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Is the European Commission the only European institution to grant funds?

Several funds are provided by the European Commission, making us wonder whether if the Commission is the solely manager of funds. Are there other European institutions able to provide funding? Are they complementary with the funds of the Commission?

The role of implementation of the European Commission

Among the political European institutions, the European Commission is responsible for the management of EU Funds.  Why the Commission and not another political institution like the European Parliament or the Council of the EU?

The Commission assumes the role of performance, and therefore an administrative role. The treaties give the Commission implementing powers to ensure the achievement of the objectives, the management and implementation of the budget of the European Union. Indeed, the Commission proposes the EU budget and manages it after its adoption by the Parliament and the Council. It therefore manages the various EU funds and programs of research and technological development.

Under Article 317 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU and in the context of shared management, the Commission must ensure that the structural funds and European investment (ESI Fund) are used by Member States legal and regular manner and in accordance with the principle of sound financial management within the meaning of the “Financial Regulation” of the Union [Regulation 966/2012, mod. most recently in 1142/2014 Regulation]. The Member States and organizations they designate for this purpose should be responsible for the preparation and implementation of programs.

The European Investment Bank, to complement financial instruments of the European Commission

The Commission is not the only European institution to grant funds, there is also the European Investment Bank. In order to maximize the stimulus provided by the budget resources deployed, making use of appropriate financial instruments, European intervention in the form of grants may be combined in an appropriate way with loans and guarantees from the EIB. The latter is actually the oldest regional development instrument. Almost 75% of EIB funding in the Union contributes to regional development. EIB provides including long-term capital to finance infrastructure projects in the fields of transport, energy and telecommunications. Loans and guarantees of EIB funding projects aimed at development of less developed regions.

Furthermore the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU is explicit with regard to the relationship between the EIB operations and actions of the Structural Funds since it provides that “in fulfilling its mission, Bank shall facilitate the financing of investment programs in conjunction with assistance from the Structural funds and other financial instruments of the Union “, which concerns regions lagging behind or industrial decline.

Thus the EU proposes various funding opportunities: the European funds managed by the European Commission, which may be accompanied under certain conditions by the EIB funds. This coordination of funds shows that the European Commission, responsible for building the Community is an integration engine.


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