European Funds Unit

The European Funds Unit (EFU) of the Ministry of Interior has been appointed by the Council of Ministers (Decision No 79.735, dated 17/11/2015) as the Intermediate Body for projects implemented through public procurement. Therefore, it has been assigned, by virtue of the relevant Delegation Agreement, with the responsibility of managing the Investment Priority in regards to Sustainable Urban Development, which concerns projects under implementation/implemented by Local Authorities, and specifically by the Municipalities of Nicosia, Limassol, Larnaca and Paphos.

Functions of EFU

• To approve and publish the calls for proposals drafted by the Intermediate Bodies of Integrated Sustainable Urban Development Strategy Projects – Local Authorities;

• To evaluate and approve projects based on the evaluation criteria approved by the Monitoring Committee in cooperation with the Intermediate Bodies of Integrated Sustainable Urban Development Strategy Projects – Local Authorities;

• To implement the appropriate procedures and evaluation criteria which ensure, the contribution of projects to the achievement of special targets and results of the aforementioned specific priority, non-discrimination and transparency, and compliance with the general principles for the promotion of equality between men and women, non-discrimination, sustainable development and protection/improvement of environment;

• To check, before the approval of a project and the drafting of the Decision of Inclusion of a Project, that the eligible Municipality has the administrative, financial and operational ability to comply with the terms referred to in the Decision of Inclusion, based on the appropriate criteria;

• To validate the evaluation results from the Intermediate Bodies of Sustainable Urban Development Strategy Projects – Local Authorities, concerning the quality, maturity and suitability of proposals, provided that evaluation procedures in regards to the selection criteria have been implemented correctly by the Intermediate Bodies of Sustainable Urban Development Strategy Projects;

• To publish Decisions of Inclusion of Projects which shall include the terms of funding of the project, the duties and obligations of the Beneficiary, according to the guidelines of the Managing Authority.

• To carry out preliminary verifications of all projects approved, before the validation of the first application for reimbursement (Beneficiary payment claim) to be submitted by the Municipality in order to ensure the fulfillment of special terms that have been set out in the Decision of Inclusion of the Project and are connected to the eligibility of its expenditure, such as: the compliance with the requirements of the regulations on public procurement, State aid, sustainable development, equal opportunities, non-discrimination and environment, the compliance with the guidelines on the calculation of the funding gap rate for revenue-generating projects, the compliance with the established methodology in case Simplified Cost Options are used, etc.;

• To verify that co-funded products and services were delivered under the terms of support of the project through on-spot verifications carried out under the guidelines of the European Commission and the Managing Authority;

• To verify the achievement of monitoring indicators at an administrative level;

• To submit Beneficiary payment claims before the preparation of any interim payment application towards the EC (Beneficiary payment claim– Application of Payment).

• To submit Management Declarations before preparing the accounts;

• To control and validate Legal Commitments (contracts) of projects and any amendments thereto submitted by the Beneficiaries;

• To systematically monitor the effective implementation of projects, the timely absorption of funds according to the financial planning of the Operational Programmes and the N+3 rule, as well as the compliance, within the framework of the directives, of analytical elements of monitoring and data/indicators for the implementation of the projects in the Integrated Information System. The Intermediate Body is responsible for detecting any divergence from the schedule of implementation, indicate corrective measures to be taken by the Municipalities and monitor their effective implementation;

• To check, re-evaluate (where necessary) and approve any modifications of the projects and to publish an amending Decision of Inclusion of a Project;

• To publish the Decision of Completion of the project;

• Οverall management of the technical assistance project;

• To plan and coordinate the implementation of the actions for the training of the Intermediate Body officials.

• To provide secretarial support for the Intermediate Body;

• To implement and monitor the information and publicity actions (based on national and Union rules on publicity) at the wider level of the sectoral interventions falling within the responsibilities of the Intermediate Body;

• To provide support and guidance to Municipalities in implementing the information and publicity actions at the level of their projects.

At the same time, the EFU as an Intermediate Body, is responsible for monitoring projects whose implementation has already began, and are expected to be inducted, for co-funding, within the framework of the programming period 2021-2027.