Frequently asked questions
- 1 How can I know what has been done near me?
- 2 How is this financing and the proper use of these funds overseen?
- 3 Is Europe mobilising Structural Funds for regions other than Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium?
- 4 Is Europe mobilising Structural Funds for other countries?
- 5 What were the project selection criteria for European funding?
- 6 When is the next programming period?
This site lists all the ERDF and ESF Convergence and Regional Competitiveness ans Employment Programme projects that are funded by the ERDF and ESF and co-financed by Wallonia, the Wallonia-Brussels Federation, or COCOF. It has a theme ans locality search engine to enable you to find a project near you.
Regarding the ESF
The ESF Agency makes certain that the activities conducted by a project match the objectives set at the start and amounts approved by the governments through meticulous verification of each project’s overall management (invoices, publicity, and activity reports), backed up by checks within the co-financed bodies themselves. The ESF Agency itself is subject to strict regional, cultural community, national, and European oversight.
Regarding the ERDF
A first verification, consisting of a document check (examination of the proofs of reported expenditures) and on-site verification of the projects (to check what is really being done), is carried out by the administration’s departments.
The aims of these checks is to ascertain that the co-financed products and services are being provided (reality of the co-financed activities) and make certain that the expenditures that the beneficiaries have reported for the operations are actually incurred and comply with cultural community and national rules.
A second-level check is carried out by the Finance Inspectorate (Cellule Audit de l'Inspection des Finances pour les Fonds européens or Finance Inspectorate’s European Funds Auditing Unit), which is responsible for checking the smooth working of the entire management and inspection system.
The certitude that the system is working well comes from:
- system audits carried out in the administration; and
- on-site inspections of the beneficiaries’ work on the basis of an annual sample.
Both the European Commission and the European Court of Auditors are also entitled to conduct their own audits of the projects.
Flanders and Brussels are also getting structural funding under the Cohesion Policy’s Regional Competitiveness and Employment Objective and can also take part in European Territorial Cooperation programmes.
Under the Regional Competitiveness and Employment Objective, Flanders is getting a total of €201 million from the ERDF and close to €469 million from the ESF. For Brussels, these amounts are €57 million and €29 million, respectively.
For the 2007-2013 programming period, the Structural Funds amount to a total of more than €347 billion, of which €2.2 billion has been allocated to Belgium.
Regional aid is devoted mainly to the European regions where GDP is below 75% of the EU average. Its aim is to improve infrastructure and develop the economic and human potential of these regions. Seventeen of the EU’s 27 Member States are concerned by this aid.
What is more, all of the EU’s Member States have been able to apply for funds to support innovation, research, sustainable development, and vocational training in their lagging regions.
Finally, a portion of the funds is used for inter-regional and cross-border cooperation projects.
The governments commissioned an independent task force composed of representatives of academia and business to assess the proposed projects’ relevance and merits and then to draw up a suggested ranking for the governments’ final decision. The governments adopted 95% of this task force’s recommendations.
The European Union has not yet decided.