How do the Structural Funds work ?
Funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)
and other Structural Funds comes in the form of non-reimbursable
financial assistance is channelled through development programmes, which are packages
of measures that are eligible for support.
As soon as an agreement on the
programme has been reached by the Commission and the Member State authorities,
European money becomes available to meet the programme's aims. One of two financing
mechanisms is used:
- the Operational Programme: an individual
programme that arises out of the Community support framework
- the Single
Programming Document: that combines the development strategy together with
the programmes to be supported in a single agreement.
however, the result is the same: European co-financing is made available to development
projects that respond to national priorities agreed upon between the Member State
and the European Commission.
Since the 1999 reform, the projects and measures financed by the programme
budget are detailed in an additional document, the programming supplement,
which is drawn up by the programme managers (or managing authorities)
appointed by each Member State. The managing authority also selects the
projects. It is this body therefore that the economic and social actors
should contact if they wish to benefit from Structural Fund support.