Legal provisions of COM(2018)460 - Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument - EU monitor

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TITLE I GENERALPROVISIONS

Article 1

Subject matter

This Regulation establishes the Programme “Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument” (the ‘Instrument’).

It lays down the objectives of the Instrument, the budget for the period 2021 – 2027, the forms of Union funding and the rules for providing such funding.

It also establishes the European Fund for Sustainable Development Plus (the ‘EFSD+’) and an External Action Guarantee.

Article 2

Definitions

For the purposes of this Regulation, the following definitions apply:

78           Interinstitutional Agreement between the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and

the European Commission on Better Law-Making of 13 April 2016; OJ L 123, 12.5.2016, p. 1–14. Council Decision 2010/427/EU of 26 July 2010 establishing European External Action Service (OJ L 201, 3.8.2010, p. 30).

79           Council Decision 2010/427/EU of 26 July 2010 establishing the organisation and functioning of the

(1) “country programme” shall mean an indicative programme covering one country;

(2) “multi-country programme” shall mean an indicative programme covering more than one country;

(3) “cross-border cooperation” shall mean cooperation between one or more Member States, and one or more third countries and territories along the external borders of the Union.

(4) “regional programme” shall mean an indicative multi-country programme covering more than one third country within the same geographic area as established in Article 4 (2);

(5) “trans-regional programme” shall mean an indicative multi-country programme covering more than one third country from different areas as established in Article 4 (2) of this Regulation;

(6) “legal entity” shall mean any natural or legal person created and recognised as such under national law, Union law or international law, which has legal personality and which may, acting in its own name, exercise rights and be subject to obligations, or an entity without a legal personality in accordance with Article 197(2)(c) of the Financial Regulation;

(7) “investment window” shall mean a targeted area for support by the EFSD+ Guarantee to portfolios of investments in specific regions, countries or sectors;

(8) “contributor” shall mean a Member State, an international finance institution, or a public institution of a Member State, a public agency or other entities contributing in cash or in guarantees to the common provisioning fund.

Article 3

Objectives

1. The general objective of this Regulation is to uphold and promote the Union’s values and interests worldwide in order to pursue the objectives and principles of the Union’s external action, as laid down in Article 3(5), Articles 8 and 21 of the Treaty on European Union.

2. In accordance with paragraph 1, the specific objectives of this Regulation are the following:

(a)     to support and foster dialogue and cooperation with third countries and regions in the Neighbourhood, in Sub-Saharan Africa, in Asia and the Pacific, and in the Americas and the Caribbean;

(b)     at global level, to consolidate and support democracy, rule of law and human rights, support civil society organisations, further stability and peace and address other global challenges including migration and mobility;

(c)     to respond rapidly to: situations of crisis, instability and conflict; resilience challenges and linking of humanitarian aid and development action; and foreign policy needs and priorities.

The achievement of these objectives shall be measured using relevant indicators as referred to in Article 31.

3. At least 92% of the expenditure under this Regulation shall fulfil the criteria for

Official Development Assistance, established by the Development Assistance Committee of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Article 4

Scope and structure

1. Union funding under this Regulation shall be implemented through:

(a)     geographic programmes;

(b)     thematic programmes;

(c)     rapid response actions.

2. The geographic programmes shall encompass country and multi-country cooperation in the following areas:

(a)     Neighbourhood;

(b)     Sub-Saharan Africa;

(c)     Asia and the Pacific;

(d)     Americas and the Caribbean.

Geographic programmes may cover all third countries, except for candidates and potential candidates as defined in Regulation (EU) No …/….80 (IPA) and overseas countries and territories as defined in Council Decision …/… (EU).

Geographic programmes in the Neighbourhood area may cover any country referred to in Annex I.

In order to attain the objectives laid down in Article 3, geographic programmes shall be based on the areas of cooperation listed in Annex II.

3. The thematic programmes shall encompass actions linked to the pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals at global level, in the following areas:

(a)     Human Rights and Democracy;

(b)     Civil Society Organisations;

(c)     Stability and Peace;

(d)     Global Challenges.

Thematic programmes may cover all third countries as well as overseas countries and territories as defined in Council Decision …/… (EU).

In order to attain the objectives laid down in Article 3, thematic programmes shall be based on the areas of intervention listed in Annex III.

4. The rapid response actions shall enable early action to:

(a) contribute to stability and conflict prevention in situations of urgency, emerging crisis, crisis and post-crisis;

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Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (OJ L ).

(b)     contribute to strengthening resilience of states, societies, communities and individuals and to linking humanitarian aid and development action;

(c)     address foreign policy needs and priorities.

Rapid response actions may cover all third countries as well as overseas countries and territories as defined in Council Decision …/… (EU).

In order to attain the objectives laid down in Article 3, rapid response actions shall be based on the areas of intervention listed in Annex IV.

5. Actions under this Regulation shall be primarily implemented through geographic programmes.

Actions implemented through thematic programmes shall be complementary to actions funded under geographic programmes and shall support global and trans-regional initiatives for achieving internationally agreed goals, in particular the Sustainable Development Goals, protecting global public goods or addressing global challenges. Actions through thematic programmes may also be undertaken where there is no geographic programme, or where it has been suspended, or where there is no agreement on the action with the partner country concerned, or where the action cannot be adequately addressed by geographic programmes.

Rapid response actions shall be complementary to geographic and thematic programmes. These actions shall be designed and implemented to enable, where relevant, their continuity under geographic or thematic programmes.

6. The Commission shall be empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 34 to supplement or amend Annexes II, III and IV.

Article 5

Coherence, consistency and complementarity

1. In implementing this Regulation, consistency, synergies and complementarity with other areas of Union external action, with other relevant Union policies and Programmes, as well as policy coherence for development shall be ensured.

2. Actions falling within the scope of Council Regulation (EC) No 1257/96 shall not be funded under this Regulation.

3. Where appropriate, other Union Programmes may contribute to actions established under this Regulation, provided that the contributions do not cover the same costs. This Regulation may also contribute to measures established under other Union Programmes, provided that the contributions do not cover the same costs. In such cases, the work programme covering those actions shall establish which set of rules shall be applicable.

Article 6

Budget

1. The financial envelope for the implementation of this Regulation for the period 2021 – 2027 shall be EUR 89 200 million in current prices.

2. The financial envelope referred to in paragraph 1 shall be composed of: (a) EUR 68 000 million for geographic programmes:

– Neighbourhood at least EUR 22 000 million,

– Sub-Saharan Africa at least EUR 32 000 million,

– Asia and the Pacific EUR 10 000 million,

– Americas and the Caribbean EUR 4 000 million,

(b)     EUR 7 000 million for thematic programmes:

– Human Rights and Democracy EUR 1 500 million,

– Civil Society Organisations EUR 1 500 million,

– Stability and Peace EUR 1 000 million,

– Global Challenges EUR 3 000 million,

(c)     EUR 4 000 million for rapid response actions.

3. The emerging challenges and priorities cushion of an amount of EUR 10 200 million shall increase the amounts referred to in paragraph 2 in accordance with Article 15.

4. The financial envelope referred to in paragraph 2 (a) shall correspond to at least 75 %

of the financial envelope referred to in paragraph

1.

Article 7

Policy framework

The association agreements, partnership and cooperation agreements, multilateral agreements, and other agreements that establish a legally binding relationship with partner countries, as well as, European Council conclusions and Council conclusions, summit declarations or conclusions of high-level meetings with partner countries, relevant European Parliament resolutions, communications of the Commission or Joint communications of the Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, shall constitute the overall policy framework for the implementation of this Regulation.

Article 8

General principles

1. The Union shall seek to promote, develop and consolidate the principles of democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms on which it is founded, through dialogue and cooperation with partner countries and regions.

2. A rights-based approach encompassing all human rights, whether civil and political or economic, social and cultural shall be applied in order to integrate human rights principles, to support the right holders in claiming their rights with a focus on poorer and more vulnerable groups and to assist partner countries in implementing their international human rights obligations. This Regulation shall promote gender equality and women’s empowerment.

3. The Union shall support, as appropriate, the implementation of bilateral, regional and multilateral cooperation and dialogue, partnership agreements and triangular cooperation.

The Union shall promote a multilateral and rules-based approach to global goods and challenges and shall cooperate with Member States, partner countries, international organisations and other donors in that respect.

The Union shall foster cooperation with international organisations and other donors.

In relations with partner countries, their track record in implementing commitments, international agreements, and contractual relations with the Union shall be taken into account.

4. Cooperation between the Union and the Member States, on the one hand, and partner countries, on the other hand, shall be based on and shall promote the development effectiveness principles, where applicable, namely: ownership of development priorities by partner countries, a focus on results, inclusive development partnerships, transparency and mutual accountability. The Union shall promote effective and efficient resource mobilisation and use.

In line with the principle of inclusive partnership, where appropriate, the Commission shall ensure that relevant stakeholders of partner countries, including civil society organisations and local authorities, are duly consulted and have timely access to relevant information allowing them to play a meaningful role during the design, implementation and associated monitoring processes of programmes.

In line with the principle of ownership the Commission, where appropriate, shall favour the use of partner countries' systems for the implementation of programmes.

5. In order to promote the complementarity and efficiency of their action, the Union and the Member States shall coordinate their policies and shall consult each other on their assistance programmes, including in international organisations and during international conferences.

6. Programmes and actions under this Regulation shall mainstream climate change, environmental protection and gender equality and shall address interlinkages between Sustainable Development Goals, to promote integrated actions that can create co-benefits and meet multiple objectives in a coherent way. These programmes and actions shall be based on an analysis of risks and vulnerabilities, integrate a resilience approach and be conflict sensitive. They shall be guided by the principle of leaving no one behind.

7. A more coordinated, holistic and structured approach to migration shall be pursued with partners and its effectiveness be regularly assessed.

8. The Commission shall inform and have regular exchanges of views with the European Parliament.

Article 9

Capacity building of military actors in support of development and security for development

1. In accordance with Article 41(2) of the Treaty on European Union, Union funding under this Regulation shall not be used to finance the procurement of arms or ammunition, or operations having military or defence implications.

2. In order to contribute to sustainable development, which requires the achievement of stable, peaceful and inclusive societies, Union assistance under this Regulation may be used in the context of a wider security sector reform or to build the capacity of military actors in partner countries, under the exceptional circumstances set out in

paragraph 4, to deliver development activities and security for development activities.

3. Assistance pursuant to this Article may cover in particular the provision of capacity building programmes in support of development and security for development, including training, mentoring and advice, as well as the provision of equipment, infrastructure improvements and services directly related to that assistance.

4. Assistance pursuant to this Article shall be provided only:

(a)     where requirements cannot be met by recourse to non-military actors to adequately reach Union objectives under this Regulation and there is a threat to the existence of functioning State institutions or to the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms and State institutions cannot cope with that threat; and

(b)     where a consensus exists between the partner country concerned and the Union that military actors are key for preserving, establishing or re-establishing the conditions essential for sustainable development, including in crises and fragile or destabilised contexts and situations.

5. Union assistance pursuant to this Article shall not be used to finance capacity building of military actors for purposes other than the delivery of development activities and security for development activities. In particular, it shall not be used to finance:

(a) recurrent military expenditure;

(b)     the procurement of arms and ammunition, or any other equipment designed to deliver lethal force;

(c)     training which is designed to contribute specifically to the fighting capacity of the armed forces.

6. When designing and implementing measures pursuant to this Article, the Commission shall promote ownership by the partner country. It shall also develop the necessary elements and the good practices required to ensure sustainability in the medium and long term and shall promote the rule of law and established international law principles.

7. The Commission shall establish appropriate risk assessment, monitoring and evaluation procedures for measures pursuant to this Article.

TITLEII IMPLEMENTATIONOFTHISREGULATION

Chapter I Programming

Article 10

General programming approach

1. Cooperation and interventions under this Regulation shall be programmed, except for

rapid response actions referred to in Article 4 (4).

2. On the basis or Article 7, programming under this Regulation shall be based on the

following:

(a)     programming documents shall provide a coherent framework for cooperation between the Union and partner countries or regions, consistent with the overall purpose and scope, objectives and principles set out in this Regulation;

(b)     the Union and the Member States shall consult each other at an early stage of and throughout the programming process in order to promote coherence, complementarity and consistency among their cooperation activities. Joint programming shall be the preferred approach for country programming. Joint programming shall be open to other donors where relevant;

(c)     the Union shall also consult other donors and actors, including representatives of civil society and local authorities, where relevant;

(d)     the Human Rights and Democracy and Civil Society thematic programmes referred to in Article 4(3)(a) and (b) shall provide assistance independently of the consent of governments and other public authorities of the third countries concerned. These thematic programmes shall mainly support civil society organisations.

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Article 11

Programming principles for geographic programmes

Programming of geographic programmes shall be based on the following principles:

(a)     without prejudice to paragraph 4, actions shall be based, to the extent possible, on a dialogue between the Union, the Member States and the partner countries concerned, including national and local authorities, involving civil society, national and local parliaments and other stakeholders, in order to enhance ownership of the process and to encourage support for national and regional strategies;

(b)     where appropriate, the programming period shall be synchronised with the strategy cycles of partner countries;

(c)     programming may envisage cooperation activities funded from different allocations listed in Article 6(2) and from other Union Programmes according to their basic acts.

specific, tailor-made

Programming of geographic programmes shall provide a framework for cooperation based on:

(a)     the partners’ needs, established on the basis of specific criteria, taking into account the population, poverty, inequality, human development, economic and environmental vulnerability, and state and societal resilience;

(b)     the partners’ capacities to generate and access financial resources and on their absorption capacities;

(c)     the partners’ commitments and performance, established on the basis of criteria such as political reform and economic and social development;

(d)     the potential impact of Union funding in partner countries and regions;

(e)     the partner's capacity and commitment to promote shared interests and values,

and to support common goals and multilateral alliances, as well as the advancement of Union priorities.

3. The countries most in need, in particular the Least Developed Countries, low income countries, countries in crisis, post-crisis, fragile and vulnerable situations, including small islands developing states, shall be given priority in the resource allocation process.

4. Cooperation with industrialised countries shall focus on the promotion of Union and mutual interests.

5. Programming documents for geographic programmes shall be results-based and shall take into account, where appropriate, internationally agreed targets and indicators, in particular those set out for the Sustainable Development Goals, as well as country-level result frameworks, to assess and communicate the Union contribution to results, at the level of outputs, outcomes and impact.

6. When drawing up the programming documents for countries and regions in crisis, or post-crisis, fragile and vulnerable situations, due account shall be taken of the special needs and circumstances of the countries or regions concerned.

Where partner countries or regions are directly involved in, or affected by, a crisis, post-crisis or situation of fragility, special emphasis shall be placed on stepping up coordination amongst all relevant actors to help the transition from an emergency situation to the development phase.

7. This Regulation shall contribute to actions established under Regulation (EU) No. …/… (Erasmus). A single programming document shall be drawn up from this Regulation for seven years, including funds from Regulation (EU) No …/… (IPA III). Regulation (EU) No. …/… (Erasmus) shall apply to the use of these funds.

Article 12

Programming documents for geographic programmes

1. The implementation of this Regulation shall be carried out for geographic programmes through multiannual country and multi-country indicative programmes.

2. Multiannual indicative programmes shall set out the priority areas selected for Union financing, the specific objectives, the expected results, clear and specific performance indicators, and the indicative financial allocations, both overall and per priority area.

3. The multiannual indicative programmes shall be built on:

(a)     a national or regional strategy in the form of a development plan or a similar document accepted by the Commission as a basis for the corresponding multiannual indicative programme, at the time of adoption of the latter document;

(b)     a framework document laying down the Union policy towards the concerned partner or partners, including a joint document between the Union and Member States;

(c)     a joint document between the Union and the concerned partner or partners setting out common priorities.

4. To increase the impact of collective cooperation of the Union, where possible, a joint

programming document shall replace the Union’s and Member States programming documents. A joint programming document may replace the Union’s multiannual indicative programme, provided it complies with Articles 10 and 11, contains the elements listed in paragraph 2 of this Article and sets out the division of labour between the Union and Member States.

Article 13

Programming documents for thematic programmes

1. The implementation of this Regulation shall be carried out for thematic programmes through multiannual indicative programmes.

2. Multiannual indicative programmes for thematic programmes shall set out the Union's strategy, the priorities selected for financing by the Union, the specific objectives, the expected results, clear and specific performance indicators, and the international situation and the activities of the main partners for the theme concerned.

Where applicable, resources and intervention priorities shall be laid down for participation in global initiatives.

Multiannual indicative programmes for thematic programmes shall set out the indicative financial allocation, overall, by area of cooperation and by priority. The indicative financial allocation may be given in the form of a range.

Article 14

Adoption and amendment of multiannual indicative programmes

1. The Commission shall adopt multiannual indicative programmes referred to in Articles 12 and 13 by means of implementing acts. Those implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 35(2). This procedure shall also apply to reviews referred to in paragraphs 3, 4 and 5 of this Article, which have the effect of significantly modifying the content of the multiannual indicative programme.

2. When adopting joint multi-annual programming documents referred to in Article 12, the Commission decision shall only apply to the Union’s contribution to the joint multiannual programming document.

3. Multiannual indicative programmes for geographic programmes may be reviewed where necessary for effective implementation, in particular where there are substantive changes in the policy framework referred to in Article 7 or following a crisis or post-crisis situation.

4. Multiannual indicative programmes for thematic programmes may be reviewed where necessary for effective implementation, in particular where there are substantive changes in the policy framework referred to in Article 7.

5. On duly justified imperative grounds of urgency, such as crises or immediate threats to democracy, the rule of law, human rights or fundamental freedoms, the Commission may amend multiannual indicative programmes referred to in Articles

12 and 13 of this Regulation by implementing acts adopted in accordance with the urgency procedure referred to in Article 35(4).

Article 15

Emerging challenges and priorities cushion

1. The amount referred to in Article 6(3) shall be used inter alia:

(a)     to ensure an appropriate response of the Union in the event of unforeseen circumstances;

(b)     to address new needs or emerging challenges, such as those at the Union’s or its neighbours’ borders linked to crisis and post-crisis situations or migratory pressure;

(c)     to promote new Union led or international initiatives or priorities.

2. The use of these funds shall be decided in accordance with the procedures established in Articles 14 and 21.

Chapter II Specific provisions for the Neighbourhood

Article 16

Programming documents and allocation criteria

1. For partner countries listed in Annex I, priority areas for Union financing shall be mainly selected from those included in documents referred to in Article 12(3)(c), in accordance with the areas of cooperation of the Neighbourhood area set out in Annex II.

2. By way of derogation from Article 11(2), Union support under geographic programmes in the Neighbourhood area shall be differentiated in form and amounts, taking into account the following elements, reflecting the partner country's:

(a)     needs, using indicators such as population and level of development;

(b)     commitment to and progress in implementing jointly agreed political, economic and social reform objectives;

(c)     commitment to and progress in building deep and sustainable democracy;

(d)     partnership with the Union, including the level of ambition for that partnership;

(e)     absorption capacity and potential impact of Union support under this Regulation.

3. The support referred to in paragraph 2 shall be reflected in the programming documents referred to in Article 12.

Article 17

Performance-based approach

1. Indicatively 10 % of the financial envelope set out in Article 4(2)(a) to supplement the country financial allocations referred to in Article 12 shall be allocated to partner countries listed in Annex I in order to implement the performance-based approach. The performance-based allocations shall be decided on the basis of their progress towards democracy, human rights, rule of law, cooperation on migration, economic governance and reforms. The progress of partner countries shall be assessed annually.

2. The performance-based approach shall not apply to support to civil society, people-to-people contacts, including cooperation between local authorities, support for the improvement of human rights, or crisis-related support measures. In the event of serious or persistent degradation of democracy, human rights or rule of law, support to these actions may be increased.

Article 18

Cross-Border Cooperation

1. Cross-border cooperation, as defined in Article 2(3), shall cover cooperation on adjacent land borders, transnational cooperation over larger transnational territories, maritime cooperation around sea-basins, as well as interregional cooperation.

2. The Neighbourhood area shall contribute to cross-border cooperation programmes referred to in paragraph 1 co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund in the framework of [ETC Regulation ]. Up to 4 % of the financial envelope for the Neighbourhood area shall be indicatively allocated to support those programmes.

3. Contributions to cross-border cooperation programmes shall be determined and used pursuant to Article 10(3) of [ETC Regulation].

4. The Union co-financing rate shall not be higher than 90 % of the eligible expenditure of a cross-border cooperation programme. For technical assistance the co-financing rate shall be 100 %.

5. Pre-financing for cross-border cooperation programmes shall be determined in the work programme in accordance with needs of the participating third countries and territories and may exceed the percentage referred to in Article 49 of [ETC Regulation].

6. A multiannual indicative strategy document for cross border cooperation, setting out the elements referred to in Article 12(2) of this Regulation, shall be adopted in accordance with Article 10(1) of [ETC Regulation].

7. Where cross-border cooperation programmes are discontinued in accordance with Article 12 of [ETC Regulation], support from the Neighbourhood area to the discontinued programme that remains available may be used to finance any other activity under the Neighbourhood area.

COM(2018) 374 final Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on specific provisions for the European territorial cooperation goal (Interreg) supported by the European Regional Development Fund and external financing instruments.

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Chapter III Action plans, measures and implementing methods

Article 19

Action plans and measures

1. The Commission shall adopt annual or multiannual action plans or measures. The measures may take the form of individual measures, special measures, support measures or exceptional assistance measures. Action plans and measures shall specify for each action the objectives pursued, the expected results and main activities, the methods of implementation, the budget and any associated support expenditures.

2. Action plans shall be based on programming documents, except for cases referred to in paragraphs 3 and 4.

When necessary, an action may be adopted as an individual measure before or after the adoption of action plans. Individual measures shall be based on programming documents, except for cases referred to in paragraph 3 and in other duly justified

cases.

In the event of unforeseen needs or circumstances, and when funding is not possible from more appropriate sources, the Commission may adopt special measures not provided for in the programming documents.

3. Annual or multiannual action plans and individual measures may be used to implement rapid response actions referred to in Article 4(4)(b) and (c).

4. The Commission may adopt exceptional assistance measures for rapid response actions as referred to in Article 4(4)(a).

An exceptional assistance measure may have a duration of up to 18 months, which may be extended twice by a further period of up to six months, up to a total maximum duration of 30 months, in the event of objective and unforeseen obstacles to its implementation, provided that there is no increase in the financial amount of the measure.

In cases of protracted crisis and conflict, the Commission may adopt a second exceptional assistance measure of a duration of up to 18 months. In duly justified cases further measures may be adopted where the continuity of the Union’s action is essential and cannot be ensured by other means.

Article 20

Support measures

1. Union financing may cover support expenditure for the implementation of the

Instrument and for the achievement of its objectives, including administrative support associated with the preparation, follow-up, monitoring, control, audit and evaluation activities necessary for such implementation, as well as expenditure at headquarters and Union delegations for the administrative support needed for the programme, and to manage operations financed under this Regulation, including

corporate information technology

information and communication actions, and systems.

2. When support expenditure is not included in the action plans or measures referred to

in Article 21, the Commission shall adopt, where applicable, support measures. Union financing under support measures may cover:

(a)     studies, meetings, information, awareness-raising, training, preparation and exchange of lessons learnt and best practices, publication activities and any other administrative or technical assistance expenditure necessary for the programming and management of actions, including remunerated external experts;

(b)     research and innovation activities and studies on relevant issues and the dissemination thereof;

(c)     expenditures related to the provision of information and communication actions, including the development of communication strategies and corporate communication and visibility of the political priorities of the Union.

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Article 21

Adoption of action plans and measures

Action plans and measures shall be adopted by means of implementing acts adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 35(2).

The procedure referred to in paragraph 1 shall not be required for:

action plans, individual measures and support measures, for which the Union's funding does not exceed EUR 10 million;

(a) (b)

(c)

special measures as well as action plans and measures adopted in order to implement rapid response actions for which the Union's funding does not exceed EUR 20 million;

technical amendments, provided such amendments do not substantially affect the objectives of the action plan or measure concerned, such as:

(i)     change of method of implementation;

(ii) reassignments of funds between actions contained in an action plan;

(iii) increases or reductions of the budget of action plans and measures by not more than 20 % of the initial budget and not exceeding EUR 10 million;

In case of multiannual action plans and measures, the thresholds referred to in paragraph (2)(a), (b) and (c) (iii) shall be applicable on a yearly basis.

When adopted in accordance with this paragraph, action plans and measures, except exceptional assistance measures, and technical amendments shall be communicated to the European Parliament and to the Member States through the relevant committee referred to in Article 35 within one month of their adoption.

Before the adoption or extension of exceptional assistance measures not exceeding EUR 20 million, the Commission shall inform the Council of their nature and objectives and of the financial amounts envisaged. The Commission shall inform the Council before making significant substantive changes to exceptional assistance

measures already adopted. The Commission shall take account of the relevant policy approach of the Council for the planning and subsequent implementation of such measures, in the interests of consistency of the Union's external action.

The Commission shall keep the European Parliament duly informed, in a timely manner, about the planning and the implementation of exceptional assistance measures pursuant to this Article, including the financial amounts envisaged, and shall also inform the European Parliament when making substantial changes or extensions to that assistance.

4. In the event of duly justified imperative grounds of urgency, such as crises including natural or man-made disasters, immediate threats to democracy, the rule of law, human rights or fundamental freedoms, the Commission may adopt action plans and measures or amendments to existing action plans and measures, as immediately applicable implementing acts, in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 35(4).

5. Appropriate environmental screening, including for climate change and biodiversity impacts, shall be undertaken at the level of actions, in accordance with the applicable legislative acts of the Union, including Directive 2011/92/EU82 of the European Parliament and of the Council and Council Directive 85/337/EEC83, comprising, where applicable, an environmental impact assessment for environmentally sensitive actions, in particular for major new infrastructure.

Where relevant, strategic environmental assessments shall be used in the implementation of sectoral programmes. The involvement of interested stakeholders in environmental assessments and public access to the results of such assessments shall be ensured.

Article 22

Methods of cooperation

1. Financing under this Instrument shall be implemented by the Commission, as provided for by the Financial Regulation, either directly by the Commission itself, by Union delegations and by executive agencies, or indirectly through any of the entities listed in Article 62 (1) c) of the Financial Regulation.

2. Financing under this Instrument may also be provided through contributions to international, regional or national funds, such as those established or managed by the EIB, by Member States, by partner countries and regions or by international organisations, or other donors.

3. The entities listed in Article 62(1)(c) of the Financial Regulation and in Article 29(1) of this Regulation shall annually fulfil their reporting obligations under Article 155 of the Financial Regulation. The reporting requirements for any of these entities are laid down in the framework partnership agreement, the contribution agreement, the agreement on budgetary guarantees or the financing agreement.

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Directive 2011/92/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 December 2011 on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment (codification) (OJ L 26 28.1.2012. p.1).

Council Directive of 27 June 1985 on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment (OJ L 175, 05.07.1985. p. 0040 – 0048).

4. Actions financed under the Instrument may be implemented by means of parallel or joint co-financing.

5. In the case of parallel co-financing, an action is split into a number of clearly identifiable components which are each financed by the different partners providing co-financing in such a way that the end-use of the financing can always be identified.

6. In the case of joint co-financing, the total cost of an action is shared between the partners providing the co-financing and the resources are pooled in such a way that it is no longer possible to identify the source of financing for any given activity undertaken as part of the action.

7. Cooperation between the Union and its partners may take the form, inter alia, of:

triangular arrangements whereby the Union coordinates with third countries its assistance funding to a partner country or region;

(a) (b)

administrative cooperation measures such as twinning between public institutions, local authorities, national public bodies or private law entities entrusted with public service tasks of a Member State and those of a partner country or region, as well as cooperation measures involving public sector experts dispatched from the Member States and their regional and local authorities;

(c)     contributions to the necessary costs of setting up and administering a public-private partnership;

(d)     sector policy support programmes whereby the Union provides support to a partner country's sector programme

(e)     contributions to the cost of the countries' participation in Union programmes and actions implemented by Union agencies and bodies, as well as bodies or persons entrusted with implementation of specific actions in the Common Foreign and Security Policy pursuant to Title V of the Treaty on European Union;

(f)      interest rate subsidies.

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Article 23

Forms of EU funding and methods of implementation

The Union funding may be provided through the types of financing envisaged by the Financial Regulation and in particular:

(a)     grants;

(b)     procurement contracts for services, supplies or works;

(c)     budget support;

(d)     contributions to trust funds set up by the Commission, in accordance with Article 234 of the Financial Regulation;

(e)     financial instruments;

(f)      budgetary guarantees;

(g)     blending;

(h) debt relief in the context of internationally agreed debt relief programme;

(i)     financial assistance;

(j)     remunerated external experts.

2. When working with stakeholders of partner countries, the Commission shall take into account their specificities, including their needs and the relevant context, when defining the financing modalities, the type of contribution, the award modalities and the administrative provisions for the management of grants, with a view to reaching and best responding to the widest possible range of such stakeholders. Specific modalities shall be encouraged in accordance with the Financial Regulation, such as partnership agreements, authorisations of financial support to third parties, direct award or eligibility-restricted calls for proposals, or lump sums, unit costs and flat-rate financing as well as financing not linked to costs as envisaged in Article 125(1) of the Financial Regulation.

3. In addition of the cases referred to in Article 195 of the Financial Regulation, the direct award procedure may be used for;

(a)     low-value grants to human rights defenders to finance urgent protection actions, where appropriate without the need for co-financing;

(b)     grants, where appropriate without the need for co-financing, to finance actions in the most difficult conditions where the publication of a call for proposals would be inappropriate including situations where there is a serious lack of fundamental freedoms, where human security is most at risk or where human rights organisations and defenders operate under the most difficult conditions. Such grants shall not exceed EUR 1 000 000 and shall have a duration of up to 18 months, which may be extended by a further 12 months in the event of objective and unforeseen obstacles to their implementation;

(c)     grants to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights as well as to Global Campus, the European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights and Democratisation, providing a European Master's Degree in Human Rights and Democratisation, and its associated network of universities delivering human rights postgraduate diplomas, including scholarships to students and human rights defenders from third countries.

Budget support as referred to in point (c) of paragraph 1, including through sector reform performance contracts, shall be based on country ownership, mutual accountability and shared commitments to universal values, democracy, human rights, the rule of law, and aims at strengthening partnerships between the Union and partner countries. It shall include reinforced policy dialogue, capacity development, and improved governance, complementing partners' efforts to collect more and spend better in order to support sustainable and inclusive economic growth and jobs and poverty eradication.

Any decision to provide budget support shall be based on budget support policies agreed by the Union, a clear set of eligibility criteria and a careful assessment of the risks and benefits.

4. Budget support shall be differentiated in such a way as to respond better to the political, economic and social context of the partner country, taking into account situations of fragility.

When providing budget support in accordance with Article 236 of the Financial Regulation, the Commission shall clearly define and monitor criteria for budget support conditionality, including progress in reforms and transparency, and shall support the development of parliamentary control, national audit capacities and increased transparency and public access to information.

5. Disbursement of the budget support shall be based on indicators demonstrating satisfactory progress being made towards achieving the objectives agreed with the partner country.

6. Financial instruments under this Regulation may take forms such as loans, guarantees, equity or quasi-equity, investments or participations, and risk-sharing instruments, whenever possible and in accordance with the principles laid down in Article 209(1) of the Financial Regulation under the lead of the EIB, a multilateral European finance institution, such as the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, or a bilateral European finance institution, such as bilateral development banks, possibly pooled with additional other forms of financial support, both from Member States and third parties.

Contributions to Union financial instruments under this Regulation may be made by Member States as well as any entity referred to in Article 62(1)(c) of the Financial Regulation.

7. Those financial instruments may be grouped into facilities for implementation and reporting purposes

8. The Union's funding shall not generate or activate the collection of specific taxes, duties or charges.

9. Taxes, duties and charges imposed by partner countries may be eligible for financing under this Regulation.

Article 24

Eligible persons and entities

1. Participation in procurement, grant and prize award procedures for actions financed

under geographic programmes and under the Civil Society Organisations and Global Challenges programmes shall be open to international organisations and to all other legal entities who are nationals of and, in the case of legal persons, who are also effectively established in, the following countries or territories:

(a)     Member States, beneficiaries of the Regulation (EU) …/…(IPA III), and contracting parties to the Agreement on the European Economic Area;

(b)     Neighbourhood partner countries and the Russian Federation when the relevant procedure takes place in the context of the programmes referred to in Annex I in which it participates;

(c)     developing countries and territories, as included in the list of Official Development Assistance recipients published by the Development Assistance Committee of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, which are not members of the G-20 group, and overseas countries and territories as defined in Council Decision …/… (EU);

(d)     developing countries, as included in the list of Official Development Assistance recipients, which are members of the G-20 group, and other countries and territories, when the relevant procedure takes place in the context of an action financed by the Union under this Regulation in which they participate;

(e)     countries for which reciprocal access to external funding is established by the Commission; that access may be granted, for a limited period of at least one year, whenever a country grants eligibility on equal terms to entities from the Union and from countries eligible under this Regulation; the Commission shall decide on the reciprocal access and on its duration after consultation of the recipient country or countries concerned;

(f)      member countries of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, in the case of contracts implemented in a Least Developed Country or a Highly Indebted Poor Country, as included in the list of Official Development Assistance recipients.

2. Without prejudice to the limitations inherent to the nature and objectives of the action, participation in procurement, grant and prize award procedures for actions financed under the Human Rights and Democracy and Stability and Peace programmes as well as rapid response actions, shall be open without limitations.

3. All supplies and materials financed under this Regulation may originate from any country.

4. The rules laid down in this Article shall not apply to, and shall not create, nationality restrictions for natural persons employed or otherwise legally contracted by an eligible contractor or, where applicable, subcontractor.

5. For actions jointly co-financed by an entity, or implemented in direct or indirect management with entities as referred to point (c) (ii) to (viii) of Article 62(1) of the Financial Regulation, the eligibility rules of those entities shall also apply.

6. Where donors provide financing to a trust fund established by the Commission or through external assigned revenues, the eligibility rules in the constitutive act of the trust fund or in the agreement with the donor in case of external assigned revenues shall apply.

7. In the case of actions financed under this Regulation and by another Union Programme, eligible entities under any of those Programmes shall be considered eligible.

8. In the case of multi-country actions legal entities who are nationals of and, in the case of legal entities who are also effectively established in, the countries and territories covered by the action may be considered eligible.

9. The eligibility rules of this Article may be restricted with regard to the nationality, geographical location or nature of applicants, where such restrictions are required on account of the specific nature and the objectives of the action and where they are necessary for its effective implementation.

10. Tenderers, applicants and candidates from non-eligible countries may be accepted as eligible in the case of urgency or the unavailability of services in the markets of the countries or territories concerned, or in other duly substantiated cases where application of the eligibility rules would make the realisation of an action impossible or exceedingly difficult.

11. In order to promote local capacities, markets and purchases, priority shall be given to local and regional contractors when the Financial Regulation provides for an award on the basis of a single tender. In all other cases, participation of local and regional contractors shall be promoted in accordance with the relevant provisions of that Regulation.

12. Under the Democracy and Human Rights programme, any entity not covered under the definition of legal entity in Article 2(6) shall be eligible when this is necessary to pursue the areas of intervention of this programme.

Article 25

Carry-overs, annual instalments, commitment appropriations, re-payments and revenue

generated by financial instruments

1. In addition to Article 12(2) of the Financial Regulation, unused commitment and payment appropriations under this Regulation shall be automatically carried over and may be committed up to 31 December of the following financial year. The carried-over amount shall be used first in the following financial year.

The Commission shall inform the European Parliament and the Council of carried over commitment appropriations in line with Article 12(6) of the Financial Regulation.

2. In addition to the rules laid down in Article 15 of the Financial Regulation on making appropriations available again, commitment appropriations corresponding to the amount of decommitments made as a result of total or partial non implementation of an action under this Regulation shall be made available again to the benefit of the budget line of origin.

References to Article 15 of the Financial Regulation in Article 12(1)(b) of Regulation laying down the multi annual financial framework shall be understood as including a reference to this paragraph for the purpose of this Regulation.

3. Budgetary commitments for actions extending over more than one financial year may be broken down over several years into annual instalments, in line with Article 112(2) of the Financial Regulation.

The third subparagraph of Article 114(2) of the Financial Regulation shall not apply to these multiannual actions. The Commission shall automatically de-commit any portion of a budgetary commitment for an action that by 31 December of the fifth year following that of the budgetary commitment has not been used for the purpose of pre-financing or making interim payments or for which no certified statement of expenditure or any payment request has been submitted.

Paragraph 2 of this Article shall also apply to annual instalments.

4. By way of derogation from Article 209(3) of the Financial Regulation repayments and revenues generated by a financial instrument shall be assigned to the budget line of origin as internal assigned revenue after deduction of management costs and fees. Every five years, the Commission shall examine the contribution made to the achievement of Union objectives, and the effectiveness, of existing financial instruments.

Chapter IV EFSD+, budgetary guarantees and financial assistance to third

countries

Article 26

Scope and financing

1. The financial envelope referred to in Article (6)(2)(a) shall finance the European Fund for Sustainable Development Plus (EFSD+) and the External Action Guarantee.

The purpose of the EFSD+ as an integrated financial package supplying financial capacity drawing on the methods of implementation set up in Article 23(1)(a), (e), (f) and (g), shall be to support investments and increase access to financing, in order to foster sustainable and inclusive economic and social development and promote the socio-economic resilience in partner countries with a particular focus on the, eradication of poverty, sustainable and inclusive growth, the creation of decent jobs, economic opportunities, skills and entrepreneurship, socioeconomic sectors, micro, small and medium-sized enterprises as well as addressing specific socioeconomic root causes of irregular migration, in accordance with the relevant indicative programming documents. Special attention shall be given to countries identified as experiencing fragility or conflict, Least Developed Countries and heavily indebted poor countries.

2. The External Action Guarantee shall support the EFSD+ operations covered by budgetary guarantees in accordance with Articles 27, 28 and 29 of this Regulation, macro-financial assistance and loans to third countries referred to in Article 10(2) of Regulation EINS.

3. Under the External Action Guarantee, the Union may guarantee operations, signed between 1 January 2021 and 31 December 2027, up to EUR 60 000 000 000.

4. The provisioning rate shall range between 9% and 50% depending on the type of operations.

The provisioning rate for the External Action Guarantee shall be 9% for the Union's macro-financial assistance and for budgetary guarantees covering sovereign risks associated with lending operations.

The provisioning rates shall be reviewed every three years from the date of application of this Regulation laid down in Article 40. The Commission shall be empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 34 to supplement or amend these rates.

5. The External Action Guarantee shall be considered as a single guarantee in the common provisioning fund established by Article 212 of the Financial Regulation.

6. The EFSD+ and the External Action Guarantee may support financing and investment operations in partner countries in the geographical areas referred to in Article 4(2). The provisioning of the External Action Guarantee shall be financed from the budget of the relevant geographic programmes established by Article 6(2)(a) and shall be transferred into the common provisioning fund. The EFSD+ and the External Action Guarantee may also support operations in beneficiaries listed in Annex I of Regulation IPA III. The funding for these operations under the EFSD+ and for the provisioning of the External Action Guarantee shall be financed from the

Regulation IPA. The provisioning of the External Action Guarantee for loans to third countries referred to in Article 10 (2) of Regulation EINS shall be financed from Regulation EINS.

7. The provisioning referred to in Article 211(2) of the Financial Regulation shall be constituted on the basis of the Union's total outstanding liabilities arising from each operation, including operations signed before 2021 and guaranteed by the Union. The annual amount of provisioning required may be constituted during a period of up to seven years.

8. The balance of assets by 31 December 2020 in the EFSD Guarantee Fund and in the Guarantee fund for external actions established respectively by Regulation EU 2017/1601 of the European Parliament and the Council and Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 480/2009 shall be transferred into the common provisioning fund for the purpose of provisioning its respective operations under the same single guarantee provided for in paragraph 4 of this Article.

Article 27

Eligibility and selection of operations and counterparts

1. The financing and investment operations eligible for support through the External Action Guarantee shall be consistent and aligned with Union policies, as well as with the partner countries’ strategies and policies. They shall in particular support the objectives, general principles and policy framework of this Regulation and the relevant indicative programming documents, with due regard to the priority areas laid down in Annex V.

2. The External Action Guarantee shall support financing and investment operations compliant with the conditions set out in points (a) to (c) of Article 209(2) of the

Financial Regulation and that:

(a) ensure complementarity with other initiatives;

(b)

are economically and financially viable, with due regard to the possible support from, and co-financing by, private and public partners to the project, while taking into account the specific operating environment and capacities of countries identified as experiencing fragility or conflict, Least Developed Countries and heavily indebted poor countries which may benefit from concessional terms;

(c)

are technically viable and are sustainable from an environmental and social point of view.

3. The External Action Guarantee shall be used to cover the risks for the following

instruments:

(a)     loans, including local currency loans and macro-financial assistance loans;

(b)     guarantees;

(c)     counter-guarantees;

(d)     capital market instruments;

(e)     any other form of funding or credit enhancement, insurance, and equity or quasi-equity participations.

4. The eligible counterparts for the purposes of the External Action Guarantee shall be the ones identified in Article 208(4) of the Financial Regulation, including those from third countries contributing to the External Action Guarantee, subject to approval by the Commission in accordance with Article 28 of this Regulation. In addition, and by derogation to Article 62(2)(c) of the Financial Regulation, bodies governed by the private law of a Member State or a third country     which has contributed to the External Action Guarantee in accordance with Article 28, and which provide adequate assurance of their financial capacity shall be eligible for the purpose of the Guarantee.

5. Eligible counterparts shall comply with the rules and conditions provided for in Article 62(2)(c) of the Financial Regulation. In the case of bodies governed by the private law of a Member State or a third country which have contributed to the External Action Guarantee in accordance with Article 28 of this Regulation, preference shall be given to those bodies that disclose information related to environment, social and corporate governance criteria.

The Commission shall ensure an effective, efficient and fair use of available resources among eligible counterparts, while promoting cooperation between them.

The Commission shall ensure fair treatment for all eligible counterparts and shall ensure that conflicts of interest are avoided throughout the implementation period of the EFSD+. In order to ensure complementarity, the Commission may request any relevant information from eligible counterparts about their non-EFSD+ operations.

6. The Commission shall select the eligible counterparts in accordance with Article 154 of the Financial Regulation, taking due account of:

(a)     the advice of the strategic and regional operation boards, in accordance with Annex VI;

(b)     the objectives of the investment window;

(c)     the experience and risk management capacity of the eligible counterpart;

(d)     the amount of own resources, as well as private sector co-financing, that the eligible counterpart is ready to mobilise for the investment window.

7. The Commission shall set up investment windows for regions, specific partner countries or both, for specific sectors, or for specific projects, specific categories of final beneficiaries or both, which are to be funded by this Regulation, to be covered by the External action Guarantee up to a fixed amount. The Commission shall inform the European Parliament and the Council on how the investment windows comply with this Article and their detailed funding priorities. All requests for financial support within investment windows shall be made to the Commission.

The choice of investment windows shall be duly justified by an analysis of the market failure or sub-optimal investment situations. That analysis shall be carried out by the Commission in cooperation with potentially eligible counterparts and stakeholders.

Eligible counterparts may provide the instruments referred to in paragraph 3 under an investment window or individual project administered by an eligible counterpart. The instruments may be provided for the benefit of partner countries, including countries experiencing fragility or conflict or countries facing challenges in reconstruction and post-conflict recovery, for the benefit of those partner countries’ institutions,

including their public national and private local banks and finance institutions, as well as for the benefit of private sector entities of those partner countries.

8. The Commission shall assess the operations supported by the External Action Guarantee against the eligibility criteria set out in paragraphs 2 and 3, where possible drawing on the existing result measurement systems of eligible counterparts. The Commission shall publish the result of its assessment for each investment window on an annual basis.

9. The Commission shall be empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 34 to supplement or amend the priority areas in Annex V and the governance of the EFSD+ in Annex VI.

Article 28

Contribution from other donors to the External Action Guarantee

1. Member States, third countries and other third parties may contribute to the External Action Guarantee.

By derogation from the second sub-paragraph of Article 218(2) of the Financial Regulation, the contracting parties to the Agreement on the European Economic Area may contribute in the form of guarantees or cash.

Contribution from third countries other than the contracting parties to the Agreement on the European Economic Area and from other third parties shall be in the form of cash and subject to approval by the Commission.

The Commission shall inform the European Parliament and the Council without delay of the contributions confirmed.

At the request of the Member States, their contributions may be earmarked for the initiation of actions in specific regions, countries, sectors or existing investment windows.

2. Contributions in the form of a guarantee shall not exceed 50% of the amount referred to in Article 26(2) of this Regulation.

The contributions made by the Member States and the contracting parties to the Agreement on the European Economic Area in the form of a guarantee may only be called for payments of guarantee calls after the funding from the general budget of the Union increased by any other cash contributions has been used on payments of guarantee calls.

Any contribution may be used to cover guarantee calls regardless of earmarking.

A contribution agreement shall be concluded between the Commission, on behalf of the Union, and the contributor, and shall contain, in particular, provisions concerning the payment conditions.

Article 29

Implementation of External Action Guarantee agreements

1. The Commission, on behalf of the Union, shall conclude External Action Guarantee

agreements with the eligible counterparts selected pursuant to Article 27.

more eligible

2.

3.

4.

5.

Agreements may be concluded with a consortium of two counterparts.

One or more External Action Guarantee agreements shall be concluded for each investment window between the Commission and the eligible counterpart or eligible counterparts selected. In addition, in order to address specific needs, the External Action Guarantee may be granted for individual financing or investment operations.

All External Action Guarantee agreements shall, upon request, be made available to the European Parliament and to the Council, taking into account the protection of confidential and commercially sensitive information.

External Action Guarantee agreements shall contain, in particular:

(a) (b)

(c) (d) (e)

(f)

(g) (h)

detailed rules on the coverage, requirements, eligibility, eligible counterparts, and procedures;

detailed rules on the provision of the External Action Guarantee, including its arrangements on the coverage and its defined coverage of portfolios and of projects of specific types of instruments, as well as a risk analysis of projects and project portfolios, including at sectoral, regional and national levels;

a mention of the objectives and purpose of this Regulation, a needs assessment and an indication of the expected results, taking into account the promotion of corporate social responsibility and responsible business conduct;

the remuneration of the guarantee, which is to reflect the risk level, and the possibility for the remuneration to be partly subsidised in order to give concessional terms in duly justified cases;

requirements for the use of the External Action Guarantee, including payment conditions, such as specific time frames, interest to be paid on due amounts, expenses and recovery costs and possibly necessary liquidity arrangements;

claims procedures, including, but not limited to, triggering events and waiting periods, and procedures regarding the recovery of claims;

monitoring, reporting and evaluation obligations;

clear and accessible complaints procedures for third parties that could be affected by the implementation of projects supported by the External Action Guarantee.

The eligible counterpart shall approve financing and investment operations following its own rules and procedures and in compliance with the terms of the External Action Guarantee agreement.

The External Action Guarantee may cover:

(a) for debt instruments, the principal and all interests and amounts due to the selected eligible counterpart, but not received by it in accordance with the terms of the financing operations after an event of default has occurred;

(a)     for equity investments, the amounts invested and their associated financing costs;

(b)     for other financing and investment operations referred to in Article 27(2), the amounts used and their associated funding costs;

(c) all relevant expenses and recovery costs related to an event of default, unless deducted from recovery proceeds.

6. For the purposes of the Commission’s accounting, its reporting of the risks covered by the External Action Guarantee and in line with Article 209(4) of the Financial Regulation, eligible counterparts with which a guarantee agreement has been concluded shall provide the Commission and the Court of Auditors annually with the financial reports on financing and investment operations covered by this Regulation, audited by an independent external auditor, containing, inter alia, information on:

(a)     the risk assessment of financing and investment operations of the eligible counterparts, including information on Union liabilities measured in compliance with the accounting rules referred to in Article 80 of the Financial Regulation and IPSAS;

(b)     the outstanding financial obligation for the Union arising from the EFSD+ operations provided to the eligible counterparts and their financing and investment operations, broken down by individual operations.

7. The eligible counterparts shall, upon request, provide the Commission with any additional information necessary to fulfil the Commission’s obligations in relation to this Regulation.

8. The Commission shall report on financial instruments, budgetary guarantees, financial assistance in accordance with Article 241 and 250 of the Financial Regulation. To this purpose, the eligible counterparts shall provide annually the information necessary to allow the Commission to comply with the reporting obligations.

Article 30

Capital participation in a development bank

The envelope for geographic programmes, referred to in Article 6(2)(a), may be used to contribute to the capital endowment of European and other development finance institutions.

Chapter V Monitoring, reporting and evaluation

Article 31

Monitoring and reporting

1. Indicators to report on progress under this Regulation towards the achievement of the specific objectives set out in Article 3 are set in Annex VII, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals indicators. The values of the indicators on 1 January 2021 shall be used as a basis for assessing the extent to which the objectives have been achieved.

2. The Commission shall regularly monitor its actions and review progress made towards delivering expected results, covering outputs and outcomes.

Progress with respect to expected results should be monitored on the basis of clear, transparent and, where appropriate, measurable indicators. Indicators shall be kept at a limited number to facilitate timely reporting.

3. Joint results frameworks included within joint programming documents that fulfil the criteria set out in Article 12(4) shall provide the basis for the joint monitoring by the Union and the Member States of the implementation of their collective support to a partner country.

The performance reporting system shall ensure that data for monitoring programme implementation and results are collected efficiently, effectively, and in a timely manner. To that end, proportionate reporting requirements shall be imposed on recipients of Union funds.

4. The Commission shall examine the progress made in implementing this Regulation. From 2022 onwards, the Commission shall submit to the European Parliament and to the Council an annual report on the achievement of the objectives of this Regulation by means of indicators, measuring the results delivered and the efficiency of the Regulation. That report shall also be submitted to the European Economic and Social Committee and to the Committee of the Regions.

5. The annual report shall contain information relating to the previous year on the measures financed, the results of monitoring and evaluation exercises, the involvement of the relevant partners, and the implementation of budgetary commitments and of payment appropriations broken down by country, region and cooperation sector. It shall assess the results of the Union funding using, as far as possible, specific and measurable indicators of its role in meeting the objectives of this Regulation. In the case of development cooperation, the report shall also assess, where possible and relevant, the adherence to development effectiveness principles, including for innovative financial instruments.

6. The annual report prepared in 2021 shall contain consolidated information from annual reports concerning the period from 2014 to 2020 on all funding from the Regulations referred to in Article 40(2), including external assigned revenues and contributions to trust funds, and offering a breakdown of spending by country, use of financial instruments, commitments and payments. The report shall reflect the main lessons learnt and the follow-up to the recommendations of the external evaluative exercises carried out in previous years.

7. An annual estimate of the overall spending related to climate action and biodiversity shall be made on the basis of the indicative programming documents adopted. The funding allocated under this Regulation shall be subject to an annual tracking system based on the methodology of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (‘Rio markers’), without excluding the use of more precise methodologies where these are available, integrated into the existing methodology for performance management of Union programmes, to quantify the expenditure related to climate action and biodiversity at the level of the action plans and measures referred to in Article 19 and recorded within evaluations and the annual report.

8. The Commission shall make available information on development co-operation through recognised international standards.

9. To ensure effective assessment of progress of this Regulation towards the achievement of its objectives, the Commission shall be empowered to adopt

delegated acts in accordance with Article 34 to amend Annex VII to review or complement the indicators where considered necessary and to supplement this Regulation with provisions on the establishment of a monitoring and evaluation framework.

Article 32

Evaluation

1. An interim evaluation of this Regulation shall be performed once there is sufficient information available about its implementation, but no later than four years after the start of the implementation of the instrument.

Where appropriate evaluations shall make use of the good practise principles of the Development Assistance Committee of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, seeking to ascertain whether the objectives have been met and to formulate recommendations with a view to improving future actions.

2. At the end of the implementation of the Regulation, but no later than four years after the end of the period specified in Article 1, a final evaluation of the Regulation shall be carried out by the Commission. This evaluation shall look at the Union contribution to the achievement of the objectives of this Regulation, taking into account indicators measuring the results delivered and any findings and conclusions concerning the impact of this Regulation.

The final evaluation report shall also address efficiency, the added value, the scope for simplification, internal and external coherence, and the continued relevance of the objectives of this Regulation.

The final evaluation report shall be undertaken for the specific purpose of improving the implementation of the Union funding. It shall inform decisions on the renewal, modification or suspension of the types of actions implemented under the Regulation.

The final evaluation report shall also contain consolidated information from relevant annual reports on all funding governed by this Regulation, including external assigned revenues and contributions to trust funds offering a breakdown of spending by beneficiary country, use of financial instruments, commitments and payments

The Commission shall communicate the conclusions of the evaluations accompanied by its observations, to the European Parliament, to the Council and to the Member States through the relevant committee referred to in Article 35. Specific evaluations may be discussed in that committee at the request of Member States. The results shall feed into programme design and resource allocation.

The Commission shall, to an appropriate extent, associate all relevant stakeholders in the evaluation process of the Union's funding provided under this Regulation, and may, where appropriate, seek to undertake joint evaluations with the Member States and development partners with close involvement of the partner countries.

3. In line with the specific reporting provisions in the Financial Regulation, by 31 December 2025 and every three years thereafter, the Commission shall evaluate the use and the functioning of the External Action Guarantee. The Commission shall submit its evaluation report to the European Parliament and to the Council. That evaluation report shall be accompanied by an opinion of the Court of Auditors.

TITLE III FINALPROVISIONS

Article 33

Participation by a country or territory not covered by this Regulation

1. In duly justified cases and where the action to be implemented is of a global, trans-regional or regional nature, the Commission may decide, within the relevant multiannual indicative programmes or within the relevant action plans or measures to extend the scope of actions to countries and territories not covered by this Regulation pursuant to Article 4 in order to ensure the coherence and effectiveness of Union financing or to foster regional or trans-regional cooperation.

2. The Commission may include a specific financial allocation to assist partner countries and regions in strengthening their cooperation with neighbouring Union outermost regions and with overseas countries and territories covered by Council Decision OCT Decision. To this end, this Regulation, may contribute, where appropriate and on the basis of reciprocity and proportionality as regards the level of funding from the OCT Decision and/or the ETC Regulation, to actions implemented by a partner country or region or any other entity under this Regulation, by a country, territory or any other entity under the OCT Decision or by a Union outermost region in the frame of joint operational programmes or to interregional cooperation programmes or measures established and implemented under the ETC Regulation.

Article 34

Exercise of the delegation

1. The power to adopt delegated acts is conferred on the Commission subject to the conditions laid down in this Article.

2. The power to adopt delegated acts referred to in Article 4(6), Article 26(3), Article 27(9) and Article 31(9) shall be conferred on the Commission for the period of validity of this Regulation.

3. The delegation of power referred to in Article 4(6), Article 26(3), Article 27(9) and Article 31(9) may be revoked at any time by the European Parliament or by the Council. A decision to revoke shall put an end to the delegation of power specified in that decision. It shall take effect the day following the publication of the decision in the Official Journal of the European Union or at a later date specified therein. It shall not affect the validity of any delegated acts already in force.

4. Before adopting a delegated act, the Commission shall consult experts designated by each Member State in accordance with the principles laid down in the Interinstitutional Agreement on Better Law-Making of 13 April 2016.

5. As soon as it adopts a delegated act, the Commission shall notify it simultaneously to the European Parliament and to the Council.

6. A delegated act adopted pursuant to Article 4(6), Article 26(3), Article 27(9) and Article 31(9) shall enter into force only if no objection has been expressed either by the European Parliament or the Council within a period of two months of notification

of that act to the European Parliament and the Council or if, before the expiry of that period, the European Parliament and the Council have both informed the Commission that they will not object. That period shall be extended by two months at the initiative of the European Parliament or of the Council.

Article 35

Committee

1. The Commission shall be assisted by the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation committee. This committee shall be a committee within the meaning of Regulation (EU) No 182/2011.

2. Where reference is made to this paragraph, Article 5 of Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 shall apply.

3. Where the opinion of the committee is to be obtained by a written procedure, the procedure shall be terminated without result when, within the time limit for delivery of the opinion, the chair of the committee so decides or a simple majority of committee members so requests.

4. Where reference is made to this paragraph, Article 8 of Regulation (EU) No 182/2011, in conjunction with Article 5 thereof, shall apply.

5. The adopted decision shall remain in force for the duration of the adopted or modified document, action programme or measure.

6. An observer from the European Investment Bank shall take part in the Committee's proceedings with regard to questions concerning the European Investment Bank.

Article 36

Information, communication and publicity

1. The recipients of Union funding shall acknowledge the origin and ensure the visibility of the Union funding in particular when promoting the actions and their results by providing coherent, effective and proportionate targeted information to multiple audiences, including the media and the public.

2. The Commission shall implement information and communication actions relating to this Regulation, and its actions and results. Financial resources allocated to this Regulation shall also contribute to the corporate communication of the political priorities of the Union, as far as those priorities are directly related to the objectives referred to in Article 3.

Article 37

Derogation from visibility requirements

Security issues or local political sensitivities may make it preferable or necessary to limit communication and visibility activities in certain countries or areas or during certain periods. In such cases, the target audience and the visibility tools, products and channels to be used in promoting a given action shall be determined on a case-by-case basis, in consultation and

agreement with the Union. Where rapid intervention is required in response to a sudden crisis, it is not necessary to produce a full communication and visibility plan immediately. In such situations, however, the Union's support shall nevertheless be appropriately indicated from the start.

Article 38

EEAS clause

This Regulation shall apply in accordance with Decision 2010/427/EU.

Article 39

Repeal and transitional provisions

1. Decision No 466/2014/EU, Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 480/2009 and Regulation (EU) 2017/1601 are repealed with effect from 1 January 2021.

2. The financial envelope for this Regulation may also cover technical and administrative assistance expenditures necessary to ensure the transition between this Regulation and the measures adopted under its predecessors: Regulation (EU) No 233/2014; Regulation (EU) No 232/2014; Regulation (EU) No 230/2014; Regulation (EU) No 235/2014; Regulation (EU) No 234/2014, Regulation (Euratom) No 237/2014, Regulation (EU) No 236/2014, Decision No 466/2014/EU, Regulation (EC, Euratom ) No 480/2009 and Regulation (EU) 2017/1601.

3. The financial envelope for this regulation may cover expenditures related to the preparation of any successor to this Regulation.

4. If necessary, appropriations may be entered in the budget beyond 2027 to cover the expenditures provided for in Article 20(1), to enable the management of actions not completed by 31 December 2027.

Article 40

Entry into force

This Regulation shall enter into force on the day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.

It shall apply from 1 January 2021.

This Regulation shall be binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all Member States.