Glossary

P

Poland and Hungary Assistance ...

PHARE was a European Union funding initiative aimed at assisting the countries of Central Europe with economic restructuring, in some cases as a prelude to EU membership.

Pillars of the EU

The European Union takes decisions in three separate 'domains' (policy areas), also known as the three 'pillars' of the EU. The first pillar is the 'Community domain', covering most of the common policies, where decisions are taken by the 'Community method' – involving the Commission, Parliament and the Council. The second pillar is the common foreign and security policy, where the Council alone takes decisions. The third pillar is 'police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters', where – once again – the Council takes the decisions. Within the first pillar, the Council normally takes decisions by 'qualified majority' vote. In the other pillars, the Council decision has to be unanimous: it can therefore be blocked by the veto of any one country. If the Council so decides, it can use the 'Community bridge' to transfer certain matters from the third to the first pillar.

Partners

Partners of a grant beneficiary participate in designing and implementing the action, and the costs they incur are eligible in the same way as those incurred by the grant beneficiary. They must therefore satisfy the same eligibility criteria as beneficiaries.

Pre-accession assistance

Pre-accession assistance helps the countries that are candidates for membership of the European Union to satisfy the accession conditions (the Copenhagen criteria). Considerable investment is required if the candidate countries are to bring their institutions and standards in line with the Community acquis and to be able to meet their obligations as Member States. Pre-accession assistance to the candidate countries is a key factor in the Union's pre-accession strategy and is determined by the accession partnerships. For the period 2007 – 2013, the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA) will be the sole funding vehicle, replacing the pre-accession instruments. The IPA is made up of five components: support for transition and institution building, cross-border cooperation, regional development, human resources development and rural development.

Pre-accession strategy

The pre-accession strategy offers a "structured dialogue" between the candidate countries and the EU institutions throughout the accession process, providing all the parties with a framework and the necessary instruments. It is laid down for each candidate country individually. The pre-accession strategy follows on from the European Council of Luxembourg (December 1997) during which a reinforced pre-accession strategy for the ten Central and Eastern European candidate countries was launched. It is essentially based on: the bilateral agreements; the accession partnerships and the national programmes for the adoption of the acquis; participation in Community programmes, agencies and committees; political dialogue; the evaluation of the Commission ("monitoring"); pre-accession assistance; cofinancing by international financial institutions (IFI). In addition to these main instruments, the pre-accession strategy may include others for individual candidates, depending on their particular circumstances.

Pre-conditions

Pre-requisites that must be met before starting the project. Pre-conditions (if there are any) are annexed to the articles on Aid.

Pre-feasibility Studies

Studies carried out during the Identification Phase where all the problems are identified, alternative solutions produced and quality factors evaluated; a single option is then decided upon. Pre-feasibility studies should provide sufficient information to enable the European Commission and the partner country in their future evaluations to accept, modify or refuse the proposed project.

Problem Analysis

A structural examination identifying the negative aspects of a situation within a cause-and-effect relationship.

Problem Tree

A diagrammatic representation of the cause-and-effects of a negative situation.

Programme

A series of projects with a common basic objective.

Programming Phase

The first stage of a project cycle when the Indicative Programme is prepared. (See “Indicative Programmes.”)

Progress Reports

These are periodical intermediate reports, prepared by the project management/contractor and submitted to the European Commission and the partner institution, regarding the advancement of the project activities and works. They reflect the technical and financial performance of the project and are usually prepared every three months.

Project

A series of activities/works with a specific purpose and target, planned to achieve a result within a designated period.

Project Cycle

The cycle comprises all the phases of a project from the first idea all the way through to its completion. The project cycle provides a structure that ensures the project plan is shared with its consulted stakeholders; it describes all important decisions, information and responsibilities during each phase, so that, in the realisation of the project, all parties are aware of any decisions made. Experience gained from the results can be used in planning future programmes and projects.

Project Cycle Management

A method based on the logical framework approach and the integral approach, which is used in the preparation of projects and programmes, their implementation and evaluation.

Project Purpose

The main intention or goal of a project. The project purpose should address the main or essential problem and be described in terms of sustainable benefits for its target group(s). It should also aim to create equal and fair results for both women and men within the target group. Each project must have only one purpose.