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 :
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.
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
Each CSF or SPD must include:
- Quantified objectives (where possible)
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.
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.