1. EMFAF MEF 2021-2027
Questions on the Monitoring and Evaluation Framework (MEF) of the EMFAF 2021-2027, including the development of national strategies, EMFAF programmes and the intervention logic of the MEF
EMFAF programmes for all Member States are available for download on EMFAF programmes 2021 - 2027.
Member States’ strategy development for the EMFAF begins with Table 1 and Table 1A of their EMFAF programme. This section is where Managing Authorities show that they have developed a red line for the programme, which serves as a basis for negotiation and for justifying the chosen actions and indicators.
In section 1 of the programme Member States outline the main development challenges and policy responses. Table 1A contains a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) and identification of needs, as well as a justification for the actions to be taken with EMFAF funding, performed separately for each EMFAF priority included in the programme. The elements are described in detail in the FAMENET working paper on the Monitoring and Evaluation Framework (MEF).
In table 1A of their EMFAF programmes, Managing Authorities deliver a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis for each different EMFAF priority included in their programme, and identify the needs for the sector for each priority based on the SWOT.
The SWOT is an important part of the intervention logic at the policy level, and helps Member States (MS) illustrate a sound rationale for EMFAF intervention in the sector. It serves as a starting point to identify the overall needs to be addressed by the MS, and the subsequent actions to be undertaken using EMFAF support:
- Strengths are positive characteristics inherent to the region or the sector, which can be beneficial to them as a whole.
- Weaknesses are negative characteristics inherent to the region or the sector, which could be detrimental to them as a whole.
- Opportunities are positive elements outside the control of the region or sector, which nevertheless affect them and can be utilised to generate positive outcomes.
- Threats are negative elements outside the control of the region or sector, which could be detrimental to them.
The needs of the Member State are determined on the basis of the SWOT analysis. They are general descriptions of what the MS needs to do and what support the MS need over the course of the EMFAF programming period to improve its fisheries and aquaculture sector. Examples of needs include:
- ‘Need for economic recovery of local fishers’
- ‘Need to reduce the fleet’
- ‘Need for the development of knowledge exchange and availability of skilled labour’
In table 1A Managing Authorities provide a justification of action, explaining why they will target support to the needs identified for each priority, showing a clear link between the SWOT and the identified needs.
The justification of action follows a clear path from the SWOT and needs analysis, to the programme strategy and the selection of SOs, and finally to the types of actions.
The full list of EMFAF specific objectives is defined in article 14 and Annex II of the EMFAF regulation (Regulation EU 2021/1139), and is described in detail in section 2.9 and Annex 3.1 of the FAMENET working paper on the Monitoring and Evaluation Framework (MEF) 2021-2027.
EMFAF specific objectives are clearly defined policy goals outlined in the EMFAF regulation. In their national programmes, Member States ‘select’ which specific objectives will be programmed for based on the SWOT and needs analysis. For each selected specific objective, Member States define or select:
- types of actions (‘narrative’ of intervention)
- common result indicators (based on a predefined set) and their respective baselines and targets
- types of interventions (based on a predefined set) and indicative allocation of funds thereto
- financial allocation and EU co-financing rate
Yes, the specific objectives of the EMFAF are directly linked to certain policy objectives of the Common Provisions Regulation (CPR), Regulation EU 2021/1060.
Annex II of the EMFAF regulation (Regulation EU 2021/1139) establishes a distinct and permanent link between the EMFAF priorities/specific objectives and the policy objectives of article 5 of the CPR. According to the regulation, EMFAF priorities 1, 2 and 4 pertain to CPR policy objective 2, and EMFAF priority 3 pertains to CPR policy objective 5.
These links are predetermined, based on overarching policy goals of the EU, and likely won’t have any major impact on Managing Authorities’ overall programming decisions, only on how the data is aggregated and evaluated.
In section 2 of their EMFAF programmes, Managing Authorities define ‘types of actions’ to be undertaken using EMFAF funds. These are broadly-defined, planned actions to address the needs of the Member State.
Types of actions are not selected from a predefined list; rather, Member States broadly define types of actions according to their needs for each different specific objective in their programme. These types of actions will help to formulate which EMFAF- funded operations are undertaken for each specific objective.
Types of interventions are pre-defined policy ‘themes’, defined in Annex IV of the EMFAF regulation (Regulation EU 2021/1139), used to indicatively allocate funds along key policy issues. They serve as the main thematic blocks Managing Authorities use when communicating about the allocation and use of EMFAF funds in their Member State. In addition, they are used to monitor climate and environment expenditure and for reporting on funding allocated to these topics.
In the programming phase, Managing Authorities select one or more Type of Intervention for each specific objective; they can choose as many as desired for each specific objective as long as they select at least one.
Then, in the implementation phase, Managing Authorities must report only one type of intervention for each EMFAF-funded operation in their database. Managing Authorities should choose the one which best reflects the desired impact of the operation as it pertains to key policy interventions.
The full list of common result indicators for the EMFAF is shown in Annex I of the EMFAF regulation (Regulation EU 2021/1139). An overview of EMFAF common result indicators can also be found in section 2.12.2 of the FAMENET working paper on the 2021-2027 Monitoring and Evaluation Framework (MEF) of the EMFAF. A detailed description of every result indicator can be found in Annex 3 of this working paper.
Common result indicators are predefined key data points, reported for every EMFAF-funded operation, which serve to demonstrate whether the EMFAF has accomplished it’s intended effects. They are crucial political messages about what Member States plan to achieve with their EMFAF funds, not just an administrative detail of the EMFAF programme.
In the programming stage, MS select under each specific objective in their programme the most appropriate common result indicator(s) to use to determine whether the intended effects of that specific objective have been achieved.
During the implementation stage, one or more common result indicator(s) must be reported for every funded operation in the EMFAF infosys database under field 37. Baseline values, target values (indicative result expected) and actual achieved values (ex-post result) are reported in Infosys fields 38-40 for every result indicator selected for an operation.
Baseline values of EMFAF common result indicators are described in section 2.12.2 of the FAMENET working paper on the 2021-2027 Monitoring and Evaluation Framework (MEF) of the EMFAF.
Managing Authorities define ‘baseline values’ and ‘target values’ for every common result indicator selected in their national EMFAF programme. This is done separately for each specific objective. The baseline value is the value of the indicator at the ‘starting point’, i.e. before the programme is implemented. The baseline year for the EMFAF is 2020, the year before the fund began implementation.
All common result indicators have a baseline value of zero in the programme; the only exception is CR12 ‘Effectiveness of the system for collection, management and use of data’.
It is important to note that in Infosys operation-level reporting, CR01 ‘New production capacity (tonnes/annum)’, CR12 ‘Effectiveness of the system for collection, management and use of data’, and CR18.1/18.2 ‘Energy consumption leading to CO2 emissions reduction’ all have a baseline value different from 0. More details on this can be found in section 3.3.2 of the FAMENET working paper on the 2021-2027 Monitoring and Evaluation Framework (MEF).
For the EMFAF 2021-2027, the baseline year in the programming document is 2020 for all indicators. 2020 is the latest year before funding began for the 2021-2027 period, thus representing a baseline time period with which to compare progress as it will be reported in the period 2021-2027.
There is only one output indicator available to be reported under the EMFAF, in line with Annex I of the EMFAF regulation (Regulation EU 2021/1139): CO 01: ‘number of operations’. This will be a value of 1 for each EMFAF-funded operation.
Types of operations are precise thematic categories used to label single operations for EMFAF monitoring. They are defined in table 7 of the Infosys regulation (Commission Implementing Regulation EU 2022/79). Each type of operation is also described in detail in table 7, section 3.4.3 of the FAMENET working paper on the Monitoring and Evaluation Framework (MEF) 2021-2027.
When an operation is selected for implementation, only the most appropriate ‘type’ for each operation should be selected (this is reported in Infosys field 26). Only one ‘type of operation’ is possible per operation; for operations where multiple ‘types of operations’ seem applicable, Managing Authorities must only choose the one most applicable ‘type of operation’ for the operation at hand.
2. EMFAF data reporting requirements
Details on data reporting requirements and timeline for the EMFAF 2021-2027
According to Article 46 of the EMFAF regulation (Regulation EU 2021/1139), Managing Authorities must provide the Commission with certain data on every EMFAF-funded operation, including key characteristics of the beneficiary and the operation being funded. The data required to be reported for every operation is defined in Commission Implementing Regulation 2022/79. The database containing all EMFAF-funded operations and their respective data is known as ‘Infosys’.
Infosys data must be transmitted by the relevant national EMFAF authorities of each Member State to the European Commission via the SFC system on 31 January and 31 July every year.
FAMENET also provides Member States with an Infosys ‘validation tool’, which can be used to check for the validity and plausibility of national Infosys data before submission in SFC. A select number of representatives from the relevant EMFAF data reporting authorities in each Member State have access to the validation tool; they are able to grant access to other users within their organisation if needed.
Yes; assuming that the operations approved before the adoption of programmes are eligible, they have to be reported.
Purely from a data perspective, FAMENET recommends reporting these operations as soon as possible. However, perhaps some flexibility can be allowed, taking into account that national legislations may stipulate other procedures.
In line with CPR Article 42, the following reports must be provided by the relevant authorities in each Member State:
- aggregated indicator values, based on aggregated Infosys data, with possible corrections (Tables 5 and 9 of Annex VII of CPR)
- twice per year: 31 January and 31 July (same as Infosys reporting)
- aggregated financial data, i.e., number of selected operations, their total eligible cost, the contribution from the EMFAF and the total eligible expenditure declared by the beneficiaries to the MA, all broken down by type of intervention (Tables 1 and 4 of Annex VII of CPR)
- 5 times per year: 31 January, 30 April, 31 July, 30 September, 30 November
The data transmission process is described in detail in the support materials provided in SFC 2021.
CPR article 42 data in SFC 2021 must be entered manually.
The following tables of CPR Annex VII apply to EMFAF data and can be aggregated from Infosys data fields:
- Table 1: Financial information at priority and programme level
- Table 4: Breakdown of the cumulative financial data by type of intervention
- Table 5: Common and programme specific output indicators
- Table 9: Common and programme specific result indicators
- Table 12: Financial instruments data (if applicable)
All the necessary data for CPR Article 42 reporting can be generated from EMFAF Article 46 reports (Infosys). Details on aggregation rules for Article 42 reporting are provided in section 3.5 of the FAMENET working paper on the EMFAF Monitoring and Evaluation Framework (MEF).
CPR Article 42 data has to be submitted manually in SFC via the module 'Monitoring/Transmission of data (EMFAF)', in the same way that the Annual Implementation Reports were submitted for the EMFF 2014-2020.
Annex XVII of the Common Provisions Regulation (CPR), Regulation (EU) 2021/1060, details data to be recorded and stored electronically for each operation funded by the EMFAF. Some of these data points can be taken directly from Infosys data in accordance with Annex I of the Infosys regulation, Regulation EU 2022/79, which stipulates the format of the transmission of operation-level implementation data referred to in Article 46(3) of the EMFAF regulation.
The following fields of CPR Annex XVII correspond to Infosys fields as defined in Annex I of the implementing regulation 2022/79 :
- field 52: unique identifier and indicator name for each of the common and/or programme specific result indicators relevant for the operation
- Infosys field 37 Common result indicator(s) code(s) applicable to the operation
- field 56: Amount of the total eligible cost of the operation approved in the latest version of the document setting out the conditions for support
- Infosys field 17 - Total eligible cost (EUR)
- field 57: Amount of the total eligible costs for which public contribution is provided
- Infosys field 18 - Total eligible public cost (EUR)
- field 58: Amount of support from the Funds paid or to be paid
- Infosys field 19 - EMFAF support (EUR)
In the 2021-2027 programming period, Member States are not required to produce Annual Implementation Reports as was done in the 2014-2020 period. In accordance with the EMFAF and CPR Regulations, EMFAF programmes have two different reporting obligations, as described above:
- reporting at the operational level (Infosys reporting), based on Article 46 of the EMFAF and
- reporting at the aggregated level, based on Article 42 and related Annexes of the CPR.
In the 2021-2027 programming period, in Q4 of every year FAMENET will produce a report on the implementation of the EMFAF, which will contain some key figures similar to the EMFF Annual Implementation Reports, but will differ substantially.
Also, a new element of the EMFAF stipulated by the CPR (article 41) requires that annual performance review meetings shall be organised once a year between the Commission and each Member State to examine the performance of each programme.
3. EMFAF Infosys data fields
Questions on specific operation-level EMFAF data fields reported in Infosys
EMFAF article 46 reporting is regulated in Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2022/79. There, annex 1 table 1 defines in field 6 ‘specific objective’ that values for shared management are taken from column nomenclature in Annex II of the EMFAF Regulation.
Hence, reporting at the level of the single operation (in Infosys), MS should differentiate between 1.1.1 and 1.1.2, i.e. for each operation falling under Specific Objective 1.1 either code ‘1.1.1’ or code ‘1.1.2’ shall be reported in Infosys field 06.
When reporting NUTS codes for operations, MS should report at the highest level of detail possible, i.e., the NUTS-3 level (3 digits).
If the specific scope of the project/operation being funded falls outside of this 3-digit NUTS region, then the code for a broader region of classification can be reported instead. However, since the NUTS code is intended to provide a detailed reporting of the specific location of the operations being funded, Managing Authorities should refrain from reporting at less detailed levels if possible. In instances when MAs report at less detailed levels, the choice should be duly justified.
The Eurostat Business register's recommendations manual defines a sole proprietorship as ‘an enterprise owned exclusively by one person’, and a micro enterprise as a businesses employing ‘fewer than 10 persons’.
By this logic, in Infosys field 10, code 15 (natural persons) should be used for sole proprietorships, where a business is owned and operated solely by one individual, and code 04 (micro enterprises) should be used for businesses with more than 1 but fewer than 10 employees.
According to Infosys implementing regulation (regulation EU 2022/79), values for Infosys field 12 should include the total number of individuals directly involved in the operation, but should not include contractors or people/employees not directly participating in the operation.
The values entered in field 12 should be the total number of individuals whose work activities will be directly affected by the respective investments in the company.
For example, for a construction project at an aquaculture facility, i.e. the construction of a new aquaculture pond or the renovation of an existing pond, the number entered in field 12 would be the total number of processing employees at the facility where the construction project is taking place, who would be directly involved in the investment being funded. It would not count the contractors and other individuals outside of the company who worked on the construction/renovations of the ponds, nor the employees within the company whose work won’t be affected by the construction of the new pond (sales, HR, marketing, etc.). It should rather refer to the number of individuals, within the organisation, who are directly involved with the activities the operation affects.
For Infosys field 14, Managing Authorities should report whether or not the operation has a lead partner.
There is no legally compulsory link between Infosys field 14 and field 26 (Type of operation); the beneficiary shall choose the type of operation that best corresponds to the nature of an operation.
In most cases, operations with multiple partners and one lead partner will correspond to the type of operation ‘Cooperation’. However, several other types of operations may well be implemented with multiple partners having a lead partner. For example, 21 Studies and research; 50 Data assembly and dissemination; 56 Pilot projects; 58 Governance; 62 Assistance under Direct management may fall under such a case.
In Infosys field 16, Managing Asuthorities report on the ‘state of progress’ of an EMFAF- funded operation. There are five different options possible, which are shown in Table 6 of Annex II of Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2022/79.
Code 03 stands for ‘Operation fully implemented (but for which all expenses have not necessarily been paid to the beneficiary)’. Prior experience with the EFF and EMFF showed that in some cases there are significant time lags between the physical completion of an operation and the final payment to the beneficiary. This challenge was addressed by introducing code 03 for the EMFAF.
Code 03 allows Managing Authorities to count as implemented operations which have been physically completed, but for which not all support has been paid, due to administrative procedures for instance.
Code 03, together with code 04 (‘operation completed’), allows for a more precise way to:
- aggregate Infosys EMFAF implementation data
- report values of output indicator ‘Implemented operations’ in Table 5 of Annex VII of the CPR – both operations with Infosys code 03 and 04 shall be counted.
The choice of state of progress of operation is not linked to relation between total payments to the beneficiary and approved grant amount (committed funds). The purpose of code 03 is not to distinguish operations where total payment is less than commitment.
In line with Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2022/79, under Infosys field 27 Managing Authorities report the ‘Increase of the gross tonnage of a fishing vessel under Article 19(3) of the EMFAF Regulation’. In the ‘Comments’ column it is stipulated that field 27 shall be left blank if the operation is not related to Article 19(3). Article 19(3) refers to the increase in the gross tonnage of a fishing vessel to improve safety, working conditions or energy efficiency.
Thus, Infosys field 27 should be:
- left blank if the operation is not related to Article 19(3)
- reported as the amount of additional GT if the operation is related to Article 19(3)
In Infosys field 28, MS must provide a ‘Description of the fleet segment relevant to field 27’. Field 28 shall only be filled in cases where there is a value in field 27.
The CIR further specifies: ‘description of the fleet segment(s) of origin of the gross tonnage allocated to the vessel benefitting from the operation as presented in the annual report foreseen under Article 22(2) of Regulation (EU) No 1380/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council, in line with Commission guidelines COM(2014)545.’
Article 22(2) of Regulation (EU) No 1380/2013 reads as follows:
‘In order to achieve the objective referred to in paragraph 1, Member States shall send to the Commission, by 31 May each year, a report on the balance between the fishing capacity of their fleets and their fishing opportunities. To facilitate a common approach across the Union, that report shall be prepared in accordance with common guidelines which may be developed by the Commission indicating the relevant technical, social and economic parameters.
The report shall contain the annual capacity assessment of the national fleet and of all fleet segments of the Member State. The report shall seek to identify structural overcapacity by segment and shall estimate the long-term profitability by segment. The reports shall be made publicly available.’
For further information please see Commission guidelines COM(2014)545 for the analysis of the balance between fishing capacity and fishing opportunities. It would also be beneficial to consult your colleagues in charge of this analysis.
For cases involving multiple vessels, the sum of the increase of gross tonnage of all fishing vessels involved in the operation should be entered in field 27. This will depend on when the data for the operation is reported. Separate entries should be made for each individual vessel.
Fields 29-34 allow EMFAF stakeholders to easily distinguish operations related to specific horizontal topics/issues like small-scale coastal fishing, landing obligation, climate change, and social inclusion topics. At the same time, it will spare MS from answering additional data requests on these horizontal issues.
Managing Authorities should always use code ‘02’ in cases where an operation is not relevant to one of the ‘horizontal’ issues in fields 29-34. There are two good reasons for this:
- It is stipulated in Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2022/79. Empty fields are only possible in a few occasions where it is explicitly stipulated (for example, field 04 (where relevant), field 27 (blank in specific cases), field 28 (if relevant). For all other cases, reporting an empty field would result in a formal error and will be flagged during the data validation process.
- Empty fields are not recommended from a data-integrity perspective, as it is not possible to know whether a blank value is an omission due to a mistake or a deliberate decision. For that reason the CIR 2022/79 clearly asks Managing Authorities to always fill in all Infosys fields (aside from the few exceptions listed above) accordingly.
Field 36 of Table 1 of Annex I of Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2022/79 asks, ‘Did the beneficiary previously receive EMFF/EMFAF support?’
- If the beneficiary has ever received any EMFF or EMFAF support before, the code to be reported is ‘01’, which means ‘Yes, I have received EMFF/EMFAF support before’
- If the beneficiary has never received EMFF or EMFAF support before, the code to be reported is ‘02’, which means ‘No, I have not received EMFF/EMFAF support before – this is my first time’
- For operations already reported in Infosys, the code in field 36 shall never be changed. Modifications of the state of progress of implementation does not influence the status of a beneficiary as it was at the moment of application for the EMFAF support.
4. Reporting EMFAF types of interventions
Selecting types of interventions for operations in Infosys
Types of Interventions available to be reported in field 25 are listed in Annex IV of the EMFAF regulation (regulation EU 2021/1139). The FAMENET working paper on the MEF 2021-2027 also includes a chapter (chapter 2.11) on types of interventions under the EMFAF, containing descriptions of each.
During the programming phase, types of interventions are used to indicatively allocate funds along certain predefined thematic categories related to policy issues (for example, combating climate change). They are also used during implementation to monitor climate and environment expenditure and for reporting on funding allocated to certain thematic policy categories.
The set-up of the Infosys database does not allow for the reporting of multiple types of interventions for the same operation; during implementation, you must choose the most appropriate type of intervention for each selected operation. Every operation must be linked to only one type of intervention most suitable for the operation. This condition makes reporting considerably easier and makes sure that Infosys and reporting under CPR Article 42 are consistent.
In cases where multiple Types of Interventions seem to apply to the same operation, you must select only the one Type of Intervention most applicable to the operation at hand; given the structure of the Infosys database, it is not possible to select more than one for a project.
Types of interventions are predefined thematic categories related to policy issues (for example combating climate change), and pertain to the programme level of the intervention logic. They are used to indicatively allocate funds along those policy issues at the programming stage. During the programme implementation, the MA must choose the most appropriate type of intervention for each selected operation. Every operation must be linked to only one type of intervention most suitable for the operation. This is necessary for reporting of aggregated data for each operation under CPR Article 42.
Types of Interventions 13-15 from Annex IV of the EMFAF regulation 2021/1139 pertain specifically to CLLD. For a project implemented in fulfilment of CLLD strategies, Type of Intervention 14 ‘CLLD implementation of strategy’ should be selected, and the code for this Type of Intervention (14) should be entered into Infosys field 25 at the operation level.
Similarly, Type of Intervention 13 should be selected for CLLD preparatory support and other CLLD preparation actions, while Type of Intervention 15 should be selected for CLLD running costs and animation.
5. Reporting EMFAF types of operations
Questions regarding the reporting of types of operations in Infosys for the EMFAF
In the EMFAF Infosys system, it is only possible to select one type of operation for each operation in the database. Managing Authorities should then choose the most relevant type of operation for each funded operation.
For example, if a project primarily develops new aquaculture facilities, but also plans to use some of the funds to train employees, then the most applicable type of operation for the MA to select would be type of operation ‘11 Investments to support business development’, rather than CR08 ‘persons benefitting’.
However, MA's can also use common result indicators to provide more detailed reporting on funded operations and can choose more than one common result indicator per operation. In the example of new aquaculture production facilities, for instance, MAs could select the following common result indicators to provide a more detailed picture of the operation for reporting purposes:
- reporting on main activity: CR01 new production capacity (tonnes/annum), CR02 Aquaculture production maintained (tonnes/annum), CR04 Businesses with higher turnover (number of entities), CR06 Jobs created (number of persons), or CR07 Jobs maintained (number of persons)
- reporting on training: CR08 persons benefitting
Under the structure of the EMFAF operation-level database (Infosys), as outlined in Commission Implementing Regulation 2022/79, Member States are only able to report one Type of Operation (ToO) per EMFAF-funded operation. This is meant to facilitate a more precise aggregated reporting on the different kinds of activities being funded.
The Types of Operations are designed such that there is usually a clear choice as to which one best applies to each funded operation. However, as you mentioned, this system may sometimes lead to situations where the one most suitable Type of Operation must be selected amongst others which may also seem applicable.
Since Technical Assistance can cover a broad range of activities, it is important then to focus on the specific operation at hand when selecting a ToO, rather than lumping all TA activities under the same code. For example, the following Types of Operations and their associated activities can be applicable to TA, depending on the specific operation/activity undertaken:
- 17 capacity building
- development of training centres
- exposure visits
- office and documentation support
- development of learning centres
- 61 management
- office expenses and staff costs
- technical assistance
- fisheries management
- monitoring and evaluation of the FLAGs and strategy implementation (if not separate from the FLAG operation)
- 63 evaluation
- process evaluations
- impact evaluations
- thematic assessments/studies
- ex-ante evaluations
- interim evaluations
- ex-post evaluations
- support for COM evaluations
- monitoring and evaluation of the FLAGs and strategy implementation
A best practice would be to select the type of operation most suited to the operation, based on what is proportionally the most significant activity for the operation being funded.
After narrowing down the kind of activity being funded by using Types of Operations, Managing Authorities can then more broadly define TA activities by selecting Type of Intervention code 16: ‘technical assistance’. In this way aggregate financial and indicator data can be provided for TA activities as a whole, and finer details on the specific activities undertaken by TA operations can be reported using ToO.
6. Reporting EMFAF common result indicators
Specific questions on selecting and calculating values of common result indicators for EMFAF-funded operations in Infosys
Under the EMFAF, there is no link between result indicators and specific objectives. EMFAF result indicators are flexible enough to be applicable to many different kinds of operations under multiple specific objectives in most cases, and when selecting indicators for an operation Managing Authorities should choose those that most appropriately capture the intended effects of an operation.
That being said, it is likely that some result indicators will be more commonly chosen for operations falling under certain specific objectives; one such case would be CR11 ‘number of units promoting social sustainability’, which is a very suitable indicator for CLLD operations relating to social sustainability. However, there may be CLLD operations with goals not related to social sustainability, and for these operations other indicators may also be suitable.
When reporting on funded operations under EMFAF Article 46 (Infosys), most operations should be covered by the common result indicators included in the programme. For operations where this is not the case, Managing Authorities must include one (or more) of the EMFAF Annex I common result indicators in Infosys, even if they are not contained in the national programme.
Since result indicators for CPR Article 42 reporting are preloaded into SFC from the national programme, there may be fewer common result indicators in SFC for CPR reporting than there are in Infosys. Managing Authorities and DG MARE personnel should be aware of these potential differences and their cause when evaluating EMFAF reporting data.
Additional selected and reported indicators in Infosys can help to provide a more accurate picture of the intended effects of an operation. There can be no operation without at least one EMFAF common result indicator.
Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2022/79, which took effect in January of 2022, lays down rules for the recording, transmission and presentation of operation-level EMFAF implementation data, and provides details on which operation-level data should be entered under each field in Infosys.
The overall rule for selecting common result indicators is: ‘No operation without at least one common result indicator; should the common result indicators selected in the programme not be applicable, the operation should use another common result indicator’.
Table 2 of EU Reg. No. 2022/79 provides details on information to be entered for any common result indicator selected for an operation. For field 37, it is specified that MA should enter ‘common result indicator(s) code(s) applicable to the operation’, and that this may include as many rows (indicators) as relevant to the operation.
By this logic, at least one common result indicator must be selected per operation; however, it is perfectly acceptable to select more than one result indicator per operation, and in some instances, it may be preferable, if the effect of the operation is not adequately captured with just one indicator. Selecting multiple relevant indicators for one operation cannot result in double-counting.
7. Selecting EMFAF result indicators
Questions on which result indicators to select for certain operations in Infosys
Under the EMFAF, any common result indicator can be selected for any operation during programming. For the creation of a producer organisation, FAMENET recommends using CR03 ‘businesses created’.
‘Businesses created’ refers to formally recognised producer organisations, associations thereof, and inter-branch organisations. This is calculated as the number of businesses created, based on formal registration of these businesses in the respective registry of the MS, and is measured in ‘number of entities’ created. In the case of creating a producer organization, this would result in a value of 1 entity created.
It Is possible to select more than one result indicator per operation, so if data is available and problems do not arise from using additional indicators, then it may be beneficial to do so. FAMENET recommends selecting as few indicators as possible to avoid unnecessarily complicating the evaluation, but enough so that the desired effect of the operation is captured with the selected indicator(s).
Under the EMFAF, any common result indicator can be selected for any operation during programming.
For interventions for aquaculture farms contributing to providing environmental services and maintaining local biodiversity, FAMENET recommends using ‘CR 10: Actions contributing to good environmental status, including nature restoration, conservation, protection of ecosystems, biodiversity, fish health and welfare (number of actions)’. Actions related to this indicator are defined as those ‘protecting, conserving and restoring biodiversity and ecosystems that CANNOT be expressed in terms of area (being a point action or intangible)’.
These investments would also be closely linked to the type of operation ‘Environmental services’, described in the FAMENET working paper on the Monitoring and Evaluation Framework (MEF) as ‘operations aiming to protect and enhance the marine and inland environment through fishing and cultivation techniques that support biodiversity, enhance the landscape, and improve the quality of water, air and soil’. This operation can include ‘environmental contributions of farming’, ‘farming systems with low impact on the environment’, ‘integrated farming/organic aquaculture’ and ‘conservation of high-value habitats and their associated biodiversity’.
Managing Authorities could also select ‘RI 9: Area addressed by operations contributing to good environmental status, protecting, conserving, and restoring biodiversity and ecosystems’ for operations specifically pertaining to protected areas, i.e., MPA, Natura 2000, etc. Otherwise, RI 10 would be the more appropriate choice.
Under the EMFAF, any common result indicator can be selected for any operation during programming.
The FAME working paper on the MEF 2021-2027 states that CR15 ‘Control means installed or improved’ can be used in land-locked countries for electronic tracking and reporting systems used for control purposes on land. It can also be used for electronic reporting/control systems on board vessels, even if for scientific purposes.
For control activities for freshwater fish traceability, for instance, CR15 would likely be the most applicable indicator. It can be used for any control means installed or improved in fisheries or aquaculture, even for government projects in landlocked countries (i.e., non-commercial fishing operations). CR21 Datasets and advice made available may also be applicable as well (MS may use multiple indicators for the same operation).
Under the EMFAF, any common result indicator can be selected for any operation during programming. The indicators are designed to be flexible to various types of operations, and applicable to a wide range of operations.
This flexibility means that there are no indicators explicitly tied to CLLD operations under the EMFAF. However, there are some which may more frequently be used for CLLD operations based on the experience made in 2014-2020; for instance, some indicators to consider might be:
- CR 03 - Businesses created;
- CR 06 - Jobs created;
- CR 07 - Jobs maintained;
- CR 08 - Persons benefitting;
- CR 11 - Entities increasing social sustainability;
- CR 10- Actions contributing to a good environmental status, including nature restoration, conservation, protection of ecosystems, biodiversity, animal health and welfare; and
- CR 13 - Cooperation activities between stakeholders.
This list is not prescriptive, since any indicator can be chosen for any operation, and ultimately it must be decided which of the 22 indicators are best for the particular operation at hand. However, the above indicators may more commonly be used for CLLD operations under the EMFAF.
The full list of common result indicators and output indicators for the monitoring and evaluation of the EMFAF are contained in Annex 1 of the EMFAF regulation (regulation EU 2021/1139). FAME produced a working paper on the EMFAF Monitoring and Evaluation Framework (MEF) 2021-2027, which includes a fiche providing clarifications on all result indicators’ definitions, calculation methods, measurement units, and required inputs.
8. Calculating EMFAF result indicators
Questions on how to calculate values for specific common result indicators for EMFAF-funded operations
The baseline value for CR02 ‘aquaculture production maintained’ should be zero; CR02 is meant to capture the volume of aquaculture production maintained as a result of EMFAF intervention, and since the baseline value refers to the period immediately prior to the EMFAF intervention, this will of course be a value of zero for CR02.
The indicative result value of CR02s represents the planned capacity of aquaculture production maintained due to EMFAF interventions. As mentioned in chapter 3.3.2 of the FAMENET working paper on the Monitoring and Evaluation Framework (MEF) 2021-2027, CR02 refers to ‘the potential production capacity maintained based on the facility specifications, not to actual production.’ I.e., an aquaculture producer should report the potential total volume it was able to continue producing due to EMFAF intervention (this figure comes from factory/equipment specifications), not the actual increase in production volume.
The ex-post result value will be the actual capacity of aquaculture production maintained due to EMFAF interventions after the final implementation of the project. As per the working paper on the MEF, ‘volume of production capacity maintained should be reported for the capacity of production units directly involved in the operation. In the case of micro- and very small companies, the volume of production capacity maintained of the whole company can be reported. In the case of large companies, only the volume of production capacity maintained of the department/location involved in the operation should be reported.’ These figures will come from the beneficiary’s factory/equipment specifications.
The common result indicator fiche contained in section 3.3.2 of the FAMENET working paper on the Monitoring and Evaluation Framework (MEF) 2021-2027 provides some definitions and guidance for the reporting of CR12 ‘Effectiveness of the system for collection, management and use of data’, which is reported as a value of 1-3 (1 = low, 2 = medium, 3 = high).
At the programme level, the value of CR12 is an evaluation, provided by the MA, of the ability of state authorities, agencies and related bodies to meet the requirements of the regulations relating to data collection (Regulation (EU) 2017/1004 and related legislation). The quality of the national data collection programme responses is assessed by STECF; the assessment of the improvement made, and the selection of the value is done by the MA and/or the national correspondent.
At the operation level, the value is a judgement by the National Correspondent, supported by a brief justification for the MA’s records. The judgement of the National Correspondent can be based on the annual STECF report ‘Evaluation of DCF AR and transmission issues, Annex 2 – Data Transmission Results’ or other suitable official documentation.
Common Result Indicator CR18.1 ‘Energy consumption leading to CO2 emissions reduction (kWh/tonne)’ is intended to be used for operations reducing the amount of electricity consumed from the national grid during aquaculture production. The kWh values for this indicator should be taken from beneficiaries’ electricity meter (i.e., from the national grid), and not from the local production of renewable energy at the facility (in this case, energy generated from solar panels).
In the example you’ve provided, where solar panels are installed, beneficiaries will have to track (a) energy consumption in kWh, as measured by the electricity meter, before and after the operation AND (b) the volume of production in tonnes before and after the operation. The baseline value will be the kWh/tonne before the installation of the solar panels, and the achieved value will be the kWh/tonne after implementation of the project. It will then be possible to determine the kWh/tonne reduction due to the operation, although this will not need be calculated by the MA or beneficiary.
If this methodology is not applicable for practical reasons, and especially when dealing with small operators, then CR17 ‘Entities improving resource efficiency in production and/or processing’ may be a better choice.
The FAMENET working paper on the Monitoring and Evaluation Framework (MEF) 2021-2027 also contains detailed descriptions of the different indicators. For CR17 and CR18 you can find all the details on pages 50-53. Please note that updates to the working paper are pending to reflect, among other things, the methodology for CR18.1 that we have described above.
9. EMFAF evaluation activities
Questions regarding evaluations required under the EMFAF by Member States and the European Commission
The Common Provisions Regulation (Regulation EU 2021/1060) articles 43-45 provide details on what evaluation activities are required by Member States and by the European Commission for the EMFAF.
Member States are required to deliver the following:
- an evaluation plan (article 44), delivered no later than one year after the formal approval of the national EMFAF programme, outlining the MS’ planned evaluation activities for the programming period;
- ongoing evaluations to improve the quality of the design and implementation of programme(article 44), delivered throughout the programming period, related to one or more of the following criteria: effectiveness, efficiency, relevance, coherence and Union added value;
- an impact evaluation (article 44), delivered by30 June 2029;
- a final performance report (article 43), delivered by 15 February 2031, to assess the achievement of programme objectives based on elements listed in CPR article 40(1).
The European Commission is required to deliver the following (as per CPR article 45):
- a mid-term evaluation, completed by the end of 2024, to examine the effectiveness, efficiency, relevance, coherence and Union added value of the fund;
- a retrospective evaluation, delivered by 31 December 2031, to examine the effectiveness, efficiency, relevance, coherence and Union added value of the fund.
Common Provisions Regulation (Regulation EU 2021/1060) article 44(6) requires that all member States submit an ‘evaluation plan’ to the monitoring committee no later than 1 year after the formal approval of their national EMFAF programme.
The evaluation plan is meant to be a concise, detailed roadmap outlining planned evaluations for the 2021-2027 programming period. It should enable effective, efficient, relevant, and coherent implementation of the EMFAF, and should help Member States improve the design of their EMFAF programmes in future periods. The evaluation plan can cover only the EMFAF, or multiple programmes (under the CPR).
There is minimal guidance within the regulations on what specific content should be included in the evaluation plans for the EMFAF. However, FAMENET has produced a working paper on the evaluation plans, which provides an overview of the evaluation plan and detailed descriptions of specific content recommended to be included in the Member States’ evaluation plans.
The only formal legal basis for the evaluation plan is provided in CPR Article 44 (Evaluations by the Member State).
Member State requirements under Art. 44 are further explained in the Commission Staff Working Document ‘Performance, monitoring and evaluation of the European Regional Development Fund, the Cohesion Fund and the Just Transition Fund in 2021-2027, SWD(2021) 198 final (please refer to the pages 17 to 19). This staff working document, however, is legally non-binding to the EMFAF. Therefore, in relation to the structure and content of the evaluation plans, the FAMENET working paper on the evaluation plan can provide only suggestions which are legally non-binding to the MS.
In drafting the evaluation plan working paper, in addition to the SWD (2021)198, FAMENET also drew substantial inspiration from best practices and extensive prior experience in evaluations of European agricultural policy delivered to the Commission. In contrast to the EMFAF, there is a separate (legally binding) implementing regulation for the CAP strategic plan, which specifies the content of the evaluation plan (Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2022/1475 of 6 September 2022). ANNEX II of this implementing regulation outlines the minimum requirements for the structure and content of the evaluation plan.
These 3 documents (The FAMENET working paper on the evaluation plan, the SWD(2021) 198 and Implementing Regulation 2022/1475) provide an overall basis of how the content and criteria of the evaluation plans can be best applied by the Member States.
10. Simplified Cost Options
Questions regarding the use of Simplified Cost Options (SCO's) under the EMFF/EMFAF
In the FAME working paper on SCOs, table 9 shows possible combinations of different flat rates. The table defines the essential elements of flat-rate combinations, the purpose for each flat rate, and the basis upon which they may be chosen.
When combining SCOs for the same operation, the basic principles are that the same type of cost must not be financed more than once and that each type of cost be clearly separated.
There are two types of flat-rate combinations which are explicitly restricted:
- a type of cost which is already covered by another flat rate: The CPR specifically restricts the combination of these types of flat rates (40 % flat rate based on staff costs to cover all remaining costs (acc. Art. 56) shall not be applied to staff costs calculated on the basis of a flat rate of up to 20 % on other costs to cover staff costs (acc. Art. 55 (1)).
- both flat rates cover the same type of costs: For example, for indirect costs one should choose only one of the three possible types of flat rates (Up to 15 % of eligible direct staff costs (Omnibus new Art. 68 (b)); Up to 7 % of eligible direct costs (Omnibus Art. 181 (6)); Up to 25 % of eligible direct costs, (Omnibus new Art. 68 (a)).
It is also worth noting that although there is no explicit exclusion in the regulation between up to 40 % of eligible direct staff costs (Omnibus new Art. 68b (1)) and the above-mentioned flat rates for indirect costs, there is however a high danger of overlaps which could cause issues with the audit authorities. Therefore, it is always an important best practice to consult the audit authority in advance before implementing any SCO combination.
This includes checking that the methodologies applied ensure that no expenditure of an operation can be charged under more than one type of SCO and, if applicable, direct costs (double declaration of costs, for instance both as direct and as indirect costs) (please also see Commission notice guidelines on the use of simplified cost options within the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESI) – revised version, chapter 188.8.131.52 (OJ C, C/200, 27.05.2021, p. 43.
11. EMFF data reporting
Questions on specific aspects of EMFF data reporting, in line with EMFF article 97.1.a.
According to article 97(1)(a) of the EMFF Regulation (EU) No 508/2014, Managing Authorities must, by 31 March each year, provide the Commission with cumulative data on operations selected for funding up to the end of the previous calendar year, including key characteristics of the beneficiary and the operation itself.
Commission Implementing Regulations (EU) No 1242/2014 and (EU) No 1243/2014, amended by No 2017/788 and No 2020/1027, provide full details on the required data and database structure for this data. This reporting system is referred to as “Infosys”.
The FAME working paper on article 97(1)(a) data reporting requirements provides an important reference for how EMFF data reporting is structured.
Managing Authorities submit Infosys data to the Commission, in line with EMFF article 97.1.(a), via the SFC platform. If you log on to SFC you will have access to MS Excel files, showing EMFF-funded operations, in their ‘raw’ format in the section ‘Monitoring’ under ‘List of selected operations (EMFF Art.97(1)a).
In each of the folders for the various years you can find the PDFs for each MS and the reporting tool to generate the excels sheets.
The Infosys reporting tool allows you to create standard reports on three different levels:
- Individual MS
- Predefined groups of MSs (entire EU, sea basins, landlocked countries)
- Different MS selected by you (for comparative purposes for instance):
However, this requires MS Access.
If MS Access is not installed, you can install it via the EC store app. More detailed instructions and a guide are available in the Infosys folder on Byblos. Alternatively, you can use the already generated standard Infosys pdf reports for each MS. These are also available via Byblos.
According to Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 1242/2014, for operations implemented under the EMFF Article 69 (Processing of fisheries and aquaculture products) several types of operations can be reported in field 21 (codes from 128 to 133; Table 3, Annex I of (EU) 1242/2014).
Regulation (EU) 2020/560 (Covid support) allowed EMFF granting working capital and compensation to processing enterprises. Although, types of operations under the codes 128-133 do not directly correspond to Covid related support provided under Article 69, for the reporting purposes it is possible to choose any type of operation under codes 128-133 (there are no restrictions).
As an example, the following codes were used in Infosys 2020 reports: 128 - Energy saving or reducing impact on the environment; 129 – Improve safety, hygiene, health, working conditions and 133 – New or improved products, processes or management system.
The FAME working paper on Article 97(1)(a) data reporting requirements, last updated in January of 2021, provides detailed information on what data should be entered in Annex II of Infosys according to Commission Implementing Regulation 1242/2014. Specifically, this information can be found in Table 3 on page 14 of the working paper. You can find the working paper under the documents section of the FAME website, here.
The CFR number of an operation is reported in EMFF infosys Annex II field 17. Annex II should include one row per vessel concerned by the operation, if the vessel is registered in the FFR.
Since inland fleet vessels do not have a CFR/FFR number, they do not need to be added to Annex II.
In Infosys Annex I, Table 1, Field 04, Managing Authorities enter the CFR number of the vessel(s) involved in the funded operation. In cases where multiple vessels are included, CFR numbers should be separated by a semicolon (;) with no blank spaces, quotation marks, or other special characters.
It is recommended that MAs should only list the vessel(s) which benefit directly from the actions of the funded operation. Ideally, MAs would report only one vessel per project (one row, one vessel). This makes tracking expenses per vessel class, and other similar data, much simpler.
However, the selection of vessels to include in Infosys for an operation is to be done at the MA’s own discretion. If an operation is not directly important to a vessel, then a vessel should not be listed.
According to the EMFF intervention logic and in accordance with Annex V of Regulation (EU) No 1242/2014, only the following types of operations can be selected for EMFF Article 68, Measure IV.3 (Marketing Measures):
- 116 Creation of producer organizations, associations and inter-branch organizations.
- 117 Development of new markets and improvement of marketing conditions (focus on species with marketing potential).
- 118 Opening up new markets and improving marketing conditions (focus on unwanted catches).
- 119 Development of new markets and improvement of marketing conditions (focus: environmentally friendly or ecological products).
- 120 Promotion of quality and added value (focus: certification and promotion of sustainable products).
- 121 Promotion of quality and added value (focus: quality regulations).
- 122 Promotion of quality and added value (focus: direct marketing).
- 123 Promotion of quality and added value (focus: packaging).
- 124 transparency of production.
- 125 Traceability and Eco-labelling.
- 126 standard contracts.
- 127 communication and advertising campaigns.
In Infosys, Managing Authorities must select the one type of operation that is most applicable to the operation at hand.
In the EMFF Infosys database, every measure/article of the EMFF regulation is linked to specific result indicators.
Details on which result indicators can be reported for each measure of the EMFF are described in Annex 6 of the ‘FAME working paper on the EMFF Article 97(1)(a) reporting data requirements’. For article 68, these result indicators include:
- RI 5.1.a ‘Change in value of first sales in Pos’,
- RI 5.1.b ‘Change in volume of first sales in Pos’,
- RI 5.1.c ‘Change in value of first sales in non-Pos’, and
- RI 5.1.d ‘Change in volume of first sales in non-Pos’.
These indicators are only relevant if they are already included in the operational programme. In cases where these OP indicators are irrelevant to the operation, a value of 0 can be entered for fields 23 and 24. Considering that Ukraine crisis compensations are meant to maintain the status quo of business operations for beneficiaries, it stands to reason that these operations would likely not result in a change in value or volume of first sales in POs/non-POs, which is perfectly fine. In these cases, a value of zero can also be entered for fields 23 and 24.
Additionally, MS can report a value of 2 in Infosys field 25 to indicate that an operation is related to the Ukraine crisis (MS use the same field to report whether an operation is related to the Covid-19 crisis).
By taking the above steps, you can ensure that all the proper data is reported on Ukraine crisis compensations in Infosys.
12. EMFF operations abandoned or withdrawn
Questions regarding how to handle EMFF operations abandoned or withdrawn in Infosys
The FAME working paper on Article 97(a) data reporting requirements covers the issue of how to handle operations abandoned following partial implementation under the EMFF.
On pg. 11 of the working paper, it is stated that abandoned or interrupted operations should remain in Infosys. The codes for field 9: state of progress of the operation, included in Regulation (EU) 1243/2014, are as follows:
- 0 = operation covered by a decision granting aid but for which no expenditure has been declared by the beneficiary to the Managing Authority
- 1 = operation interrupted following partial implementation (for which some expenditure has been declared by the beneficiary to the Managing Authority)
- 2 = operation abandoned following partial implementation (for which some expenditure has been declared by the beneficiary to the Managing Authority)
- 3 = operation completed (for which all expenditures have been paid to the beneficiary)
- 4 = operation under implementation (for which some expenditure has been declared by the beneficiary to the Managing Authority)
- 5 = operation fully implemented (but for which all expenses have not necessarily been paid to the beneficiary)
As a rule of thumb, the financial values of fields 10-2 and 14-16 should be adjusted to reflect the contractual situation of the programmed operations. There are a few different options when adjusting funding for abandoned operations, depending on the situation at hand:
- For operations which have been abandoned following partial implementation, and for which all funds will be de-committed and no expenditure will be declared by the beneficiary to the Managing Authority, it is recommended to enter a value of 2 for field 9 and adjusting fields 10-12 and 14-16 to a value of 0 as a best practice.
- For operations which have been abandoned and for which some expenditure was declared by the beneficiary to the Managing Authority, FAMENET recommends entering a value of 2 for field 9, and subtracting from fields 10-12 and 14-16 the amount of funds recovered by IB’s. Any funds already paid and not recovered should remain accounted for in Infosys.
- For abandoned operations which were covered by a decision granting aid, for which no expenditure has been declared by the beneficiary to the Managing Authority code zero should be changed to code 2, and fields 10-12 and 14-16 should remain 0 as a best practice.
This approach will be helpful in monitoring which operations have been abandoned; including abandoned operations in Infosys serves as an indicator of programme performance.
Codes 3 and 5 should only be entered for completed and fully implemented operations, respectively, and should never be used for any operations abandoned.
For projects abandoned or abandoned following partial implementation (infosys field 09 ‘state of progress’ code 02), it is a best practice to report a value of ‘0’ in fields 10-12 and 14-16. From a data integrity perspective, there is no difference between a zero or blank value in the EMFF infosys database.
Reporting zeroes provides additional assurance that fields were not omitted unintentionally. If a ‘0’ is reported and fields 13 and 17 are filled, normally there should not be an error message. However, if an error message appears, please disregard it. FAMENET will provide additional information in the error report that this type of error can be ignored.
If fields 10-12 and 14-16 are left blank, then a date of final payment does not need to be entered.
From a data integrity perspective there is no difference between a zero or a blank value in EMFF Infosys. If the Infosys validation tool recognizes such errors, FAMENET will provide additional information in the error report that this type of error can be ignored.
13. EMFF evaluation activities
Questions regarding evaluations to be completed for the EMFF 2014-2020
Article 57 of the Common Provisions Regulation 2013 (EU reg. no 1303/2013) specifies that ex-post evaluations of the EMFF shall be completed by the Commission, or by the Member States in close cooperation with the Commission, by 31 December 2024.
The ex-post evaluations shall examine the effectiveness and efficiency of the ESI Funds and their contribution to the Union strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth taking account of the targets established in that Union strategy and in accordance with specific requirements established in the Fund-specific rules.
FAMENET (Fisheries and Aquaculture Monitoring, Evaluation and Local Support Network) is a support unit to the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE).
Through its network of experts, FAMENET supports the Commission and the Member States in the monitoring and evaluation of the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) and the European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (EMFAF), as well as the implementation of CLLD financed from these Funds.
The information and views included on this FAQ webpage are those of the FAMENET experts only and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of the Commission. Neither the Commission nor any person acting on the Commission’s behalf may be held responsible for the use that may be made of the information contained therein.
The guidance provided here is based on the technical know-how of FAMENET. It is not intended to be exhaustive and does not constitute legal advice or interpretation. If you require legal advice or interpretation please contact DG MARE directly at: MARE-D3ec [dot] europa [dot] eu (MARE-D3[at]ec[dot]europa[dot]eu)