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- Accession Negotiations
Accession negotiations are vital in terms of evaluating how ready candidate countries are for accession. Each country is judged on its own merits from the point of view of compliance with the accession criteria. Negotiations help candidate countries to prepare to fulfill the obligations of European Union membership. They also allow the Union to prepare itself for enlargement in terms of absorption capacity. Negotiations relate to the adoption and implementation of the Community acquis, which is monitored by the Commission. The acquis is divided into chapters. There are as many chapters as areas in which progress must be made. Negotiations take place at bilateral intergovernmental conferences between the Member States and the candidate country. The results of the negotiations are incorporated into a draft accession treaty, once the negotiations on all chapters are closed. Where appropriate, the system of transitional measures allows negotiations to be concluded even if transposition of the acquis has not been completed.
Verification of the legality and regularity of the implementation of resources. Auditing makes a judgment in terms of general criteria and standards. The main purpose of an audit is to find mistakes and evidence of dysfunction. The idea is to obtain a dissuasive effect. With time, the terms ‘control’ and ‘audit’ have extended further a field to encompass more activities than those corresponding to the original definition. The objective of an audit (i.e. an assurance engagement) is for an auditor to evaluate, and to express a conclusion (i.e. opinion) that provides the intended user with a level of assurance about that subject. In other words: auditing is measuring facts and reporting a conclusion.
- Audit Authority – AA
A functionally independent body from the management and control that audits the organisational set-up and the functionality of the structures and the control systems for management of pre-accession funds of EU in the Republic of Macedonia, established under the Law on Modifications and Amendments to the Law on State Audit. (OG of RM 133/07).
- Beneficiary Country – BC
The Republic of Macedonia, as a country benefiting from the EU financial cooperation.
- Central Financing and Contracting Department – CFCD
A body within the Ministry of Finance solely responsible for carrying out tendering, contracting, recording the transactions in the accounting system and executing paments upon concluded contracts for projects financed within the first four IPA components, in line with the IPA decentralised management system.
- Cohesion Fund
Under the terms of Article 130d of the EC Treaty, the Cohesion Fund was set up in 1993 to provide financial help for projects in the fields of environment and transport infrastructure. In order to speed up economic, social and territorial convergence, the European Union set up a Cohesion Fund in 1994. The purpose of the Cohesion Fund is to grant financing to environment and transport infrastructure projects. The support granted is, however, subject to certain conditions. If the public deficit of a beneficiary Member State exceeds 3% of national GDP no new project will be approved until the deficit has been brought under control. The scope of the Cohesion Fund is extended to include renewable energies, inter-modal transport, and urban and public transport.
- Competent Accrediting Officer – CAO
A high-ranking government official, issuing accreditation to the National Accreditatin Officer and the National Fund for decentralised management of the first four IPA components, pursuant to the requirements prescribed in Point 1, Annex A of the Framework Agreement.
- Contracting Authority – CA
The Contracting Authority for the first four IPA Components is the Central Financing and Contracting Department, as part of the Ministry of Finance, whereas the Contracting Authority for the fifth IPA Component is the IPARD Paying Agency.
- Cross-Border Cooperation Component – CBC
The second IPA Component. This component covers Cross-Border Cooperation (CBC) activities between (potential) Candidate Countries and Member States, as well as CBC activities between Candidate Countries and Potential Candidate Countries. The main aim of this component is to promote sustainable economic and social development in the border areas, to address common challenges in environment, natural and cultural heritage, public health and the prevention of and fight against organised crime, to ensure efficient and secure borders, and to promote local “people to people” type of action.
- Decentralised Implementation System (of the first four IPA Components) – DIS
A management system within which part of the management and responsabilities shall be transferred to the Republic of Macedonia as a benebiciary country, while the European Commission shall carry out ex-ante control over the management process and shall retain the final responsibility under the EC Treaties.
- Eligible Expenditure
Eligible Expenditure is any expense considered as eligible under the IPA Implementing Regulation and the relevant Financing Agreement.
- Enlargement Package
It is a set of documents presented each year to the Council and the European Parliament by the Commission, the strategic and political part of which consists of the revisions, where appropriate, of the accession partnerships and the European partnerships, the regular reports established by country and the Commission’s strategy paper. A multi-annual indicative financial framework completes the package.
- Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Study – EIA
Study of all the repercussions of an individual project on the natural environment. EIA is a compulsory step in certain countries in the selection of major infrastructure projects. By contrast, strategic environmental assessment (SEA) refers to the evaluation of programmes and policy priorities.
- European Regional Development Fund – ERDF
Since 1975 ERDF has provided support for the creation of infrastructure and productive job-creating investment. This instrument aims to reduce regional development disparities, primarily through productive investment, the creation and modernisation of infrastructure, measures to generate regional development and related investment in education and health.
- European social fund
- Final Beneficiary – FB
The Operating Structure for the Human Resources Development Component of IPA, responsible for initiating and implementing operations under the Human Resources Development Component that retains the direct responsibility for the implementation of the operations under the OPHRD, namely in terms of establishing contracting arrangements and making financial transactions associated thereto
- Financing Agreement
An annual or multi-annual agreement concluded for each IPA Component between the European Commission and the Government of the Republic of Macedonia, following a Commission financial decision approving the Community contribution to a programme/ operation and is composed of the main text and annexes.
- Framework Agreement -FwA
An Agreement concluded between the Government of the Republic of Macedonia and the Commission of the European Communities on the Rules for Cooperation concerning the EC Financial Assistance to the Republic of Macedonia in the Framework of the Implementation of the Assitance under the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assitance (OG of RM 18/08).
According to PRAG, a grant is a direct financial contribution, by way of donation, from the EU budget or the EDF, in order to finance:
- either an action intended to help achieve an objective forming part of a European Union policy;
- or the functioning of a body which pursues an aim of general European interest or has an objective forming part of a European Union policy.
- Head of National Fund
Head of National Fund is a government official responsible for the proper performance of the functions of the National Fund, being directly responsible to the NAO.
- Head of Operating Structure – HOS
A government official, managing the operating structures for implementation of IPA Component III and IPA Component IV, and shall be accountable for timely and efficient fulfillment of the obligations referred to in Point 6, Annex A of the Framework Agreement.
- Human Resource Development Component – HRD
The fourth IPA Component. The objective of HRD component is to assist the RoM in the management and implementation of the Community’s cohesion policy after accession, particularly the European Social Fund (ESF) and in achieving the EU standards with regard to employment, social inclusion, gender equality education and training as laid down in the framework of the European Employment Strategy and the revised in the Lisbon Strategy.
- Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA)
- IPA Co-ordinator
A person appointed within the Line Ministry or the Beneficiary Institution under IPA Component II, IPA Component III or IPA Component IV, responsible for the technical aspects of the projects to be implemented within the Line Ministry or the Beneficiary Institution, helping the PAO/HOS of the OS in adequate and timely project preparation and implementation.
- IPA Implementing Regulation – IPA IR
Commission Regulation (EC) No 718/2007 of 12 June 2007 implementing Council Regulation (EC) No 1085/2006 establishing an instrument for pre-accession assistance (IPA)
- IPA Monitoring Committee
The main monitoring body for the implementation of IPA measures on the level of beneficiary country. It is composed of the representatives of the European Commission, the National IPA Coordinator (NIPAC), the National Authorising Officer, the Strategic Coordinator and the representatives of the Operating Structures. The Committee is co-chaired by a representative of the Commission and the NI PAC.
Any infringement of a provision of applicable rules and contracts resulting from an act or an omission by an economic operator which has, or would have, the effect of prejudicing the general budget of the European Union by charging an unjustified item of expenditure to the general budget.
- Irregularity Officer – IO
A person reponsible to report, on a quarterly basis, to the Commission the irregularities detected in IPA funded projects.
- Joint Monitoring Committee – JMC
The Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC) is a body set up by representatives from the countries participating in Cross-Border Programmes for the purpose of proper implementation of the programme. JMC shall satisfy itself as to the effectiveness and quality of the implementation of the cross–border programme, in accordance with the provisions in Article 110 of IPA IR.
- Joint Technical Secretariat
The Joint Technical Secretariat is a body established by the Managing Authority of a Cross-Border Programme and the participating countries, or by the Operating Structures in the participating countries in the Cross-Border Programme for the purpose of assisting these bodies and JMC in carrying out their respective duties. JTS may have antennas established in each participating country. It is, de facto, the body managing daily the implementation of the programme.
In the case of DIS in the Republic of Macedonia, legality means conformity to the legal acts accepted as legal basis for all DIS activities and transactions, through which these activities and transactions have legal force. It actually represents conformity to the legal framework consisting of the Framework Agreement, the Decree, the Implementing Agreement, the Operational Agreements, the Protocol on Accounts signed between MF and the National Bank, MoU with the Financial Police, the relevant National/Operational/Cross-border Programmes and selected acts of the national legislation concerning fight against corruption, the civil service, public finances and archiving.
- Management Information System – MIS
A software application for management of contracts under IPA which will facilitate the timely and smooth implementation of the annual National Programmes. The MIS shall provide aggregation of information up to Component/ Programme level needed for the Sectoral Monitoring Committee and the IPA Monitoring Committee. The MIS shall deal with maintaining of an accounting system for keeping the CFCD and NAO/ National Fund accounting records.
A measure is a set of operations, part of a priority axis, the implementation of which allows for achievement of the goals of the priority axis to which it relates.
An exhaustive and regular examination of the resources outputs and results. Monitoring is based on a system of coherent information including reports, reviews, balance sheets, indicators, etc. When monitoring includes a judgment, this judgment refers to the achievement of operational objectives.
- Multi-annual Indicative Planning Document – MIPD
A strategic programming document for IPA, per component. At the strategic planning level Multi-annual Indicative Planning Documents (MIPD) will be established by the European Commission in close co-operation with the authorities of the Republic of Macedonia covering all five IPA components. It is established for a three year rolling period, with annual reviews. The priorities set out in the MIPD components will serve as a basis for the annual programming of EU funds.
- National Authorising Officer – NAO
A high-ranking official in the state administration of the Republic of Macedonia. The NAO is appointed by the Government. The NAO fulfills the following functions and assumes the following responsibilities:
- As the head of the National Fund, bearing overall responsibility for the financial management of EU funds in the beneficiary country and being responsible for the legality and regularity of the underlying transactions.
- being responsible for the effective functioning of management and control systems under IPA.
- National Fund – NF
A central tresury body established within the Ministry of Finance, consisted of two separate Units, through which the pre-accession funds from the European Communities wil be transferred to the Republic of Macedonia pursuant to Point 5, Annex A of the Framework Agreement. The NF is responsible for ensuring efficient and effective functioning of the management and control systems. The NF is also responsible of opening and managing bank accounts, requesting funds from the EC, approving the transfer of funds from the EC to the OS for all five IPA components and submitting financial reports to the EC.
- National IPA Co-ordinator – NIPAC
A high-ranking government official, which pursuant to Point 2, Annex A of the Framework Agreement, shall be responsible of ensuring overall coordination of IPA assistance, ensuring partnership between the European Commission and the Republic of Macedonia, as well as continuous cooperation between the general interest for accession into EU and utilisation of IPA pre-accession funds.
- Objectives 1, 2 and 3 in terms of Structural Funds
- Objective 1 promotes the catching-up of the economies of regions whose development is lagging behind. It is “regionalised” in that it applies to statistically demarcated regions. Only those which per capita GDP is less than 75% of the Community average are eligible. In all, Objective 1 covers over ninety regions in nineteen Member States. Transitional support is also available over a seven- ear period for the regions previously eligible between 1994 and 1999. Basic infrastructure, the development of human resources, investment in research and innovation, and the information society are the four main priority areas.
- Objective 2 contributes to the economic and social conversion of geographical regions faced with structural difficulties. It too is regionalised, the demarcation of eligible areas depending both on national and European population ceilings (18% of the Union’s population) and on specific socioeconomic criteria. Four categories of eligible area are defined: areas undergoing economic change in industry and the service sector, declining rural areas, urban areas in difficulty and depressed areas dependent on fisheries.
- Objective 3 supports the adaptation and modernisation of educational, training and employment policies and systems. It serves as the reference framework for all measures taken on the basis of the new employment title in the Treaty of Amsterdam and for the resulting European strategy. It is not regionalised: all regions falling outside Objective 1 are eligible.
- Operating Structure
The Operating Structure is a body or a collection of bodies within the state administration of Republic of Macedonia, which shall be responsible for managing and implementing an IPA programmes from the first four IPA Components in accordance with the principle of sound financial management. It shall carry out a number of functions as listed in Article 28 of IPA IR.
- Operational Agreement – OA
An agreement concluded between the PAO/HOS and the SPO/IPA Coordinator, on the basis of which the PAO/HOS delegates specific tasks in respect to the technical implementation of IPA funded projects under DIS in the Republic of Macedonia.
- Operational Programme – OP
In the context of IPA this refers to a document approved by the Commission comprising of a consistent set of prioritity axes and multi-annual measures.
- Practical Guide to contract procedures financed from the General Budget of the European Communities in the context of external actions – PRAG
A working tool which explains the contracting procedure applying to all EC external aid contracts financed from the European Commission general budget.
- Priority Axis
Priority Axis is part of the Operational Programme defining the global objective to be obtained, that shall be implemented though measures, or directly through operations.
- Programme Authorising Officer – PAO
A government official, managing the operating structures for implementation of IPA Component I and IPA Component II, and shall be accountable for timely and efficient fulfillment of the obligations referred to in point 8, Annex A of the Framework Agreement.
- Programme Implementation Manual – PIM
A document which outlines in narrative form the activities and tasks to be performed in order to meet all EC requirements with respect to the management and implementation of IPA under the Decentralised Implementation System (DIS);
- Programme Operational Guidelines – POG
A document which describes in considerable details how the activities and tasks to be performed are carried out in line with written procedures, instructions, guidelines, templates, formats and checklists.
Part of the programme management cycle which results in annual or multi-annual development programmes, a decision taken through partnership of multiple institutions. Concretely, it results in the National/ Cross-border/ Operational programme in the context of IPA in the Republic of Macedonia.
- Quality Assurance Function
To improve the efficiency and quality of the implementation projects to be financed under IPA, a special function related to quality control of all documents related to tendering and contracting has been established with the General Affairs and Control Unit in CFCD. The staff in charge will execute technical verification and conformity control of all documents related to the tendering and contracting process, as well as selected documents related to the monitoring process. It is an integral part of the management and control system in CFCD, guaranteeing technical quality of documents and conformity with established rules.
- Regional Development – RD
The third IPA component. The objective of RD component is to prepare the Republic of Macedonia to use the structural and cohezion funds after accesion of the Republic of Macedonia to the EU, and thus emphasizes development of the transport sector and the environment, and the question of regional competitiveness.
- Sectoral Monitoring Committee – SMC
The main body responsible for monitoring the implementation of the OPHRD and consists of representatives of the EC, NAO, NIPAC, SC, HOS, OS, line ministries, IFls, socio-economic partners and the civil society organisations, co-chaired by HOS and the EC.
- Senior Programme Officer – SPO
A person appointed by within the Line Ministry of the Beneficiary Institution under Component I, responsible for the technical aspects of the projects to be implemented within the Line Ministry or the Beneficiary Institution, helping the PAO in adequate and timely project preparation and implementation.
- Sound Financial Management
A budgetary principle according to which budget appropriations must be used according to economy, efficiency and effectiveness.
- Strategic Co-ordinator (for the Regional Development Component and the Human Resource Development Component) – SC
A high-ranking government official, ensuring co-ordination of the assistance granted under the Regional Development Component and the Human Resorce Development Component, draft strategic coherence framework as defined in Article 154 of the IPA Implementing Regulation and ensure co-ordination between sectoral strategies and programmes.
- Structural Funds
The Structural Funds are the financial instruments of European Union (EU) regional policy, which is intended to narrow the development disparities among regions and Member States, and to promote equal opportunities for all. The Funds participate fully, therefore, in pursuing the goal of economic, social and territorial cohesion. They are expression of solidarity between the Member States and regions of the EU. In practical terms this is achieved by means of a variety of financing operations, principally through the Structural Funds and the Cohesion Fund. Every three years the European Commission presents a report on progress made in achieving economic and social cohesion and on how Community policies have contributed to it. The EU’s Structural Funds are administered by the Commission to finance Community structural aid. They comprise the Guidance Section of the EAGGF for agriculture, the Regional Fund for structural aid under the regional policy, the Social Fund for social policy measures, and the Financial Instrument for Fisheries (FIFG). Financial support from the Structural Funds mainly goes to the poorer regions to strengthen the Union’s economic and social cohesion so that the challenges of the single market can be met right across the EU.
- Transition Assistance and Institution Building Component – TAIB
NAO is a senior official in the state administration of the Republic of Macedonia. NAO is appointed by the Government of the Republic of Macedonia. NAO fulfills the following functions and bears the following responsibilities:
As the head of the National Fund, he has overall responsibility for the financial management of EU funds in the country and in the fact that the user is responsible for the legality and regularity of the underlying transactions. It is responsible for the efficient functioning of the management and control systems according to IPA.