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Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance (FIFG):
Since 1994, the FIFG (Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance) has grouped together the Community instruments for fisheries. It is applied in all coastal regions, its main task being to increase the competitiveness of the structures and develop viable business enterprises in the fishing industry while striving to maintain the balance between fishing capacities and available resources.
Financial perspective 2000-2006:
The financial perspective forms the framework for Community expenditure over a period of several years. It is the product of an interinstitutional agreement between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission and indicates the maximum volume and the composition of the foreseeable Community expenditure. It is adjusted annually by the Commission to take account of prices and the development of Community GNP. However, it should be noted that the financial perspective is not a multi-annual budget, since the annual budgetary procedure remains essential to determine the actual amount of expenditure and the breakdown between the different budget headings.
To date, three interinstitutional agreements of this type have been concluded, the first in 1988, the second in 1992 and the third in 1999:

  • the 1988-1992 financial perspective (Delors I package);
  • the 1993-1999 financial perspective (Delors II package);
  • the 2000-2006 financial perspective.

The financial perspective 2000-2006 is part of the new Interinstitutional Agreement which is the cornerstone of the Agenda 2000 financial package. This Agreement, which received political endorsement at the Berlin summit in March 1999, should enable the Union to take in new members and at the same time strengthen its policies while keeping to a rigorous financial framework.
The financial perspective establishes the reference framework for a period of seven years (2000-2006). Although it cannot incorporate expenditure linked to new accessions before they take effect, it does, nonetheless, have three features that are interesting in terms of enlargement:

  • agricultural funding is extended to encompass a new rural development policy, veterinary measures, a pre-accession agricultural instrument, and a margin left available for enlargement;
  • the allocation for the Structural Funds destined for the fifteen Member States will be gradually reduced from 2002 onwards by concentrating the priorities on a more limited number of regions. Structural operations also comprise a new pre-accession instrument;
  • the amount allocated for external action is increased by 2% per year so as to cover the increase in pre-accession aid under the Phare programme. In addition, the allocations provided for pre-accession aid (Phare, Ispa and Sapard) will remain unchanged irrespective of the number of applicant countries which will become members of the European Union during the period 2000-2006. Resources can thus be concentrated on the countries in greatest need.

Lastly, budgetary discipline will make it possible to maintain the current ceiling on expenditure, 1.27% of the Community's GNP, until 2006.

Fraud:
The fight against fraud and corruption rests on two separate legal bases, both of which were amended by the Treaty of Amsterdam:

  • Article 29 of the EU Treaty calls for "closer cooperation between police forces, customs authorities and other competent authorities in the Member States, both directly and through Europol" in this area;
  • Article 280 of the EC Treaty concerns activities affecting the Community's financial interests. Here, the Council and the European Parliament have the power to adopt measures under the codecision procedure after consulting the Court of Auditors.

A Convention on the protection of the Community's financial interests was signed on 26 July 1995 as a third-pillar instrument. Its principal aim is that there should be provision in the criminal law of all Member States for an offence of fraud against the Community's financial interests. Since 1988, this type of fraud was tackled by the European Commission's fraud prevention task force (UCLAF) which was replaced by the European Anti-fraud Office (OLAF) on 1 June 1999.
To strengthen Community action on combating fraud, the European Commission has proposed to the Intergovernmental Conference launched in February 2000 the introduction of a legal basis in the Treaties for establishing a system of rules on criminal judicial proceedings for transnational fraud, and the appointment of a European Public Prosecutor.

G


Global grants:
Some development measures can form part of a programme implemented by an intermediate body (a local authority, regional development agency, NGO etc.). The body in question is designated by the Member State or regional authority in agreement with the European Commission.

I


Innovative actions:
To improve the quality of regional development strategies the Commission intends to support the latest ideas which have not yet been adequately exploited. They are expected to provide the regions with the scope for experimentation which they sometimes lack but need to meet the challenges of the information society and to make their economies more competitive.

The Commission has laid down three working topics for ERDF innovative actions in 2000-2006:

  • regional economies based on knowledge and technological innovation;
  • e-EuropeRegio: the information society at the service of regional development;
  • regional identity and sustainable development.

Other innovative actions are also planned for employment and training (financed by the ESF), and in the fisheries sector (financed by the FIFG).

With a budget of about €1 billion, representing 0.5% of the budget of the Structural Funds, the innovative actions programmes finance the drawing-up of new strategies and the experimental phase of projects. If the initial stage proves satisfactory, projects may then be included in the strategies under the different Objectives.

Interreg III:
This Community Initiative covers three types of cooperation: cross-border, transnational and interregional. Two texts with guidelines specify the features of the operations eligible for part-financing. In 1994-99, the Union financed the Recite Initiative concerning interregional cooperation involving at least three Member States of the European Union.

Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM):
To combat the deterioration of coastal areas, in September 2000 the Commission proposed a European strategy for the integrated management of these areas. The main aim of the proposal was to resolve the basic problems facing the coastline: the lack of information; inadequate local participation in projects being carried out in coastal areas; and, poor coordination among those responsible for spatial planning. As part of this strategy, which requires the participation of the Member States and all those concerned, the Commission undertook to bring Community policies into line with appropriate and coordinated management of coastal areas; to provide a network of services accessible to those responsible for management of the coast; to promote research into and promotion of coastal areas; and, to encourage initiatives at all administrative levels.

Instrument for Structural Programmes for pre-Accession (ISPA):
Like the Cohesion Fund, this instrument provides the countries which have applied for accession with part-financing for transport infrastructure projects to interconnect their networks and link with the trans-European network, as well as for environmental protection projects. It has funds amounting to EUR 1 040 million per year for the period from 2000 to the date of accession of each applicant country.

L


Leader:

A Community initiative for rural development under the Structural Funds. Leader offers assistance for the economic development of rural communities in the regions where structures are weakest. The main focus is on organizing rural development, helping people to gain new qualifications, promoting rural tourism, supporting small but innovative firms and promoting high-value farm products.

M


Managing authority:

It means any public or private authority or boday at national, regional or local level designated by the Member State, or the Member State when it is itself carrying out this function, to manage assistance from the Structural Funds. If the Member State designates a managing authority other than itself, it shall determine all the modalities of its relationship with the manging authority and of the latter's relationship with the Commission. If the Member State so decides, the managing authority may be the same body as the paying authority for the assistance concerned.

Mountain areas:
The Regulation12 on the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund defines mountain areas as follows:

  1. areas in which altitude gives rise to very difficult climatic conditions, the effect of which is substantially to shorten the growing season. (The minimum altitude is between 600 and 1000 m, depending on the Member State involved and the number of days on which the temperature does not fall below freezing);
  2. areas at a lower altitude in which the slopes are so steep (as a rule greater than 20%) that the use of machinery is not possible or the use of very expensive special equipment is required;
  3. areas which are characterised by both altitude and slopes and in which the combination of the two handicaps gives rise to a handicap equivalent to the two preceding handicaps taken separately;
  4. areas north of the 62nd parallel (Finland and Sweden) and certain adjacent areas are treated as mountain areas.

 

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