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PUBLICATIONS, Structural and Cohesion Policies

Partnership Agreements within Cohesion Policy 2014-2020

Written by Sorina Silvia Ionescu

Updated on 9th February 2015

© fotomek, fotolia 2014

© fotomek, fotolia 2014

Within the Cohesion Policy 2014-2020, Partnership Agreement (PA) sets out the selected thematic objectives (and for each a summary of the main results expected from each of the European Structural and Investment Funds ‐ ESI), the indicative allocation of support by the EU (by thematic objective at national level for each of the ESI Funds), as well as the total indicative amount of support envisaged for climate change objectives.

The Regulation (EU) No 1303/2013 establishes that each Member State shall submit its Partnership Agreement (PA) for approval to the European Commission within 4 months from the entry into force of the Regulation. It also stipulates that Operational Programmes (OPs) shall be submitted by Member States at the latest 3 months following the submission of the PAs and should be adopted by end of January 2015 at the latest.

All PAs have been adopted by the European Commission in 2014. The Commission shall prepare a report on the outcome of the negotiations concerning the Partnership Agreements and the programmes, including an overview of the key issues, for each Member State, by 31 December 2015.

In 2014-2020 Operational Programmes (OPs) can be fund-specific or multi-fund. They can cover entire Member States and/or regions. OPs allow selecting, implementing, monitoring and evaluating the individual projects according to the priorities and targets agreed between the Commission and the national or regional Managing authorities.

This Keysource includes PAs of Member States (as adopted by the European Commission and available on the national websites, in national languages), as well as some selected analyses on the role of PAs within the Cohesion Policy 2014-2020.

It also provides the links to operational programmes of Member States (in national languages). The summaries of Operational Programmes adopted by the European Commission are available here . (The summaries of adopted Operational programmes ESF – European Social Fund are available here )


Prospects for Cohesion Policy in 2014-20 and Beyond: Progress with Programming and Reflections on the Future / by Carlos Mendez and John Bachtler, European Policy Research Paper, No. 88, European Policies Research Centre, January 2015, 49 p.

“This paper sets out the recent economic, political and institutional developments at EU level with a bearing on Cohesion Policy. It reviews the finalisation of the 2014-20 legislative framework and changes in geographical eligibility and allocations; it also provides an overview of the state-of-play of programming, the key issues in the negotiations between the Commission and Member States and the expected shifts in thematic allocations across the EU. This paper summarises recent studies exploring post-2020 reform scenarios and concludes by reflecting on some of the key implications of the 2013 reform.” (Source: the paper)

Implementation of Cohesion Policy 2014-2020 preparations and administrative capacity of Member States: study and annex / Policy Department B – Structural and Cohesion Policies, 2014.

The aim of this study is to assess the administrative capacity of Member States for implementing Cohesion policy in 2014-2020, and the preparations undertaken at administrative level for a successful start of the programming period. Fourteen case studies support the finding that simplification measures are being prepared at EU and Member State levels based on the lessons learned from previous periods, but that the efficient and effective Funds management in 2014-2020 will still be coupled with administrative challenges for national and regional authorities.

European Commission Perspectives on the 2014-2020 Partnership Agreements & Programmes: A Comparative Review of the Commission’s Position Papers / by C. Mendez, EPRC Policy Briefing, May 2013, 13 p.

This EPRC Policy Briefing reviews the Commission’s emerging position on the new Partnership Agreements and Operational Programmes, based on a comparative analysis of the Commission’s Position Papers for all Member States. This Policy Briefing is a summary of a more extensive review of the Position Papers, published in the EPRC European Policy Research Paper series (No.84). (Source: the paper)

European Commission Perspectives on the 2014-2020 Partnership Agreements & Programmes: A Comparative Review of the Commission’s Position Papers / by C. Mendez, J. Bachtler and K. Granqvist, European Policy Research Paper, no. 84, April 2013, 86 p.

This paper provides a comparative overview of the Commission’s Position Papers covering all Member States in order to provide insights on how the Commission assesses the main challenges and policy priorities for the 2014-2020 period. The paper includes: an overview of the main development challenges identified by the Commission; a review of the proposed priorities for funding, including the thematic objectives and associated country-specific recommendations; the Commission’s views on ex-ante conditionality and added value; and the proposed changes to governance arrangements, including: the programme architecture; coordination arrangements; horizontal principles; partnership; financial management, audit and control; administrative capacity; and monitoring and evaluation. It also provides a critical assessment of the Position Papers. (Source: the paper)

Stakeholder views

The Commission Services have presented the Member States position papers on the development of Partnership Agreement and Programs for 2014-2020. They include views on the main challenges and funding priorities at an early stage of programming for 2014-2020 and establish a framework for dialogue between the Commission Services and each Member State on preparation of the partnership agreement and programmes.

Cohesion policy: planning of EU Structural Funds: is local government treated as a real partner? / Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CCRE- CEMR), May 2014, 32 p.

On the basis of the experience of 18 CEMR members (national associations of local and regional authorities), this paper highlights that barely 4 out of 18 Member States had fully applied the Partnership Principle. A majority of Member States have put in place channels of discussion and cooperation with local and regional authorities. Nevertheless, Member States implement the partnership principle in very different ways and there is room for improvement everywhere. (Source: CCRE)

Partnership Agreements: CEMR Survey Report on “Involvement of national associations of LRAs in the Partnership Agreement preparations” / Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR), April 2013, 17 p.

The purpose of this report is to identify the state of play of local and regional authority associations’ involvement in the preparation of the Partnership Agreement. The last December agreement on the Partnership Agreement provisions for the European Structural Investment Funds (ESIF) and the publication of the draft European Code of Conduct, which will have a statutory nature, have been a success for the campaigning of CEMR to ensure that the new funds will have strong partnership provisions for Local and Regional Authorities (LRAs). (Source: report)

Country approach

This section includes the adopted Partnership Agreements of the Member States, in national languages (as available on national websites).


Partnerschaftsvereinbarung Österreich 2014-2020 , October 2014, 234 p. ( Summary in English language)

Operational programmes – website


Accord de partenariat pour la Belgique / Partnerschapsakkoord voor België 2014-2020, October 2014, 183 p. ( Summary in English language)




Partnership Agreement – Republic of Croatia , October 2014, 471 p. ( Summary in English language)

Operational programmes – website

Czech Republic

Dohoda o partnerství pro programové období 2014–2020 , August 2014, 221 p. ( Summary in English language)

Operational programmes – website


ΣΥΜΦΩΝΙΑ ΕΤΑΙΡΙΚΗΣ ΣΧΕΣΗΣ 2014‐2020 , August 2014, 205 p. ( Summary in English language)

Operational programmes – website


Partnership Agreement 2014-2020 ( text in Danish language), May 2014

Operational programmes – website


Partnership Agreement for the use of European Structural and Investment Funds 2014-2020 ( Summary in English language), 20 June 2014.

Operational Programme for Cohesion Policy Funds 2014-2020 , 205 p.


SUOMEN KUMPPANUUSSOPIMUS 2014 – 2020 FINLANDS PARTNERSKAPSÖVERENSKOMMELSE 2014 – 2020 , October 2014, 153 p. ( Summary in English language)

Operational programmes available – website


Accord de partenariat 2014‐2020 , August 2014( Summary in English language).

Operational programmes – website


Partnership Agreement 2014-2020, Part I and Part II , May 2014 ( Summary in English langauge).


Partnership Agreement 2014-2020 , May 2014

Operational programmes – website


Partnership Agreement , August 2014 ( Summary in English language)

Operational programmes – website


Accordo di partenariato 2014-2020 ,  October 2014. ( Summary in English language)

Operational programmes – website


Partnership Agreement 2014-2020 , November 2014, 265 p. ( Summary )

Operational programmes: Border Midland and Western Region and Southern and Eastern Region


Partnerības līgums Eiropas Savienības investīciju fondu 2014.–2020.gada plānošanas periodam , June 2014.

Operational programmes – website


Lietuvos Respublikos Partnerystės sutartis , June 2014. ( Summary in English language)

More information on 2014-2020 EU investment in Lithuania here


Accord de partenariat 2014-2020 , October 2014, 206 p. ( Summary in English language)

Operational programes – website


Partnership Agreement for Malta 2014-2020 , October 2014, 375 p. ( Summary in English language)

Operational Programmes – website

The Netherlands

Partnerschapsovereenkomst Nederland 2014-2020 , August 2014, 90 p. ( Summary in English language)

ESIF in the Netherlands – website


Programowaniie perspektywy fiinansowej 2014 -2020 – Umowa Partnerstwa , May 2014, 246 p. ( Summary in English language)

Operational programmes – website


Portugal 2020: Acordo de parceria 2014-2020 , July 2014 ( Summary in English language)

Operational programmes – website


Partnership Agreement , August 2014 ( Summary in English language)

Operational programmes – website


Partnership Agreement of the Slovak Republic for the years 2014 – 2020 , June 2014 ( Summary in English language)

Operational programmes – website


Partnerski sporazum med Slovenijo in Evropsko komisijo za obdobje 2014 – 2020 , October 2014, 197 p. ( full text and summary in English language)

Operational programmes website


Acuerdo de Asociación de España 2014-2020 , October 2014, 368 p.

Regional and Multi-regional operational programmes


Partnerskapsöverenskommelsen 2014-2020 , October 2014, 242 p.

More information on EU Cohesion policy 2014-2020 in Sweden is available here

United Kingdom

Partnership Agreement 2014-2020 , (Part I and II) ( Summary )

Operational programmes website: England, Wales , Northern Ireland and Scotland


3 thoughts on “Partnership Agreements within Cohesion Policy 2014-2020

  1. where do i find the vesions in english? i mean of these partnership agremeents


    Posted by Liam | March 21, 2018, 16:01


  1. Pingback: Cohesion Policy implementation in the EU28 | European Parliamentary Research Service - September 2, 2015

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