitoring of structural programmes
The programmes: types and financing plans
- A / E
Fund expenditure is programmed in three types of document. The term "programme"
generally relates to Single Programming Documents (SPDs) and Operational Programmes
(OPs) drawn up by the national and regional authorities and approved by the Commission.
An OP can, however, be considered only in connection with a Community Support
Framework (CSF). Here, briefly, are the two programming systems:
- The CSFs and OPs generally relate to a country, or a group of
regions within a country, which is eligible under Objective 1.
The CSFs describe the social and economic context of the country
or regions covered by the Structural Funds, set out development
priorities and targets to be attained, and provide for financial
management, monitoring, evaluation and control systems. The OPs
list the various priorities of a CSF for a particular region or
a particular development sector (transport, training, business
- The SPDs feature aspects of both a CSF and an OP. In most cases
they involve assistance cofinanced by the Structural Funds amounting
to less than a billion euro in an Objective 1 region, assistance
in Objective 2 regions or national assistance under Objective
3 and in the fisheries sector.
The Structural Funds only supplement
national or regional financing. This means that no programmes are ever totally
covered by the European budget, and that there is always national cofinancing
from either the public or the private sector.
Each programme is made up
of priority themes and measures, although the latter are not described in detail.
Taken together, these elements form the development strategy to be implemented
throughout the life of the programme. To be eligible for financing under a programme,
projects must fit within this strategy.
Depending on their specific nature,
the four Structural Funds each finance certain types of projects (see "Operations
financed by the Structural Funds"):
- The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) primarily
supports productive investment, infrastructure and SME development.
- The Guidance Section of the European Agricultural Guidance
and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF-Guidance section) supports measures
for the adjustment of agricultural structures and rural development.
- The European Social Fund (ESF) supports measures to promote
employment (education systems, vocational training and recruitment
- The Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance (FIFG)
supports measures for the adjustment of structures in this sector,
and the "accompanying measures" of the common fisheries policy.
Account also needs to be taken of the fact that it may not
be possible for all of the expenditure on a project to be financed by the Structural
Funds. In principle, the national regulations relevant to government support apply
to the Structural Funds, with the exception of certain specific cases provided
for by a special regulation(1). Some types
of scheme are simply not eligible for Community financing. In addition, any expenditure
carried out before the date when the Commission receives the request for support
cannot benefit from Community assistance. The same applies for expenditure occurring
after the final date for eligibility set out in the Funds decision to participate.
1. See the
Commission Regulation on the eligibility of expenditure: (EC)
No 1685/2000, OJ L 193, 29.07.2000.
Structural Funds 2000-2006
Priority objectives (94% of the budget) :
1 : development and structural adjustment of regions whose development is
Objective 2 : economic and social conversion of areas
facing structural difficulties
Objective 3 : adaptation and modernisation
of policies and systems of education, training and employment.
: adaptation of fishery structures
initiatives (5.35% of the budget) :
interreg III : Crossborder,
transnational and interregional cooperation
urban II : Regeneration
of urban areas in crisis
LEADER+ : Rural development through innovative
EQUAL : Combating discrimination and inequalities
in connection with the labour market.