Governance of Regionally Integrated Projects using Innovative Tools. Structural funds implementation in an integrated approach


This glossary will help familiarize you with terms related to INTERREG IIIC.

Application form
Part of the Application Pack. To be filled in and returned to the Joint Technical Secretariat of the Programme Zone where the Lead Partner is situated.
Application pack
Documents needed for the development and submission of an application. Comprised of the Community Initiative Programme and the Programme Complement of the respective INTERREG IIIC programme zone, the Application Form, the Programme Manual and the Co-financing Statements.
Audit trail
Audit trail is a sequence of information i.e. accounting records that provide detailed information about expenditure actually incurred. The accounting records show the date they were created, the amount of each item of expenditure, the nature of the supporting documents and the date of and method of payment. The audit trail validates the expenditure claimed and enables tracing the financial data to its source.
Auditing guidelines
Guidelines for the auditors on the requirements in the context of audit certification and on the scope of the auditor's work. The guidelines also provide information concerning the rules that apply to INTERREG IIIC.

Border region operations
Operations linking European Union border regions with the accession and candidate countries. Border regions are:
Finland: Uusimaa, Etelä-Suomi
Germany: Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Niederbayern, Oberpfalz, Oberfranken, Brandenburg, Berlin, Chemnitz, Dresden
Austria: Burgenland, Niederösterreich, Wien, Kärnten, Steiermark, Oberösterreich
Italy: Veneto, Friuli-Venezia Giulia
Greece: Anatoliki Makedonia-Thraki, Kentriki Makedonia, Voreio Aigaio, Notio Aigaio, Kriti

Call for proposals
Period of time in which applications can be submitted to the Joint Technical Secretariats.
Closure expenditure
The final payments amounting to 5% of the operation's ERDF funds will be transferred to the Lead Partner only after the funds are received by the Paying Authority from the European Commission, i.e. as late as end 2010.
Co-financing statement
Written confirmation of each partner's financial contribution to the operation.
Co-operation area
The entire territory of the European Union, including insular and outermost areas as well as third countries, especially the EU accession and candidate countries, Norway, Switzerland and the MEDA countries.
Community Initiative Programme (CIP)
Programme document describing the background of the programme, as well as the programme's objectives, priorities and measures, financing and implementation. The document is approved by the European Commission.
Community initiatives

These are aid or action programmes set up to complement Structural Fund operations in specific problem areas. Community initiatives are drawn up by the Commission and coordinated and implemented under national control.

Eligibility check
First step of a two-step evaluation procedure. Operations applying for ERDF funds have to pass the eligibility check successfully in order to be considered for funding.
Eligibility criteria
Mainly technical requirements operations applying for ERDF funds have to fulfil in order to pass the eligibility check.
ERDF co-financing rate
The ERDF co-financing rate for the operations is up to 75% of the eligible costs for partners in Objective 1 areas and up to 50% of the eligible costs for partners in other areas. Partners coming from outermost regions and being involved in operations financed from the South Programme can receive up to 85% ERDF co-financing.
European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)

The ERDF is intended to help reduce imbalances between regions of the Community. The Fund was set up in 1975 and grants financial assistance for development projects in the poorer regions. In terms of financial resources, the ERDF is by far the largest of the EU's Structural Funds.

Financial report

Part of the progress report. Lead partners of operations have to submit a progress report to the respective Joint Technical Secretariat at the end of each reporting period. It contains a retrospective accounting of the total costs incurred during the reporting period.

The long-term consequences of the operation beyond its immediate interaction with direct beneficiaries. The impact provides information about the achievement of the operations' global objectives and is the principal basis for assessing the operations' success or failure. (See also output and result)
Individual project
Individual project
Individual projects are one of the three types of operations (with regional framework operations and networks) funded from INTERREG IIIC. It is a co-operation of public authorities or equivalent bodies aiming at exchanging experience on methodology and project-based activities as well as on common implementation of single projects.
Innovative Actions
Innovative actions aim to improve the quality of regional development strategies by supporting the latest ideas, which have not yet been adequately exploited. They are expected to provide the regions with the scope for experimentation, which they sometimes lack but need to meet the challenges of the information society and to make their economies more competitive.

The Commission has laid down three working topics for ERDF innovative actions in 2000-2006:

  • regional economies based on knowledge and technological innovation;
  • e-EuropeRegio: the information society at the service of regional development;
  • regional identity and sustainable development.

Part of the Community Initiative Programme INTERREG. It is designed to capitalise on the vast pool of experience accumulated through INTERREG in the areas of regional development, cross border cooperation, transnational cooperation and interregional cooperation. The Managing Authority for the INTERACT Programme on behalf of the Member States of the EU is the Federal Chancellery of the Republic of Austria. (

It is one of the four Community Initiatives, which will operate in 2000-2006. It covers three types of cooperation:

  • cross-border (INTERREG IIIA)
  • transnational (INTERREG IIIB)
  • interregional (INTERREG IIIC)

Instrument for Structural Programmes for pre-Accession
Like the Cohesion Fund, ISPA provides the countries, which have applied for accession with part financing for transport infrastructure projects to interconnect their networks and link with the trans-European network, as well as for environmental protection projects. It has funds amounting to EUR 1 040 million per year for the period from 2000 to the date of accession of each applicant country.

Joint Technical Secretariat (JTS)

The Joint Technical Secretariat is responsible for the day-to-day management of the programme. Each programme zone (North, East, South, West) has its own Joint Technical Secretariat.
The Joint Technical Secretariats are situated in:
INTERREG IIIC North programme: Rostock, Germany
INTERREG IIIC East programme: Vienna, Austria
INTERREG IIIC South programme: Valencia, Spain
INTERREG IIIC West programme: Lille, France

Lead partner (LP)

The lead partner has fully financial responsibility for the entire operation including all partners and is responsible for the proper reporting of progress to the respective Joint Technical Secretariat as also stipulated in the subsidy contract.

Managing Authority (MA)
Authority responsible for managing assistance from the Structural Funds.
The EU Member States participating in the INTERREG IIIC Programmes have designated the following institutions to act as Managing Authorities:
INTERREG IIIC North Programme: Investitionsbank Schleswig-Holstein
INTERREG IIIC East Programme: City of Vienna, Department for EU Funding
INTERREG IIIC South Programme: Generalitat Valencia
INTERREG IIIC West Programme: Conseil Règional Nord - Pas de Calais
The MEDA programme is the principal financial instrument of the European Union for the implementation of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership. The programme offers technical and financial support measures to accompany the reform of economic and social structures in the Mediterranean partners.
Monitoring Committee (MC)
The Monitoring Committee is supervising the implementation of the programme. Each programme zone (North, East, South, West) has its own Monitoring Committee.


Networks are one of the three types of operations (with regional framework operations and individual projects) funded from INTERREG IIIC. A network aims to link public authorities or equivalent bodies of various regions inside and outside the EU on project implementation methods and development related to regional policy topics.
The nomenclature of territorial units for statistics (NUTS) was created by the European Office for Statistics (Eurostat) in order to create a single and coherent structure of territorial distribution. It has been used in the Community legislation pertaining to the Structural Funds since 1988.
The current nomenclature subdivides the 15 countries of the European Union into:

  • 78 NUTS level 1 territorial units: the German Länder, regions in Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Ireland, Wales and Scotland, the areas included in the spatial planning study ZEAT in France, and other large regions.
  • 210 NUTS level 2 territorial units: the autonomous regions in Spain, French regions and overseas departments (DOM), the Belgian and Dutch provinces, the Italian regions, the Austrian Länder, the German 'Regierungsbezirke' (primary administrative sub-division of a Länd) etc.
  • 1093 NUTS level 3 territorial units: the Nomoi in Greece, the Maakunnat in Finland, the Län in Sweden, the Kreise in German, the French departments, and the Spanish and Italian provinces etc.

Eligibility for Objective 1 is principally defined with reference to NUTS level 2; Objective 2 areas are generally defined with reference to NUTS level 3.

Objective 1

Objective 1 of the Structural Funds is the main priority of the European Union's cohesion policy. In accordance with the treaty, the Union works to "promote harmonious development" and aims particularly to "narrow the gap between the development levels of the various regions". This is why more than 2/3 of the appropriations of the Structural Funds (more than EUR 135 billion) are allocated to helping areas lagging behind in their development ("Objective 1") where the gross domestic product (GDP) is below 75% of the Community average.
Some fifty regions, home to 22% of the European population, are covered in the period 2000-06. The Structural Funds will support the takeoff of economic activities in these regions by providing them with the basic infrastructure they lack, whilst adapting and raising the level of trained human resources and encouraging investments in businesses.
Objective 2
Objective 2 of the Structural Funds aims to revitalise all areas facing structural difficulties, whether industrial, rural, urban or dependent on fisheries. Though situated in regions whose development level is close to the Community average, such areas are faced with different types of socio-economic difficulties that are often the source of high unemployment. These include:

  • the evolution of industrial or service sectors;
  • a decline in traditional activities in rural areas;
  • a crisis situation in urban areas;
  • difficulties affecting fisheries activity.

It means any project or action carried out by the final beneficiaries of INTERREG IIIC.
Outermost regions
The EU has seven "outermost regions": Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique, Réunion (the four French overseas departments referred to in Article 299(2) of the EC Treaty), the Azores, the Canaries and Madeira.
Outputs directly result from activities of the operation. They are typically measured in physical or monetary units such as: number of meetings/seminars/training sessions, number of collaborative projects, number and type of reports/policy tools/written concepts, and many others.

Paying Authority (PA)

Authoritiy designated by the Member State for the purposes of drawing up and submitting payments applications and receiving payments from the Commission.
The EU Member States participating in the INTERREG IIIC Programmes have designated the following institutions to act as Paying Authorities:
INTERREG IIIC North Programme: Investitionsbank Schleswig-Holstein
INTERREG IIIC East Programme: Magistrat der Stadt Wien
INTERREG IIIC South Programme: Generalitat Valencia
INTERREG IIIC West Programme: Nord-Pas de Calais Regional Directorate
Preparation costs
Costs incurred for the development of the operation. Are only eligible for approved operations and only if they were incurred on or after the date of eligibility of the specific INTERREG IIIC Programme to which the Application Form has been submitted (for North - 5 October 2001, East - 5 November 2001, South - 6 December 2001, West - 12 October 2001), and before the date on which the Application Form has been submitted.
Programme Complement (PC)
Document specifying the Programme in more detail than the Community Initiative Programme (CIP).
Programme languages
Official language to be used in all communications between the applicants and the programme management; English for North, East and West, French for South.
Programme Manual
Part of the Application Pack. Intended to assist applicants in drafting applications, as well as in implementing and finalising the approved operations.
Programme zones
Division of the INTERREG IIIC Programme into four Programme Zones: North, East, South and West. To which programme zone an operation belongs depends on the seat of the Lead Partner.
Progress report
Comprised of the Activity Report and the Financial Report. It documents the progress of the operation and serves as payment request. Lead partners of operations have to submit a progress report at the end of each reporting period to the Joint Technical Secretariat.
Public equivalent body
Public equivalent body means any legal body governed by public or private law

  • established for the specific purpose of meeting needs in the general interest, not having an industrial or commercial character , and
  • having legal personality, and
  • either financed, for the most part, by the State, or regional or local authorities, or other bodies governed by public law, or subject to management supervision by those bodies, or having an administrative, managerial or supervisory board, more than half of whose members are appointed by the State, regional or local authorities or by other bodies governed by public law.

Quality assessment

Second step of a two-step evaluation procedure operations applying for ERDF funds have to pass successfully in order to be considered for ERDF funding.

Regional framework operation (RFO)

A regional framework operation is one of the three types of operations (with individual projects and networks) funded from INTERREG IIIC. It is composed of a group of regional authorities or equivalent bodies aiming at exchange of experience on methodology and project-based activities.
Results are direct and immediate effects brought about by the operations. They provide, for example, information on improvement in capacity/efficiency of partners or enhancement of performance.


Support for Pre-accession Measures for Agriculture and Rural Development
SAPARD aims to assist the candidate countries and prepare them for participation in the common agricultural policy and internal market on the basis of a wide range of adjustment measures relating to agricultural structures and rural development.
Selection criteria
Criteria used to assess the quality of the proposed operation.
Steering Committee (SC)
The Steering Committee is responsible for selecting operations and deciding on the spending of funds. Each programme zone (North, East, South, West) has its own Steering Committee.
Structural Funds
The EU's Structural Funds are administered by the Commission to finance Community structural aid. They comprise the Guidance Section of the EAGGF for agriculture, the Regional Fund for structural aid under the regional policy, the Social Fund for social policy measures, and the Financial Instrument for Fisheries (FIFG). Financial support from the Structural Funds mainly goes to the poorer regions to strengthen the Union's economic and social cohesion so that the challenges of the single market can be met right across the EU.
Subsidy contract
Contract between the Managing Authority of the respective Zone and the operation's Lead Partner. It determines the rights and responsibilities of the Lead Partner and the Managing Authority, the scope of activities to be carried out, terms of funding, requirements for reporting and financial controls, etc.
Sustainable development
The concept of sustainable development refers to a form of economic growth, which satisfies society's needs in terms of well-being in the short, medium and - above all - long terms. It is founded on the assumption that development must meet today's needs without jeopardising the prospects of future generations. In practical terms, it means creating the conditions for long-term economic development with due respect for the environment. The Copenhagen world summit for sustainable development (March 1995) stressed the need to combat social exclusion and protect public health.The Treaty of Amsterdam wrote an explicit reference to sustainable development into the recitals of the EU Treaty.


Launched by the EC in 1991, the Tacis Programme provides grant-financed technical assistance to 13 countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kirghizstan, Moldova, Mongolia, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan), and mainly aims at enhancing the transition process in these countries.


The URBACT programme is part of the URBAN Community Initiative. Theprogramme aims to develop transnational exchange of experience between actors,whether cities or other partners, URBAN programmes or Urban Pilot Projects, andto capitalise on these projects, drawing lessons from the results, successes andweaknesses noted. (
This is one of the four Community Initiatives, which will operate in 2000-2006. Its work focuses on the economic and social regeneration of towns and urban areas in difficulty to promote sustainable urban development. Its funding for 2000-2006 will total EUR 700 million.




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