Adoption of the code of conduct on partnership for 2014-2020 programmes
The Commission adopted on 7January the Delegated Regulation on the European code of conduct on partnership, which lays down the conditions for involvement of partners in the preparation and implementation of 2014-2020 partnership agreements and programmes.
In accordance with article 5 of Regulation (EU) 1303/2013 (Common Provisions Regulation, “CPR”) the Commission shall set out a common set of standards to improve consultation, participation and dialogue with partners such as regional, local, urban and other public authorities, trade unions, employers, non-governmental organisations and bodies responsible for promoting social inclusion, gender equality and non-discrimination during the planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of projects financed by the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF).
The Code of Conduct, which takes the form of a legally-binding Commission Delegated Regulation, sets out objectives and criteria to ensure that Member States implement the partnership principle in line with the provisions of Article 5 of the CPR. This means that Member States are required to:
- ensure transparency in the selection of partners representing regional, local and other public authorities, social and economic partners and bodies representing the civil society, to be appointed as full members in the monitoring committees of the programmes;
- provide partners with adequate information and sufficient time as a prerequisite for a proper consultation process;
- ensure that partners must be effectively involved in all phases of the process, i.e. from the preparation and throughout the implementation, including monitoring and evaluation, of all programmes;
- support the capacity building of the partners for improving their competences and skills in view of their active involvement in the process
At the same time, the code of conduct leaves ample flexibility to Member States to organise the precise practical details for involving relevant partners in the different stages of the programming.
The Delegated Regulation on the code of conduct is accompanied by a Staff Working Document gathering examples of best practices as regards implementation of the partnership principle in the European Structural and Investment Funds' programmes.
This Delegated Regulation has not yet entered into force, as it is subject to the right of the European Parliament and of the Council to express objections within the deadline of two months from its adoption, in accordance with Article 290 (2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.