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European cooperation in the field of education and training is voluntary, yet a strategic framework sets objectives to be attained by 2020. Following a mid-term review concluded last year, the European Parliament will debate a report which praises efforts to take stakeholders’ feedback into account and makes a number of recommendations for the future.

Conciliation agreement on the 2016 EU budget

Mad-Daqqa t''Għajn 20-11-2015

On 14 November, European Parliament (EP) and Council negotiators reached a provisional deal on next year's EU budget, setting commitments at €155 billion and payments at €143.88 billion. The compromise is now to be adopted by the Council and then voted by the EP in plenary.

Currently, all EU Member States are preparing their Partnership Agreement and the Operational Programmes for the new programming period 2014-2020. The preparation process is far behind schedule in almost all Member States, which is mainly due to delays of the financial and regulative framework at EU level. Nevertheless, most Member States do have draft Partnership Agreements, programme strategies and contents. The missing chapters of the Operational Programmes relate to ex-ante conditionalities, ...

Cohesion policy and its Structural Funds are one of the main EU instruments to sustain economic growth, while reducing disparities between regions. These funds are allocated to Member States (MS) under a complex legal framework, according to the level of development of their regions.

This note provides an overview and assessment of the ex-ante conditionalities, fulfilment criteria and delivery mechanisms outlined in the draft Common Provisions Regulation adopted by the European Commission. The aim is to identify critical aspects of the proposed ex-ante conditionality mechanism and to contribute to the current debate.