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European Code of Conduct on Partnership

The European Code of Conduct on the Partnership Principle is a set of standards to improve consultation, participation and dialogue with partners, such as organisations from the voluntary sector.

Code of conduct on Partnership

The European Code of Conduct on Partnership Standards apply to planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of projects financed by the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF).

Partners may be regional, local or urban organisations. They may include public authorities, trade unions, employers, non-governmental organisations and agencies responsible for promoting social inclusion, gender equality and non-discrimination.

Legally Binding

Voluntary Organisations should be aware of this Cod of Conduct as it is a legally-binding Commission regulation. It strengthens the partnership requirement in Article 5 of the Common Provisions Regulation for the ESIF. It sets out objectives and criteria that oblige member states to implement the Partnership Principle, which is to involve all partners in the design, and implementation of the ESIF Programme.

Member states are required to:

  • provide transparency in the selection of partners. Partners may represent regional, local and other public authorities. They may be from social and economic organisations or represent the civil society. Partners are appointed to the monitoring committees of the programmes
  • give partners adequate information and sufficient time for proper consultation
  • enable partners to participate in all phases of the process, from preparation through to implementation, monitoring and evaluation of all programmes
  • support the capacity building of partners by improving competences and skills required to support active involvement in the process
  • create platforms for mutual learning and the exchange of good practice and innovative approaches.

Download the Partnership Principle Code of Conduct from the European Commission.