Cohesion Fund evolution
The Cohesion Fund was established in 1993 to provide assistance to selected countries at national level (e.g. to Greece, Portugal, Spain and Ireland) in order to prepare for their accession to Economic and Monetary Union. Historically, the Cohesion Fund finances projects in the field of environment and trans-European transport networks.
Provision of assistance is conditioned by two factors:
Gross national product (GNP), measured by purchasing power parity, must not exceed 90% of the EU average for the member country,
the member country must implement the programme of “economic convergence”.
In addition to providing contributions to projects helping to achieve goals in the field of environment and trans-European transport networks, the Cohesion Fund should shift the states being supported towards budget stability required by EMU (Economic and Monetary Union) without restricting extensive investments necessary in these fields.
Area of applicability
The Cohesion Fund, which is not a part of the structural funds, provides financial resources for big investment projects in the fields of environment and transport (trans-European transport networks) in the EU member countries with GNP under 90% of the EU average.
The Czech Republic meets the condition (now, its GNP per capita is about 61% of the EU average). The Fund does not focus on regional politics only. The assistance of the Fund is complementary in practice with respect to the assistance provided by structural funds to the regions.
It accounts for about 1/3 of the assistance with respect to volume of financial resources from the EU
Cohesion Fund projects
A member country and the European Commission make decisions together on procedures while using the Cohesion Fund. The projects may be grouped (a group of projects interwoven by common strategy), whereas one project may be, if reasonable, divided into several technically and financially independent phases and may be financed separately.
Attention is paid to avoiding funding of a project from the Cohesion Fund and structural funds at the same time.
Terms of the projects are different on case basis. They are administered by national bodies and implementation is reviewed by Monitoring Committees.
The Fund contributes to reinforcement of economic and social cohesion of the EU.
The EU assistance level provided by the Fund is 80 – 85% of public or equivalent expenses. Specific amount of the assistance depends on type of a project to be implemented.
Documents for download:
Informace o FS za programovací období 2004 - 2006 (pdf - 42,27 KB)
Prehled_projektu_ISPA_a_FS_za_obdobi_2004_az_2006 (pdf - 36,82 KB)
Under our conditions, the assistance from the Cohesion Fund is directly related to pre-accession assistance by the EU using a pre-accession instrument – ISPA (The Instrument for Structural Policies Pre-Accession). The ISPA financial instrument was designed for candidate countries from 2000 until their accession to the EU.
It was focused on improvement of infrastructure level in the fields of transport and environment. Focus and procedures are analogical to the EU Cohesion Fund.
Inclusion of the ISPA financial instrument into pre-accession assistance programmes provided by the EU to the candidate countries was a fundamental assumption for subsequent and successful use of the Cohesion Fund after accession of the Czech Republic to the EU.
Cohesion Fund in the Czech Republic
Based on decision of the Czech Government No. 102/2002, subsection II/d), Czech Republic Ministry for Regional Development is charged to ensure full operation of the Governing Body of the Cohesion Fund within completion of preparation of programme documents and determination of managing and payment authorities for use of the structural funds and the EU Cohesion Fund.
Governing body of the Cohesion Fund
The Cohesion Fund Governing Body Department was established on 1 March 2003 at the Czech Republic Ministry for Regional Development aimed at successful completion of use of the ISPA instrument and ensuring full operation of the Cohesion Fund Governing Body by 31 December 2003 (II/Id – Government decision No. 102/2002), which is in compliance with the National Development Plan, the basic document for receiving funds from the structural funds and the Cohesion Fund.
The Czech Republic Ministry for Regional Development in charge of the Governing body of the Cohesion Fund coordinates intermediating bodies of the Cohesion Fund, i.e. Ministry of the Environment and Ministry of Transport as well as implementation bodies, i.e. SFŽP ČR, ŘSD and SŽDC responsible for general implementation of the projects in the field in order to achieve the most effective use of the funds allocated by the EC for the Czech Republic in 2004 – 2006.
For more information about activities of the Cohesion Fund, see website of the European Commission .
Related linksEuropean Commission - Cohesion Fund