What is the performance framework? 

For the ESIF programmes 2014-2020 the performance framework  is a specific mechanism linked to the performance reserve and the performance review (in 2019 and at closure).  
The performance framework was introduced in the 2014-2020 regulations to monitor the implementation and delivery of programme outputs as planned.
The 2019 performance review exercise incentivises timely delivery as achievement of milestones at the end of 2018 releases the performance reserve (6% of the EU allocation) to performing priorities in the national and regional programme. Non performing priorities will loose the allocated reserve, which shall be reallocated.

What is the volume of EU funds available for the performance reserve?

The chart below sets out the total EU budget amounts planned for the performance reserve by fund. The sums concerned were set out in the financial plans for each programme concerned, but were set aside until the performance review in the second half of 2019. 

(NB: The Youth Employment Initiative, Technical assistance priorities, the SME Initiative programmes and Interreg programmes do not have a performance reserve)  

And how does the performance reserve breakdown by country? 

The chart below shows the total EU budget allocated to the performance review by country and by fund. When reading the chart note the following:

  • Drag your cursor to the country label to see an overview of the reserve by country and fund; 
  • Cohesion Fund shows (no value) when the fund is not allocated to that country; Likewise for EMFF in Luxembourg.
  • Interreg / TC : does not have a reserve.  

How does the 2019 review work in more detail? 

The performance framework is one of several elements of the result orientation.
The design of the performance review relies on three types of performance indicators linked to
  • Milestones for financial progress (total certified expenditure);
  • Milestones set for achieved values for output indicators; 
  • or the achievements of key implementation steps in case of no values expected for output indicators.
Such indicators are directly under the influence of the programme managers and a good measure of the performance in implementation.  The legal requirement to document how the indicators, milestones and targets were established was a good opportunity to discuss the substance and the objectives of the programmes.
For ERDF /CF programmes all physical progress indicators used for the allocation of the performance reserve are output indicators. This approach was taken because it would have been unfair to award or not award the reserve for results influenced by external factors which are beyond the control of the programme's managing authority. Still, where the intervention logic of the programme is well designed, the delivery of specified outputs should contribute to the delivery of policy results targeted.  
In line with legislation in force, the milestone will be deemed to have been achieved if indicators reach at least 85 % of milestone value. In the case of a performance framework with three or more indicators, one indicator can be lower than 85% of the milestone as long as it is 75% or more. This flexibility takes account of 1) the complexity of most of the interventions covered by the ESI Funds and 2) that the performance review for 2014-2020 is a novel element in programming.

What are the 2019 performance review key deadlines?

  • 30 June 2019: national and regional programmes report on the milestone values achieved by the end of 2018;
  • Within +2 Months: the Commission adopts a decision confirming the results of the performance review;
  • Within +3 months of the Commission decision, the programmes propose a reallocation of the reserve  away from the priorities in those cases where the milestones were not met; 
  • Within +2 months: the Commission confirms the reallocations by formal decision.

And after the 2019 performance review? 

After 2019, the performance framework  continues to have a function as a tool to stimulate performance.  At the end of programme period a serious failure to meet end of period targets to achieve targets set for the end of 2023 may lead to financial corrections in 2025.

Reference documents 


REGIO B2 /  REGIO-EVAL@ec.europa.eu  / Maté TAS / Mihai PANAITE
July 2019