About the call
On 30 June 2021, the Commission launched a new call within the Technical Support Instrument (TSI) 2022 cycle. The aim of this call is to provide Member States with technical support for the design or implementation of reform projects in 2022. In particular, Member States can submit requests for technical support in a broad range of areas, such as green and digital transition, diversity, public and private finance, migration, business environment, health and education. Member States can also request technical support for the implementation of their Recovery and Resilience Plans (RRPs).
Under the TSI 2022 call, Member States will be able to submit one or more “traditional” requests for technical support and/or opt for one or more “flagship technical support projects”.
Flagship projects are projects that are proactively proposed by the Commission to Member States – which can freely decide to opt for or not. Flagship projects are designed in a way to support reforms which are largely needed across Member States and which are linked to top EU priorities the Member States are in the process of implementing. As such, the flagship projects aim at supporting Member States in achieving resilience and growth enhancing reforms
Under the TSI 2022 call, Member States will also have the opportunity of submitting multi-country requests, that is to say they will be able to submit requests for technical support which they have discussed or developed in collaboration with one or more authorities of another Member State(s). Multi-country requests are optional, and come in addition to the individual requests for technical support. Multi-country requests are not limited to neighboring Member States only but could also concern entire regions of the Union as well as Member States in different regions.
Timing and process
Member States can submit their requests for technical support through their national coordinating authorities until 31 October 2021. Once submitted by the deadline of 31 October 2021, all requests will be analysed and assessed by DG REFORM in collaboration with other Commission’s services in accordance with the criteria set out in the TSI Regulation and the principles of sound financial management. Preliminary selection results are expected to be communicated to Member States in January 2022 whereas the final decision will be made by the Commission around March 2022. Selected projects will start being implemented from April 2022.
Member States’ coordinating authorities can submit their requests for technical support through the Commission’s IT portal for request submission. Access to this portal is granted by DG REFORM. Both national coordinating authorities and beneficiary authorities can access the portal but only coordinating authorities can submit requests for technical support to the Commission.
The templates for the 13 flagship projects are available here.
Frequently asked questions
1. What is the TSI?
The TSI is the Commission’s main instrument to support reforms in EU Member States. It is part of the MFF 2021-2027 and of the Recovery Plan for Europe. The TSI has the general objective to promote the Union’s economic, social and territorial cohesion by supporting Member States’ efforts to implement reforms.
The TSI builds on the success of its predecessor, the Structural Reform Support Programme (SRSP). Through the SRSP, the Commission has since 2017 provided technical support to all 27 Member States with more than 1000 technical support projects in a broad range of policy areas. The SRSP operated with a budget of EUR 222.8 million for the period of 2017-2020. The TSI has an increased budget and an extended duration that matches the duration of the MFF (EUR 864 million for 7 years).
The European Commission Directorate General for Structural Reform Support (DG REFORM) is responsible for managing the TSI.
2. What type of reforms are eligible under the TSI?
The TSI provides support for the design, development and implementation of reforms in a broad range of areas. The scope of the TSI is set out in Article 5 of the TSI Regulation. Support focuses in particular on one or more of the following areas:
- Public financial management, tax policies and revenue administration
- Governance, public administration and rule of law
- Business environment, growth, trade and investments
- Labour market, education and social services
- Healthcare, welfare and childcare
- Green and digital policies
- Financial sector and access to finance
- Data and statistics
- Preparation for membership of the euro area
- Public health, security risks, service continuity
Through the TSI, the Commission can also assist Member States in improving their capacity to prepare, amend, implement and revise their Recovery and Resilience Plans (RRPs), which are necessary to access financing from the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF). The eligible actions for technical support are set out in Article 8 of the TSI Regulation, such as the provision of expertise related to policy advice, policy change, formulation of strategies and reform roadmaps, as well as to legislative, institutional, structural and administrative reforms.
3. How does the reform support work in practice?
The support can cover all stages of reforms, from the initial design and conceptualization phase, until the implementation, change management and evaluation phase, as necessary. By way of example, support can take the form of strategic or technical advice, studies assessing reform needs or options in specific areas, training or in-country missions by experts.
The reform support delivered through the TSI:
- starts with a request from the Member State. The Member State’s ownership and engagement is key for the success of reforms.
- is tailor-made to each case and each country.
- brings to the country a unique combination of expertise. The Commission matches the best mix of expertise to the needs.
- is hands-on and concrete in delivery. The Commission enters into a dialogue with the Member State on the request for support to understand the reform need in detail, and how to best deploy the most relevant support in the swiftest possible way.
- strengthens the institutional and administrative capacity of a EU Member State to (i) design and implement reforms, (ii) facilitate the green and digital transition, (iii) address challenges identified in the European Semester, or (iv) apply EU law.
The criteria used to analyse the technical support requests are set out in the TSI Regulation:
- Urgency, breadth and depth of the challenges identified;
- Support needs in respect of the policy areas concerned;
- Analysis of socioeconomic indicators, as well as institutional and general administrative capacity of the requesting Member State.
In addition, a number of other elements are taken into account in the assessment, including:
- The principles of transparency, equal treatment and sound financial management;
- Prioritisation by the Member State.
5. The support under the TSI is provided to “a public body in a Member State”. How do you define “a public body”? What about state owned companies or associations that have public duties?
The support under the TSI is provided to national authorities. National authorities are defined in Article 2 of the TSI Regulation. They comprise public authorities at the level of government, including those at regional and local level, as well as Member State organisations within the meaning of point (42) of Article 2 of the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the Union. In accordance with the Financial Regulation Member State organisations are entities established in a Member State as a public law body, or as a body governed by private law entrusted with a public service mission and provided with adequate financial guarantees from the Member State.
6. Are regions eligible for requesting and receiving support under the TSI?
In accordance with the TSI Regulation, national authorities, comprising inter alia public authorities at the level of government, including those at regional and local level, may benefit from technical support under the TSI.
7. Can the private sector be the provider of technical support measures?
DG REFORM implements measures of technical support to the Member States, in accordance with the provisions of the Financial Regulation. The best expertise for each technical support project may be provided either directly by the Commission through in-house expertise or by external providers. External providers can be experts from EU Member States’ national administrations, international organisations, private entities, individual experts from the private sector.
8. Can a TSI project support the technological implementation (e.g. software development) of another TSI project?
In accordance with letter f) of Article 8 of the TSI Regulation, eligible actions for technical support include “IT capacity building, including expertise related to development, maintenance, operation and quality control of the IT infrastructure and applications needed to implement the relevant reforms, cybersecurity, open source software and hardware solutions, data protection solutions as well as expertise related to programmes geared towards the digitalisation of public services, in particular in services such as healthcare, education or the judiciary”.
Flagship technical support projects
9. What are Flagship technical support projects?
The Flagship technical support projects are proposed projects on pre-defined topics, corresponding to identified widespread needs across numerous Member States, while also falling under Union priority areas. Flagship technical support projects are designed in a way that can easily be fitted to various national contexts. Flagship technical support projects can also lead to multi-country projects.
Flagship technical support projects are a way to help Member States implement key initiatives in areas where the Commission has identified a need, including support for the implementation of the RRPs with a particular focus on the green and digital transitions. The submission of requests related to Flagship technical support projects is voluntary in line with the on-demand nature of support under the TSI.
Our experience showed that Member States value DG REFORM support in identifying the technical support needed to help them reach their reform objectives. For the TSI 2022 round, we are proposing 13 Flagship technical support projects.
Additional information on each of the 13 Flagships can be found here.
10. Are Flagship technical support projects identical or aligned to the European Flagship areas referred to in the RRF guidance (as regards the green and other EU priorities)?
The concept of Flagship technical support projects is specific to the TSI. As such, the Flagship technical support projects are not identical to the European Flagship areas included in the Annual Sustainable Growth Strategy 2021 and referenced in the RRF guidance, however they may cover topics falling within the European Flagship areas (e.g. recharge and refuel). Flagship technical support projects may be requested individually by different Member States or jointly as a multi-country project. Submission of requests related to Flagship technical support projects remains voluntary.
11. What is the estimated percentage budget allocation for the Flagship technical support projects?
No dedicated budget is allocated to Flagship technical support projects in line with the on-demand nature of support under the TSI. The submission of requests related to Flagship technical support projects is voluntary. All requests submitted will be assessed in line with the TSI Regulation criteria.
12. Who can access to this Flagship technical support? Is it addressed only to national authorities or also regional?
In accordance with the TSI Regulation, national authorities, comprising inter alia public authorities at the level of government, including those at regional and local level, may benefit from technical support under the TSI (also under flagship technical support projects). Requests for technical support are submitted through National Coordinating Authorities.
13. Where can I find more information about Flagship technical support projects?
All information regarding the scope of each of the 13 Flagship technical support projects as well as the proposed measures covered can be found here.
14. How can Member States prepare a request for technical support related to a Flagship technical support project? Is there specific assistance in the design of the request?
Requests related to Flagship technical support projects are prepared in the same manner as the general requests under TSI 2022. To facilitate the submission of requests related to Flagship technical support projects, a partially pre-filled template will be provided and shared with all National Coordinating Authorities (NCAs) for each of the 13 Flagships. This information will also be available in the dedicated section on the DG REFORM website.
Like in previous rounds, DG REFORM will provide guidelines for filling in the required information, including on the Flagship technical support projects partially pre-filled templates. It will also continue supporting all Member States in the design of their requests (whether they relate to a Flagship technical support project or not), looking at the country- specific needs and the options to support the design and implementation of the reforms.
15. Will Flagship technical support projects and projects with a link to RRPs have priority over other projects in the 2022 round?
The normal selection process will apply to both the general requests and the requests related to Flagship technical support projects submitted by the Member States. All requests submitted by Member States, irrespective of whether they are related to a Flagship technical support project or not, will be analysed in accordance with the criteria set in the TSI Regulation (urgency, breadth and depth of the challenges, support needs, administrative capacity of the MSs etc.).
16. What is a multi-country project?
A multi-country project is a technical support project that is relevant or common to more than one Member State as it belongs to the same policy area and addresses the same challenges/needs for technical support.
Multi-country requests can be submitted by one Member State on behalf of more Member States or simply refer to similar or same requests for technical support submitted by more than one Member State in parallel. Multi-country projects can also be submitted as Flagship technical support projects.
Multi-country projects can involve not only neighbouring Member States but any EU Member State.
17. Is the multi-country dimension of requests an additional criterion for project selection? Do these projects have a different priority?
The Commission assesses all requests for technical support based on the criteria set forth in the TSI Regulation.
Upcoming TSI 2022 call
18. Will the TSI 2022 cycle support the implementation of reforms as per the Recovery and Resilience Plans (RRPs)?
Member States can submit requests for technical support related to the implementation of their RRPs under the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) under the TSI 2022 call. The deadline for submitting requests for support to the Commission will be the 31st October 2022
19. Will the scope of the next TSI requests have to be limited to what has been set forth in the national Recovery and Resilience Plan and/or in the European Semester’s country-specific recommendations?
Requests for technical support under the general TSI call may concern a broad range of circumstances (see Article 9(3) of the TSI Regulation), which do include, without being limited to, circumstances linked to the implementation of Recovery and Resilience Plans under the Recovery and Resilience Facility and the implementation of reforms in the context of the economic governance process (e.g. country-specific recommendations). In addition to these, Member States may request technical support linked to other circumstances, such as the implementation of economic adjustment programmes, implementation of Union priorities (e.g. CMU, Energy Union, Customs Union), implementation of Union law (e.g. infringements), as well as implementation of Member States’ own reform priorities supporting recovery, sustainable economic growth, and job creation and enhancing resilience.
It is noted that in accordance with the TSI Regulation, in addition to the general call, the Commission may organise additional dedicated calls for requests in response to specific emerging needs of Member States, linked to particular circumstances.
20. Where can I find the TSI video and the presentations shown at the TSI Annual Conference?
You can find the TSI video on the webpage of the TSI Annual Conference. On the same page, you can also find the presentation on the main features and novelties of TSI 2022 as well as additional materials on Flagship technical support projects.
21. Where can I find the contacts of the Coordinating Authorities?
A contact list of all Coordinating Authorities will be made available to all Coordinating Authorities as soon as everyone has agreed on disclosing their contact details. Furthermore, the Commission will soon share a virtual community tool with all Coordinating Authorities in order to facilitate inter-country communication, exchange of views and collaboration.
22. Where can I find a complete list of all TSI projects carried out in my Member State?
23. Where can I find the request template for the upcoming TSI call?
You can download the request template for the upcoming TSI call here.
24. Where can I find the Staff Working Document on how to help public administrations deliver reforms, which was mentioned during the Annual Conference?
You can know more about supporting public administrations in EU Member States to deliver reforms and prepare for the future and download the related Commission’s Staff Working Document here.
Regulation (EU) 2021/240 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 10 February 2021 establishing a Technical Support Instrument, OJ L 57, 18.2.2021, p. 1 – 16. ↑
Regulation (EU, Euratom) 2018/1046 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 July 2018 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union, amending Regulations (EU) No 1296/2013, (EU) No 1301/2013, (EU) No 1303/2013, (EU) No 1304/2013, (EU) No 1309/2013, (EU) No 1316/2013, (EU) No 223/2014, (EU) No 283/2014, and Decision No 541/2014/EU and repealing Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012, OJ L 193, 30.07.2018, p. 1. ↑