Rules of procedure of the Monitoring Committee for Interreg V-A Latvia-Lithuania Programme 2014 – 2020
1. Preamble/Legal Basis
The Member States Latvia and Lithuania on the basis of:
- Regulation No 1303/2013 of the Parliament and the Council of 17 December 2013 laying down common provisions on the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund and the Cohesion Fund (hereinafter referred to as the “CPR”),
- Regulation No 1301/2013 of the Parliament and the Council of 17 December 2013 on the European Regional Development Fund (hereinafter referred to as the “ERDF Regulation”),
- Regulation No 1299/2013 of the Parliament and the Council of 17 December 2013 on the European Territorial Co-operation (hereinafter referred to as the “ETC Regulation”),
- Commission delegated regulation (EU) No 240/2014 of 7 January 2014 on the European code of conduct on partnership in the framework of the European Structural and Investment Funds,
- Interreg V-A Latvia-Lithuania Programme 2014-2020 (hereinafter referred to as Programme) adopted on 30 November 2015 by Commission Decision C (2015) 8476
and in agreement with the Managing Authority (hereinafter referred to as MA) of the Programme, have established a joint Monitoring Committee (hereinafter referred to as MC) for the Programme to which the following rules of procedure shall apply.
- In accordance with Articles 49 and 110 of the CPR, Articles 12 and 18 of the ETC regulation and the Programme, the MC:
- shall review implementation of the Programme and progress made towards achieving its objectives. In doing so, it shall have regard to the financial data, common and Programme-specific indicators, including changes in the value of result indicators and progress towards quantified target values, and the milestones defined in the performance framework referred to in article 21(1) of CPR, and, where relevant, the results of qualitative analyses;
- shall examine any issues that affect the performance of the Programme, including the conclusions of the performance reviews;
- shall be consulted and shall decide on any amendment of the Programme proposed by the Member State or MA;
- may make observations to the MA regarding implementation and evaluation of the Programme including actions related to the reduction of the administrative burden on beneficiaries. The MC shall monitor actions taken as a result of its observations;
- shall approve Technical Assistance budget and Annual Work Plan of the Programme;
- shall approve the evaluation plan for the Programme and any amendment to the evaluation plan;
- shall examine progress made in implementation of the evaluation plan and the follow up given to findings of evaluations;
- shall approve the communication strategy for the Programme and any amendment to the strategy and examine the implementation of the communication strategy;
- shall examine actions to promote equality between men and women, equal opportunities, and non-discrimination, including accessibility for persons with disabilities;
- shall examine actions to promote sustainable development;
- shall examine coordination with other financial instruments and policies;
- shall approve the Programme manual with supporting documents (including methodology and criteria for selection of projects) before call for proposals and/or direct award procedure is launched by the MA. The MC shall approve amendments to the Programme manual with supporting documents (including methodology and criteria for selection of projects) and decide on the dates when a call for proposals and/or direct award procedure will be opened and closed as well on the type of the call;
- shall select projects for funding after previous assessment provided by MA/Joint Secretariat (hereinafter referred to as the JS);
- prior the financing decisions on the projects shall verify that projects applying for funding from the Programme have not already received financing from other operational programmes;
- shall make decision on project major changes according to the rules set in the Programme manual;
- shall approve annual and final implementation reports of the Programme;
- The MC is set up in compliance with the partnership principle as referred to in Article 5 of the CPR and the European Code of Conduct on Partnership.
- MC membership shall be composed of maximum 8 representatives from each Member State. Each Member State shall appoint its representatives and provide the MA with the names and contact details of the representatives.
- The members of the MC shall be appointed by national authority responsible for the Programme in each Member State. Any change of members and their deputies shall be notified to the MA/chairperson as soon as possible, but no later than 5 working days prior to the next meeting.
- In compliance with Article 48 (2) of the CPR the list of members of the MC and their deputies shall be published by the JS at the Programme’s website.
- The members may be substituted by their deputies, or, in case neither the member nor the deputy can participate, by sending substitutes to the meetings. Participation of substitute in the MC meeting shall be notified to the MA/chairperson as soon as possible, but no later than 5 working days prior to the next meeting. Deputies are entitled to participate/have decision-making powers only in the absence of the members. Deputies shall be kept informed of work progress of the MC. They shall receive all documents drafted and circulated to the MC.
- Representatives of the MA, the Audit Authority (hereinafter referred to as AA), JS and representative of the European Commission (hereinafter referred to as EC) shall participate in the work of the MC in an advisory capacity.
- Members and their deputies and MA may, upon necessity and agreement of the chairperson and in individual cases, invite to the meetings of the MC relevant stakeholders including the representatives of line ministries and experts in advisory capacity and observers. MC members should be informed before the meeting about invited advisers and observers. Participation of invited advisers and observers in the MC meeting shall be notified to the MA as soon as possible, but no later than 5 working days prior to the next meeting.
- The MC shall be chaired by Member States’ appointed person on an annual rotating basis. A chairperson shall represent the national authority responsible for the administration of the Programme in the respective Member State. The MC shall be chaired by the Member State in the following order:
- The chairperson is responsible for the proper functioning of the MC. The chairperson shall draw the provisional agenda in cooperation with the MA, convene regular meetings, direct the discussion and facilitates reaching consensus, and accord the right to speak, put questions to the vote, summarise and announce decisions. The chairperson has control on proceedings of the meetings and supervises the implementation of MC decisions.
- The MC shall as a general rule meet once a year upon invitation of the chairperson, unless otherwise decided by the MC. Additional meetings may be convened upon request by the MA/the chairperson. The MC meetings, unless otherwise decided by the MC, shall take place in the country chairing the MC. The JS shall ensure practical arrangements for the meetings.
- List of decisions shall be prepared by the JS by the end of every MC meeting and shall be signed by the chairperson and representative of JS responsible for taking minutes and within 2 working days published by the JS at the Programme’s website.
- The minutes shall be drafted by the JS and shall be sent in electronic format to the chairperson to check within 10 working days after the MC meeting. After approval by the chairperson, the minutes, on the behalf of the chairperson, are sent out by the JS to the MC members, their deputies and substitutes, authorities referred to in point 3.6. and invited advisers referred to in point 3.7. within 15 working days from the day of the MC meeting.
- The participants of the MC meeting may formulate their comments or amendments to the minutes no later than 10 working days after receipt of the document. From each national delegation one consolidated opinion shall be provided to the JS by the representative of national authority in MC.
- If no comments or amendments are received, the minutes are considered as approved. In case of received comments or amendments, the JS shall revise the draft minutes accordingly, agree on a final version with the chairperson and send the final minutes to the MC members. If this procedure leads to contradictory comments or amendments, the chairperson shall inform the MC members and seek clarifications before finalization.
- The MC meetings may be recorded.
- The MC members have right to vote. Decisions of the MC shall be made by consensus among the national delegations of the Member States in the MC (one vote per delegation). The representatives of MA, AA, JS, EC and other invited participants in advisory capacity and observers have no right to vote.
- At any meeting of the MC at least 1 MC member/deputy member or substitute from national authority of each Member State delegation shall participate.
- In the absence of consensus, the chairperson may decide to postpone the matter to the next meeting, to organise a written procedure or to revoke the draft decision.
- In between the MC meetings the MC may make decisions in written procedure. A written procedure may be initiated by the MA/JS on behalf of the chairperson. The MA/JS on behalf of the chairperson shall send a draft decision to all members. From each national delegation one consolidated opinion may be provided by the representative of national authority within 10 working days. If a written objection/ proposal is raised, the matter shall be clarified and agreement between the national delegations shall be sought by the chairperson. If no final decision can be made, the matter shall be put on the agenda of the next MC meeting. National delegations can withdraw objections/proposals at any time. If no objections/proposals are raised, the decision is deemed as made and the MA/JS shall inform all members at latest in three working days.
- In duly justified cases, the chairperson by its own initiative or at the request of a member of the MC or MA/JS may initiate shorten time period for the decision making via written procedure, but not be shorter than 5 working days.
- If the MA has doubts about the decision’ conformity with legal acts or with the Programme, the decision shall be taken with reservation until clarification has been brought. The MA may seek support of the national authorities and the EC in clarifying the matter. If the decision was not in accordance with legal acts or the Programme, the decision becomes null and void. Otherwise the MC decision shall be deemed as valid and the chairperson/MA shall inform the members.
7. Code of Conduct and working principles
- With regard to the tasks of the MC, as listed in point 2, it shall be ensured that any project assessment and decision of the MC must be free from bias and must not be influenced by partial interest of any of its individual members.
- Members of the MC, their deputies and substitutes are bound to observe following rules of conduct:
- to participate in all meetings as well as in written procedures, when necessary;
- to act in the interest of an efficient implementation of the Programme, in accordance with the scope and objectives of the Programme document;
- to take decisions in the public interest and not to act in the purpose of obtaining financial advantages or other benefits for themselves;
- to declare to the chairperson any situation of conflict of interest in which they might be with regards to the discussions on concrete projects. In this case, the member shall be fully excluded from discussions and decision-making on the subject matter.
- In order to avoid any conflict of interest, each individual with voting rights (member of the MC, deputy member or substitute), adviser and observer shall sign a declaration of confidentiality and impartiality (Annex 1) at each MC meeting before any decision-making regarding the Programme funding and selection of projects for Programme funding.
- Before receiving access to the projects/project related information in the electronic Monitoring System (hereinafter referred to as eMS) each individual with voting rights (member of the MC, deputy member or substitute), adviser and observer shall sign a declaration of confidentiality (Annex 2). Access to the projects/project related information in the eMS is ensured only for the period until decision-taking about selection of the projects for programme funding.
- The MA/JS shall ensure that all MC members, deputy members or substitutes, advisors and observers have signed their declarations.
- In case the provisions mentioned in point 7 are not respected by MC member/deputy member/substitute, adviser or observer, the individual may be revoked by the chairperson, and shall be replaced by the respective organisation.
8. Advisory groups and task forces
- The MC, upon initiative of the chairperson or its members, may set up an advisory groups or task forces or other arrangements to support Programme implementation. Their composition shall be decided according to the expertise needs.
- The MC shall be informed about the work of such groups.
9. Working language
The official language of the MC shall be English. This rule shall be applied in the meetings as well as in the documents of the MC.
- Any expenses related to preparation and organization of the MC meetings shall be covered from the Technical Assistance budget of the Programme.
- Participation of MC members (or deputy, if respective member is not presented, or substitute) shall be partly covered from the Technical Assistance budget of the Programme reimbursing travel (including insurance) and accommodation costs.
11. Secretariat and responsibilities
In accordance with Article 23 (2) of the ETC Regulation, the MC shall be supported by the JS (acting under the responsibility of the MA, in carrying out its respective functions).
In addition to JS responsibilities referred to in point 3.4., 5.1.-5.4., 5.6., 6.5., 6.6., 7.4. JS shall be responsible for:
– preparation of supporting documents needed to conduct discussions on the items on the agenda of the MC meetings/written procedures;
– providing assessment of projects;
– ensuring that decisions of the MC have been executed;
– ensuring, on the request of the MC, sufficient publicity of the Programme;
– assisting any advisory group/task force, appointed by the MC;
– updating the list of the MC members and their deputies, etc.
After adoption, the Rules of Procedure may be revised by the MC.
These Rules of Procedure shall enter into force at the first meeting of the MC. They shall remain valid until acceptance of the Programme closure documents by the EC.
Adopted by the MC on 3 March, 2016, Riga with amendments of 23 January, 2017.