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Guidance for beneficiaries of European Structural and Investment Funds and related EU instruments (2014)


Regulation (EU) N°1303/2013 lays down common provisions applicable to the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the European Social Fund (ESF), the Cohesion Fund (CF), the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF). These Funds operate under a common framework known as the ‘European Structural and Investment Funds’ or ‘ESIF’. The Regulation also sets out the provisions necessary to ensure the effectiveness of the ESIF and their coordination with one another and with other EU instruments.

Article 13 of the Regulation invites the Commission to prepare guidance for beneficiaries on how to effectively access and use the ESIF and on how to exploit complementarities with other instruments of relevant Union policies. The term ‘Beneficiaries’ covers a broad public, ranging from small and medium size enterprises (SMEs).

This Guidance for Beneficiaries is not meant to be an exhaustive repertoire of available EU funds. It builds on the Common Strategic Framework (Annex 1 of Regulation (EU) N°1303/2013) which provides the basis for better coordination between the ESIF and other EU instruments.

For each Thematic Objective or to identified in the ESIF Regulation, the guidance gives an overview of complementary instruments available at EU level complete with detailed sources of information, examples of good practices for combining different streams of funds, as well as a description of relevant authorities and bodies involved in the management of each instrument.

The links provided throughout the document will allow potential beneficiaries to find their way in the maze of material available online, leading them to the most immediate and useful websites and documents. An online check-list is also available to help potential beneficiaries identify the most appropriate funding sources

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