Improving how funds are invested and managed

The Commission provides support to Member States in order to help them make the best possible use of the Cohesion Policy funding, and to address problems with implementation. This support has been reinforced for the 2014-2020 funding period.

‘Good Governance for EU Regional Policy’ - Series of events supporting administrative capacity building

The Commission is launching a series of virtual events related to administrative capacity building for Member States in cooperation with several international partners under the joint heading ‘Good Governance for EU Regional Policy

Boosting administrative capacity

The capacity of Member States to manage European Structural and Investment Funds effectively is one of the key factors contributing to the success of Cohesion Policy. The Commission helps to strengthen the administrative capacity of national and regional administrations, through improvements to structures, human resources, systems and tools. As well as investing in capacity to manage the Funds, Cohesion Policy funding in 2014-2020 supports efficient public administration more generally through funding for institutional capacity-building and reform.

TAIEX-REGIO PEER 2 PEER: exchanges of regional experts

The TAIEX-REGIO PEER 2 PEER expert exchange system is a tool to match needs with expertise in different countries. This demand-driven tool responds directly to specific requests by national or regional authorities managing the funds through expert missions, study visits and specific workshops.

Integrity Pacts

The Directorate General for Regional and Urban Policy of the European Commission is committed to look for and test new ways of safeguarding EU funds from the risks of mismanagement, fraud and corruption and increasing transparency in how the funds are used. As one of the initiatives in this field, we have launched a pilot project "Integrity Pacts - Civil Control Mechanism for Safeguarding EU Funds Against Fraud and Corruption".The project is implemented in co-operation with Transparency International and seeks to pilot Integrity Pacts in a number of projects co-financed by the EU Structural and Cohesion Funds in the Member States.

For more information about Integrity Pacts and the pilot project please visit here.

High Level Group monitoring simplification for beneficiaries of ESI Funds

The task of the group of experts is to advise the Commision with regard to simplification and reduction of administrative burden for beneficiaries of the European Structural and Investment (ESI) Funds.
High Level Group monitoring simplification for beneficiaries of ESI Funds

Simplified cost options

Simplified cost options (SCO) are one of the most important simplification measures to reduce administrative costs and burden. They are effective in reducing the error rate, as was recognised by the European Court of Auditors in its contribution to the High Level Group on Simplification. They facilitate access of small beneficiaries to the ESI Funds thanks to the simplification of the management process and allow organisations to focus more on the achievement of the objectives.
Simplified cost options

Lagging regions Initiative

The Commission will examine why regions with a low level of economic development or regions experiencing several years of negative GDP growth are lagging behind. For Cohesion Policy, which aims at reducing disparities between the levels of development between the regions of Europe, this trend is of particular concern.
Lagging regions Initiative

Training for experts on rules and regulations

The Commission provides training for the managing, certifying and audit authorities dealing with the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund and the Cohesion Fund. The training focuses on the key new elements in the EU cohesion policy legislative framework for 2014-2020 and is organised in two modules:

  • programming and implementation
  • financial management and control issues.

Memo: Improving how EU Member States and regions invest and manage EU Cohesion Policy funds (24 March 2015) bg cs da de el en es et fi fr hu it lt lv mt nl pl pt ro sk sl sv

Action plan on public procurement

The Commission's Action Plan on Public Procurement sets out a series of initiatives aimed at helping Member States to improve the performance of both administrations and beneficiaries in applying public procurement for EU investments during the 2014-2020 programming period.

Regio Communities of Practitioners

We are working together with Managing Authorities with the aim of shaping communities of practitioners working in Managing Authorities/Intermediate Bodies for exchange of practices and experiences. For this we have adopted more innovative ways of working, using a policy lab approach.
Regio Communities of Practitioners

Studies on the integration of new regulatory elements in the programming process

The purpose of these studies is to take stock of how the new regulatory elements of the reformed policy have been integrated into the programming process. In addition, the last study provides information on the scope of project sizes in the 2007-2013 period.
They provide evidence and an analytical basis for the debate on the design of the policy post 2020 and related impact assessments.
Studies on the integration of new regulatory elements in the programming process


ARACHNE is an integrated IT tool for data mining and data enrichment developed by the European Commission. Its objective is to support managing authorities in their administrative controls and management checks in the area of Structural Funds (European Social Fund and European Regional Development Fund).
Arachne Risk Scoring Tool

EU Competency framework for management and implementation of the ERDF and Cohesion Fund

The Commission is making available an EU Competency Framework and an accompanying Self-Assessment Tool for national coordinating bodies, managing, certifying and audit authorities, joint secretariats and intermediate bodies. These instruments will support administrations in their efforts to improve their administrative capacity for management of the funds by helping them to identify and address potential competency gaps.
EU Competency framework for management and implementation of the ERDF and Cohesion Fund

Frontloading administrative capacity building for post-2020

Managing Authorities are invited to apply for a Commission pilot project “Frontloading administrative capacity building”. If selected, they can benefit from tailored EU advisory support in developing their administrative capacity to be ready for the post-2020 period. The advisory support will be provided in close cooperation with the OECD.

Next steps:

Managing Authorities can apply until 9 April 2018. The results of the call will be published in late April. For further details see the call for expression of interest.
Frontloading administrative capacity building for post-2020 en

Roadmaps for Administrative Capacity Building - Practical toolkit

This practical toolkit aims to provide inspiration for Member State administrations seeking to develop roadmaps for building their own administrative capacities in order to facilitate programme implementation and to encourage good practices.
A practical toolkit for preparing Roadmaps for Administrative Capacity Building en

Citizens’ participation in cohesion policy

Citizens’ participation increases trust, the quality of public policies, and the spending of related budget. Several Commission initiatives support local authorities to promote civil society and youth participation in EU cohesion policy funds management.
Citizens’ participation in cohesion policy en