The Commission may delegate the implementation of EU-funded projects to partner organisations (so-called ‘indirect management’). In this set-up, partner organisations are fully in charge of the implementation of the project on the ground. However, the Commission remains accountable to the Parliament and Council for the proper use of the funds.
How do we select partner organisations?
Before we can delegate the implementation of a project to a partner organisation, we need to ensure that its internal rules and procedures guarantee a high level of protection of EU funds. In order to do so, the organisation must successfully pass a so-called pillar assessment.
The Commission works with different types of partner organisations such as international organisations, public law bodies or private law bodies with a public service mission. As far as guarantees and blending are concerned, we often work with finance institutions, such as international development banks.
In order to work under ‘indirect management’ with the Commission, partner organisations have to meet certain criteria and their selection must always be justified and based on objective reasons.
The Commission may decide to sign, with partner organisations, Financial Framework Partnership Agreements (‘FFPAs’) as a means to facilitate the achievement of the EU's objectives by stabilising the contractual terms of a long-term cooperation. FFPAs specify, among others, the forms of financial cooperation and the extent to which the Commission may rely on the systems and procedures of the relevant Partner organisation.
Individual projects to be implemented by Partner organisations are subject to the conclusion of so-called Contribution Agreements, which contain, among others, the description and planning of the activities, the budget and the contractual provisions (including any arrangements concluded through FFPAs) applicable to the EU-funded project.