Implementation of partnerships in EU funds is shrinking

On March 19, 2014 Social Platform, in coalition with other NGOs from the social, environmental and educational sectors both from the European and national level, sent a letter to the Director General for Regional and Urban Policy to highlight discontent on how the partnership principle has been put in place in the implementation of the new structural and investment funds.

The obligation on member states to set up partnership agreements with socio-economic actors, local authorities and NGOs for the implementation of these funds has marked one of the major novelties of the new rules that were adopted last year.

Unfortunately it seems that during the ongoing programming period a number of basic partnership principles have not been met yet by member states: timely access to information and sufficient time for reaction is far from being guaranteed; the involvement of partners was not happening at early stages when major strategic decisions had been taken; a number of member states are failing to establish a mutual dialogue where partners receive feedback on their contributions. In addition, access to technical assistance, global grants and capacity building for partners remains very difficult or marginal.

Therefore, NGOs call on the European Commission to hold member states accountable for their commitment to implement a good partnership and to follow the principles laid down in the European Code of Conduct on Partnership. For more information, read the full letter.