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Programming 2000-2006

As a general rule, the Structural Funds finance development programmes which have been allocated an individual budget. These programmes are the product of joint negotiations between the national, regional and local authorities, the economic and social partners and other relevant bodies.

The programmes can be one of two types :

1. Regional development programmes are drawn up either on the basis of a development plan or a single programming document (SPD). Both these documents must be presented to the Commission by the Member State not later than four months after the list of eligible areas has been established.

    • The development plan is negotiated with the European Commission and results in a Community support framework (CSF). Once the development plan is submitted, the Commission has five months to adopt the CSF. The CSF leads, in turn, to programme proposals. To speed up the process, the programme proposals may be submitted with the development plan and be adopted at the same time as the CSF.
    • The draft SPD already contains programme proposals. These may be implemented once the SPD is accepted by the Commission. The Commission must adopt the SPD not later than 5 months after it has been submitted.

(The CSF system is generally only used for Objective 1 regions. In these regions however, an SPD may sometimes be used when the Structural Funds contribution is less than 1 billion euro).

Each CSF or SPD must include:

    • Priorities for action
    • Quantified objectives (where possible)
    • Anticipated financial resources

    2. The Community initiative programmes are submitted by the Member State not later than 6 months after adoption by the Commission of the Community initiative guidelines. The Commission then has 5 months to adopt the programmes.

    The implementation of regional development or Community initiative programmes is the responsibility of a managing authority appointed by the Member State. It details, in a programming supplement, the actions carried out on the ground as a result of the financial assistance allocated to the programme. It is also responsible for selecting projects to be funded.

    Project implementation is overseen by the monitoring committees, composed of representatives of the Member State, the regions, competent authorities and the Commission. The committees regularly monitor the progress of the programmes and redirect actions if necessary.


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