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4.6 Treatment of European Union Financial Assistance

4.6.1All proposals involving EU financial assistance are subject to the general requirement to undertake appraisal and evaluation. Relevant appraisals should address the main steps of appraisal as indicated at section 1.4.1. Where EU financial assistance to the non-Government sectors is in view, the guidance in sections 4.1-4.5 should generally also be followed.
4.6.2The nature and extent of EU assistance proposed should be clearly identified for each option under consideration. When costing options, EU grants and other forms of financial assistance should generally be treated in the same way as UK Exchequer grants and included in appraisals at their full cost.
4.6.3The European Commision (Directorate General Regional Policy) has published a Guide to Cost-Benefit Analysis of Investment Projects (latest version July 2008). The principles are broadly similar to those in DFP's appraisal guidance, but there are differences in the detail, for instance a requirement for a more detailed financial analysis. Major projects should comply with this guidance. A major project generally involves EU funding of €50 million or more, but the threshold is lower for environmental projects (€25m) and Instrument for Pre-Accession (IPA)-assisted projects (€10m).
4.6.4Special arrangements exist in relation to the treatment of assistance to agriculture under the Common Agricultural Policy. In appraisals involving such assistance, it is advisable to consult the relevant economists in the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
4.6.5Advice on applying for EU financial assistance and general EU matters is available from DFP's European Division. Their website is at www.dfpni.gov.uk/european-funding

Read on to International Fund for Ireland (IFI) and other ex-UK Grants

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