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Coordination and harmonisation of ESI Funds and other EU Instruments


European Commission



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There have been many positive results from reforms made to the design and operation of the 2014–20 European Structural and Investment (ESI) Funds, such as the introduction of the Common Provisions Regulation. Nevertheless coordination in implementation remains a challenge.

This is the conclusion of a study by Prognos and KPMG for the European Commission.

The study assessed the coherence, complementarity and coordination (3Cs) within the European Structural and Investment (ESI) Funds, and between these funds and other EU instruments, covering grants and financial instruments, under central and shared management.

Three major strategies were identified that could improve the operation of the 3Cs:

  1. To further harmonise financial and implementation rules to realise more complementarities between funds and simplify the implementation process.
  2. To promote clearer demarcation between funds to increase coherence.
  3. To improve clarity in the information on funding opportunities available to beneficiaries, Managing Authorities and other stakeholders, in order to improve coordination.

Furthermore, the report presents a set of key findings and options for consideration as part of the impact assessment for the post-2020 period.


The report is based on evidence from some 238 interviews, 32 focus group meetings, over 250 documents and two expert workshops.


The European Structural and Investment Funds contribute to strengthening the economic, social and territorial cohesion of the European Union and promoting growth and employment. They are supposed to make regions and cities more competitive, create new jobs and support sustainable development.

Read the study (PDF)

Read the Op-Ed by Prognos CEO "Was Brüssels Förderpolitik von Online-Reiseportalen lernen kann" (in German only)

Website of the European Commission


Dr. Jan-Philipp Kramer, Holger Bornemann, Moritz Schrapers, Mirjam Buck et al. (Prognos AG); Olaf Buske, Andras Kaszap et al. (KPMG), Paul Jeffrey und Jim Fitzpatrick (externe Experten)

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Prognos is one of the oldest economic research centres in Europe. Founded at the University of Basel, Prognos experts have been conducting research for a wide range of clients from the public and private sectors since 1959 – politically independent, scientifically sound.

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