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2014. 01. 20.I author: European Association of Development Agencies -

Cohesion Policy Regulations

The new rules and legislation governing the next round of EU Cohesion Policy investment for 2014-2020 have been formally endorsed by the Council of the European Union and have been published in 24 languages on December 20 in the 'Official Journal of the EU'. Below the articles that concern smart specialisation and synergies between the "European Structural and Investment Funds" and Horizon2020 and other EU programmes in the "Common Provisions Regulation".

Overview kindly provided by Mrs Katja REPPEL, Deputy Head of Unit at DG Regional and Urban Policy


Recital 30 – synergies among programmes

Article 2

(3)- Definition of smart specialisation ;

(33) - 'applicable ex ante conditionality' means a concrete and precisely pre-defined critical factor, which is a prerequisite for and has a direct and genuine link to, and direct impact on, the effective and efficient achievement of a specific objective for an investment priority or a Union priority;

Article 9 - Thematic objectives

Article 13 - Guidance for beneficiaries on combining funding instruments within and across policy areas,

Article 15(1)b (i) - Partnership Agreement has to contain arrangements, that ensure coordination between the ESI Funds and other Union and national funding instruments and with the EIB and (iii) a summary of the assessment of the fulfilment of applicable ex ante conditionalities /action plans for their fulfilment

Article 65 (11) – derogation from non-cumulative principle (combination of support from different EU programmes  in same operation, provided that expenditure items do not receive support from another Fund or Union instrument.

Article 67(5)b and 68(1)c – alignment of flat rates, unit costs and lump sums to rules applicable in other EU programmes for a similar type of operations and beneficiaries is possible

Article 70 (2) - Eligibility of operations outside the operational programme territory (15% for ERDF, provided that expenditure is for the benefit of the OP territory)

Article 96 -  operational programmes shall set out (3)d:  arrangements for interregional and transnational actions, within the operational programmes, with beneficiaries located in at least one other Member State;   (6)(a) mechanisms to ensure coordination between the Funds and other EU and national programmes; (b) for each ex ante conditionality, which is applicable to the OP, an assessment of whether the ex ante conditionality is fulfilled and if not  a description of the actions to fulfil the ex ante conditionality …

ANNEX 1 - Common Strategic Framework:

4.3. synergies and complementarity of  Horizon 2020 and other centrally managed EU programmes in the areas of research and innovation:

2. entrepreneurial discovery process for development of Smart specialisation strategies.  Smart specialisation strategies shall include actions to prepare R&I players to participate in Horizon 2020 + capacity-building ("up-stream") + actions to exploit and diffuse R&I results into the market + innovation-friendly environment for business and industry… ("down-stream")

3. support to national and regional authorities for the design and implementation of such strategies, opportunities for joint financing  and international collaboration, methodological support through peer reviews, exchange of good practice, and training

4. proposed synergies measures: linking excellent research institutions and less developed regions ; building links between innovative clusters of recognised excellence; "ERA Chairs" to attract outstanding academics ; access to international networks for researchers and innovators ; contributing to relevant European Innovation Partnerships; participation in the Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs) of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT); hosting high-quality international researcher mobility programmes

7.2 Cross-border, transnational and interregional cooperation under the ERDF

…. use of cooperation to achieve critical mass andexploit economies of scale, ….  promote the development of joint smart specialisation approaches and partnerships among educational institutions. …. fostering cooperation between innovative research-intensive clusters (experience of "Regions of Knowledge" and "Research Potential in Convergence and Outermost Regions" ),  improve cross-border governance.

ANNEX XI  - Ex ante conditionalities


Click here to consult the complete Official Journal L 347 dd 20/12/2013.

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