The European Structural and Investment Funds – ESIF [2014-2020]

The European Structural and Investment Funds are:
• the European Regional Development Fund [ERDF] with the aim of strengthening economic and social cohesion in the EU by correcting imbalances between its regions;
• the European Social Fund [ESF] that is Europe’s main instrument for supporting jobs, helping people get better jobs and ensuring fairer job opportunities for all EU citizens;
• the Cohesion Fund [CF] that supports those Member States whose Gross National Income (GNI) per inhabitant is less than 90% of the EU average; it aims to reduce economic and social disparities and to promote sustainable development;
the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development [EAFRD] that helps the rural areas of the EU to meet the wide range of challenges and opportunities that face them in the 21st century – economic, environmental and social;
• the European Maritime & Fisheries Fund [EMFF] that encourages sustainable fishing and sustainable aquaculture. It will also support job creation and diversification in fisheries-dependent communities and promote the implementation of the Integrated Maritime Policy.

For the 2014-2020 programming period, the European Commission has set down common rules for the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF), ensuring a more strategic and complementary use of funds for a better contribution to the strategy Europe 2020.

Member States are required to draw up and implement strategic plans with investment priorities covering the ESIF. These Partnership Agreements are negotiated between the EC and national authorities with the consultation of various levels of governance, representatives from interest groups, civil society and local and regional representatives.

The Italian Partnership Agreement [Italian Version]

Operational Programmes are realized to break down the investments priorities and objectives of the Partnership Agreements into concrete actions. These programmes can be national, regional or they can involve more than one country. The duty of implementing the programmes and evaluating the individual projects proposed is carried out by managing authorities in each country and/or region.