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They are afraid that such an approach might encourage the idea that member states are competing against each other rather than working together. These could relate to the implementation of improvements to public administration or reforms to national legislation - for example regarding employment rules or environmental standards. It also wishes to encourage the spread of local development approaches based on partnerships among the various relevant actors. It is hoped that such schemes will be more efficient and more effective than simply giving money in the form of grants.

Most of this money is spent on building closer links between border regions. In particular, the Commission intends to pay more attention to urban areas, and to increase the involvement of local and regional authorities in operational programmes. The network insists that the local and regional governments responsible for running Europe's cities are best able to manage the coordination and implementation of policies in urban areas.

Final payments would not be made until the pre-agreed conditions have been met. The Commission believes that improved monitoring and evaluation systems are necessary for supporting the move to a more results-oriented approach.

The Council insists that any conditions should be agreed in advance by all levels of government, and that local and regional levels must be included in any legally binding partnership contracts. They also want to simplify the application procedures and reduce the administrative burden on grant recipients and managing authorities. These contracts would closely correspond to the National Reform Programmes that the member states have to develop and implement in the framework of the Europe Strategy. The Commission wants to increase the involvement of local and regional stakeholders, social partners and civil society organisations in the implementation of operational programmes. They also want to see simpler rules and procedures.

In particular, regional governments are insisting that they should not be punished for the consequences of decisions taken by national governments. Reinforcing the territorial dimension. Stronger monitoring and evaluation.

These could relate to the

This money is spent on measures to boost economic growth, including transport and other infrastructure projects. Combining grants with loans. Focusing resources on a small number of priorities. It would like clear and measurable targets and indicators to be agreed in advance, which can be used to assess the outcomes of programmes in the various member states. Therefore, member states should be obliged to work in partnership with cities, and involve them in deciding on priorities and developing the programmes to be co-financed by the structural funds.

They are afraid that such an