Category Archives: Management of Regional Policy

THEMATIC APPROACH
National regional aid and regional policy
Guidelines on national regional aid for 2007-2013
National regional investment aid
Services of general interest
Reform of the EU State aid rules on Services of General Economic Interest
EU framework for state aid in the form of public service compensation
Green Paper on Services of General InterestArchives
White Paper on services of general interest
Social services of general interest
Regional solidarity in the context of enlargement
Management of structural policies
Eligibility of expenditure of operations part-financed by the Structural FundsArchives
Making financial correctionsArchives
Allocation of the performance reserve
Improving information on assistance from the Structural Funds
Management and control systems for assistance granted under the Structural Funds
Simplification, clarification, coordination and flexible management of the structural policies
Tripartite contracts and agreements

Trans-european networks

Trans-european networks

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Trans-european networks

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Regional policy > Management of regional policy > Trans-european networks

Trans-european networks

TRANSPORT

  • EU guidelines for the development of the trans-European transport network
  • Interoperability of the rail system within the EU
  • Community financial aid to trans-European networks
  • Interoperability of the trans-European high-speed rail system
  • Interoperability of the conventional rail system
  • Connecting the infrastructure network
  • Satellite navigation: Galileo

ENERGY

  • Trans-European energy networks

TELECOMMUNICATIONS

  • Guidelines for trans-European telecommunications networks

Guidelines for trans-European telecommunications networks

Guidelines for trans-European telecommunications networks

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Guidelines for trans-European telecommunications networks

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Regional policy > Management of regional policy > Trans-european networks

Guidelines for trans-European telecommunications networks

Document or Iniciative

Decision No 1336/97/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 June 1997 on a series of guidelines for trans-European telecommunications networks [Official Journal L 183 of 11.07.1997]. [See amending acts].

Summary

In this Decision, the European Parliament and the Council establish guidelines covering the objectives, priorities and broad lines of action proposed for trans-European networks. These guidelines set out the areas selected for projects of common interest and establish a procedure for the identification of specific projects of common interest in these areas.

The following priorities are established for the achievement of the objectives set out in point 1 above:

  • study and validation of technical and commercial feasibility, followed by the deployment of applications supporting the development of a European information society, in particular applications of collective interest;
  • study and validation of feasibility, followed by the deployment of applications contributing to economic and social cohesion, by improving access to information across the whole Union, building on European cultural diversity;
  • stimulation of trans-boundary interregional initiatives and of initiatives involving regions, in particular the less favoured ones, for the launch of trans-European telecommunications services and applications;
  • study and validation of feasibility, followed by the deployment of applications and services contributing to the strengthening of the internal market and job creation, in particular those offering to SMEs means to improve their competitiveness in the Community and at world level;
  • identification, study and validation of technical and commercial feasibility, followed by the deployment of trans-European generic services providing seamless access to all kinds of information, including in rural and peripheral areas, and interoperable with equivalent services at world level;
  • study and validation of the feasibility of new integrated broadband communication (IBC) networks, where required for such applications and services, and the promotion of such networks;
  • identification and removal of gaps and missing links for effective interconnection and interoperability of all components of telecommunications networks in Europe and at world level, with particular emphasis on IBC networks.

The broad lines of measures to be implemented for achieving the objectives defined in point 1 will cover:

  • identification of projects of common interest by the establishment of a work programme;
  • action aiming at increasing the awareness of citizens, economic operators and administrations about the benefits they can draw from the new advanced trans-European telecommunications services and applications;
  • action aiming at the stimulation of combined initiatives from users and providers for the launch of projects in the field of trans-European telecommunications networks, in particular IBC networks;
  • support, within the framework of the methods laid down by the Treaty, for action to study and validate the feasibility, followed by the deployment, of applications, in particular applications of collective interest, and encouragement of the establishment of public/private collaboration, in particular through partnerships;
  • stimulation of the supply and use of services and applications for SMEs and professional users;
  • promotion of the interconnectivity of networks, the interoperability of broadband services and applications and the infrastructure they require, in particular for multimedia applications, and interoperability between existing services and applications and their broadband counterparts.

The projects designated are eligible for Community support in accordance with the provisions of the Council Regulation laying down general rules for the granting of Community financial aid in the field of trans-European networks.

Member States shall take all measures required at national, regional or local level to facilitate and accelerate the implementation of the projects of common interest in accordance with Community rules.

The Commission shall report every three years on the application of this Decision to the European Parliament, the Council, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions.

Annex 1 to the Decision defines the three-layer model which is the most appropriate way of describing trans-European telecommunications networks:

  • The “applications” level caters for user needs, taking into account cultural and linguistic differences and, in particular, the accessibility requirements of disabled people. These applications also seek to cater for the specific needs of less developed or less populated regions.
    The areas concerned are the following: a) e-government and e-administration: (e.g. e-procurement activities, personal security, environment and tourism, business support for SMEs and participation in the democratic decision-making process); b) improved access to health services and improvements in the quality of care (e.g. networking of health care institutions, actions on disease prevention and health promotion); c) education and culture (e.g. new ways of presenting educational and cultural information, life-long learning and participation of older people and people with disabilities in the information society).
  • The “generic services” level provides common tools for the development and implementation of new applications based on interoperable standards.
    The areas concerned are the following: a) the mobile services (e.g. for the 2.5-3G mobile networks: guidance and navigation, security, invoicing, emergency services, health, teleworking, learning and culture); b) services in the public interest aimed at all aspects of security (e.g. networking of the national CERT systems).
  • The “interconnection and interoperability of networks” level promotes the interconnection, interoperability and security of networks underpinning the operation of specific public interest applications and services.

The Community is taking additional back-up and coordinating measures with a view to creating the appropriate environment for the realisation of these projects. The actions will contribute to programme awareness, and to consensus development centred on European, national, regional and local activities designed to stimulate and promote the new services and applications. They will necessitate consultation with European standardisation and planning bodies, involving essentially:

  • strategic studies on the formulation of target specifications and the transition towards their application, in order to help players in the sector to make sound economic investment decisions;
  • definition of means of accessing broadband networks;
  • establishment of common specifications based on European and world standards;
  • intensification of public and private partnerships (PPP);
  • coordination of these activities with related Community and national programmes.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision 1336/97/EC 31.7.1997 OJ L of 11.7.1997
Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision No 1375/2002/EC 19.8.2002 OJ L 200 of 30.7.2002

Connecting the infrastructure network

Connecting the infrastructure network

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Connecting the infrastructure network

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Regional policy > Management of regional policy > Trans-european networks

Connecting the infrastructure network

To promote a pan-European transport networks partnership for co-ordinated transport planning, studying regulatory measures and facilitating financial arrangements.

2) Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission on connecting the Union´s transport infrastructure network to its neighbours: Towards a co-operative pan-European transport network policy [COM (97) 172 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

3) Summary

The Commission advocates a comprehensive approach to the pan-European network. It envisages a partnership on a European scale, the goal being the creation of a multimodal transport network across the European continent as a whole. Such a partnership should be based on the instruments available, and considered from three viewpoints:

  • the required investment volumes and their financing;
  • the regulatory and institutional framework;
  • an action plan to launch such a partnership.

As regards the required investment volumes and their financing, the Commission emphasises the outlay that will have to be provided in the candidate countries for accession, who are going to see an increase in the volume of trade and tourism.

Similarly, the new Member States, showing some readiness to open part of their infrastructure for pan-European transport corridors and areas, will be confronted with traffic growth which will create bottlenecks. Financial support for investments will therefore be necessary to cope with this.

Infrastructure investments are funded by national budgets and a variety of Community programmes. However, the rules in the INTERREG, TEN, PHARE, TACIS and MEDA budget lines are all different. It would therefore be a major step forward if a co-ordinated approach could be envisaged which could cover all pan-European transport corridors and areas. Such an approach would fit within a broader framework of co-ordination with the international financial institutions (IFIs).

In relation to the regulatory and institutional framework, the Commission would like to make coherent use of existing agreements and protocols (the Europe Agreements with the CECs, the Euro-Mediterranean Agreements and bilateral transport agreements with several States). It also intends to build on bodies already active, such as the European Conference of Ministers of Transport (ECMT) and the G24 Transport Working Group.

The communication presents an action plan for a pan-European transport networks partnership. It comprises five themes relating to co-ordinated transport planning:

  • pan-European transport corridors and areas are a long-term planning tool and a priority for investment;
  • the Trans-European Network approach must be extended to new Union members;
  • a common approach to the use of transport technology must be developed;
  • the following priorities were set by the Commission to promote the intelligent use of transport networks:
    – in the framework of G24, to launch the necessary work on GNSS with a view to extending its coverage to all neighbouring countries;
    – to promote the idea of an interoperable Control Command system on the pan-European rail transport corridors and areas;
    – to implement a coherent vessel surveillance system in all European waters;
    – to promote the standardisation of road traffic management systems beyond the Union´s borders;
    – to improve Air Traffic Management throughout the European Continent.
  • pan-European co-operation in R&D must be emphasised.

On finance, the Commission will initiate the necessary measures to ensure horizontal co-ordination and compatibility amongst the various budget instruments for transport networks investment. The Commission strongly recommends that support from national funds and programmes, and from the IFIs, should principally be given to infrastructure and network projects which contribute to implementing the pan-European transport corridors and areas.

Interoperability of the rail system within the EU

Interoperability of the rail system within the EU

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Interoperability of the rail system within the EU

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Regional policy > Management of regional policy > Trans-european networks

Interoperability of the rail system within the EU

Document or Iniciative

Directive 2008/57/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 June 2008 on the interoperability of the rail system within the Community (Text with EEA relevance).

Summary

This directive establishes the conditions to be fulfilled to achieve interoperability * within the EU rail system at the design, construction, placing into service, upgrading, renewal, operation and maintenance stages. Its provisions comply with Directive 2004/45/EC on railway safety and the health and safety of workers.

The gradual implementation of interoperability of the rail system is pursued through the harmonisation of technical standards. Thus this directive covers:

  • essential requirements with regard to safety, reliability, human health, environmental protection, technical compatibility and operation of the system (Annex III);
  • the technical specifications for interoperability (TSIs) adopted for each subsystem or part of subsystem pursuant to this directive;
  • the corresponding European specifications.

The railway network * is broken down into subsystems of a structural nature (energy, control-command and signalling, rolling stock) or functional (operation and traffic management, maintenance and telematics applications). European Union (EU) countries may request that the Commission grant derogations and the Commission may decide to exclude certain measures from the scope of the directive for specific cases and for a set period *.

TSI projects shall be prepared by the European railway agency which will examine the subsystems in consultation with associations and the social partners. Next, the projects shall be submitted to the European Commission which will modify and adopt them, having regard to the right of scrutiny of the Parliament.

Interoperability constituents
* shall be subject to European specifications (such as European standards). They shall be subject to the procedure for “EC” declaration of conformity or suitability for use.

Authorisations for placing in service of vehicles shall be granted by the national safety authorities responsible for each network.

Context

This Directive is a recast of Directive 2001/16/EC applicable to the conventional rail system and Directive 96/48/EC on the trans-European high-speed rail system.

The pursuit of technical harmonisation aims at developing transport services in the EU and with third countries. It facilitates the integration of the market in equipment and services for the construction, renewal and operation of the rail system.

Key terms used in the Act
  • Interoperability: the ability of a rail system to allow the safe and uninterrupted movement of trains which accomplish the required levels of performance for these lines. This ability depends on all the regulatory, technical and operational conditions which must be met in order to satisfy the essential requirements.
  • Network: the lines, stations, terminals, and all kinds of fixed equipment needed to ensure safe and continuous operation of the rail system.
  • Specific case: any part of the rail system which needs special provisions in the TSIs (temporary or definitive) because of geographical, topographical or urban environment constraints or those affecting compatibility with the existing system. This may include in particular railway lines and networks isolated from the rest of the Community, the loading gauge, the track gauge or space between the tracks and vehicles strictly intended for local, regional or historical use, as well as vehicles originating from or destined for third countries.
  • Interoperability constituents: any elementary component, group of components, subassembly or complete assembly of equipment incorporated or intended to be incorporated into a subsystem. The concept covers both tangible objects and intangible objects (such as software).

References

Act Entry into force Transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Directive 2008/57/EC

19.7.2008

19.7.2010

OJ L 191 of 18.7.2008

Subsequent amendments and corrections to Directive 2008/57/EC have been incorporated into the basic text. This consolidated version is for reference purposes only.

Related Acts

Commission Regulation (EU) No 201/2011 of 1 March 2011 on the model of declaration of conformity to an authorised type of railway vehicle [Official Journal L 57 of 2.3.2011].

Commission Decision 2009/107/EC of 23 January 2009 amending Decisions 2006/861/EC and 2006/920/EC concerning technical specifications of interoperability relating to subsystems of the trans-European conventional rail system [notified under number C(2009) 38] (Text with EEA relevance) [Official Journal L 45 of 14.2.2009].

Simplification, clarification, coordination and flexible management of the structural policies

Simplification, clarification, coordination and flexible management of the structural policies

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Simplification, clarification, coordination and flexible management of the structural policies

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Regional policy > Management of regional policy

Simplification, clarification, coordination and flexible management of the structural policies

1) Objective

To make it easier to manage the Structural Funds in order to speed up the utilisation of appropriations.

2) Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission on the simplification, clarification, coordination and flexible management of the structural policies 2000-2006 [C(2003) 1255 – Not published in the Official Journal].

3) Summary

The Commission and the Member States have embarked on an exercise to simplify the procedures for managing the Structural Funds with a view to speeding up the utilisation of appropriations. This simplification exercise is in line with the provisions in place on the Structural Funds which do not need to be amended. The simplification measures relate to ten separate areas. They concern the preparation of the programmes of the future Member States during the next programming period.

Ten areas are affected:

  • adjusting the programmes;
  • controls;
  • mid-term review;
  • reports;
  • result and impact indicators;
  • performance reserve;
  • the annual meeting between the Commission and the managing authorities;
  • the Commission’s role in the monitoring committee;
  • financial management;
  • speeding up the Commission’s internal procedures.

MEASURES WHICH HAVE BEEN AGREED AND CAN BE IMPLEMENTED IMMEDIATELY

Adjusting the programmes

The adjustment of the programmes is possible in the interests of sound management, including financial management. In this case, it involves either adjusting the programme complement alone (the document giving details of the measures announced in the programme documents), or amending the decisions by which the programmes were approved.

Adjusting only the programme complement is possible where:

  • the content and financial allocation (Community and national contributions) of the measures have changed without retroactive effect;
  • the breakdown of public funding between national/federal, regional and local levels has changed;
  • the breakdown of public/private funding in a national co-financing arrangement is adjusted, by, for example, the inclusion of a completely new private contribution.

The approval decisions may need to be amended in order to improve the management process. Any automatic decommitments resulting from the application of the “n+2” rule are also covered here.

Significant changes in the socio-economic situation can also result in the adjustment of the programmes. An exceptional situation, such as the floods in central Europe in 2002, requires the development strategy to be revised and operations to be redirected at areas where assistance is required most urgently.

Controls

The Commission must publish a report setting out a comparative analysis of national systems of financial management and control which identifies best practice.

Regulation (EC) No 438/2001 on the management and control systems for assistance granted under the Structural Funds was amended at the end of 2002. It now includes very clear rules on storing documents.

New measures will be introduced to ensure that controls can be coordinated more effectively. As of 2003, the Commission will publish its audit programme for the Structural Funds on the CIRCA site each year. Ad hoc or unannounced audit visits will still be possible. The Commission will also update the Structural Funds Audit Manual. Once the Commission is able to rely on the audit work of national bodies, it will have enough leeway to limit its own on-the-spot audit activity. The Member States will be encouraged to draw up their audit programmes before the start of the next calendar year and to submit them to the Commission in order to avoid duplication of effort. From 2004, they will have access to SYSAUDIT — the database containing all the audits of the Community and national bodies. The Court of Auditors will also be asked to take part, the ultimate objective being, to adopt a properly coordinated strategy.

The mid-term review

At the end of August 2003, the Commission published its revised guidelines for the programmes for 2000-2006. These guidelines will not result in a renegotiation of the assistance provided.

The annual meeting in autumn 2003 between the Commission and the management authorities should provide an opportunity to discuss a possible mid-term review of the programmes. Where appropriate the Monitoring Committee, at its first meeting in 2004, will discuss and approve an amended programme complement and will adopt a formal proposal for adjusting the assistance. The Committee will, within two weeks, send the Commission the new programme complement (for information) and the formal proposal for adjusting the assistance (for adoption). In April 2004, the Member State and the Commission will have to reach an agreement. In accordance with the flexibility clause, the Commission’s decision will not depend on the opinion of the expert committees. Where possible, the Commission will take a decision within two months of receiving the request for an adjustment.

Reports

In order to reduce the large number of reports, the Member State will be able to incorporate the annual control report into the “controls” chapter of the single annual report. The information contained in the report will be limited to the monitoring, control and evaluation of action taken and to the measures introduced to deal with the problems encountered.

Result and impact indicators

In partnership with the Member States, the Commission will examine the indicators used to monitor and evaluate assistance, particular in the case of multifund programmes. In order to reduce the administrative burden, the Commission proposes using financial indicators in real time and implementation and result indicators annually. It is also proposed that (mid-term and final) evaluation be used for calculations involving the impact indicators.

Performance reserve

The Member States will seek to put in place a simplified system of indicators with a view to allocating the performance reserve. Between eight and twelve representative indicators is appropriate.

A single decision will be taken with regard to the performance reserve and the revision of the programmes at the mid-term point.

Annual meeting between the Commission and the managing authorities

As regards the management of the Structural Funds, the “managing authority” is the public or private body, at national, regional or local level (or the Member State itself when it performs this function) which manages assistance. The “monitoring committee” for a particular programme is a body for monitoring assistance which brings together all the partners: the administrative authorities and those involved in the economic, social and environmental spheres. The Commission will play an advisory role in this regard.

The annual meeting between the Commission and the managing authorities is more political in nature than the meetings of the monitoring committee. At the annual meeting, the Commission will be represented at a more senior level than in the monitoring committee. Every effort should be made to prevent potential duplication between the Commission’s annual control meeting with the Member State and the annual review. In the case of the programmes which function most effectively, the annual meeting could be replaced by an exchange of letters covering the implementation of the operations. Given that 500 programmes will be implemented during the 2000-2006 period, the Commission is planning to organise annual meetings as videoconferences in the interests of economy.

The Commission’s role in the monitoring committee

It is essential that the monitoring committee be prepared effectively if positive results are to be achieved. The managing authorities will take steps early enough to provide an indicative timetable of the meetings of the monitoring committee. Within the monitoring committee, the Commission representation will comprise an official from each DG involved in the Structural Funds concerned. It will be headed by the representative of the lead DG, who will be responsible for the Commission’s formal relations with the monitoring committee and will set out the Commission’s position. Following each meeting, he will draw up a brief report on the main points of the meeting and on the measures which need to be taken internally.

The monitoring committee will focus on matters relating to general monitoring. It will deal with eligibility questions relating to the operation and will encourage exchanges of experience, particularly by inviting representatives from other Member States. The committee will meet at least once a year and will not take any decisions on individual projects.

Financial management

The proposals for clarification cover the following four areas:

  • the “N+2” rule

    The rule on automatic decommitments means that amounts are decommitted if they have not been the subject of a payment during the two years following their commitment. The simplification of this rule relates to the practical arrangements for the application and calculation of the amounts involved (reference dates and reference documents, prior information procedure for the Member States, directing financial contributions to the most promising items of assistance). However, it is impossible to calculate the decommitments for each programme, as the commitment is specific to each Fund;
  • rule on repayment of the payment on account

    All or part of the initial payment on account of 7% must be repaid to the Commission if no payment application is submitted within 18 months of its decision to grant a contribution from the Funds. To reduce the level of risk, the Commission has developed an early warning system;
  • calculating interim reimbursements

    The Commission proposes reimbursing applications for interim payments (based on the amounts due to final beneficiaries) either at the cofinancing rate for the measure or on the basis of the Community contribution. In the first case, this arrangement already applies. As regards reimbursement of the Community contribution at the level of operations, the Member States must explicitly inform the Commission of the programmes and Fund(s) to which they are asking for it to apply;
    Irrespective of which system they choose, the national authorities will not be permitted to switch systems during the period of implementation. No legal changes are required. However, if the national authorities do not officially state which system they intend to use, the Commission will reimburse applications for payment on the basis of the co-financing rate for the measure.

The Commission’s internal procedures

The national delegations on the Structural Fund committees have agreed no longer to be consulted formally on the amendments to the programming documents at the mid-term stage.

OTHER POINTS UNDER DISCUSSION

A “contract of confidence” for controls

The Commission has proposed a new “contract of confidence” based on the efficient coordination of national and Community controls. This “contract of confidence” is based on three elements:

  • compliance with the legal provisions of Regulation (EC) No 438/2001 on the management and control systems for assistance granted under the Structural Funds;
  • the drawing up of a satisfactory audit strategy by the national authorities for the 2000-2006 period;
  • the submission of reports which provide an adequate basis for assessing the effective implementation of the audit strategy.

The “contract of confidence” will be applied using a management and control system which can cover a region, a fund or a programme. At the same time, the Community controls will be reduced and the period during which supporting documents must be kept will be shortened (three years).

4) Implementing Measures

5) Follow-Up Work

Structural indicators

Structural indicators

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Structural indicators

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Regional policy > Management of regional policy

Structural indicators

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission of 8 October 2003. Structural indicators [See amending acts].

Summary

In March 2000, the Lisbon European Council invited the European Commission to present an annual report on progress achieved in the areas of employment, innovation, economic reform, social cohesion and the environment. Structural indicators allow quantative evaluation and comparison of performances of the Member States in these areas.

These structural indicators are extremely useful. They give an essential statistical foundation to political messages. Member States use them for their national reports. This sort of information is very often requested by the public.

With regard to structural indicators, the European Commission:

  • has drawn up a shortlist of 14 indicators;
  • has put a complete online database at the public’s disposal;
  • wants to improve existing indicators and finalise new ones.

A shortlist of 14 structural indicators

The number of structural indicators has risen greatly in the last three years, to as many as 42 in 2003. The Commission would like to reduce this number to 14 in order to facilitate communication of its policy messages at the Spring European Council. The list of the 14 indicators, as amended by the Council, is as follows:

Structural Indicators Definition Overall policy objective Country coverage
Per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Per capita GDP in Purchasing Power Standard (PPS).
EU15 = 100
Standard of living.
Social and environmental welfare.
15 Member States (MS) + 12 acceding or candidate countries (ACC) + United States, Japan, Iceland, Norway.
Labour productivity. Work productivity per person employed GDP in PPS per person employed.
EU15=100
Overall efficiency of the economy. Ditto
Employment rate. Employed persons aged 15-64 as a percentage of the total population of the same age group. Full employment.
Combating social exclusion.
15 MS + 12 ACC + Iceland, Norway.
Employment rate of older workers. Employed persons aged 55-64 as a percentage of the total population of the same age group. Full employment.
Combating social exclusion.
Ditto
Education level of young people (aged 20-24). Percentage of young people aged 20-24 having reached at least higher secondary education or training, expressed as a percentage of the total population of the same age group. National education systems performance. 15 MS + 12 ACC
Research and technological development (R&TD). Gross domestic expenditure on research and development (GERD) as a percentage of GDP. R&D effort. 15 MS + 12 ACC (except Malta) + United States, Japan, Iceland, Norway.
Comparative price levels. Ratio between purchasing power parities (PPP) and market exchange rates for each country. Price convergence. Ditto
Business investment. Gross fixed capital formation (GFCF) in the private sector as a percentage of GDP. Business confidence in the economic situation. 15 MS + Norway.
At-risk-of-poverty rate after social transfers. Percentage of persons with an equivalised disposable income below the risk-of-poverty threshold after social transfers.
The threshold is set at 60 % of the national median equivalised disposable income (after social transfers).
Combating poverty and social exclusion. 15 MS + 12 ACC
Dispersion of regional employment rates. Coefficient of variation of employment rates across regions (NUTS 2 level) within countries. Economic and social cohesion 15 MS (except Denmark, Ireland, Luxembourg) + Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic, |Romania, Slovakia.
Long term unemployment. Total long-term unemployed (over 12 months) as a percentage of the total active population aged 15-64. Full employment.
Combating social exclusion.
15 MS + 12 ACC + United States, Japan, Iceland, Norway.
Greenhouse gases emissions. Percentage change in aggregated emissions of 6 main greenhouse gases (CO2, CH4, N2O, HFCs, PFCs and SF6) expressed in CO2-equivalents. The base year for the Kyoto Protocol objectives and the Decision of the EU Council Decision is 2008-2012. Index base year = 100 Climate change and implementation of Kyoto Protocol. 15 MS + 12 ACC + United States, Japan, Iceland, Norway.
Energy intensity of the economy. Gross domestic consumption of energy divided by GDP (at constant prices, 1995 = 100). More efficient energy use. 15 MS + 12 ACC + United States, Japan, Iceland, Norway.
Freight transport volume. Index of freight transport volume relative to GDP. Measured in tonne-km/GDP and indexed on 1995. Decouple transport development from economic growth. 15 MS + 12 ACC (except Malta) + United States, Japan, Iceland, Norway.

These structural indicators have several advantages. As they are generally available for an EU of 25, these indicators make it possible to present a clear annual picture of the Member States. The list of indicators is updated every three years in order to guarantee a certain stability over time. But the database is regularly updated.

A publicly-accessible online database and website

The 14 structural indicators and the extended database are accessible online, free of charge. When drawing up the Spring report, the Commission will use this statistical information to support its key findings and policy directions. The database also serves to establish other Commission reports, such as the Broad Guidelines for Economic Policy (BGEP), the European employment policy guidelines and the internal market strategy.

Constant improvement of indicators

The Commission and the European statistical system are working together to improve the indicators. This collaboration made it possible both to extend country coverage to the acceding countries and candidate countries, and to refine time series and the quality of data and indicators.

The decision to include indicators or remove them will be based on technical criteria, taking policy relevance into account. In order to offer a more coherent analysis, the focus can be placed on stability. The most recent additions to the database concern unemployment traps, business demography and e-commerce.

The Commission has established a list of indicators to be developed.

Area Indicator Characteristics
General economic background. Potential output.
Total factor productivity.
Employment

Vacancies. Indicates bottlenecks and labour shortages.
Quality of work. Develop indicators other than ‘life-long learning’ and ‘accidents at work’.
Marginal effective tax rate. Unemployment trap indicator.
Childcare facilities. The Barcelona European Council set the target of increasing capacity in all Member States.
Innovation and research.

Composite indicators on the knowledge-based economy. This concerns investments in the knowledge-based economy.
Public and private expenditure on human capital. Improve specific time series.
Online public services (e-government). Update currently available data. Calculate the average percentage of public services available on-line between October 2001 and April 2002.
IT expenditure. Build a coherent framework to measure expenditure, define variables and identify the means for collecting the data.
Broadband internet access. Under development. This is one of the aims of the eEurope 2005 action plan.
Economic reform Business demography. Harmonising existing data on business ‘birth rates’, ‘survival rates’ and ‘deaths’.
Cost of capital and financial integration. Evaluate market efficiency, mergers and acquisitions and financial stability indicators.
Social cohesion Regional GDP per capita. Improve the development of regional price indices.
Environment

Consumption of toxic chemicals. Currently being prepared. Evaluate the risk linked to the use of these chemicals in society. This is linked to the Reach authorisation system.
Health expectancies. Collection of data will begin in 2004 for the MS and in 2005 for the ACCs.
Biodiversity index. Currently being prepared. These are linked to the Community Biodiversity Action Plans (BIO-IMPS projects).
Resource productivity. Data already available for certain resources such as electricity generation. A study is currently being carried out on indicators which evaluate the Integrated product policy.
Recycling rate of selected materials. Harmonise this rate through the recent adoption of specific rules on recycling.
Generation of hazardous waste. Ditto.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
COM(2003) 585 final Not published in the OJ
Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Brussels European Council conclusions of 8 December 2003 Not published in the OJ

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission – Structural Indicators [COM(2002) 551 final].

Communication from the Commission – Structural Indicators [COM(2001) 619 final].

Communication from the Commission – Structural Indicators [COM(2000) 594 final].

Improving information on assistance from the Structural Funds

Improving information on assistance from the Structural Funds

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Improving information on assistance from the Structural Funds

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Regional policy > Management of regional policy

Improving information on assistance from the Structural Funds

A steady flow of information on the European Union’s activities in the Member States is one way of guaranteeing that good use will be made of public money. For the first time the regulations now require a communications action plan to be drawn up for each operation assisted by the Structural Funds. Evaluation of the information measures taken will be mandatory. A wide range of means of communication are envisaged. New technologies in particular will be mobilised to get the message through to potential beneficiaries and the general public. The European Commission is contributing to these measures.

Document or Iniciative

Commission Regulation (EC) No 1159/2000 of 30 May 2000 on information and publicity measures to be carried out by the Member States concerning assistance from the Structural Funds.

Summary

Regulation (EC) No 1260/1999 on the Structural Funds provides for information and publicity measures on each operation assisted by the Structural Funds. These measures are intended to increase public awareness and transparency regarding the activities of the European Union and give a consistent picture of the assistance concerned across all Member States. More specifically, they are designed:

  • to inform potential and final beneficiaries about the opportunities offered by joint assistance from the European Union and the Member States;
    Beneficiaries include regional and local authorities, any other competent public authorities, trade organisations and business circles, economic and social partners, non-governmental organisations and project promoters;
  • to inform the general public about the role played by the European Union and the Member States in the assistance concerned.

Each managing authority putting into action the assistance from the Structural Funds will be responsible for information and publicity. It will act in cooperation with the European Commission. At each annual meeting the managing authority will inform the Commission about the work done.

The information and publicity measures will be set out in a communications action plan for each operational programme and each single programming document (SPD). The operational programme and SPD are multiannual planning documents with a view to implementing a regional development strategy. Each communications action plan must specify:

  • its objectives and target groups;
    Mobilisation of new technologies is a decisive factor to attain the objectives and reach out to the target groups;
  • the content and strategy of the communications and information measures;
  • its indicative budget;
  • the administrative departments or bodies responsible within the managing authority;
  • the criteria to be used to evaluate the measures carried out.

Ensuring transparency for potential beneficiaries and target groups

Throughout the 2000-2006 programming period, the managing authority must keep in place appropriate channels for circulating information in order to ensure transparency for the various potential partners and beneficiaries, particularly small and medium-sized businesses. To this end, it will secure the cooperation of organisations representing businesses, vocational training bodies, bodies concerned with employment, training centres and non-governmental organisations.

The managing authority will circulate all documentation concerning the structural assistance for which it is responsible. It will provide information on the management, monitoring and evaluation of such assistance. Wherever possible, it will give an indication of the Structural Funds involved. The key points which must be included are:

  • a clear outline of the administrative procedures to be followed;
  • a description of the system for managing applications;
  • a description of the criteria used in selection procedures;
  • an explanation of the evaluation mechanisms;
    The managing authority is required to provide evidence of the work done, to demonstrate the quality and effectiveness of the action taken, to inform the monitoring committee and the Commission, and to include a separate section on the subject in the annual implementing report;
  • a list of names of persons or contact points at national, regional or local level who can explain how the assistance packages operate.

Uniform presentation of the information and publicity material is desirable. Standard wordings are available for each Structural Fund (ERDF, ESF, EAGGF Guidance Section and FIFG).

Informing the public

In order to raise public awareness, the managing authority must keep the media informed about the structural assistance part-financed by the European Union. The messages released must state the tasks of each Fund. The national and regional media (press, radio and television) must be alerted when the assistance is first launched and of the results achieved in the field. Possible means of achieving this include press releases, the placing of articles or advertisements in newspapers, site visits, websites, publications describing success stories and competitions.

Other ways of informing the public include:

  • billboards erected on site and permanent commemorative plaques for infrastructure open to the general public;
    These measures apply to infrastructure investments costing a total of over EUR 3 million, such as congress centres, airports and stations. In the case of operations part-financed by the FIFG the figure is lowered to EUR 500 000.
    These announcements must include a space reserved for indicating the European Union’s contribution.
    Not later than six months after completion of the work the billboards must be replaced by permanent commemorative plaques. In the case of physical investments in commercial business premises, plaques commemorating the assistance from the European Union may be installed for a period of one year;
  • measures to raise awareness of the part played by the European Union in vocational training and employment schemes;
    These measures are targeted on beneficiaries implementing measures financed by the Structural Funds, such as employment agencies, vocational training centres, chambers of commerce and industry, chambers of agriculture or regional development agencies.
    All beneficiaries must publicise the European Union’s contribution to the activities, notably by means of posters;
  • informing beneficiaries that they are participating in an operation part-financed by the European Union;
    These measures apply to investments in businesses, in particular.
    All notifications that aid has been granted must mention the amount or percentage of the assistance funded by the Community instrument concerned.

Publications (booklets, leaflets and newsletters) about assistance part-financed by the Structural Funds must clearly indicate, on the title page, the participation of the European Union and, where appropriate, of the Fund concerned. They must display the European emblem if the national or regional emblem is also used. Publications must give details of the body responsible for the information content and of the managing authority. The same rules apply to information made available in electronic form or as audio-visual material.

The bodies responsible for information and publicity may organise public information events such as conferences, seminars, fairs, exhibitions and competitions. The European flag will be displayed in meeting rooms and the Community emblem will be used on documents as a reminder of the Community’s contribution.

In a spirit of partnership, the European Commission makes its expertise and material available to the authorities, notably via its offices in each Member State. It supports exchanges of experience via informal networks among those responsible for providing information. The “Structural Funds Information Team (SFIT)” set up in 2002 has started to gather examples of good practice. The first network – for Objective 1 – started work in March 2002 and the second – for Objective 2, INTERREG III and URBAN II – has been in operation since the end of 2003.

For further information, consult the ” Communication campaigns ” page on the European Commission’s “INFOREGIO” website.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 1159/2000 3.6.2000 OJ L 130 of 31.5.2000

Related Acts

Commission Regulation (EC) No 621/2004 of 1 April 2004 laying down rules for implementing Council Regulation (EC) No 1164/94 as regards information and publicity measures concerning the activities of the Cohesion Fund [Official Journal L 98 of 2.4.2004].

Harmonisation of the information and publicity activities for the Structural Funds and the Cohesion Fund is needed. The information activities and instruments include explanation of the role which the European Union is playing and use of the European flag. The mandatory measures include erection of billboards and, later, of commemorative plaques plus a press conference if the total cost of the project is over EUR 50 million. In order to achieve the objective of raising public awareness, other measures can also be envisaged, such as displaying posters, producing publications and video material or creating pages on the Internet.

Commission Decision 2001/503/EC of 22 June 2001 on information and publicity measures to be carried out by the beneficiary countries concerning assistance from the Instrument for Structural Policies for Pre-accession (ISPA) [Official Journal L 182 of 5.7.2001].

Allocation of the performance reserve

Allocation of the performance reserve

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Allocation of the performance reserve

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Regional policy > Management of regional policy

Allocation of the performance reserve

The European Commission has allocated the performance reserve – i.e. 4% of the Structural Funds’ budget – to 200 regional development programmes. The Member States have assessed the programmes on the basis of indicators reflecting efficiency, management and financial implementation. For the first time, there is a direct link between the allocation of part-financing and results.

Document or Iniciative

Commission Decision 2004/344EC of 23 March 2004 fixing the allocation of the performance reserve by Member State for Community Structural Funds assistance under Objectives 1, 2 and 3 and the Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance under Objective 1.

Summary

The European Commission has allocated the performance reserve to 200 European regional development programmes, i.e. 90% of existing programmes. The total appropriations concerned amount to EUR 8.246 billion, i.e. 4% of the total Structural Funds budget. The increase for the most efficient programmes ranges from 6% to 9% of the initial allocation.

The performance reserve is an innovation under European legal provisions on the implementation of the Structural Funds (ERDF, ESF, EAGGF Guidance Section and FIFG). It establishes for the first time a link between financial allocations and results.

The most efficient programmes were assessed in late 2003 on the occasion of the mid-term evaluation of the programmes. The assessment covered the three Objectives 1, 2 and 3 and the structural measures under the FIFG outside Objective 1.

What procedure is used?

The Member States assess the performance of each operational programme (OP) or single programming document (SPD) in close consultation with the Commission. They use a small number of monitoring indicators reflecting efficiency, management and financial implementation. The indicators measure the mid-term results achieved by the programmes as compared with the initial specific objectives.

Each Member State defines the indicators on the basis of an indicative Commission list. They quantify them in the various annual implementation reports and in the mid-term evaluation report.

The Member States propose to the Commission the programmes they wish to reward. The Commission allocates the commitment appropriations to the OPs, SPDs or the most efficient priorities by 31 March 2004 at the latest. The programming documents then have to be adjusted.

Member State Objective 1
(EUR million)
Objective 2
(EUR million)
Objective 3
(EUR million)
FIFG outside Objective 1
(EUR million)
Belgium 28 19 33.2 0.75
Denmark 8 16.4 8.8
Germany 899 159 206.4 2.35
Greece 945
Spain 1717 119 96.4 9.1
France 171 273 204.5 10.1
Ireland 134
Italy 996 113 168.7 4.4
Luxembourg 3 1.7
Netherlands 6 36 80 1.4
Austria 12 31 23.8 0.3
Portugal 855
Finland 41 23 18.2 1.4
Sweden 32 17 32.4 2.7
United Kingdom 263 212 205.8 5.6
Total 6099 1013 1087.5 46.9

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision 2004/344/EC 17.04.2004 OJ L 111 of 17.04.2004

Dialogue with associations of regional and local authorities

Dialogue with associations of regional and local authorities

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Dialogue with associations of regional and local authorities

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Regional policy > Management of regional policy

Dialogue with associations of regional and local authorities

Document or Iniciative

Commission Communication of 19 December 2003 – Dialogue with associations of regional and local authorities on the formulation of European Union policy [COM(2003) 811 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

Since enlargement, the European Union now comprises some 250 regions and 1000 regional and local authorities. The Commission is establishing systematic dialogue with the European and national associations representing them. This more political and more structured dialogue will complement the other forms of consultation provided for in the Nice Treaty (Articles 137 to 139) establishing the European Community and in the specific Commission communication of December 2002 [COM(2002) 704 final]. Its aim is to involve local and regional actors, responsible for implementing Community policies, so that account will be taken of their opinions as far upstream as possible in the decision-making process.

When will this systematic dialogue take place?

The dialogue will take place prior to the formal decision-making process on two separate occasions:

  • the presentation of the Commission’s work programme.
    The Commission is intending to organise an annual meeting at the highest political level between the Commission President and/or Vice-Presidents and the representatives of the associations of regional and local authorities. The dialogue will cover the guidelines for European Union action;
  • the launch of major policy initiatives with a significant territorial impact.
    These meetings with members of the Commission could be held annually if the timetable of initiatives justifies it.

The Commission will set the date of the meetings six weeks in advance and make the necessary documents available to the associations.

Dialogue will strengthen the Committee of the Regions’ role of intermediary

The Commission regards this new dialogue as an opportunity for establishing closer links between the Committee of the Regions and the regional and local authorities which it represents. Concluded in Brussels on 20 September 2001, the cooperation protocol on the cooperation arrangements between the Commission and the Committee of the Regions recognises the role of intermediary of the consultation body.

The Committee of the Regions is best placed to assist the Commission in identifying the participants in the dialogue. For each planned meeting it will provide an indicative list of European and national associations relevant for the topics considered. Lastly, the Commission decides on the participants. It reserves the right to invite other organisations of its choice.

The Committee of the Regions, in cooperation with the associations of regional and local authorities, will lay down the selection criteria for participating in the dialogue. The organisations involved will be representative of the various levels of regional and local authorities directly affected by the policies being discussed, able to demonstrate their experience and level of expertise, capable of delivering a jointly produced opinion and in a position to pass on to their members the Commission’s proposals and guidelines.

What is the justification for the systematic dialogue?

Ad hoc contacts exist already between the Commission and the local and regional authorities, both directly and through their associations. In response to the commitment given in the White Paper on European Governance, the Commission wishes to make this dialogue systematic. The following principles justify the need to involve the regional and local authorities in the formulation of European policies:

  • Openness
    Improved information and ownership of the Community’s policy position are needed. Since they are democratically elected and close to the ground, the regional and local authorities are well placed to provide the citizen with information.
  • Participation
    The White Paper on governance affirms the need for the European and national associations of regional and local authorities to be involved with due regard for the institutional architecture of the Union and the Member States’ internal organisation.
  • Coherence
    The Commission acknowledges the need for better assessment of the impact at regional and local level of Community policies in areas such as transport, energy and the environment. Analysing the impact of measures proposed at Community level will contribute to informing the different actors of the effects of these measures and guide them in their implementation tasks.
  • Effectiveness
    Some Community policies are implemented and/or have the greatest effect at regional and local level. Local government authorities are ideally placed therefore to assess the coherence and effectiveness of Community policies.

Guidelines on national regional aid for 2007-2013

Guidelines on national regional aid for 2007-2013

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Guidelines on national regional aid for 2007-2013

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Regional policy > Management of regional policy

Guidelines on national regional aid for 2007-2013

Document or Iniciative

Guidelines on national regional aid for 2007-2013 [Official Journal C 54 of 4.3.2006].

Summary

In order to assist the economic development of Europe’s most disadvantaged regions during the period 2007-2013, national regional aid is designed to support investment and job creation and encourage firms to set up new establishments.

National regional aid consists of investment aid * granted to large companies and to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and operating aid (in certain limited circumstances). As a general rule, aid should be granted under a multi-sectoral aid scheme which forms an integral part of a regional development strategy.

Legal background

These guidelines contain the criteria applied by the Commission when examining the compatibility of national regional aid with the internal market under Article 87(3)(a) and (c) of the Treaty establishing the EC.

The permissible aid ceilings vary according to the relative seriousness of the problems affecting the development of the regions concerned in order to mitigate the distortionary effect of state aid on competition in the internal market. These guidelines include an aid instrument to encourage small business start-ups in the regions.

Scope

Activities in the following sectors are excluded from the scope of these guidelines:

  • fisheries and the coal industry;
  • the production of agricultural products referred to in Annex I to the EC Treaty;
  • transport and shipbuilding;
  • steel and synthetic fibres.

Demarcation of regions

The limit for the overall population coverage in assisted areas in the EU-25 has been set at 42 %. However, no Member State loses more than 50 % of the coverage of its population during the period 2000-2006.

Article 87(3)(a)

The guidelines stipulate that the conditions laid down in Article 87(3)(a) are fulfilled if the per capita gross domestic product (GDP) of a NUTS II region is less than 75 % of the Community average.

The conditions laid down in Article 87(3)(a) of the EC Treaty are also fulfilled in the case of:

  • regional aid for the outermost regions;
  • certain regions where per capita GDP exceeds 75 % of the EU-25 average because of the statistical effect of the 2004 enlargement. Their GDP per capita was less than 75 % of the EU-15 average. These regions remain eligible on a transitional basis until 31 December 2010. The situation of these regions will be reviewed in 2010. If it has deteriorated, they will continue to be eligible under Article 87(3)(a). Otherwise, they will be eligible under Article 87(3)(c) for an aid rate of 20 %, as of 1 January 2011.

Article 87(3)(c)

As the regional aid subject to the exception in Article 87(3)(c) of the EC Treaty is intended for regions which are less disadvantaged than those referred to in paragraph (a), the geographic scope of the exception and the aid intensity allowed must be strictly limited in accordance with the principle of geographical concentration.

The regions eligible for aid under Article 87(3)(c) are:

  • the regions in which per capita GDP was less than 75 % of the EU-15 average in 1998 but which no longer fulfil this condition for the period 2007-2013 (the ‘economic development regions’) ;
  • regions with a population density of fewer than 8 inhabitants per km2 at NUTS II level or fewer than 12 inhabitants per km2 at NUTS III level;
  • regions with a population of more than 100 000 inhabitants and which have either a per capita GDP lower than the EU-25 average or an unemployment rate higher than 115 % of the national average;
  • islands with fewer than 5 000 inhabitants;
  • NUTS III regions which are adjacent to a region that is eligible for support under Article 87(3)(a) or which share a border with a third country;
  • regions which have a population of more than 50 000 inhabitants and are in serious relative decline or are undergoing major structural change;
  • regions with a population of more than 20 000 inhabitants which suffer from very localised regional disparities, below the NUTS III level, and wish to make use of regional aid for SMEs.

REGIONAL INVESTMENT AID

Ceilings for regional investment aid €“ large companies

Article 87(3)(a)

The maximum aid intensities (ceilings) for large companies in regions falling within the scope of Article 87(3)(a) must not exceed:

  • 30 % for regions with a per capita GDP less than 75 % of the EU-25 average;
  • 30 % for the outermost regions. These regions are eligible for a further bonus of 20 % if their GDP per capita is below 75 % of the EU-25 average and a bonus of 10 % in other cases;
  • 30 % for statistical effect regions until 1 January 2011;
  • 40 % for regions with a per capita GDP less than 60 % of the EU-25 average;
  • 50 % for regions with a per capita GDP less than 45 % of the EU-25 average;

Article 87(3)(c)

The aid ceilings for large companies in regions falling within the scope of Article 87(3)(c) must not exceed:

  • 15 % as a rule;
  • 20 % or 30 % for statistical effect regions as of 1 January 2011;
  • 10 % for regions with a GDP per capita that is more than 100 % of the EU-25 average and an unemployment rate lower than the EU-25 average measured at NUTS III level;

Ceilings for regional investment aid €“ SMEs

Aid ceilings may be increased by 20 % for aid granted to small enterprises and by 10 % for aid granted to medium-sized enterprises.

Large investment projects

For a ‘large investment project’ with an eligible expenditure above EUR 50 million, the aid ceiling is 50 % of the regional ceiling for investments between EUR 50 million and EUR 100 million. The aid ceiling is 34 % of the regional ceiling for investments of over EUR 100 million.

Member States are required to notify the Commission of any aid awarded to an investment project with expenditure of more than EUR 100 million if the aid exceeds the maximum allowable amount. The notification thresholds for different regions with the most commonly encountered aid intensities are summarised below:

  • EUR 7.5 million if the aid intensity is 10 %;
  • EUR 11.25 million if the aid intensity is 15 %;
  • EUR 15.0 million if the aid intensity is 20 %;
  • EUR 22.5 million if the aid intensity is 30 %;
  • EUR 30.0 million if the aid intensity is 40 %;
  • EUR 37.5 million if the aid intensity is 50 %.

REGIONAL OPERATING AID

Although operating aid * is normally prohibited, it may exceptionally be granted on a temporary basis in regions eligible for aid under Article 87(3)(a). It must be justified in terms of its contribution to regional development and its nature, and its level must be proportional to the handicaps it seeks to alleviate.

Aid for newly created small enterprises

In order to encourage start-up and early development of small enterprises in the regions which qualify for national regional aid, these guidelines authorise aid of up to:

  • EUR 2 million per small enterprise in regions eligible for aid under Article 87(3)(a). The aid ceiling is 35 % of eligible expenses incurred in the first three years after the creation of the enterprise and 25 % in the two years thereafter;
  • EUR 1 million per small enterprise in regions eligible for aid under Article 87(3)(c). The aid ceiling is 25 % of eligible expenses incurred in the first three years after the creation of the enterprise and 15 % in the two years thereafter.

The annual amounts of aid awarded must not exceed 33 % of the abovementioned total amounts of aid per enterprise.

Final provisions

These guidelines apply from 1 January 2007 until 31 December 2013.

Key terms in the Act
  • Investment aid: aid awarded for investment in material and immaterial assets relating to the setting up of a new establishment, the extension of an existing establishment, diversification of the output of an establishment into new, additional products, or a fundamental change in the overall production process of an existing establishment (‘initial investment project’);
  • Operating aid: regional aid intended to reduce a firm’s current expenses, for example in the form of tax exemptions or reductions in social security contributions which are not linked to eligible investment costs.

Related Acts

Commission Regulation (EC) No 1628/2006 of 24 October 2006 on the application of Articles 87 and 88 of the Treaty to national regional investment aid [Official Journal L 302 of 1 November 2006].

Commission Regulation (EC) No 1627/2006 of 24 October 2006 amending Regulation (EC) No 794/2004 as regards the standard forms for notification of aid [Official Journal L 302 of 1 November 2006].
This Regulation amends Regulation (EC) No 794/2004 implementing Regulation (EC) No 659/1999 laying down detailed rules for the application of Article 93 (now Article 88) of the EC Treaty. It modifies the standard forms for notification of state aid following the adoption of new guidelines on national regional aid for the period 2007-2013.

Regional aid maps (1.1.2007 €“ 31.12.2013)

– Slovenia, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland: Official Journal C 256, 24.10.2006

– Malta: Official Journal C 275, 11.11.2006

– Czech Republic, Luxembourg: Official Journal C 280, 18.11.2006

– Greece, Estonia, Lithuania: Official Journal C 286, 23.11.2006

– Latvia: Official Journal C 287, 24.11.2006

– Ireland: Official Journal C 292, 1.12.2006

– Germany: Official Journal C 295, 5.12.2006

– Finland, Sweden, Austria: Official Journal C 34, 16.02.2007

– Spain: Official Journal C 35, 17.02.2007

– United Kingdom: Official Journal C 55, 10.03.2007

– Portugal, Cyprus: Official Journal C 68, 24.03.2007

– Belgium, Bulgaria, Romania: Official Journal C 73, 30.03.2007

– France: Official Journal C 94, 28.04.2007

– Denmark: Official Journal C 141, 26.06.2007

– Netherlands: Official Journal C 176, 28.07.2007

– Italy: Official Journal C 90, 11.04.2008.

The regional aid maps determine not only the regions eligible for regional investment aid but also the maximum aid intensities (ceilings) for each Member State during the period 2007-2013.

This summary is for information only. It is not designed to interpret or replace the reference document, which remains the only binding legal text.