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European Code of Conduct on Partnership

In the 2014-2020 programming period, the partnership principle is strengthened: regional, local, and urban public authorities, trade unions, employers, NGOs, and other civil society bodies promoting issues such as social inclusion, gender equality, and non-discrimination are involved in all stages of the planning, implementation and monitoring of projects financed by the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF).

In order to make this process as fair and transparent as possible, the Common Provisions Regulation for the ESIF foresees the creation of a European Code of Conduct on Partnership. The Code of Conduct was adopted on 7 January 2014 and takes the form of a legally binding Commission Regulation.

In particular, Member States are required to:

• Be transparent in the selection of partners

• Provide sufficient information to partners and give them sufficient time to make their voice heard in the consultation process

• Ensure that partners are involved in all stages of the process, from planning to evaluation

• Support capacity building of partners

• Create platforms for mutual learning and exchange of good practice.