Glossary Of Terms

Atlantic Area Programme

The overall strategic objectives of Atlantic Area is to achieve significant and tangible progress in transnational cooperation geared towards cohesive, sustainable and balanced territorial development of the Atlantic Area and its maritime heritage.

The programme strategy is implemented through four strategic priorities: transnational networks of entrepreneurship and innovation; protection and enhancement of marine and coastal environment; accessibility and internal links, urban and regional sustainable development.

Contact Point in Ireland
Michael O'Brien
Northern & Western Regional Assembly
T: +353 (0) 94 9877021

Adjacent Area

Areas directly adjacent to the designated programme coverage area. Project partners and Lead Partners can come from the adjacent areas. There are currently no restrictions or different rules for partners from adjacent areas. However all projects have to benefit the main programme area also.

If you plan projects for the future, you should, however, be aware of the Programme rule that a maximum of 10 % of the total ERDF budget of the Programme may be used in the adjacent areas. This is monitored on Programme, not project, level. If, later during the Programme implementation, the adjacent areas approach the 10 % limit, an announcement will be made and restrictions might be put in place for partners from those areas.


A moral person or entity (public, semi-public or private) that is responsible for the coordination and management of an EU funded project, including the monies’ distribution. The beneficiary signs the funding contract and reports directly to the European Commission.

Certifying Authority

The Certifying Authority is responsible for the certification of all expenditure claims submitted to the EU Commission, ensuring eligibility with EU and national rules. This includes the review of processes and procedures by those implementing the programmes and ensuring any irregularities are raised and actioned.


This means (literally) 'sticking together'. The jargon term 'promoting social cohesion' means the EU tries to make sure that everyone has a place in society – for example by tackling poverty, unemployment and discrimination. The EU budget includes money known as the 'Cohesion Fund' which is used to finance projects that help the EU 'stick together'. For example, it finances new road and rail links that help disadvantaged regions take a full part in the EU economy.

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.

European Commission

The European Commission is the executive body of the European Union. The European Commission fulfils three main functions:

  • It initiates European policies, by making proposals for all new legislation on the basis of what is considered best for the Union and its citizens. Once a Commission proposal has been submitted to the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament, the three institutions work together to draft EU legislation.
  • It acts as the guardian of the EU treaties to ensure that EU legislation is properly applied by the EU member states. If necessary, it may take action against those who fail to respect their treaty obligations.
  • It is the executive body of the EU responsible for implementing and managing policy. For instance, it is responsible for managing the Union’s annual budget and running the Structural Funds. The Commission also negotiates trade and cooperation agreements with non-EU member states and groups of countries on behalf of the European Union.


The overall objective of the Ireland Wales Operational Programme is cross border territorial development (2007-2013). The Programme focus is to further develop the cross border region, thus strengthening the competitiveness and sustainability of the cooperation area.

Cross-cutting Themes

In accordance with Articles 16 and 17 of the General Regulation (Council Regulation (EC) No. 1083/2006), the Operational Programme contains information on the steps taken to demonstrate that the objectives of the Funds are pursued in the framework of sustainable development and also to prevent any discrimination on the basis of gender, race or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation during the various stages of implementing the Funds and, in particular, access to them.

The cross cutting themes of equal opportunities and sustainable development have been integrated into all the Structural Fund programmes 2007–2013 in both Ireland and Wales. The best approach is for project sponsors to aim towards realistic approaches, to make the very best of the opportunities within their project to promote equality of opportunity and sustainable development.

Development Officer

Development Officers are in place in order to facilitate programme implementation in each jurisdiction. The work of the Development Officers will be co-ordinated by the Joint Technical Secretariat and the Welsh Assembly Government and will assist in the process of project development. Additionally, the Development Officers will play a role in advising applicants on the preparation and implementation of projects. The Development Officers will also be involved in the promotion of the Programme.

Eligible Cost

Costs that are compliant with EU and national rules and are thus eligible to receive grant assistance from the EU.

European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)

An EU fund which "is intended to help reduce imbalances between regions of the Community. The Fund was set up in 1975 and grants financial assistance for development projects in the poorer regions. In terms of financial resources, the ERDF is by far the largest of the EU's Structural Funds."*

The main aim of the ERDF is to overcome the structural deficiencies of the poorer regions in order to overcome the gap between these regions and the richer ones. (*Source:

First Level Control

All project expenditures to be ERDF co-funded must be validated by a designated controller. The FLC shall confirm the delivery of the products and services co-financed, the soundness of the expenditure declared and the compliance of the expenditure with the community and national/programme rules. The FLC confirms the eligibility of expenses by issuing a Certificate of ERDF Control.

Source – EC Regulation 1080/2006

Gothenburg Agenda

The Gothenburg European Council in June 2001 completed the Lisbon strategy by adding an environmental dimension. Sustainable development was defined as meeting the needs of the present generation without compromising those of future generations, and dealing with economic, social and environmental policies in a mutually reinforcing way. Priorities include combating climate change, ensuring sustainable transport, addressing threats to public health, managing natural resources more responsibly and integrating environmental policy into other Community policies.


To improve the quality of regional development strategies the Commission intends to support the latest ideas which have not yet been adequately exploited. They are expected to provide the regions with the scope for experimentation which they sometimes lack but need to meet the challenges of the information society and to make their economies more competitive.


The INTERACT Programme promotes and supports good governance of European Territorial Cooperation programmes


This initiative is aimed at assuring a balanced development of the Union’s territory through the strengthening of the cooperation and the development of synergies between different Member States’ actors.

Community Initiative articulated in three strands:

  1. Cross-border cooperation
  2. Transnational cooperation
  3. Interregional cooperation

The Interreg Community Initiative was launched in 1990 in order to prepare a Union without internal frontiers. With the present programming period (2007 – 2013), Interreg does not exist anymore as a Community Initiative but it has been upgraded to an Objective itself of the Regional Policy of the EU with the name of European Territorial Cooperation (ETC). This change means not only more funds available for the cross-border, the transnational and the interregional cooperation, but also higher priority on the political agenda of the EU as well as higher visibility and expectations from this objective.


Interregional refers to the exchange and transfer of knowledge and best practices among the European regions.

Joint Technical Secretariat (JTS)

It is the central contact point of the public interest as well as for potential partners and for partners of approved projects. The JTS provide all technical assistance needed during the project generation as well as the project implementation, and cares for the day to day implementation of the programme.

Lead Partner

Project participant taking the overall responsibility for the application and the implementation of a project. Each Lead Partner is expected to conclude the Partnership Agreement (with its associated partners) and the Subsidy Contract (with the Managing Authority); ensure a sound cross-border project management as well as the project implementation, and transfer the due ERDF contributions to the single partners.

Lisbon Agenda

The 'Lisbon Agenda' covers such matters as research, education, training, Internet access and on-line business. It also covers reform of Europe's social protection systems, which must be made sustainable so that their benefits can be enjoyed by future generations. Every spring the European Council meets to review progress in implementing the Lisbon strategy.

Managing Authority

The Managing Authority is one of a number of bodies identified by European Regulation and given particular roles in the administration of the programme. The Managing Authority has overall responsibility for the management and implementation of the Operational Programme (the document approved by the European Commission which establishes the programme strategy and priorities). The Managing Authority has a number of responsibilities established by EU Regulation. These include:

  • Ensuring that projects are selected according to the criteria approved by the Programme Monitoring Committee;
  • Establishing and monitoring procedures for ensuring that project expenditure has been properly and legally incurred, claimed and paid;
  • Maintaining systems to store data on all aspects of programme implementation including financial management, audit, monitoring and evaluation;
  • Ensuring proper evaluation of the programme is undertaken;
  • Guiding the work of the Monitoring Committee and providing it with the documents required to allow it to complete its functions;
  • Preparing annual and final reports on implementation, and submitting these to the European Commission following approval by the Monitoring Committee;
  • Ensuring that information and publicity requirements established by European Regulations are met.

Match Funding

European funds usually meet only a proportion of the costs of any project. The remainder of the costs therefore has to be match funded from other resources, which can be from both the public and private sectors.

Member State

The countries that belong to the EU are its 'member states'. The term is also often used to mean the governments of those countries. From 1 January 2013, the member states of the European Union are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom

North West Europe Interreg IVB

From 2007 – 2013 the North West Europe Programme invest €355 million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) into the economic, environmental, social and territorial future of North West Europe (NWE).

The fund will be used to co-finance projects that maximize the diversity of NWE’s territorial assets by tackling common challenges through transnational cooperation. To this end, the Programme seeks organisations that are resolute in their ambition to contribute to a cohesive and sustainable territorial development of North West Europe

Contact Point in Ireland
Sonja Maurus
Southern Regional Assembly, Assembly House, O’Connell St., Waterford
T: + 353 (0) 51 860700

NUTS Classifications

The Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics (NUTS) has been created by Eurostat in order to provide a standard classification of the EU territory. It is sub-divided into 3 levels going from large regions like the German Länder (NUTS II) to small territories as e.g. the French departments or the Italian provinces (NUTS III).

Operational Programme (OP)

This is the bid document which is submitted to the European Commission by regions or Member States as the basis for investment of ERDF or ESF funds.


All legal persons/entities participating in the submission of a project’s proposal. Partners must sign a partnership declaration by which they agree to contribute to the project, as described in the grant’s application.


There are the three Priorities that will deliver the development strategy for the Ireland Wales region and these are divided up into three sections as follows: Priority 1 - Knowledge, Innovation and Skills for Growth, Priority 2 - Climate Change and Sustainable Regeneration and finally Priority 3 – Technical Assistance.

Programme Monitoring Committee (PMC)

The membership of the Monitoring Committee comprises of elected representatives of local and regional government, officials from government departments and state agencies as well as social and economic partners representing business and the voluntary, environmental and equality sectors. The committee fulfils a number of key responsibilities:

  • It must approve the project selection criteria to be used in the programme;
  • It must review progress toward achieving the targets of the programme and examine the results of implementation;
  • It will consider and approve formal reports submitted to the European Commission, including Annual Reports on Implementation;
  • It may propose amendments to the Operational Programme, the document approved by the European Commission which establishes the programme strategy and priorities; and
  • It will consider and approve any proposal to amend the Commission decision which approved the programme.

Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA)

The SEA Directive was transposed into law in Ireland in July 2004 and its objective is to provide for a high level of protection of the environment and to contribute to the integration of environmental considerations into the preparation and adoption of specified plans and programmes with a view to promoting sustainable development.


Seventh generation of the EU Framework Programme which provides the main EU funding for research, technological development and demonstration activities.

Social Economy

Economic and social cohesion:

The origins of economic and social cohesion go back to the Treaty of Rome where a reference is made in the preamble to reducing disparities in development between the regions. However, it was not until the seventies that Community action was taken to coordinate the national instruments and provide additional financial resources. Subsequently these measures proved inadequate given the situation in the Community where the establishment of the internal market, contrary to forecasts, had failed to even out the differences between regions.

With the adoption of the Single European Act in 1986, economic and social cohesion proper was made an objective, as well as the single market. In the preparation of economic and monetary union, this provided a legal basis from 1988 onwards for Community action to become the central pillar of a comprehensive development policy.

The Maastricht Treaty finally incorporated the policy into the Treaty establishing the European Community (Articles 130a to 130e, now renumbered 158 to 162). It is an expression of solidarity between the Member States and regions of the European Union. This means balanced and sustainable development, reducing structural disparities between regions and countries and promoting equal opportunities for all individuals. In practical terms it is achieved by means of a variety of financing operations, principally through the Structural Funds

Southern Regional Assembly

The Southern Regional Assembly (formerly the Southern & Eastern Regional Assembly) was established in 2014. A Monitoring Committee, consisting of representatives of elected representatives, officials from government departments and state agencies as well as the social partners meet annually to review the effectiveness and quality of the implementation of all expenditure under the Regional Operational Programme. The Regional Assembly provides the Chair and Secretariat for the Monitoring Committee of the Southern Regional Operational Programme. In 2006, the Assembly was designated as Managing and Certifying Authority for the Ireland-Wales Territorial Co-operation Programme 2007-2013, effective from the 1st January 2007. The Assembly took over from the Welsh Assembly Government, who had this role for the Ireland – Wales Programme 2000-2006. The Ireland-Wales Programme was formally launched on the 7th of December 2007. The Assembly will partner the Welsh European Funding Office which will manage the Ireland Wales Cooperation Programme 2014-20.

State aid

"State aid means action by a (national, regional or local) public authority, using public resources, to favour certain undertakings or the production of certain goods"*.


Structural Funds

The structural funds are used to finance Community structural aid, mainly to the poorer regions, in order to strengthen the EU’s economic and social cohesion thereby developing a single market across the EU.


In the Ireland Wales Programme, Priority 1 and 2 are both divided into two separate but related themes. The choice of themes reflects their importance to the cross border region’s continued development as it seeks to deal with the critical issues of providing the conditions to allow enterprises to prosper internally and become more competitive externally while at the same time improving the skills and knowledge base of the population of the area. The two themes should work in tandem and make a real difference to the cross border area.


This word is often used to describe cooperation between businesses or organisations based in more than one EU country. Part of the EU’s purpose is to encourage this ‘transnational’ cooperation

Welsh Government

The Welsh Government is the devolved government for Wales. This means that Wales has its own government to make policy and laws for the people of Wales. The Welsh Government is separate from the UK Government, which is based in London and headed by the Prime Minister. The Welsh Government and the UK Government both look after different interests in Wales. The Welsh Government is responsible for most of the day-to-day issues for example health, education, and local government. The UK Government looks after other areas such as defence and taxation.

The role of the Welsh Government is to:

  • exercise functions devolved to it in order to make decisions on matters which affect people's daily lives;
  • develop and implement policy;
  • make subordinate legislation (e.g. regulations and statutory guidance) and
  • propose Assembly Measures (Welsh laws).

Welsh European Funding Office (WEFO)

WEFO is part of the Welsh Government and manages the delivery of EU Structural Funds in Wales.

WIN 2 Travel Scheme

The WIN 2 Scheme aims to encourage the formation of partnerships that may lead to the submission of Ireland Wales Programme applications. The Scheme provides financial assistance to eligible organisations. The assistance available takes the form of retrospective payments against the travel and subsistence costs incurred by applicant organisations travelling overseas to meet or seek potential partners, subject to these rules and eligibility criteria. The WIN 2 Scheme is complementary to the Ireland Wales Interreg 4A Programme and not an alternative route to accessing funds for Interreg 4A projects.