Third Report on Economic and Social Cohesion
On 18 February 2004, the European Commission presented the Third Report on Economic and Social Cohesion, which sets out its vision for cohesion policy in an enlarged European Union for the period 2007-2013. The Report contains concrete recommendations on how resources should be used in order to narrow the economic gaps between Member States and regions and achieve faster growth and more sustainable development. The Report will kick-off the discussions inside and outside the European institutions on the future of this major policy area. The Report has four parts: cohesion, competitiveness, employment and growth situations and trends, the impact of Member State policies on cohesion, impact of community policies and impact and added value of structural policies. The Report includes plans for a fund to promote competitiveness within the EUi to replace the current Objective 2i funding, which helps regions deal with the decline of traditional industries. Unlike Objective 2, the fund will not be defined by geographical zones. Instead funding will be based around the themes of innovation and knowledge; environment and risk prevention; and accessibility and services of generic economic interest. Third Report on Economic and Social Cohesion

Proposals for the New Structural Fundsi Regulations 2007-2013
As part of its reform plans for the Structural and Cohesion Funds, the European Commission has proposed a new three-tier strategic process. After the formal adoption of an EU budget and the Structural and Cohesion Funds Regulations the following will have to be agreed in the following order:

Community Strategic Guidelines
National Strategic Reference Framework (for each Member State)
Operational Programmes (at a regional level).

On 5 July 2005, the Commission published its draft Community Strategic Guidelines for economic, social and territorial cohesion. These would define a framework for the intervention of the Funds from 2007-2013. This was followed by an EU-wide consultation on the Guidelines, which ended on 30 September 2005. Further information on the consultation is available on the Commission’s Regional Policy website at.

The Department for Business (BERR) is co-ordinating the project for the UK’s National Strategic Reference Framework, which will be used as a strategic guide for Operational Programmes during the new Financial Perspective. The BERR are aiming to publish a draft NSRF early in 2006. As well as initiating a UK-wide consultation on this document, it will provide Project Managers with an initial basis to begin planning for the 2007-2013 Financial Perspective.

Looking for Project Partners in Eastern Europe?
Are you interested in developing project work in Eastern Europe? Do you need assistance in finding project partners from Eastern Europe? North West Network has recently been involved in the successful delivery of a project with the Polish and Ukrainian Third Sectori. A major output of this work has been the development of a new web portal promoting partnership between the UK and the East European Third Sector. Visit the website below to search for partners in your particular field and leave your organisational details for others to see the work that you do.

Other links to websites listing transnational non-profit organisations