Procurement or grant award procedures for projects financed under EU external aid programmes vary according to the different arrangements for managing the project (referred to as ‘management modes’).
They are different ways to implement the EU budget or the EDF funds, depending on the variable level of implication of the European Commission in its implementation. This is attained through the delegation of a number of budget implementation tasks (such as conclusion of contracts, their operational and financial management, audit, evaluation, etc.).
The EU Financial Regulation and its Rules of Application in force since 01/01/2013 introduced important changes in the existing management modes. The changes entered into force on 01/01/2014. From the entry into force of the Financial Regulation for the Bridging Facility (amended 10th EDF FR) and 11th EDF, they will also be applicable to the European Development Fund.
The former management modes (centralised, decentralised, joint and shared) have been streamlined to just three.
- Direct management:
The European Commission is in charge of all EU budget implementation tasks, which are performed directly by its departments either at headquarters or in the EU delegations or through European executive agencies. Therefore, the European Commission or the European executive agency is the contracting authority and takes decisions on behalf and for the account of the partner countries
- Indirect management:
Under indirect management, the European Commission entrusts budget implementation tasks to:
- partner countries (or to bodies designated by them)
- international organisations
- development agencies of EU Member States
- other bodies.
- Shared management:
The European Commission delegates implementation tasks to the EU Member States. This mode is rarely used in the implementation of external actions, but there are a few cases such as joint operational programmes on cross-border cooperation implemented by a joint managing authority (for instance under the European Neighbourhood Instrument, ENI, or the Pre-accession Assistance, IPA II).
For more details on the various management modes, please consult the PRAG Guide.