Maastricht criteria

These are five criteria that determine whether an EU country is ready to adopt the euro. They relate to: Price stability The inflation rate should be no more than 1.5 percentage points above the rate for the three EU countries with the lowest inflation over the previous year; Budget deficit This must generally be below 3% of gross domestic product (GDP); Debt The national debt should not exceed 60% of GDP, but a country with a higher level of debt can still adopt the euro provided its debt level are falling steadily; Interest rates The long-term rate should be no more than two percentage points above the rate in the three EU countries with the lowest inflation over the previous year; Exchange rate stability The national currency's exchange rate should have stayed within certain pre-set margins of fluctuation for two years. These criteria were laid down in the Treaty of Maastricht – hence their name.


Put simply, mainstreaming an issue means making sure it is fully taken into account in all EU polices. For example, every European Union policy decision must now take account of its environmental implications. In other words, environmental considerations have been 'mainstreamed'.

Managing Authorities (MAs)

The MAs are responsible for managing, programming and implementing projects.


These are the physical and non-physical sources (generally “inputs”) needed to carry out the planned activities and manage the project. Human sources and material sources are handled separately.

Multi-annual Indicative Planni...

A strategic planning document developed for each country covering all relevant IPA components. The MIPD is also a three-yearly document and is prepared by the Commission in close consultation with the beneficiary country.


The MEDA programme was the principal financial instrument of the European Union for the implementation of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership. The programme offered technical and financial support measures to accompany the reform of economic and social structures in the Mediterranean partners

Member state

The countries that belong to an international organisation are its 'member states'. The term is also often used to mean the governments of those countries.From 1 January 2007, the member states of the European Union are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. For the years when they joined the EU, see 'enlargement' (above).


“Milestones” are the intermediate stages of assessment which serve as a sort of “objectively verifiable indicator” for short- and medium-term objectives (generally activities), and which evaluate the success of the project not only at the end but throughout the process. They also determine the dates of decision-making and completion of each activity.


Systematic and continuous collection, analysis and utilisation of data for managing and decision-making purposes.

Multi-annual Indicative Financ...

Produced on a three-year basis. The set-up is reviewed annually and included in the annual enlargement package of the Commission, presented each autumn to the Council and the European Parliament.