Lead Partner Principle
The partnership approach shall be supported through the Lead Partner principle. Similar to the Interreg B and C programmes, the final beneficiary within the Cross Border Cooperation Programme Slovakia-Austria 2007-2013 MUST formally constitute a partnership. The Lead partner (LP) represents the partnership and is in charge of the overall project co-ordination including the financial co-ordination. The LP takes also the main responsibility to represent the whole partnership in communication with Managing Authority – the City of Vienna.
The LP has following obligations on behalf of the project partnership:
- sign a partnership agreement with the project partners;
- sign the ERDF subsidy contract with the managing authority;
- make sure every Austrian project partner (including the LP itself) signs a national co-financing contract;
- care for project management and implementation according to the rules laid down in the subsidy contract, EU and national legislation;
- collect verifications of expenditure from the partners and draw up payment requests on project level;
- the LP receives ERDF payments and distributes them among the partners;
- observes the project's progress and notifies the programme management of eventual discontinuities.
Further, the Lead Partner principle has implications on the quality of the partnership. At least two of four partnership criteria have to be fulfilled, as there are:
Project partners participate in the preparation of the project and contribute to the design of the project and its activities. This criterion is determined by the way the project partners cooperate, communicate and organise their work in the preparatory phase of the project and the concrete outcomes of the joint preparation. The existing evidence of cooperation between project partners during the project preparation should be explicitly mentioned and submitted as a part of the application form.
This partnership criterion is determined by the role and responsibilities of project partners involved in the project implementation. Assessment of the quality of cooperation between the project partners will take into account the description of the work packages, the description of tasks of individual partners within the project and the budget breakdown according to the project partners. The division of tasks between project partners should reflect their core mission and core activities, know-how, experience and capacities.
The project complies with the requirement of joint financing only if all project partners financially participate in the project. Beyond this basic requirement in case of non-investment project there must be a minimum of 5% of the ERDF co-financing on one side of the border. The distribution of financial resources between the project partners should reflect roles of project partners within the project and activities they are responsible for.
The assessment of this criterion will be based on the definition of joint staffing set in the Operational Programme, which refers to “persons employed by joint organisations; joint organisations: based on common legal basis (EGTC) or joint entity with participation of partners of at least 50%”. Fulfilment of this criterion is extremely ambitious and only a very limited number of projects will be able to achieve it.
For more information on this topic please refer to the presentation by Elise Blais and the Implementation Manual (chapter 2.3) in the Download section.