The cohesion policy is implemented by national and regional bodies in partnership with European Commission. The cohesion policy framework is established for a period of 7 years.
On the basis of a proposal from the European Commission, the budget of the policy and the rules for its use are jointly decided by European Council and European Parliament.
A process of consultation on the principles and priorities of the policy is implemented between the Commission and each member states. Each country’s strategy and a list of programmes is then drafted in a partnership agreement. The programmes present the priorities of the country for the cooperation areas. The Commission then negotiates with each country. Workers, employers and civil society are encouraged to participate to the negotiation.
Once the partnership agreement is approved, each member states and their regions implement the programmes. A managing authority is identified whose task is to select, monitor and evaluate a large number of projects.
The Commission commits the funds, pays the certified expenditures and monitors each programme. Both the Commission and the member states submit reports throughout the programming period.
European Commission has introduced significant changes for 2014-2020:
- Encourage of integrated programming
- Reward performance and focus on results
- Strengthen territorial cohesion
- Simplify procedures