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REGULATIONS

The following is a summary of the regulations and other reference documents on use of ERDF funds.

2014-2020 PERIOD

The current regional funding programmes are valid until 2013. Discussions are already underway regarding the details of the cohesion policy from 2014. This debate is part of the broader framework of the European budget and the Europa 2020 strategy.

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2007-2013 PERIOD.

APPLICABLE REGULATIONS AND STANDARDS

  • GENERAL PROVISIONS ERDF - ESF- COHESION FUND (2007-2013).

    Council Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 of 11 July 2006 laying down general provisions on the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund and the Cohesion Fund and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1260/1999 [See amending acts].

    In the context of the cohesion policy for the 2007-2013 period, this regulation defines the rules, standards and common principles applicable to the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), to the European Social Fund (ESF) and the Cohesion Fund. The total allocation is expected to amount to €347,000 million, which is approximately one third of the European budget.

  • EUROPEAN REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT FUND (ERDF) (2007-2013).

    Council Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 of 5 July 2006, laying down general provisions on the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund and the Cohesion Fund and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1260/1999 [See amending act(s)].

    This Regulation lays down and defines the tasks and level of intervention of the ERDF. The scope of application of the ERDF intervention constitutes the context of the "Convergence" objectives, "Regional and employment competitiveness" and "European territorial cooperation", defined in the general provisions of the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund and the Cohesion Fund.

  • REGULATIONS DEVELOPING THE EUROPEAN REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT FUND (ERDF), THE EUROPEAN SOCIAL FUND (ESF) AND THE COHESION FUND (2007-2013).

    Commission Regulation (EC) No 1828/2006 of 8 December 2006 setting out rules for the implementation of Council Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 laying down general provisions on the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund and the Cohesion Fund and of Regulation (EC) No 1080/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the European Regional Development Fund [See amending act(s)].

    This regulation lays down the rules to develop the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) of the European Social Fund (ESF) and the Cohesion Fund. It primarily affects obligations of Member states on reporting and application of Funds. The Regulation therefore establishes all the publication and communication standard for information relating to projects financed by those Funds. It also lays down the regulations in place to guarantee appropriate use of the Funds, particularly with regard to control systems created by the Member States and the procedures in case of irregularities.

    Other EU legislation:
  • REGULATION ON GRANTS TO COVER EXPENSES.

    Order EHA/524/2008, of 26 February, adopting the rules on eligibility of expenses of the European Regional Development Fund and the Cohesion Fund operational programmes

    Regulatory extension: http://www.dgfc.sgpg.meh.es/sitios/dgfc/es-ES/ipr/fcp0713/Paginas/Inicio_N.aspx

PROGRAMMING DOCUMENTS REGARDING THE ERDF

Since 1989, the European Union's budgetary commitments are of a multiannual nature. EU Financial Perspective for 2007-2013 reflects the priorities of the European Union for this period and the funding to be allocated to each of the priorities.

In the Financial Perspectives 2007-2013 for the Cohesion Category for growth and employments, an assignment was made between states of the funds assigned to this category (€307,619 million from 2004). During the programming period, Spain will receive a total of 10.25% of the funds.

The resources committed to each Member State in the Financial Perspectives should be set out in a national strategy defined in the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF) in regional and sector strategies as deemed necessary, defined in the Operational Programmes.

To be able to absorb this aid, all Member States must establish a multiannual programme for the aforementioned term, and establish rules for management of the funds, their certification to Brussels and the supervision to be applied to the expenditure.

  • THE RE-LAUNCH OF THE LISBON STRATEGY IN (2005)

    Five years after the start of the Lisbon Strategy, the Commission made a review of the results obtained. The European economy has not achieved the results foreseen in terms of growth, productivity and employment. Job creation has slowed down and investments in research and development continue to be insufficient. The main reasons may be due to an overloaded work schedule, lack of coordination and incompatibility of priorities. More information...

  • STRATEGIC COMMUNITY DIRECTIVES ON COHESION

    Decision 2006/702/CE of the Council, of 6 October 2006, Council Decision of 6 October 2006 on Community strategic guidelines on cohesion [Official Gazette L 291 of 21.10.2006]. The strategic community guidelines are an important element of the new cohesion policy subsequent to 2007. The Member States establish their cohesion policies based on the strategic guidelines. The directives contribute to the performance of other community priorities, primarily those stemming from the Lisbon strategy and the integrated guidelines for growth and employment. These refer mainly to investments, for example, knowledge and innovation, territorial cohesion and cooperation. The strategic guidelines for the cohesion policy subsequent to 2007 have two objectives:
    • Strengthen the strategic dimension of the cohesion policy. This means that community priorities integrate better with the national and regional development programmes.
    • Ensure improved integration with the cohesion policy at local wedding. This means a stronger dialogue between associations formed by the Commission, the Member States and the regions. What's more, there is a more transparent distribution of the responsibilities between the Commission, the Member States and the European Parliament.
    The strategic directives focus on three priorities:
    • transforming the regions and cities in Member states into more attractive places,
    • support innovation, foster an entrepreneurial spirit and growth of the knowledge economy and
    • creation of more, better quality jobs.
    More information...

  • NATIONAL REFERENCE FRAMEWORK

    The resources committed to each Member State in the Financial Perspectives should be set out in a national strategy defined in the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF) in regional and sector strategies as deemed necessary, defined in the Operational Programmes.

    Spain's National Strategic Reference. Framework for 2007 – 2013 (NSRF) is subject to the provisions of Regulation (EC) no. 1083/2006 of the Council of 11 July, which establishes the general provisions of the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund and the Cohesion Fund. The document has a dual purpose as a financial and strategic document. As a financial document, this incorporates the allocation for the regional policy and territorial cohesion foreseen for Spain in the Agreement of the European Council of 16 December 2005 that approves the Financial Perspectives for the 2007-2013 period. As a strategic document, it establishes the strategy designed for the Cohesion Fund, the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Social Fund (ESF) for the same 2007-2013 period. More information...

  • OPERATIONAL PROGRAMMES (and other programme documents)

    The Structural Funds are managed through the Operational Programmes. Each programme comprises priorities and measures. This set of elements designs a development strategy, which must be applied throughout the programme. Projects seeking funds from the programme must be registered within the strategy.

    Depending on its specific character, each of the Structural Funds may finance certain types of projects. Financial subsidies with European Union funds are governed by the applicable community regulations in each case and by the national development standards or their transpositions. The member state is responsible for financial control of the interventions, which means that they must adopt measures to ensure efficient, correct use of Community Funds, ensuring that the interventions are managed in accordance with national and community regulations and in accordance with correct financial management, that prevent, detect and correct the irregularities observed.

    Operational programmes are programming documents approved by the European Commission to develop and establish a development strategy for co-financing with European Funds, integrated in a coherent group of priority areas comprising multiannual measures. In this period of programming they are mono-fund Programmes. There is only one Multi-fund Operational Programme, which is that corresponding to the ERDF Cohesion Fund. A regional Operational Programme is an operational programme to apply in a specific region, financed by a single Fund, with the aforementioned exception. There are also multi-regional operational programmes which cover either all the Spanish regions or all the Convergence, Phasing-out and Phasing-in regions.

    The community regulation demands that those involved in application of the funds meet certain communication requirements. This means preparing a Communication Plan for each Operational Programme, although one Plan can be prepared for a set of Programmes if deemed appropriate. These plans include a set of actions that support the communication strategy designed in them. Linked with this strategy is the manner in which these will be followed up and evaluated, the importance of adequate communication networks and detection, within the communication actions, which might be considered Best Practices.

    The Monitoring Committees of the Operational Programmes approve the Selection Criteria of the operations to cofinance. "Expenditure disbursed between 1 January 2007 may be co-financed with the ERDF, as stated in article 56 of the Regulation (EC) no. 1083/2006 of the Council, on operations that have been decided in accordance with the Selection Criteria of Operations approved by the Programme Monitoring Committee.

    Preparation of a Communication Plan is the first requirement contained in Regulation (EC) nº 1828/2006 which sets out the development guidelines of Regulation 1083/2006, which establishes the general provisions relating to the ERDF, ESF and the Cohesion Fund. These plans are an essential communication instrument and the communication strategy that frames the objectives, information and advertising measures for carrying out the strategy must be framed among those objectives, as well as the administrative services or organisations responsible for applying the measures, the budget allocated to putting them into practice, how these measures will be monitored and evaluated, both with regard to the visibility of the Operational Programmes and the role played by the European Union through the Regional Policy.

    The 21 Communication Plans (ERDF and Cohesion Fund), were declared "approved" by the European Commission at the end of September in 2008. There are different types of regions in Spain, according to the level of income in relation to the European average, with data from 2005, classifying different types of region. More information...



    Andalucía y Castilla La Mancha, Convergence Regions

    The so-called "Convergence regions" are those with a gross domestic product (GDP) below 75% of the community average. The Convergence Objective of the Structural Funds is the main priority of the cohesion policy of the European Union for the 2007-2013 period. Likewise, 57.2% of credits of the Structural Funds are allocated to recovery of the most disadvantaged regions. Spain will receive resources from the Convergence Objective for the sum of €18,752 million, (10.7% of the total assigned to this Objective) between 2007 and 2013. In this area of intervention of the CHSegura, two convergence regions are included: Andalusia and Castile La Mancha.
    • ERDF OPERATIONAL PROGRAMME 2007-2013 OF ANDALUCÍA

      On 3 December 2007, the European Commission approved an operational programme for the region of Andalusia, in Spain, during the 2007-2013 period. The Operational Programme corresponds to the "Convergence" objective and has a total fund allocation of €9,840 million. The Community's contribution to the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) is around €6,840 million, which represents around 19.4% of total EU investment in Spain in the framework of the cohesion policy 2007-2013. The national contribution is €3,000 million and may come partly from community loans granted by the European Investment Bank (EIB) and other loan instruments.

      The priority area Environment, natural resource, water resources and risk prevention has a financial weight of around 29,7% of total investment
    • ERDF OPERATIONAL PROGRAMME 2007-2013 OF CASTILLA LA MANCHA

      On 7 December 2007, the European Commission approved an operational programme for the region of Castile-La Mancha, in Spain, during the 2007-2013 period. The Operational Programme corresponds to the "Convergence" objective and has a total fund allocation of €2,100 million. The Community's contribution to the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) is around €1,400 million, which represents around 4.1 % of total EU investment in Spain in the framework of the cohesion policy 2007-2013. The national contribution is €635 million and may come partly from community loans granted by the European Investment Bank (EIB) and other credit institutions.

      The priority area Environment, natural resource, water resources and risk prevention has a financial weight of around 21 % of total investment.


    Murcia, Región Phasing-out

    The Phasing-Out Objective of the Structural Funds, included within the Convergence and Employment, comprises regions that are below 75% of the EU-15 community average and which have surpassed this percentage because the average has fallen after the entry of the 12 new countries. Because of this, these regions are also known as those that no longer belong to the convergence objective due to the "statistical effect". In the 2007-2013 period, 4.1% of credits from Structural Funds (in other words, €12,521 million) will be allocated to these regions.

    Spain will receive resources from the Convergence Objective for the sum of €1,419 million, (11.3% of the total assigned to this Objective) between 2007 and 2013. In this area of intervention of the CHSegura, only one convergence region is included.

    Murcia Operational Programme 'Murcia'

    On 28 November 2007, the European Commission approved the Regional Operational Programme for Murcia, within the Convergence Objective, for the 2007-2013 period. The overall budget for the programme is around €744 million, which includes around €524 million from the EU European Regional Development Fund (around 2.27% of ERDF funds allocated for investment in Spain during the period).

    The priority area Environment, natural resource, water resources and risk prevention has a financial weight of around 21.3 % of total funding.

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2000-2006 PERIOD

The European Union budget is an annual exercise based on a multiannual financial framework and is determined by the Parliament and by the Council. European leaders now have to debate and adopt the community budget for 2014-2020, which will define the priorities and fix the ceiling for expenditure for the next seven years

In the negotiation of the Financial Perspectives 2000-2006, an assignment of funds to this category of (€258,656 million euros 1999) was made in the Council of Berlin (1999). During the programming period, Spain will receive a total of 26.53% of the funds.

To be able to absorb this aid, with regard to the Structural Funds, all Member States must establish a multiannual programme for the aforementioned term and establish rules for management of the funds, their certification to Brussels and the supervision to be applied to the expenditure. Likewise, the mechanisms for carrying out the evaluation impact of these funds have on the main macroeconomic variables of the country and each of the regions where the funds are applied.

With respect to the Cohesion Fund, management is carried out on a project to project basis, although the rules governing their management must also be set out at the beginning of the programming, certifying the expenditure to the Commission, and the necessary cost control.

More Information

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