2007-2013 Closure Guidelines
The Commission adopted the 2007-2013 Closure Guidelines on 20 March 2013. The Guidelines provide a reference framework for the Member States in preparing for closure.
The Guidelines take into account the lessons learnt from the 2000-2006 closure process and seek to address weaknesses and bottlenecks identified in the previous closure exercise.
The Community Strategic Guidelines on Cohesion 2007-2013
COUNCIL DECISION of 6 October 2006 on Community strategic guidelines on cohesion (2006/702/EC)
Full text of the decision on Eur-Lex
The Community Strategic Guidelines contain the principles and priorities of cohesion policy and suggest ways the European regions can take full advantage of the € 308 billion that has been made available for national and regional aid programmes over the next seven years. National authorities will use the guidelines as the basis for drafting their national strategic priorities and planning for 2007-2013, the so called National Strategic Reference Frameworks (NSRFs). According to the guidelines and in line with the renewed Lisbon strategy, programmes co-financed through the cohesion policy should seek to target resources on the following three priorities:
- improving the attractiveness of Member States, regions and cities by improving accessibility, ensuring adequate quality and level of services, and preserving their environmental potential;
- encouraging innovation, entrepreneurship and the growth of the knowledge economy by research and innovation capacities, including new information and communication technologies; and
- creating more and better jobs by attracting more people into employment entrepreneurial activity, improving adaptability of workers and enterprises and increasing investment in human capital.
The Guidelines seek to provide a balance between the twin objectives of the growth and jobs agenda and territorial cohesion. Thus, it is recognised that there can be no question of a “one size fits all” approach to the new programmes.
Structural Funds: Guidelines on the principles, criteria and indicative scales to be applied by Commission departments in determining financial corrections
Guidelines for determining financial corrections to be made to expenditure cofinanced by the structural funds or the cohesion fund for non-compliance with the rules on public procurement
(Final version of 29/11/2007 - COCOF 07/0037/03-EN)
The purpose of financial corrections is to restore a situation where 100% of the expenditure declared for cofinancing from the Structural Funds is in line with the applicable national and EU rules and regulations.
Where irregularities are found, corrections must be made by cancelling the part of the funding that was ineligible and, if necessary, recovering any undue payment with interest. The main responsibility for financial corrections lies with the Member States. They make the financial corrections required by cancelling all or part of the Community contribution. The Commission is, however, kept directly informed of all the irregularities noted and of the progress in the administrative and financial proceedings undertaken. Where the Member States fail to comply with their obligations, the Commission may take action.
Corrections by the Commission are possible where the State does not make the necessary corrections and where there are serious deficiencies in the management and control systems. When the Commission makes corrections, the part of the Funds' contribution to the assistance concerned is withdrawn, and may not be reused for other operations in the programme. The financial correction may be limited to the irregularity detected, or extended by extrapolation or at flat rate if the irregularity results from a more general weakness in the management or control system. Financial corrections may also be imposed for irregularities which do not have an exact financial value, for example in the event of non-compliance with a particular provision of Community law.