Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

The objective of the JASPERS technical assistance partnership is to provide a service to the Member States for a more systematic implementation of 'Cohesion policy', targeting regions covered by the new convergence objective for the period 2007-13.


With the EU enlargement in 2004, 10 new Member States were added and two more countries, Bulgaria and Romania joined the EU since the beginning of 2007. The convergence objective for aid provided under the EU's structural funds covers all regions in these countries. These countries constitute important beneficiaries of EU assistance which is expected to significantly affect growth and employment. The major issue that they face is to optimise the use of these resources.

The Directorate General for Regional Policy (DG-REGIO) of the European Commission, in cooperation with the European Investment Bank(EIB)and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development(EBRD),set up a new technical assistance instrument for improving the preparation of projects to be submitted for finance by structural and cohesion funds. This initiative is the 'Joint assistance to support projects in European regions'(JASPERS) that aims to speed up and improve the use of the grant finances by the Member States.

JASPERS assistance concerns infrastructure(upgrading of transport networks) and environmental projects as well as investments for improving energy efficiency and exploitation of renewable energy. From improvement of urban transport and redevelopment to health and education, the project preparation facility covers a wide range of areas providing help as required at any stage of the project cycle.

Provision is made to cover all aspects of preparatory work, such as economic, technical and any other preparatory work needed to deliver a complete project. Assistance includes giving advice, assuring coordination, building and monitoring project structures, resolving issues, filling gaps and identifying key problems to be addressed, such as state aid and environmental impact assessment. Despite this, the major part of the technical work is conducted by the corresponding beneficiary state. Assistance from JASPERS is provided free of charge to the beneficiaries.


The important areas for JASPERS are the following:
- Trans-European networks (TENs)
- The transport sector outside of TENs, including rail, river and sea transport
- Inter-modal transport systems and their interoperability
- Management of road and air traffic
- Clean urban and public transport
- The environment, including energy efficiency and renewable energy
- Private-public partnerships.


Annual action plans for each country are established in close cooperation between the relative national authorities and the EC. These actions take into consideration the specificities of individual countries and can be easily amended as required under changed circumstances. If JASPERS' assistance is employed, there is no obligation to combine EU funds with EIB and EBRD loans; national authorities may borrow from the EIB or EBRD for projects that have been prepared with the assistance of JASPERS. Decisions for provision of an EU grant for a project remain within the responsibility of the EC.
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