Beneficiary means a public or private body responsible for initiating or both initiating and implementing operations (according to Article 2(10) of the CPR benefitting from programme funds).


Capacities are to be understood as the combination of all the strengths, attributes and resources available within a community, society or organization that can be used to achieve agreed goals (UNISDR, 2009: Terminology). They comprise the enabling policy, legal and institutional environment including human resources development and the respective managerial systems. Capacities may include infrastructure and physical means, institutions, societal coping abilities, as well as human knowledge, skills and collective attributes such as social relationships, leadership and management.


Coordination is the synchronization and integration of activities, responsibilities, and command and control structures to ensure that resources are used most efficiently in pursuit of the specified objectives.

Creative industries

Are those industries which use culture as an input and have a cultural dimension, although their outputs are mainly functional. They include architecture and design, which integrate creative elements into wider processes, as well as subsectors such as graphic design, fashion design or advertising (Working group of EU Member States experts (open method of coordination) on cultural and creative industries, 2012: Policy Handbook).

Cultural heritage and resources

Cultural heritage is composed of tangible heritage including buildings and historic places, monuments, etc.[1] and intangible cultural heritage which refers to practices, representations, expressions, knowledge, skills etc. (UNESCO 2003: Convention for the safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage).

Cultural resources comprise both elements, the tangible and intangible cultural heritage, encompassing current culture, including progressive, innovative and urban culture. These resources can be valorised among others in cultural and creative industries.

Cultural industries

Are those industries producing and distributing goods or services which at the time they are developed are considered to have a specific attribute, use or purpose which embodies or conveys cultural expressions, irrespective of the commercial value they may have. Besides the traditional arts sectors (performing arts, visual arts, cultural heritage – including the public sector), they include film, DVD and video, television and radio, video games, new media, music, books and press (Working group of EU Member States experts (open method of coordination) on cultural and creative industries, 2012: Policy Handbook).

Energy efficiency

Energy efficiency improvements refer to a reduction in the energy used for a given service (heating, lighting, etc.) or level of activity. The reduction in the energy consumption is usually associated with technological changes, but not always since it can also result from better organisation and management or improved economic conditions in the sector ("non-technical factors") (World Energy Council, 2008: Energy Efficiency Policies around the World: Review and Evaluation).

Energy planning

Energy planning at the territorial level provides a framework linked to policies and economic development which considers the specific local/regional patterns of energy needs and resources serving as a tool to mitigate climate change and enhancing sustainability.


Entrepreneurship is to be understood as the mind set and process to create and develop economic activity by blending risk-taking, creativity and/or innovation with sound management, within a new or an existing organisation (European Commission, 2003: Green Paper Entrepreneurship in Europe).

Environmental protection

Any activity that maintains the balance of the environment by preventing contamination and the deterioration of the natural resources, including activities such as: a) changes in the characteristics of goods and services, and changes in consumption patterns; b) changes in production techniques; c) waste treatment or disposal in separate environmental protection facilities; d) recycling; e) prevention of landscape degradation (IUCN, 2011: Definitions).

European transport network

European transport networks are to be understood in the sense of the Trans-European transport network (TEN-T) consisting of infrastructure for railways, inland waterways, roads, maritime and air transport, thereby ensuring the smooth functioning of the internal market and strengthening economic and social cohesion (Regulation (EU) No 1315/2013: Union guidelines for the development of the trans-European transport network). It is developed through a dual-layer approach, consisting of a comprehensive network which constitutes the basic layer and a core network. The core network consists of the strategically most important parts and constitutes the backbone of the multi-modal mobility network. It concentrates on those components of TEN-T with the highest European added value: cross border missing links, key bottlenecks and multi-modal nodes.

Functional urban areas

The OECD, in cooperation with the European Commission and Eurostat, has developed a harmonised definition of functional urban areas which overcomes previous limitations linked to administrative definitions (OECD, 2012: Redefining Urban: A New Way to Measure Metropolitan Areas). According to this definition a functional urban area is a functional economic unit characterised by densely inhabited “urban cores” and “hinterlands” whose labour market is highly integrated with the cores. This definition originating from labour market and commuting considerations provides a spatial delimitation beyond administrative borders which is relevant for a multitude of thematic fields, such as for example transport (e.g. commuting, transport flows etc.), economic development (e.g. labour market, strategic positioning, etc.), environment (e.g. air/water quality, soil sealing, urban sprawl, etc.), social (e.g. health care, social housing etc.).


Governance refers to sustaining coordination and coherence among a wide variety of actors with different purposes and objectives (Pierre, 2000). Such actors may include political actors and institutions, interest groups, civil society, non-governmental and transnational organizations.


Innovation is the implementation of a new or significantly improved product (good or service), or process, a new marketing method, or a new organisational method in business practices, workplace organisation or external relations (OECD, Oslo Manual, 2005: Guidelines for collecting and interpreting innovation data).

Innovation systems and actors

An innovation system is to be understood as “the network of institutions in the public and private sectors whose activities and interactions initiate, import, modify and diffuse new technologies (Freeman, 1987)”. The actors of the innovation system include stakeholders from the research and business sector, policy makers and public authorities.

Integrated environmental management

Integrated environmental management means a comprehensive approach to natural resource planning and management that encompasses ecological, social, and economic objectives. It considers the interrelationships among different elements and incorporates concepts of carrying capacity, resilience and sustainability.


The innovative activities of a firm partly depend on the variety and structure of its links to sources of information, knowledge, technologies, practices, and human and financial resources. Each linkage connects the innovating firm to other actors in the innovation system: government laboratories, universities, policy departments, regulators, competitors, suppliers, and customers (UNESCO, 2009: Measuring innovation). It is of crucial importance to build strong links among all elements operating in innovation systems. Countries that top the innovation index have improved linkages among innovation actors, most notably in science and higher education and in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors.

Macro-regional strategy

A macro-regional strategy means an integrated framework endorsed by the European Council, which may be supported by the ESI Funds among others, to address common challenges faced by a defined geographical area relating to Member States and third countries located in the same geographical area which thereby benefit from strengthened cooperation contributing to achievement of economic, social and territorial cohesion (according to Article 2(31) of the CPR).

Mobility planning

Low carbon mobility planning is to be understood as a set of interrelated measures designed to satisfy the mobility needs of people and businesses. They are the result of an integrated planning approach and address low carbon forms of transport.

Multimodal transport

Multimodal transport is understood as the carriage of goods by at least two different modes of transport. Intermodal transport is therefore a particular type of multimodal transport (in accordance with the European Conference of Ministers of Transport (ECMT) definition). Thereby environmentally friendly transport solutions are those allowing a significant reduction of emissions of CO2, NOx and particulate matter as well as of noise.

Natural heritage and resources

As natural heritage are considered natural features, geological and physiographical formations (including habitats) and natural sites or precisely delineated natural areas. (UNESCO, 1972: Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage).

Natural resources are produced by nature, commonly subdivided into non - renewable resources, such as minerals and fossil fuels, and renewable natural resources that propagate or sustain life and are naturally self-renewing when properly managed, including plants and animals, as well as soil and water (IUCN, 2011: Definitions).

Peripheral region/area

A peripheral region/area is to be understood as a marginalised or badly accessible territory. It has the opposite characteristics of a core region. A peripheral region has mostly rural characteristics with only few major centres of urbanisation. Most people work in primary activities, while job opportunities and wage levels tend to be lower than in core regions. Consequently those regions often suffer from out-migration.

Pilot action

A pilot action means the implementation of schemes of an experimental nature to test, evaluate and/or demonstrate its feasibility with the aim to capitalise on those results and transfer practices to other institutions and territories.

Public infrastructure

Public infrastructure comprises infrastructure that is owned by the public and/or is for public use, including public buildings.

Regional actors

Regional actors are all main stakeholders operating at regional level in a specific thematic field independently from their legal status, thus comprising the public as well as the private sector. These sectors include different types of entities such as public administrations, infrastructure providers and operators, interest groups, NGOs, research centres, education facilities, enterprises including SMEs etc.

Regional passenger transport system

A regional passenger transport system can be defined as the combination of vehicles, infrastructure, and operations that enable the movements or satisfy the travel demand of people within a defined region.

Renewable energy sources

Renewable energy sources are a diverse group of technologies that capture their energy from existing flows of energy, from on-going natural processes, such as sunshine, wind, flowing water, biological processes, and geothermal heat flows.

Smart specialisation strategy

Smart specialisation strategy means the national or regional innovation strategies which set priorities in order to build competitive advantage by developing and matching research and innovation own strengths to business needs in order to address emerging opportunities and market developments in a coherent manner, while avoiding duplication and fragmentation of efforts; a smart specialisation strategy may take the form of, or be included in, a national or regional research and innovation (R&I) strategic policy framework (according to Article 2(3) of the CPR).

Social innovation

Social innovations are new ideas (products, services and models) that simultaneously meet social needs (more effectively than alternatives) and create new social relationships or collaborations (Murray et. al, 2010: Open Book of Social Innovation). Fields of activity are among others work integration, social services, education and research, culture and recreation, health etc.

Sustainable development

Sustainable development means using natural resources in a way that avoids irreversible damage to ecosystem structure and function, the loss of irreplaceable features or a reduction in ecosystem resilience. Environmental interests must be considered alongside social and economic interests, so as to prevent the irreplaceable loss of natural features, function or processes and to ensure a long-term and dependable flow of benefits from the exploitation of renewable resources. Delivering such sustainable development will involve significant measures to recover ecosystem structure and function, where the flow of benefits is already reduced or impaired, or where ecosystem resilience is at risk (IUCN, 2011: Definitions).

Sustainable use

A usage respecting the principles of sustainability, notably the use of the biosphere by present generations while maintaining its potential yield (benefit) for future generations; and/or the non-declining trends of economic growth and development that might be impaired by natural resource depletion and environmental degradation (OECD, 2003: glossary).


Transnational is understood as the integration of the following principles:

  • to ensure joint project development, management, financing and implementation;  
  • to address topics of shared interest and common benefit; 
  • to develop transferable results which can be applied by various actors and territories.

Target groups

The target groups concern those individuals and/or organisations directly positively affected by the activities and results of operations. Not necessarily receiving a financial grant and even not directly involved in the operation, the target groups may exploit project outcomes for their own benefits.


A set of conditions and processes resulting from physical, social, economic and environmental factors, indicating the susceptibility of a community to the impact of hazards (IUCN, 2011: Definitions).


[1] UNESCO: www.unesco.org/new/en/cairo/culture/tangible-cultural-heritage/

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