Given the scale of the EU cohesion policy budget (€ 351.8 billion in the period 2014-2020), it is essential to make potential beneficiaries aware of existing funding opportunities and to communicate to citizens the results of these investments.
Moreover, public funds must be managed in the most transparent way in order to be open for public scrutiny. Member States must therefore provide regular and complete information about available investment opportunities and programmes, and they must publish information about projects and beneficiaries.
The information and communication rules for the European Union's cohesion policy are defined here:
- European Parliament and European Council Regulation No 1303/2013 of 17 December 2013. Provisions relating to information and communication can be found under Articles 115-117 and Annex XII.
Briefly, the main information and communication requirements for cohesion policy are:
Member States and managing authorities are responsible for:
- Drawing up a communication strategy for each operational programme;
- Establishing a single website or portal providing information on all operational programmes in that country;
- Informing potential beneficiaries about funding opportunities;
- Publicising the achievements of cohesion policy to citizens;
- Organising a programme launch event;
- Carrying out one major annual information activity;
- Publishing the list of operations (projects & beneficiaries), (to be updated every six months).
Project beneficiaries are responsible for:
- Setting up billboards and permanent plaques on infrastructure project sites with a public contribution amounting to more than € 500 000.
- These shall include the EU flag, as well as references to the EU and the relevant fund(s).
- Beneficiaries with an existing website must acknowledge the EU support received on this website.
It is the responsibility of the managing authority of a given programme to ensure that beneficiaries are made aware of their responsibilities. The managing authority must also monitor compliance with these rules and fulfil its own communication responsibilities.
Information on logos and the EU emblem:
The technical characteristics of information and communication measures for the operation and instructions for creating the emblem and a definition of the standard colours are defined in an implementing act. Find more information on the use of the EU emblem.