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12.3.2.  The programming of the operations of the Funds

    On the basis of Regulation 1303/2013 [last amended by Regulation 2017/1199], a Common Strategic Framework ('CSF') is established, in order to maximise the contribution of the European Structural and Investment (ESI) Funds and strategic guiding principles are established to facilitate the programming process at the level of Member States and the regions. The CSF sets out how the ESI Funds contribute to the Union strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, the arrangements to promote an integrated use of the ESI Funds and the arrangements for coordination between the ESI Funds and other relevant Union policies and instruments.

    On the basis of the CSF, each Member State should prepare, in cooperation with its partners, and in dialogue with the Commission, a Partnership Agreement. The Partnership Agreement should translate the elements set out in the CSF into the national context and set out firm commitments to the achievement of Union objectives through the programming of the ESI Funds. The Partnership Agreement should set out: (a) arrangements to ensure alignment with the Union strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth as well as with the Fund-specific missions pursuant to their Treaty-based objectives; (b) arrangements to ensure effective and efficient implementation of the ESI Funds; and (c) arrangements for the partnership principle and an integrated approach to territorial development.

    The ESI Funds are implemented through programmes covering the programming period in accordance with the Partnership Agreement. Programmes are drawn up by Member States based on procedures that are transparent, in accordance with their institutional and legal framework. Member States and the Commission should cooperate to ensure coordination and consistency of programming arrangements for the ESI Funds. Member States monitor programmes in order to review implementation and progress towards achieving the programme's objectives. To this end, monitoring committees are set up by the Member State, in accordance with its institutional, legal and financial framework, and their composition and functions are defined for the ESI Funds. In order to ensure effectiveness, a monitoring committee should be able to make observations to managing authorities regarding implementation and evaluation of the programme, including actions related to the reduction of the administrative burden on beneficiaries and should monitor actions taken as a result of its observations.

    Public private partnerships (PPPs) are forms of cooperation between public bodies and the private sector, which aim to improve the delivery of investments in infrastructure projects or other types of operations, delivering public services through risk sharing, pooling of private sector expertise or additional sources of capital. A 'PPP operation' is an operation which is implemented under a public-private-partnership structure. In relation to a PPP operation a beneficiary may be either the public law body initiating the operation or a body governed by private law of a Member State (the "private partner") selected for the implementation of the operation.

    In accordance with the principles of shared management, Member States and the Commission are responsible for the management and control of programmes. However, Member States have the primary responsibility, through their management and control systems, for the implementation and control of the operations in programmes. In accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, Member States should, upon request of the Commission, examine complaints submitted to the Commission falling within the scope of their arrangements and should inform the Commission of the results of examinations upon request.

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