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Glossary - OPSYS
Please find below a table of the most common terms, acronyms and definitions used by External Actions, in an alphabetical order:

A  B  D  E  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V X  Y  Z


Term: Accrual Based Accounting

Acronym: ABAC


ABAC is a transversal, transactional information system allowing for the execution and monitoring of all budgetary and accounting operations by the Commission, an Agency or Institution. The system has been developed by the Commission and includes a comprehensive set of features to ensure compliance with the Financial Regulation and the Rules of Application.

Term: Activity



An Activity is what the intervention does in order to produce results (i.e. the use of resources).

Activities are actions taken or work performed, through which inputs (such as funds, technical assistance and other types of resources) are mobilized to produce specific outputs.

Term: Agent Responsible for Opening Submissions

Acronym: AROS


In order to proceed with the evaluation of the offers received following a Request for Service, the Evaluation Committee will need to access the technical and financial offers submitted by the Contractors.

To ensure the confidentiality of this process, only a designated person from each Delegation will have the right to access the offers and to share them with the Evaluation Committee. This role is fulfilled by the Agent Responsible for Opening Submissions (AROS).

Term: Annual Activity Report 

Acronym: AAR


The Commission’s strategic planning and programming cycle enables DG INTPA to translate the Commission’s long term strategy for development policy and external aid into strategic and management plans, whose implementation are reported through the annual activity reports of the authorising officers by delegation (AOD) or by sub-delegation (AOSD).

The accountability and reporting chain in DG INTPA is organised around a pyramid articulated around the sub-delegation system in DG INTPA. The Director-General of DG INTPA sub-delegates the power of budget implementation and the responsibilities to achieve the political objectives to directors who in turn will sub-delegate to heads of EU delegations and trust fund managers. The accountability and reporting chain is built starting from the basis of the pyramid, via the AOSD reports signed by each AOSD (heads of EU delegations, trust fund managers, directors), until the top of the pyramid where the annual activity report (AAR) signed by the Director-General stands.

The annual activity reports serve three purposes:

  • They give account of the achievement of the key objectives and core activities taking into account the corresponding resources used during the year.
  • They are management reports of the authorising officer in charge, who was granted the sub-delegation. It covers all management aspects, including the implementation of internal control standards.
  • They include a statement of assurance on the sound management of the funds sub-delegated to them, on the effectiveness of controls in place and on the legality and regularity of the underlying operations.

Term: Appropriation



An Appropriation is an amount of money officially reserved and allocated for a particular use. The MFF allocates budgets for expenditure to policy areas and sets ceilings for these expenditures. Within these ceilings of the MFF, the (Annual) Budget provides more detail on the budget allocations up to the level of Budget Lines.

The general budget consists of different types of appropriations, which serve to identify the origin and the destination of the expenditure.Depending on what the appropriations are used for and over which period, we distinguish the following types of appropriations:

  • Administrative appropriations cover the running costs of the Institutions and entities (staff, buildings, office equipment)
  • Operational appropriations finance the different policies in the form of grants or procurement
  • Commitment appropriations cover the total cost of legal obligations (contracts, grant agreements/decisions) that could be signed in the current financial year
  • Payment appropriations cover expenditure due in the current year, arising from legal commitments entered in the current year and/or earlier years
  • Differentiated appropriations (DA) are used to finance multiannual operations
  • Non-differentiated appropriations are for operations of an annual nature

Term: Advanced Record System

Acronym: ARES


Ares is the common information system used by all the Commission's Services, the Cabinets, EEAS, the EU delegations for registering and filing the official documents of the Commission in the same electronic common repository.

Ares offers multiple functionalities, such as creation of workflows, e-signatories, full-text searches, security management.




​APPEL is a web-based system used by the partners of DG ECHO. It allows NGOs and International Organisations to request admission to the selection process for becoming ECHO partners, and it is also the portal used to transmit to ECHO the funding requests and project reports.

This system is not yet integrated in the Funding & Tenders portal. To change the LEAR for the DG ECHO agreements it is required to modify the LEAR in APPEL, by submitting a ‘legal modification request’ in APPEL, and attach the APPEL Charter. In order to do so, a request can be sent to

Term: Assumption



An Assumption is a hypothesis on factors or risks, which could affect the progress or success of a development intervention. Assumptions are key external factors that are critical to an Intervention’s success.

Good practices when defining the assumptions are:

  • It is a condition required for the success of the Intervention;
  • It should not be too critical;
  • It should cover external factors not under the control of Project Management;
  • It should be provided at output and outcome levels;
  • It should be specific so that it can be monitored(avoid “lack of …”).

Risks or assumptions are two sides of the same coin - if you are not sure an assumption will hold true, then it is probably a risk for which mitigation measures should be provided.

A Risk Analysis or assessment may be performed to determine the factors (called assumptions in Logframes) that affect, or are likely to affect, the successful achievement of an Intervention’s objectives.

Term: Award Notice



Advertisement published in the Supplement to the Official Journal (OJ S) of the European Union to inform interested parties that a contract has been awarded or is to be awarded.


Term: Bank Account File

Acronym: BAF


The Bank Account File (BAF): is the database containing all necessary banking details allowing a correct execution of payment instructions to beneficiaries. It contains some 600.000 active records. Authorising services submit their requests for validation of a bank account. After confirmation of the Bank Account Validation Team (BAVT) in DG BUDG the data enters the BAF.

There are four different payment methods. Yet, the preferred one is:

  • VIR – Bank Transfer

This payment method represents 97% of all payment instructions and demands the communication, via the Financial Identification Form (FIF), of a bank account number or IBAN (depending on the country).

Term: Baseline



Initial reference point or value for a given indicator that compares with actual values allowing for assessing intervention results.

Baselines must be completed in the contract level logframe. In any case, when baseline data is not available at contracting stage, it should be collected during inception at the latest.

Term: Beneficiary



Person, social group, a country or region as a whole (or part of a country) who derives advantage from the intervention. We can distinguish between: indirect/final beneficiaries: those rights holders who benefit from the intervention's outcome or impact in the long term at the society or sector level;

  • Indirect/final beneficiaries: those rights holders who benefit from the intervention's outcome or impact in the long term at the society or sector level;
  • Direct beneficiaries: those who benefit at first hand and in the short term from the intervention's implementation;
  • Target groups: those whose action or change in behaviour is sought through the intervention and thus those who are therefore directly affected by it.

Term: Blending



Blending is a Financial Instrument for achieving EU external policy objectives, complementary to other aid modalities and pursuing the relevant regional, national and overarching policy priorities. The principle of the mechanism is to combine EU funds with loans or equity from public and private financers.

The EU implements blending operations in the context of the EU Blending Framework through regionally or thematically focused Financial Instruments that support projects contributing to the fulfilment of the strategic development goals of both the EU and the partner country.

Term: Blending Facility



Blending Facilities are regional initiatives in which EU financing leverages the funding provided by a financial institution or by a consortium of financial institutions coordinated by a lead financial institution. Blending Facilities finance projects in the targeted geographical areas and sectors by way of financing technical assistance necessary for the preparation of the project, investment grant, interest rate subsidies or Financial Instruments.

A Regional Blending Facility is implemented by way of calls for expression of interest addressed to candidate entrusted entities.

Term: Blending intervention



Combination of EU financing (non-reimbursable contributions in indirect management – technical assistance, grants, interest rate subsidies - and financial instruments) with non-grant resources (loans, equities and guarantees) from development finance institutions in order to achieve a leveraged development impact targeted at achieving sustainable growth and reducing poverty.

The strategic use of a limited grant element can make projects, with low financial return but a high economic and social return, possible.

Term: Budgetary Commitment 



A Budgetary Commitment is an operation by which the Appropriation necessary to cover subsequent payments to honour Legal Commitments is reserved.

Budgetary Commitment marks in the accounting system of the institution (ABAC) the amounts of Appropriations in the budget necessary to cover future Payments arising from Legal Commitments, such as a Contract, a Grant Agreement or, in more general terms, to cover for any measure which may give rise to expenditure.

Term: Budget Support



Budget Support is aid which is transferred directly into the national budget of the partner country. It is usually granted over a period of several years with aid being disbursed in several tranches.

Budget Support is always under Direct Management.

The European Commission provides two types of Budget Support, both of which are used to finance the national budget, namely General Budget Support and Sector Budget Support. 

  • General Budget Support concerns a transfer to the National Treasury in support of a national development or reform policy and strategy that may be provided in the form of a Good Governance and Development Contract (GGDC) or State Building Contract (SBC). This form of Budget Support is not foreseen in pre-accession countries.

Sector Budget Support concerns a transfer to the National Treasury in support of a sector programme provided in the form of a Sector Reform Contract


Term: Candidate



Any economic operator who submits a request to participate in a two-step procedure.

Term: Coordinator Contact

Acronym: CoCo


Additional coordinator contact within an economic operator's organisation. This role is given per procedure. The CoCo is involved in the exchange of information between the                 Consortium or their organisation (as sole tenderer) and the contracting authority, for a particular submission or invitation related to a call for tenders. See details here.

Term: Comitology



Formal consultation about the content of the Commission Decision (AP or else) is organised by the DG in charge with the relevant EU MS committee (the committee is defined in the Basic Act)

Term: Commission Financing Decision

Acronym: CFD


The Commission Financing Decision (CFD) is used as a generic term to cover the various types of documents that express the Commission's exercise of its implementing competencies: (1) the exercise of its implementing powers ("mode décisionnelle"); and (2) its responsibility for budget implementation ("mode ordonnateur").

Within the context of OPSYS, a Commission Decision that includes a Financing Decision will be called a Commission Financing Decision.

In the framework of external action, a Commission Financing Decision can take various forms:

  • An Annual Action Programme;
  • A Multi-annual Action Programme;
  • A National or Country Action Programme;
  • A Multi-country Action Programme;
  • A CBC Action Programme;
  • A Complementary Financing Decision;
  • An Individual Measure;
  • A Special Measure;
  • A Support Measure;
  • An Exceptional Assistance Measure;
  • An Interim Response Programme;
  • A Pilot Project;
  • A Preparatory Action;
  • A Preparatory Measure;
  • A One-off Action;
  • A Commission Decision implementing a CFSP Council Decision;
  • A Decision under the Commission's administrative autonomy.

A Commission Financing Decision can contain one or several Actions.

Term: Commission Implementing Decision

Acronym: CiD


Commission (Implementing) Decisions are legal acts by which the College of Commissioners adopts strategy, programming and action documents and their proposed implementation. CiDs provide further details on the policy objectives of their corresponding Basic Act and proposes how to achieve them.

At the level of Actions, Action Programmes, Individual, Special or Support Measures or the Joint Operational Programmes at the end of the identification and formulation phase, CiDs adopt the Annual Action Programmes, Measures, etc., together with their related Financing Decision in a single decision. CiDs also adopt Programming Documents, in that case without a Financing Decision

Term: Common Relex Information System

Acronym: CRIS


INTPA's local information system for external actions specifically developed by DG INTPA containing both operational and financial information on external aid projects and programmes implemented by DG INTPA.

Term: Contract



A Contract is an agreement, between two or more persons or entities, with specific terms and an undertaking to provide services, supplies and/or works in return for a financial consideration.

Contracts are key entities in the implementation phase of the Cycle of Operation.

There are many different types of Contracts for External actions.

Term: Contracting Authority

Acronym: CA


The Contracting Authority is the signatory party on the side of the government to the Contract, Grant Agreement/Decision or other type of legal commitment.

In case of Direct Management, the Contracting Authority is the European Commission. In the case of Indirect Management, the European Commission delegates the budget implementation tasks, which include a.o. the conclusion and management of the resulting Contracts to a development agency of a Member State or of a third donor country, an international organisation or the partner country. In that case, these become the Contracting Authority.

Term: Contracting Procedure



The contracting procedures are funded in the frame of an intervention and its associated action(s) and are planned, organized, launched, monitored through the Implementation Plan

The Contracting Procedure in OPSYS is initiated from the Procedure section of a Planned Contract (Contract page), by the Operational Initiating Agent (OIA) of the responsible service/organisation of the Contract, and only once the procedure is configured.

Term: Core Indicators



Core Indicators are aligned with DG INTPA, NEAR and FPI policy priorities. They appear in OPSYS as suggested indicators when users are designing Logical Framework Matrix (logframes) for their interventions. They can be searched and filtered while creating a logframe inside the system.

We provide these indicators to enhance the quality of EC's interventions in terms of design and monitoring. The use of core indicators is not mandatory but highly recommended. We also aim to promote the use of standardized information across European Union-funded interventions in partner countries. In other words, using them supports harmonisation between the EU and Implementing Partners.

Core indicators draw on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Gender Action Plan (GAP III), European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD), the Global European Results Framework (GERF), Results and Indicators Guidance, NDICI Regulation, FPI Performance Framework, IPA Perfomance Framework among other relevant documents. Two kinds exist:

1. Core indicators used for corporate monitoring and reporting such as: all 17 SDG (Tier I), EFSD, FPI PF, GERF level 1, GERF level 2, GAP III and IPA PF indicators

2.  Sector-specific indicators, grouped by sectors.

Click here to view the full List of Core Indicators

Term: Credit Note



A Credit Note is a document through which a third party recognises that the debt has been totally or partially cancelled. A Credit Note is always be linked to an Invoice and affects the same expense account as the related Invoice.

Term: Current value



The latest value that is available for an indicator.

Term: Customised Indicators



Customised indicators in OPSYS are simply non-core indicators

· Customised indicators are those that are not pre-encoded (as core) and are to be created as “new” by the users (free text indicators)

· To facilitate the encoding of customised indicators, units of measure, sources of data, disaggregation are available in the system to help build good quality indicator)

· Customised indicators cannot be aggregated/grouped

· Customised indicators are not used for corporate reporting

· Customised indicators can be matched to a core indicator with a special functionality, provided approval of the Commission services


Term: Development Assistance Committeee Sector Code

Acronym: DAC Sector Code


The DAC Sector Code (or purpose code) represents the socio-economic sector that is targeted by the contribution to the project, and not to the mechanisms used to implement the aid.

The sector of destination of a contribution is determined by answering the following question: "Which specific area of the recipient's economic or social structure is the action intended to support?"

Some contributions are not susceptible to allocation by sector, and are reported as non-sector allocable aid. Examples are aid for general development purposes, general budget support, actions relating to debt, emergency assistance, and internal transactions in the donor country.

For more info, please see:

Term: Delegation Agreement



A Delegation Agreement is an agreement in the context of Indirect Management, between the European Commission and an entity to which budget implementing tasks have been entrusted.

Reliance on the Pillar Assessment enables the Commission services to focus more on results than on micro-management of expenditure as this is clearly the responsibility of the entrusted entity. To that end, the delegation agreement should fix objectives and achievement indicators, and the reports should reflect any change in the objectives to measure the results attained

Term: Direct Management



The Management mode defines the way the activities in an Action are managed.  It is the term to describe the legal (contractual or legislative) arrangement through which funds are channelled to the final recipients. In Direct Management, Commission is the party of the contract with that final recipient

Term: Directorate-General for the External Relations

Acronym: RELEX


The Directorate-General for the External Relations was a Directorate-General of the European Commission, responsible for the external policy.

DG RELEX has since been merged with DG INTPA (Directorate-General for International Partnership), DG NEAR (Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations) and FPI (Foreign Policy Instruments) and constitutes today so called "RELEX-family".

Term: Disaggregation



Disaggregation is the breakdown of observations (usually within a common branch of a hierarchy) to a more detailed level, so that more detailed observations can be taken.

Indicator measurements can be disaggregated (where applicable) by sex, age, urban/rural population, wealth quintile, etc.

In the case of core indicators, Quality Managers may decide, for example, that it is good practice to disaggregate the total count of a group of people into sex categories of women or men, or area categories of urban or rural, etc.

Quality Managers have the possibility to make disaggregation mandatory or optional. Configuring this parameter in the core indicator ensures that the data collected for the formulation and/or implementation will be adapted and foreseen when considering the criterion.


Term: E-Calls PADOR



PADOR is the online database in which potential applicants to calls for proposals register information about the legal and financial profile of their organisation (legal entity). Once the applicants correctly register and sign their profiles PADOR awards them their EuropeAid ID.

Term: E-Calls PROSPECT



PROSPECT is the online system used by DGs: DEVCO, NEAR & FPI for managing Calls for Proposals (CfP) in Headquarters and Delegations under Direct management and since November 2017 for Indirect management (publication only) and Twinning procedure. Please note that Trust Fund-related Calls for Proposals are not to be published in e-Calls PROSPECT.

Term: Economic Operator



Any natural or legal person, including a public entity or group thereof, that offers supplies, services or works on the market.

Term: E-Notices



eNotices, an on-line tool in Tenders Electronic Daily (TED) for preparing public procurement notices and publishing them in the Supplement to the Official Journal of the European Union.

eNotices provides access to all standard forms used in European public procurement.

This free service allows users to work in a personalized environment, speeding up the process of publishing the tender notices.

Term: E-Procurement



e-Procurement is a fully integrated, automated and paperless digital solution. It will cover the whole procurement end-to-end process, while promoting re-usability of data (the “once only” principle) and automated checks and validations. It will provide a smooth user experience and full integration with the financial, budgetary and accounting processes (ABAC Workflow and then SUMMA).

Term: E-Submission



The corporate eProcurement system for electronic submission and receipt of tenders. E-Submission is the eProcurement module that allows the Contracting Authority to receive tenders electronically for their call for tenders and, for Economic Operators, to prepare and submit their tenders, starting from the TED e-Tendering call for tenders. eSubmission supports open, restricted and exceptional negotiated procedures.

Term: EU Login



EU Login is the European Commission’s user authentication service. It provides users with a unique point to access EC services and applications.
EU Login is a robust and widely used. It currently supports more than 100 thousand internal users and 5 million external users, handling more than 4 million daily authentications.

There are currently three verification method of 2FA (Two-Factor Authentication) available to non-Commission staff to sign in to “EU Login”:
1. EU Login Mobile App PIN Code
2. EU Login Mobile App QR Code
3. Mobile Phone + SMS

More detailed steps can be found in the EU Login User Guide via the following link:

Focal Point User Manual can be found here.

Term: EuropeAid



Please note that the domain name ‘EuropeAid’ has been replaced by International Partnerships.
For Calls for Tenders, published after 1st of August 2020, please refer to the Funding and Tenders Portal : Funding and Tender Opportunities Portal (F&T Portal).
Prior Information Notices (PIN) are no longer mandatory but if required they can be found via TED eNotices, by selecting the criteria: “External aid programmes”

Term: European Commission Internal Users



The staff of DG INTPA, DG NEAR, FPI Services, and EU Delegations users with EU Login who have read-only access to all the Portfolios and approved Logframes.

Term: European External Action Service

Acronym: EEAS


The European External Action Service (EEAS) is the diplomatic service and combined foreign and defence ministry of the European Union (EU). The EEAS is led by the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (HR/VP), who is also President of the Foreign Affairs Council and Vice-President of the European Commission, and carries out the EU's Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), including the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP).

The EEAS does not propose or implement policy in its own name, but prepares acts to be adopted by the High Representative, the European Commission or the Council.[5] The EEAS is also in charge of EU diplomatic missions (delegations) and intelligence and crisis management structures.

Term: Evaluation



The systematic and objective assessment of an on-going or completed project programme or policy, its design, implementation and results. The aim is to determine the relevance and fulfilment of objectives, development efficiency, effectiveness, impact and sustainability.

Term: Expenditure Life Cycle



The Expenditure Life Cycle describes the most important phases of an Expenditure:

  • The Budgetary Commitment, which is a reservation of Appropriations to cover for subsequent expenses.
  • The Legal Commitment, which establishes a legal obligation towards third parties.
  • The Payment, which is a disbursement to honour legal obligations.

Eventually, the De-commitment, which cancels a reservation of Appropriations

Term: External Assistance Management Report

Acronym: EAMR


The EAMR is an annual internal management report, generated by the heads of EU Delegations across the world, which identifies potential difficulties and delays in the implementation cycle of ongoing EU development cooperation projects.

It aids the European Commission services in taking corrective measures when current difficulties in the implementation procedure, or the achievement of the objectives, are reported.

The EAMR is a snapshot of the situation of each ongoing project at the end of the year. It does not measure the results of the project. It therefore cannot be considered as an evaluation tool for assessing final effectiveness and outcome of the accomplished EU development projects in our partner countries, or of the eventual compliance with the financial rules.


Term: Financial and Administrative Framework Agreement between the United Nations and the European Union

Acronym: FAFA


The FAFA is the ruling document governing the cooperation between the UN and the Commission.

The FAFA establishes the overall legal framework applicable to all agreements between the Commission and the UN Agencies. Its articles define the objectives, principles and the modality of cooperation between the two parties and the European Commission's role connected to the evaluation and verification of the Actions.

For more information please click here.

Term: Financing Agreement



A Financing Agreement is an agreement between the Commission and the beneficiary country or regional or-ganisation. It contains replicates all the practical information included in the Action Document, notably the objectives, expected results, budget, modalities, roles. In particular for Budget Support, payment conditions and modalities are included in the part of the Action Document attached to the Financing Agreement.

Term: Financing Agreement



A Financing Agreement is an agreement between the Commission and the beneficiary country or regional or-ganisation. It contains replicates all the practical information included in the Action Document, notably the objectives, expected results, budget, modalities, roles. In particular for Budget Support, payment conditions and modalities are included in the part of the Action Document attached to the Financing Agreement.

Term: Financial Instruments



Financial Instruments are measures of financial support provided on a complementary basis from the budget in order to address one or more specific policy objectives of the EU. Such instruments may take the form of equity or quasi-equity investments, loans or guarantees, or other risk-sharing instruments, and may, where appro-priate, be combined with grants. Financial instruments are usually provided in the framework of Blending Facilities.

Financial instruments should be authorised by means of a basic act, defining in particular their objectives and duration. Where financial instruments are established without a basic act in duly justified cases, they should be authorised by the European Parliament and the Council in the budget.

At the end of the implementation of the financial instrument and unless it is turned into a grant, the capital needs to be repaid to the Commission (e.g. capital repayments, guarantees released, repayments of the principal of loans).

Term: Financial Circuit



A Financial circuit is a set of compulsory control steps based on a risk assessment where three functions can be distinguished:

(1) initiating agent, (2) verifying agent and (3) responsible authorising officer, where the responsible authorising officer may assume the role of the verifying agent.

In the context of external action, a more extensive circuit is currently in place:

  • Operational Initiation
  • Operational Verification
  • Financial Initiation
  • Financial Verification
  • Authorisation

Term: Financial Signatory

Acronym: FSIGN


Financial signatories must be nominated for an organisation by the LEAR or an account administrator. They can then be assigned to a particular project or contract by a coordinator or a participant contact.

FSIGNs have the right to sign financial statements on behalf of the organisation, managed through the electronic exchange system.

An organisation can have an unlimited number of FSIGNs.

Term: Framework Agreement



In the context of IPA, a Framework Agreement sets the general rules and conditions, governing the cooperation of the EU with the beneficiary country concerned. A Framework agreement sets out specific provisions for the management, control, supervision, monitoring, evaluation, reporting and audit of financial assistance.

A Framework Agreement is the legal basis for the implementation of all EU assistance operations in a given IPA country and applies to all Financing Agreements.

A Framework Agreement is a document complementing the IPA Regulation, which sets out in more details the procedures to be used for the implementation of IPA. It must be signed with the given partner country as a prerequisite for any assistance operation in that country. After having signed the Framework Agreement, Action Programmes can be developed within the scope of the relevant country/multi-country indicative strategy paper.

Term: Framework Contract

Acronym: FWC


Framework Contract is an agreement between one or more contracting authorities and one or more economic operators, the purpose of which is to establish the terms governing Specific Contracts which may be awarded during a given period, particularly as regards the duration, subject, price, maximum value, implementation rules and the quantities envisaged.

Term: Funding and Tender Opportunities Portal

Acronym: F&TP


Funding & Tender Opportunities Portal (Funding & Tenders Portal) is is the external partners' access to OPSYS. It is a unique entry point for fully electronic management of centrally managed grants and procurement contracts. As a corporate platform for electronic data exchange, it delivers on the  Single Electronic Data Interchange Area (SEDIA) which is a corporate solution that represent the single entry point for all external users to all European Commission platforms, and across all DGs.


Term: Global Commitment



A Global Commitment is a reservation of budget for cases where the beneficiary and/or the amount are not yet known. In other words, it is a Budgetary Commitment for which at least one of the elements necessary to identify an Individual Commitment is not known at the moment of the budget reservation. The budget is reserved as a Level 1 Commitment

Term: Grant



Grants are transfers in cash or in kind for which no legal debt is incurred by the beneficiary. They are direct financial contributions, by way of donation, from the budget in order to finance Actions intended to help achieve an EU policy objective or to finance the functioning of a body which pursues an aim of general EU in-terest or has an objective forming part of, and supporting, an EU policy (‘operating grants’).

Grants are covered either by a Written Agreement or by a Commission (Implementing) Decision notified to the successful applicant of a Grant.

A Grant can be directly awarded or through a Call for Proposals, and can be under Direct and Indirect Management


Term: Impact (Overall Objective)



Impact is the broader, long-term change, which will stem from a number of interventions by the partner government, development partners and other actors on which EU funded interventions will have indirect influence. Examples of impact indicators are percentage of the population living below the line of poverty, mortality rate of children under five years of age,etc.

Term: Implementation Plan

Acronym: IMP


The OPSYS Implementation Plan is the main operational tool to plan, organise, launch and monitor the implementation of Actions and Contracts. For planning purpose, the Implementation Plan is the "fundamental element" for all periodic forecasting at level of the individual commitments (Forecast Level 2 - FL2) and payments (Forecast Level 3 - or FL3); an overview of all channels for a Responsible Service; and has no geographical scope per se.

The term "Implementation Plan" is defined, within the context of External Action and OPSYS, as the portfolio of all Contracting Procedures managed by a specific service or entity in charge (i.e. EU Delegation, HQ Unit, or Regional Team – for FPI). It can be monitored for any element of the portfolio, in particular for any Intervention.

Each service’s Implementation Plan displays in a tree list Actions with their planned/actual cost, their maturity level (OUTLINE, ONGOING, CLOSED), their components, their contracts, and the funds still available from the Programming Envelope(s), for the current and subsequent years of the MFF period.

For more information, please view Implementation Plan and Planned Contracts.

Term: Implementation Type



An Implementation Type in OPSYS is the Contracting Modality defined at the level of the Planned Contract, for a given Implementation Modality.

The following Implementation Types are available in OPSYS:

under Direct Management:

  • Grants
  • Prizes
  • Budget Support
  • Contribution to EU Trust Funds
  • Contribution to Executive Agency
  • Administrative Arrangements and Service Level
  • Memebership Fees
  • Shareholdings and Equity

under Indirect Management:

  • Endorsed Procurement
  • Endorsed Grant
  • Programme estimates
  • Contribution Agreement

Term: Implementing Partner/Expert

Acronym: IP


Implementing Partners or Experts (non-Lead) can be either Consortium Partners or External Experts. They are contributing to the implementation of activities and reporting tasks. The Implementing Partner or Expert can access the Intervention (upon receiving the access granted by the LIP) and update the Logframe (including results, indicators and current values) but cannot submit the Logframe for revision. Only the Lead Implementing Partner or Contractor can submit the Logframe for approval to the Operational Manager.

Lead Implementing Partners or Contractors (once assigned by the Operational Manager) can either themselves, or cooperate with Implementing Partners or Experts, to access the Intervention and create and/or update the attached Logframe with results and corresponding indicators and their values.

INTPA remains accountable for the use of the EU funds and steers, monitors, controls and evaluates the execution by implementing partners.

Term: Indicative Programming Document

Acronym: IPD


The Indicative Programming Document (IPD) specifies the why, how, what and when of the programming exercise by including the political and policy context; guiding principles and priorities; technical guidance for the elaboration of the country, regional/multi-country and thematic multiannual indicative programmes, and guidance on reporting, evaluation and monitoring.

Indicative Programming Document is a generic term used in the Basic Acts for all the documents that set the framework for EU assistance in a given country, region or thematic area for a multi-annual period, as defined in the different Instruments, such as Multiannual Indicative Programmes (DCI), National Indicative Programmes (EDF), Indicative Strategy Papers (IPA) and Single Support Frameworks (ENI).

The regulation on the Basic Act, in most cases, also refers to the limits/ceilings for expenditure set by the MFF. However, the prescriptions of the Basic Act for the IPD may vary from Instrument to Instrument. The way budgets are allocated can vary from one Basic Act to the other.

The programming process, the available input documents, type of information, level of detail to be provided can be different.

If Indicative Programming Documents are based on Country Strategy Papers or Joint Programming Documents, the latter will be available in OPSYS.

Term: Indicator



An indicator is a variable specifying how performance can be measured and assessed. Together with the result’s chain, indicators form the basis of a project’s monitoring and evaluation system.

Indicators are quantitative or qualitative factors (or variables) that provide a simple and reliable mean of measuring achievement, to reflect the changes connected to an Intervention, or to help assess the performance of a development actor.

Indicators must always be provided with baseline (initial value) and target (intermediate or final) values, as well as the possible source of verification for the actual values.

An indicator should:

  • Be relevant and closely connected to the expected result (so that any change in the value can be associated/correlated to the Intervention);
  • Be clear and specific– what do we measure? (e.g. “Number of…”, “Percentage of…”, “Status of…”);
  • Be measurable– data is available or can be collected at reasonable cost; 
  • Not include elements of the target (e.g. “increased number of…”);
  • Be disaggregated by sex where applicable (or by age, urban/rural population, or by wealth quintile…).

Term: Indirect Management

Acronym: IM


In Indirect Management the final recipient receives EU funds through a contract concluded with an intermediary actor to which the tasks are delegated:

  • Selecting the final recipients (running the procurement and grant award procedures preceding the conclusion of such contracts, including the award and rejection decisions)
  • Managing the resulting contracts (making payments, accepting or rejecting deliverables, enforcing the contract, carrying out checks and controls, recovering funds unduly paid);.

The intermediary can be:

  • (a) The partner country or an entity designated by it;
  • (b) An agency of a Member State or an EFTA country or of a third donor country;
  • (c) An international organisation;
  • (d) The European Investment Bank and the European Investment Fund; or (e) An EU specialised agency.

Term: Individual Measure



An Individual Measure is a form of Commission Financing Decision that serves to adopt a single Action or a set of Actions, which is(are) based on an Indicative Programming Document, but is adopted 'individually' before or after the adoption of annual or multi-annual action programmes.

Term: Intervention

Acronym: INTV


An intervention is a logical construction designed by the Operational Manager to establish the hierarchy of effects an external operation is expected to produce (outputs), and the direct and indirect influence (outcomes and impacts, respectively). This intervention logic is expected to be monitored and reported upon. It can correspond to one contract or one action, or to several contracts or several actions.

An Intervention is a coherent set of activities and results, which constitutes the most effective (hence optimal) level for the operational follow-up and reporting by the European Commission of its operations:

  • Monitoring of results and indicators;
  • Monitoring the quality of deliverables;
  • Monitoring of missions and site visits;
  • Evaluations;
  • Annual reporting on KPIs in the EAMR.

Interventions are therefore entities that refer to the monitoring of EU implementation activities, with the purpose of assessing performance. It contains the Actions (and Action Components) created during the design phase, the related Contracts, as well as the Results of these activities.

Term: Intervention levels



For large Actions with a wide and global scope, the Operational Manager groups the activities envisaged into coherent Interventions of a lower level in order to monitor and measure the performance at an adequate level and to ensure a coherent result reporting mechanism.

Each Intervention of the lower level should take into account, when relevant:

  • The geographical coverage (location of detailed activities);
  • The procurement plan or work plan and related contracting choices (e.g. lots in a tender or call for proposals);

The logframe's design (contribution to main expected outcomes and objectives and groups of similar expected results).

Term: INTPA Support Services

Acronym: ISS


INTPA Support Services (ISS) provides functional and technical support to all INTPA Information Systems:

OPSYS, CRIS, e-Calls PADOR, e-Calls PROSPECT, AUDIT, ROM, EVAL, BPC, INTPA Dashboards & Reporting Tools, EAMR, EAMR-HQ, eCONTENT (eCompanion and ePRAG), EOM, GDDT, Alumni.

Term: Intervention logic



The Intervention Logic is detailed and structured narrative that explains how, in the given context, the outputs will lead to the outcome(s), and the outcome(s) to the expected impact. It describes the "vertical logic" of the Logical Framework Matrix by articulating the results chain and the assumptions.

Term: Invitation to Tender



Letter giving the necessary details for tender submission. It is part of the procurement documents.

Term: Invoice



An Invoice is an official document requesting a Payment. It constitutes a potential debt to a third party (subject to verification). On receipt of an Invoice, the Commission must record the debt.

Invoices are Payment Requests in the context of Procurement Contracts.


Term: Joint Monitoring



Collaborative work by a group of development partners (together with partner countries or not) to monitor interventions. Joint can refer to either joint monitoring by (a) development partners and partner countries (alignment, harmonisation and mutual accountability) or (b) development partners (harmonisation). These two options of joint monitoring are not mutually exclusive but may not automatically support each other.

Types of joint monitoring activity between development partners and with partner governments:

  • joint planning and management of monitoring visits);
  • jointly agreed methods (indicators, assessment criteria);
  • joint reviews (analysis and dialogue on results;
  • joint reporting (agreed format and sharing content);
  • joint management (decision-making on follow-up actions).


Term: Lead Implementing Partner or Contractor

Acronym: LIP


The Lead IP is the leader of the Consortium of Implementing Partners. The Lead Implementing Partner is the Contractor, or the signatory to the contract with the European Commission. Lead Implementing Partners/Contractors are contractually in charge of implementing activities for EC-funded projects. They have a contractual reporting obligation both on progress made towards the targets and on the financial execution. The Lead Implementing Partner/Contractor can grant or revoke access to the Implementing Partners/Experts, access the Intervention and create, update and submit the Logframe (including results, indicators and current values).

Lead IPs provide access to Implementing Partners or Experts, so that they may access the relative interventions, allowing them to manage logframes and add or update indicators.

Meanwhile several Implementing Partners may be selected in OPSYS, there can only be one single Lead IP.

Term: Lead Service



Lead Service is the Headquarters’ Unit coordinating a given the Responsible Service. When a Responsible Ser-vice is a Headquarters’ Unit, the Responsible Service coincides with Lead Service. Lead Service is represented by its Head of Unit.

Term: Legal Commitment



A Legal Commitment is the act whereby the Authorising Officer enters into or establishes an obligation which results in a charge.

Whereas the Budgetary Commitment is a measure internal to the institution, the Legal Commitment establishes legal obligations towards third parties.

Common forms of Legal Commitments are Contracts in the case of Procurement and Grants, Programme Estimates, Pagodas (to be replaced by Contribution Agreements in the revised FR), as well as Financing Agreements for Budget Support.

Term: Legal Entity Appointed Representative

Acronym: LEAR


Following the registration of your organisation and the creation of the PIC, and in parallel to the validation of your organisation, its legal representative(s) (e.g. typically the CEO of the company) will have to nominate a member of the staff as the legal entity appointed representative (LEAR)

The LEAR is officially appointed once the organisation has been validated

There can only be one LEAR per organisation.

Once valid, the LEAR will have:

  • to manage the legal and financial information of the organisation, 
  • to manage access rights of the staff members of the organisation within the Participant Register application. The LEAR can appoint or revoke account administrators within the organisation. 

Only the LEAR and the account administrator the LEAR indicates will access the organisation's data and will be able to update it.

Term: Legal Entity File

Acronym: LEF


Any party with whom the Commission has entered into a binding legal agreement, and with whom the Commission is exchanging funds, regardless of modality, is considered a Third Party  and must be inscribed as a Legal Entity in the central file (LEF database) of the Commission, managed by DG Budget.
There are 3 types of legal entities in the LEF database:

Natural Persons;

Private Law Bodies; and

Public Law Bodies.

Term: Legal Signatory

Acronym: LSIGN


Legal signatories are nominated for an organisation by the LEAR or an account administrator. Subsequently, they can be assigned to a particular project or contract by a coordinator contact (CoCo or PCoCo).

LSIGNs have the right to sign contracts and amendments on behalf of the organisation.

An organisation can have an unlimited number of LSIGNs.

Term: Logical Framework Approach



The Logical Framework Approach is a methodology used in EU External Action for planning, managing and evaluating Programmes and Projects or Actions, involving stakeholder analysis, problem analysis, analysis of objectives, analysis of strategies, preparation of a Logical Framework Matrix (Logframe), and activity and resource schedules.

It is a systematic process to build the intervention logic, making it explicit and using analytical and planning tools that improve its design and allow for its relevant, feasible and effective outcome-focused management.

By combining analytical and planning tools, the logical framework approach creates an intervention logic supported by three interdependent pillars:

  • results chain (inputs, activities, outputs, outcomes, impact);
  • evidence-based assumptions (operational, behavioural, political);
  • monitoring system (indicators, baselines, targets, sources of verification).

Term: Logical Framework Matrix

Acronym: LFM


The Logical Framework Matrix (LFM) involves identifying strategic elements (inputs, outputs, outcomes, impact) and their relationships, indicators, and the assumptions or risks that may influence the success or failure of a Project. It thus facilitates planning, execution and evaluation of a development intervention, and is therefore present and used in different phases of the cycle of operations.

It is presented in the form of a table summarising the key elements of a Project/Programme, which is used as a management tool, to improve the design of Interventions, and for monitoring and reporting purposes during implementation.

The Logical Framework Matrix contains:

  • The Project’s hierarchy of expected results, also called the results chain (outputs, outcomes and impacts);
  • The key external factors critical to the project’s success (assumptions);
  • How the Project’s achievements will be monitored and evaluated (i.e. for each expected result as part of the results chain, there should be at least one indicator, with a corresponding baseline, target and source of verification);
  • The impact (or overall objective) relates to the wider objectives to which the Project will contribute;
  • The outcome (or specific objective) is the sustainable flow of benefits to the Project’s target group.
  • The outputs are the tangible goods and services delivered by the Project or Action.

In OPSYS, we identify the Logical Framework Matrix (LFM) as a Logframe, which is attached to an Intervention.

Term: Logframe

Acronym: LF


A LogFrame is a matrix in which the intervention logic (overall objective, purpose, expected results and activi-ties), assumptions, objectively verifiable indicators and sources of verification are presented. Dedicated LogFrames are in use for the different phases of the Cycle of Operations.

Logical framework matrix of an intervention that translates an internally coherent theory of change, linking inputs and activities with outputs and outcomes, results and intended impact. It defines (a) the rational mechanism for delivering the intended change; as well as (b) the concern for monitoring, reporting and communicating results.


Term: Main Funding Action



The Main Funding Action is the Action or Entity associated with the source(s) of funding from which the planned and future Contract will retrieve the DAC Form.

The Main Funding Action is selected from the available options based on the source(s) of funding during the creation of the Planned Contract, and is the proposed solution (especially in the case of multiple Action Components funding the Contract) for indicating the Action from which to inherit the DAC Form for the Contract.

Term: Monitoring



A continuing function that uses systematic collection of data on specified indicators to provide management and the main stakeholders of an ongoing development intervention with indications of the extent of progress and achievement of objectives and progress in the use of allocated funds.

Term: Multi-Annual Financial Framework

Acronym: MFF


The Multi-annual Financial Framework (MFF) is a regulation adopted unanimously by the European Council with consent by the European Parliament by majority of its members. It lays down the amounts from the EU Budget which the EU may spend in different political fields over a period of at least 5 years (7 years for the current period 2021-2027).

It sets an annual ceiling for these expenditures (Commitment Appropriations) and a global ceiling for what can be paid (Payment Appropriations).

Term: Multi-Annual Action Programme

Acronym: MAP


Annual Action Programmes are Commission Financing Decisions foreseen under the Budget. They are needed to implement the Indicative Programming Document.

They are composed of one or more Action Documents concerning the same country, region or thematic area. In general, in order to present a global view of the portfolio progress, and to limit the administrative burden, the adoption process groups the concrete specifications for the work to be undertaken in the context of the Actions described in these Action Documents and their respective budget allocations.

The Commission may also adopt Multi-annual Action Programmes.

Term: Multiannual Indicative Programme

Acronym: MIP


Programming is the process through which the EU defines its medium and long-term international cooperation priorities. Global Europe programming started in November 2020 and was concluded in December 2021 following the adoption by the European Commission of country, regional, ERASMUS+ and thematic multi-annual indicative programmes (MIPs).

The EU has defined its priority areas and specific objectives for the period 2021-2027 with each partner country and region. This inclusive process is achieved through dialogue with partner countries, EU Member States, civil society organisations, women and youth organisations, local authorities, private sector, the UN and other donors and key stakeholders. MIPs also contain indicative financial allocations as well as results and indicators (with baseline and targets) to measure EU intervention effectiveness.

All country and regional MIPs for Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and the Pacific and the Americas and the Caribbean, adopted by the European Commission are public documents and can be consulted below. Each year, the European Commission will adopt Annual Action Plans setting out the implementation of these programmes.

Term: Multiannual Planning Tool

Acronym: MAP Tool


The MAP tool aggregates credits, forecasts and commitments per basic act in the context of one DG. The aggregation of information at the level of the Basic Act itself, across DGs, should be made in the Data Warehouse.

The MAP Tool is composed of mechanisms, modules and processes that accommodates as an integral solution for both the operational support (e.g. Work Breakdown Structure (WBS), Implementation Plan, Operational Tagging Mechanism) and budget management (Budget Envelope, Forecasting, Financial Tagging Mechanism) for a context.

The context can be either of an organisational approach (e.g. by DG), or by programmes under a financial framework (e.g. by Programmes 2014-2020, Programmes 2021-2027 — for the new MFF).

For the new MFF 2021-2027, MAP is structured by Financing Instrument (NDICI, IPAIII, CFSP, etc.) , renewing the capacity of the operating of programming, the planning of Actions, forecasting, and contracting procedures.


Term: National Development Plan

Acronym: NDP


A National Development Plan (NDP) or any similar comprehensive development document is a set of a partner country's public policy documents endorsed by government, and/or parliament.

A Regional Development Plan (RDP) is a similar set of public documents for a region.

This term is used in Financing Instrument regulations when expressing the need to align with partner countries. National/Regional Development Plans are assessed during the programming phase and serve as a basis for the conception of the multiannual indicative programmes

Term: Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument

Acronym: NDICI


NDICI is one of the five Basic Acts used in OPSYS for External Actions.

The Basic Act “Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument” (NDICI) is divided into three components:

  1. Geographic Programmes
  2. Thematic Programmes
  3. Rapid Response Actions


Term: Opening Session



In order to proceed with the evaluation of the offers received following a Request for Service, the Evaluation Committee will need to access the technical and financial offers submitted by the Contractors.

The offers are opened during the Opening Session task in OPSYS – Task Centre, which is performed by the Agent Responsible for Opening Submissions (AROS).

During this Opening Session, OPSYS performs integrity and confidentiality checks on the technical and financial offers submitted by the Contractors, before they can be submitted to the Evaluation Committee for evaluation.

Once the Opening Session is complete, and the received offers have been checked by the system, the AROS can proceed to the generation of the Opening Record.

After the generation of the Opening Record, the Opening Session is closed, and the procedure proceeds to the Evaluation of the Offers

Term: Operational Manager

Acronym: OP


The Operational Manager, inside an EU Delegation or a HQ unit, is responsible for the operational follow-up of a project. They are the persons in charge of an Intervention in the EU Delegation or HQ Unit.

They manage the operational part of the contractual relationship with the Lead Implementing Partner. They also has the responsibility to design and draft Logframes for Actions, and may be responsible for the annual activity reporting, either through the Annual Activity Reports, or the External Assistance Management Report (EAMR) (depending on the DG they work for).

The Operational Managers can create, read, update and delete Interventions; and read, update, review, approve and delete Logframes for the Interventions they manage. The Operational Manager is responsible for assigning/unassigning Lead Implementing Partners on the Interventions managed.

For more information, please view Results and Monitoring.

Term: Operational Systems Ecosystem

Acronym: OPSYS


New integrated management system that substitutes and incorporates all pre-existing INTPA information technology systems for the management of the entire EU external cooperation portfolio throughout the intervention cycle, from programming to evaluation and audit. OPSYS has been designed to facilitate the following tasks: design, monitor, management and reporting. Its deployment takes place progressively from 2019 to 2021.

OPSYS Ecosystem is an Information System striving to bring in large-scale business transformation programme for the RELEX family. The objective is to bring in “more efficient, transparent and results-oriented planning, management, and follow-up of EU external actions

Term: Outcome



The likely or achieved short- or medium- effect of an intervention's outputs.

Specific Objective Outcome refers to a medium-term effect, and tends to focus on the changes in behaviour resulting from intervention outputs. EU funded interventions will contribute to these changes. Examples of outcome indicators are percentage of births delivered by skilled health personnel, number of human rights violation reported in local media, prevalence of under-weight children under 5 years of age.

Term: Output



A product, capital good or services which results from a development intervention. Outputs may also include changes resulting from the intervention which are relevant to the achievement of outcomes.


Term: Pillar Assessed Grant or Delegation Agreement

Acronym: PAGODA


The PAGoDA template (Pillar Assessed Grant or Delegation Agreement) is a template designed for entities having passed the Pillar Assessment. It contains a part to sign under Indirect Management (Delegation Agree-ment), and a part to sign when the organisation receives a grant, either through direct award of following a call for proposals.

Term: Participant Identification Code

Acronym: PIC


This 9-digit reference is granted to an organisation that registers on the Funding & Tender Opportunties Portal. PICs will therefore replace PADOR’s EuropeAid IDs and complement Legal Entity Files (LEF)

A PIC will allow Applicants and Contractors in the Funding & Tender Opportunities Portal to:

  • Apply to future Calls for Proposals or Tenders;
  • Manage their ongoing Contracts;
  • Manage access roles for their organisation and receive notifications.

For questions regarding PIC exercise, please contact the following mailbox:

Term: Payment Appropriation



Payment Appropriations are Appropriations covering expenditure due in the current year, arising from legal commitments entered in the current year and/or earlier years, including the detailed allocation of these expenditures per Budget Line.Payment Appropriations are Appropriations covering expenditure due in the current year, arising from legal commitments entered in the current year and/or earlier years, including the detailed allocation of these expenditures per Budget Line.

Term: Payment Order

Acronym: PO


A Payment Order is the instruction of the Authorising Officer to the Accounting Officer in DG BUDG to pay the amount that has been validated. To this end, the Authorising Officer must verify that the expense being paid was booked against the correct Budgetary Commitment, against the correct Budget Line and that there are enough Payment Appropriations available.

Term: Payment Request



A Payment Request is a request by the beneficiary/third party to be paid for the pre-financing, partial realisa-tion or complete fulfilment of the obligations resulting from the concerned Legal Commitment.

Term: Performance framework



Tool for institutional or reporting used to collect and measure results achieved against strategic objectives. In this context, the monitoring systems are the mechanisms aimed at measuring progress on results and to feed the performance framework through periodic reporting exercises

Term: Pillar assessment



A Pillar Assessment is an assessment to be carried out in the context of entrusting budget implementation tasks under Indirect Management to certain countries, organisations and bodies.

This assessment relates to the internal control system, the accounting system, an independent external audit and rules and procedures for providing financing from EU fund through grants, procurement and financial instruments, and sub-delegation.

Under the 2018 Financial Regulation, Contribution Agreements (Pillar Assessed Grant or Delegation Agreements - PAGoDA2) are signed with pillar-assessed organisations; management mode will differ depending on the existence of a call for proposals (indirect) or not (indirect).

Term: Planned Contract

Acronym: PC


The term "Planned Contract" refers to a possible contract that may materialise via a contracting procedure to be launched in the future.

Planned Contracts are managed by the means of an Implementation Plan. The accuracy of information contained in a Planned Contract typically increases as the design of the related Action proceeds.

Each contracting procedure must start from a Planned Contract, which is fully pre-defined.

For more information, please view Implementation Plan and Planned Contracts.

Term: Policy dialogue



Refers to the specific sectors of INTPA cooperation and supports partner country efforts to achieve the objectives laid down in their strategies, while conveying EU policy objectives.

Managing interventions is often the entry point for policy dialogue, which should take place all along an intervention's life cycle in formal or informal settings, through different platforms and at different levels.

Term: Pool of users



In OPSYS, every time the user is required to perform specific operations, a new task is generated. These tasks are organised into a workflow. Each task within a workflow is also reserved and assigned to specific actors, or pool of users.

As each task is reserved to specific actors or pool of users, then whenever a user performs a task, the user is participating in a procedure workflow.

Subsequently, the users who are able to access, claim and fulfil the specific task (and complete the required operations within the task) are therefore determined based on the role and responsibility of that pool of users in the context of the procedure workflow.

Term: Portfolio



A Portfolio is a list of Interventions and other related entities (e.g. Actions and Contracts). The Portfolio will also list Actions and Contracts that are not linked to Interventions (e.g. the design of the Action has not yet reached the stage where it is linked to an intervention – i.e. OUTLINE Actions).

OPSYS - My Portfolio is a list of the user’s Interventions and related entities, and will also contain as example, Actions and Contracts that are not linked to Interventions for the same reasons stated above.

OPSYS – My Organisation Portfolio is a list of Interventions and related entities managed by the user’s service (EU Delegation, HQ Unit, or Regional Team - for FPI). It will also contain, for example, Actions and Contracts of the user’s service that are not linked to Interventions for the same reasons stated above.

Term: Post-Award Contracting



Management of the related Contracting process covers a number of sub-processes grouped into 2 main blocks: Pre Awarding and Post Awarding.

Post-award covers as follows:

  • Preparation and signature of the contract (may include negotiation on minor aspects of the contracts in the case of a grant contract or Pagoda)
  • Prefinancing
  • Management of deliverables and results reporting
  • Financial reporting and Payment
  • Contract modifications
  • Management of contractual correspondence and contractual events
  • Contract execution / implementation
  • Audit and EVR
  • Contract performance assessment
  • Closure (may include the settlement of final contract rights & obligations, final acceptance of work, recovery order, release of guarantees, …)

Term: Practical Guide to Procurement and Grant Award

Acronym: PRAG


The PRAG is the Practical Guide to procurement and grant award procedures for the European Union External Actions. This document explains the contracting procedures applicable to EU External Actions 

financed by the EU budget and the European Development Fund (EDF) DG INTPA, DG NEAR and FPI use the PRAG. 

To access PRAG please click here.

Term: Pre-award Contracting



Management of the related Contracting process covers a number of sub-processes grouped into 2 main blocks: Pre Awarding and Post Awarding.

Pre-award covers as follows:

  • Forecasting
  • Preparation of tender dossier/requests for services/calls for proposals (most important phase for designing the contract)
  • Publication/Invitation to submit
  • Submission of applications/offers/proposals
  • Evaluation of applications/offers/proposals
  • Awarding

Term: Primary Coordinator Contact

Acronym: PCoCo


  • The user starting the request to participate / tender in eSubmission can indicate as Contact Person himself / herself (the name is already prefilled) or another person*.  The indicated Contact Person receives the role of Primary Coordinator Contact (PCoCo) in the Funding &Tenders Portal and the user submitting the request to participate  /tender (if different from the Contact Person) - the role of Coordinator Contact (CoCo)

  • Other persons added through the “Manage roles” functionality of the Funding & Tenders portal also receive the role Coordinator Contact.

*If the indicated Contact person does not have an EU Login account, a temporary EU Login account will be automatically created based on the Contact Person email address and the person will be invited by email to complete the EU Login registration. The invitation will be an automatic system message with no reference to the procedure.

The PCoCo can:

  • Submit requests, reports and notifications to the contracting authority on behalf of the consortium.
  • Add a contact person when initiating the submission of a tender. Upon submission, this added person automatically becomes the PCoCo for this tender. The initiator of the offer then becomes the CoCo for the tender.

Term: Primary Intervention

Acronym: PINTV


What we currently refer to as programmes and/or projects are in fact primary interventions. Primary interventions respond to the institutional needs to define a complete portfolio of operations and are related to ensure proper operational management, internal monitoring and annual reporting, results collection and to the definition of the operational perimeter for external monitoring and evaluations. They are created in an institutional and formal manner with hierarchical validation through the Action Document approval process.

A Primary Intervention, more specifically, is an intervention to take into account for institutional reporting. It responds to the three following defining principles:

Exhaustive coverage of the entire portfolio: the totality of result-bearing activities under a given AOSD's responsibility is covered.

Non-duplicity: activities within actions and contracts under the responsibility of different AOSDs must be reported only once.

AOSD single responsibility: there is no INTPA activity authorized by multiple AOSDs. Actions under the responsibility of different AOSDs must be reported broken down at the proper level.

Within the 2020 Results Reporting Exercise which covers the 2014 - 2020 MFF, Primary Interventions can be created at one of the below levels:

  • Action (e.g.: Budget Support, Guarantees, Blending)
  • Group of Actions (e.g.: top-up cases, phases)
  • Contract (e.g. most common case)
  • Group of contracts (e.g.: sequence of Programme Estimates

See also Acceptance Criteria for interventions in the context of EAMR and Results Reporting.

Term: Prior Information Notice

Acronym: PIN


Ex-ante publicity for calls with prior publication of a contract notice takes place through the publication of a Prior Information Notice (PIN) in the Official Journal. See Vademecum 4.2 Ex-ante publicity.

The PIN is published by using the standard notice form F01 in eNotices. The notice can be generated and fully prefilled by PPMT.

The PIN can be linked to a PIN-based eTendering CFT (eTendering procedure type"Planned call for tenders with OJ S publication"). Interested economic operators can subscribe to the call to get notified when the Contract Notice is published.

PPMT supports the creation of the PIN and PIN-based eTendering CFT.

Term: Procurement Documents



Set of documents presented by the contracting authority to economic operators, to enable them to submit tenders. They include the notice, tender specifications, draft contract and invitation to tender.

Term: Programme



Temporary organisational set-up to manage a set of projects with a common goal and to obtain results and control not obtainable from managing them individually.

A programme may also include elements of related work outside the scope of its constituting discrete projects.

This is generic term replaced in INTPA context by 'Intervention'.

Term: Project



Temporary set of coordinated activities to create a unique output within certain constraints such as time, cost, and quality. This is generic term replaced in INTPA context by 'Intervention'.

Also used to refer to any implementing modality that is not budget support.

Term: (Public) Procurement



Procurement is the acquisition by means of a contract of works, supplies or services and the acquisition or rental of land, existing buildings or other immovable property, by one or more Contracting Authorities from economic operators chosen by those Contracting Authorities.

Procurement Contracts can be under Direct and Indirect Management.

Procurement procedures for awarding concession contracts or public contracts, including framework contracts can take different forms. The type of contract (service, work, supply), in combination with financial thresholds, determines which procurement procedure is to be followed

Procurement procedures for awarding concession contracts or public contracts, including framework contracts take one of the following forms:

  • Open procedure;
  • Restricted procedure, including through a dynamic purchasing system;
  • Design contest;
  • Negotiated procedure, including without prior publication;
  • Competitive dialogue;
  • Competitive procedure with negotiation;
  • Innovation partnership;

Procedures involving a call for expression of interest.

Term: Public Procurement Management Tool

Acronym: PPMT


PPMT is an internal Commission working tool developped by JRC to plan, schedule, track and monitor public procurement procedures from early planning to contract signature:

  • To plan, support and monitor the procurement process
  • From procurement need identification to contract signature
  • Integration with eTendering, eNotices, eSubmission, MyWorkplace
  • For all types of Procedures (open, restricted and negotiated)

Term: Purchase Order

Acronym: PO


Simplified form of direct contract, used for simple purchases of low value.


Term: Quality Manager

Acronym: QM


Quality Managers are responsible for results methodology, guidance, support and quality control in a specific domain. They are in charge of bringing methodological support to Operational Managers.

The Quality Manager manages the library of core indicators which are proposed to Operational Managers, LIPs and IPs, when drafting Actions and Contracts, and provides support to the Operational Managers in drafting the Logframe and on the use of indicators. Quality Managers review the values encoded for progress of indicators and proceed to the reporting, including specific reporting obligation like the Annual Activity Reporting.

A Quality Manager can delegate to another Quality Manager (from within the same DG and/or context) the quality control/validation of any element that they are in charge of.

Term: Qualitative Indicator



The Traffic Light for a qualitative Indicator is manually updated only by the Operational Manager (justification required).

Term: Quantitative Indicator



The Traffic Light for a quantitative Indicator is automatically calculated by the system by:

  1. Taking the first Intermediary Target following the Current Value (based on the date);
  2. Calculating the Achievement (as a percentage - %) for the Indicator with the latest approved value.


Term: Recovery Order



A Recovery Order is the request of the Authorising Officer to the DG BUDG Accounting Officer to recover excess Payments made to beneficiaries/third parties.

Before issuing the Recovery Order, the Authorising Officer must validate the existence of the debt.

Term: Responsible Service



For most of the business objects (Action, Contract, etc.) managed in OPSYS, the service responsible for the initiation and the management of the object will be identified in OPSYS as the “Responsible Service”. The Responsible Service can be either an EU Delegation, HQ Unit, or Regional Team (FPI) responsible for the business object.

For exemple:

  • An Agent that creates and manages an Action or Intervention is registered in an organisational unit which is the Responsible Service of these entities;
  • If the Agent belongs to a Unit in HQ, this Responsible Service is also the Lead Service;

The service coordinating for the Strategic Assessment, organisation of the Contributions, and of the Quality Review of an Action, and for launching the decision process of the related Commission Financing Decision, will be identified in OPSYS as the “Lead Service” for the Action.

Term: Results (or result level)



In OECD terminology, results are defined as the outputs, outcomes or impacts of development interventions, with each element contributing to the next, as set out in a results chain.

The links between each element are as important as the results themselves, reflecting the theory of change and the roles of providers and other stakeholders.

For more information, please visit:

Term: Results Chain



An Intervention’s hierarchy of expected results (outputs, outcomes and impacts), expressed with each element or component contributing to the next, is represented as a Results Chain (i.e. a pathway of change).

Components of the Results Chain (OECD DAC definition) are as follows:

  • Impact - overall objective: long term change to which the action will contribute (at country, regional or sector level)
  • Outcome - specific objective: medium term changes in the behaviour of the target groups under control of beneficiaries
  • Outputs: the goods/services  directly delivered by the projects
  • Activities: what the project does to produce the results (utilisation of resources)
  • Inputs: Financial / Human / Physical Resources

Term: Results-Based Management

Acronym: RMB


Results-Based Management (RBM) is a management strategy focusing on performance and achievement of outputs, outcomes and impacts.

Term: Retention



The retention of the amounts owed constitutes a performance guarantee. A portion of each Invoice issued during performance of the Contract is entered as a retention. The retention should never be covered by a Credit Note

Term: Risk Management

Acronym: RM


A continuous, proactive and systematic process of identifying, assessing, and supervising risks in line with the accepted risk levels, carried out at every level of the Commission to provide reasonable assurance as regards the achievement of the objectives.

The five steps of a risk management process are (a) identification of objectives and outputs, (b) risk identification and assessment, (c) selection of risk response, (d) implementation of risk response and (e) monitoring and reporting.

Term: Results Oriented Monitoring

Acronym: ROM


The ROM module is used by DG INTPA, DG NEAR, EU Delegations and ROM contractors/experts for the management of the ROM process and documents. This new tool was developed following the Results-Oriented Monitoring (ROM) reform, adopted in May 2014, and the issue of the new ROM Handbook (latest version 2020).

The ROM module covers the full cycle of ROM reviews for projects and programmes, from the preparation of the work plan to the finalisation of the ROM review and response of the EC services.

The ROM module brings major improvements to the ROM process:

  • It reduces the workload for all actors, offering significant gains of time for Operational Managers (when commenting on a report) and for contractors (when downloading CRIS documentation);
  • It supports the shift from a contractor-driven ROM system to one driven by EC services;
  • It improves the quality of final ROM reports, by introducing the possibility for EC services to comment drafts;
  • It improves data quality as project information is retrieved from CRIS rather than entered manually;
  • It offers an improved multi-criteria search function, based on project and ROM information as well as on the text of ROM reports.

The ROM module will be integrated into OPSYS.


Term: Sector Tagging



Sector Tagging is the process of attributing sector and sector breakdown references. Sector Tagging is to be considered in the context of a sector approach policy, which has the objective to increase coherence between sector policy, government spending and achievement of results.

In the case of IPA II, Sector Tagging is coordinated at the level of the Basic Act and the Sector Tagging process is harmonised across all MIPs and Actions.

Term: Shared Management



Shared Management is the method of implementation of the EU budget, where certain implementation tasks are delegated to the Member States.

About 80 % of the overall EU Budget is implemented in shared management, in particular in the Structural Funds and the Common Agricultural Policy.

DG INTPA does not use Shared Management.

Term: Source of Verification

Acronym: SoV


When indicators are being formulated, the source(s) of verification should also be specified.

The source(s) of verification should specify:

  • How the information will be collected (e.g. from administrative records, special studies, sample surveys, observation, etc.), and/or the available documented source (e.g. progress reports, project accounts, official statistics, engineering completion certificates, etc.);
  • Who will collect/provide the information (e.g. field workers, contracted survey teams, the district health office, the project management team);
  • When or how regularly it will be provided (e.g. monthly, quarterly, annually, etc.).

Data sources for indicators can be primary or secondary:

  • Primary data – is collected directly by the Intervention (usually by the Implementing Partner or Contractor), and may include administrative, budget, or personnel data; surveys; interviews; and direct observation. The feasibility, complexity and cost effectiveness of primary data collection should be carefully considered.
  • Secondary data – that has already been collected outside the Intervention, and is readily available from other sources. Secondary data should be accessible at no or little cost to the general-public or the EU Delegation. Examples of secondary data include government reports, or existing statistics collected by international organisations. While secondary data can be more cost-efficient than primary data, their quality, availability, and reliability should be carefully considered before being used.

Term: Special Measure



A Special Measure is a form of Commission Decision, that serves to adopt an Action which is not based on on an Indicative Programming Document. All Basic Acts provide the possibility to adopt Special Measures in case of unforeseen and duly justified needs, circumstances or commitments and when funding is not possible from more appropriate sources. Special Measures may also be adopted to ease the transition from emergency aid to long-term development operations or to better prepare people to deal with recurring crisis.

Term: Specific Contract



A Specific Contract is a Contract under a Framework Contract. It follows the prescriptions of the Framework Contract.

Term: Sub-allocation



The standard way to manage programme or administrative budget by allowing its ventilation all across the WBS. Sub-allocations can either performed by exploiting allocations of specific amounts of credit lines (push of credits), or by requests (automatic sub-allocation of credits) from lower entities to higher-level programme entities. The latter can be automatically approved if the higher level BE are configured appropriately.

Term: Support Measure



A Support Measure is a form of Commission Financing Decision that serves to adopt an Action to cover support and administration activities and expenditure related to the implementation of Basic Acts and for the achievement of their objectives. They include administrative support associated with the preparation, follow-up, monitoring, audit and evaluation activities directly necessary for the implementation of the Basic Acts, as well as expenditures done in EU Delegations related to the administrative support of operations financed under the instruments (e.g. studies, meetings, awareness raising, training, etc.)

Term: Support Entity

Acronym: SENT


Individual operation that does not produce direct and reportable development results and as such, does not require a logframe.

Term: System Usability Scale

Acronym: SUS


System Usability Scale (SUS), a standardised and reliable tool to measure user perception regarding ease of use and provide an overall usability assessment measurement as defined by ISO 9241-11 centred around three core areas:

  • Effectiveness – can users successfully achieve their objectives?
  • Efficiency – how much effort and resource is expended in achieving those objectives
  • Satisfaction – was the experience satisfactory?


Term: Targets



The Target is the expected end-value of an indicator.

Good practices when defining the target are:

  • To use the same measurement unit as indicator;
  • To use the same reference year - not after the end of the action (before for some outputs);
  • If the baseline is available, the target must be set based on:

- Internationally agreed targets (Sustainable Development Goals), or commitments by the EU; or

- Government plans or strategies (if not final, it must be specified).

  • Informed by the baseline, past trends, risks/assumptions, etc.;
  • To be realistic – given resources available;
  • To be achievable – within time period available;
  • If relevant – it should be disaggregated by sex or other criteria.

Term: Tenders Electronic Daily - e-Tendering

Acronym: TED e-Tendering


TED eTendering is an EU institutions' eProcurement platform based on EU Directives on public procurement. Allowing free electronic access to call for tenders' documents such as contractual documentation, technical specifications, annexes, questions and answers etc., TED eTendering effectively represents an added-value extension to TED (Tenders Electronic Daily), the online version of the "Supplement to the Official Journal of the European Union".

Term: Terms of Reference

Acronym: ToRs


The Terms of Reference (Part A and Part B) are required for the preparation of the Request for Service under a Framework Contract.

Once prepared, the Terms of Reference (Part A) is uploaded by the Operational Initiating Agent (OIA) to OPSYS. The Terms of Reference (Part B) is automatically generated by OPSYS using the structured data encoded by the OIA during the initiation and preparation of the request.

Term: Traffic Lights



A Traffic Light is the health status of the achievement that is either automatically calculated by the system using measurable metrics (e.g. points for Logframes, or dates, base, intermediate and/or target values for Indicators), or manually set - in the case of qualitative indicators or manual mode for Logframes.

These Traffic Lights are established and situated in the system depending on the relevant level (Indicator or Logframe) and application (values for Indicators; indicators for Logframes).

Term: Trust Funds

Acronym: TF


EU Trust Funds receive financing contributions from existing Basic Acts and/or additional sources (EU MS or other donors). Once the contributions have been transferred, these funds are technically followed up in OPSYS as Basic Acts, and be used as a separate source of funding for Actions, and are subject to specific reporting. They will therefore appear in OPSYS under the category "Basic Acts and Funds".

Term: Twinning



Twinning is amongst main delivery instruments of the Institution Building. It i based on cooperation between public administration in Member States and Candidate Countries as well as Potential Candidate Countries and are based on a small number of basic principles:

  • Twinning is a joint project of a grant nature reserved for targeted cooperation between public administrations.Expert input is limited to public servants or assimilated agents.
  • Twinning projects must yield a concrete operational results in terms of the Beneficiary Country (BC) meeting a requirement in connection with the EU "aquis" or other EU policies open for cooperation (the so called mandatory result).
  • To underpin the credibility of their commitment, the Twinning partners in Member States (MS) and Beneficiary Country (BC) jointly draft a detailed Twinning work plan, with corresponding budget, before starting work.

For more information on Twinning please click here.

Term: Two Factor Authentication

Acronym: 2FA


Enabling Two-factor authentication (2FA) is one of the most effective measure s to combat credential theft. It requires a second piece of information beyond username and password. This can be a knowledge factor (something the user knows e.g. a PIN), a possession factor (something the user has e.g. a security token, a mobile device or smartphone app) or a biometric factor (e.g. fingerprints, facial and voice recognition).
By providing
a second layer of authentication, 2FA increases the security of data to a much greater extend. If, for instance, a password is compromised, it offers another layer of protection to block unauthorized access. The European Commission has set the use of 2FA, particularly EU Login 2FA, mandatory for its IT systems handling Sensitive Non-Classified (SNC) information and strongly recommended for its IT systems handling ‘Publically available’ and ‘Commission use’ information.

There are currently three verification method of 2FA available to non-Commission staff
to sign in to “EU Login”:
1. EU Login Mobile App PIN Code
2. EU Login Mobile App QR Code
3. Mobile Phone + SMS

More detailed steps can be found in the EU Login User Guide via the following link:

Users in EU Institutions can now connect to OPSYS MyWorkplace anywhere from the internet using their EU Login and 2-factor authentication via the link:

Term: Type of Expertise



Expert requirements are defined at the level of the Specific Terms of Reference for a Request for Service under a Framework Contract. They are characterised as type of expertise “Individual”, “Team”, or “No Expertise” requirements per Framework Contract, Lot, and/or payment modality (Fee-based or Global Price) of the future contract.

Fee-based Contracts indicate specific profiles/skills per Expert or overall Team, so “Individual” or “Team” type of expertise is defined as a requirement for the Request for Service.

In Global Price Contracts, expertise positions are generally not defined by the Contracting Authority, as Experts are mostly not assessed during the evaluation process of the offers. These Global Price Contracts focus more on outputs rather than inputs, and the type of expertise and requirements are already foreseen by the Framework Contractor. When the case, the type of expertise required is therefore not defined by the Contracting Authority at the level of the Request for Service, then “No Expertise” is indicated. The deliverables need to be well defined in the Terms of Reference if “No Expertise” is indicated as type of expertise for the Request for Service.

Term: Type of financing



A Type of Financing covers the type of legal commitments or contracts that carry the obligation to pay. The financing can be in the form of Budget Support, Public Procurement, Grant, prizes, or Financial Instrument.

The Type of Financing covers the type of legal commitments or contracts carrying the obligation to pay. The financing can be in the form of

  • Grants
  • Procurement contracts for services, supplies or works
  • General or sector budget support
  • Contribution to trust fundsFinancial instruments such as loans guarantees, equity, investment risk sharing instrument. The term "Blending" refers to a specific type of Financial Instrument.
  • Financial instruments such as loans guarantees, equity, investment risk sharing instrument. The term "Blending" refers to a specific type of Financial Instrument.


Term: Value



The performance of the Result is measured with a set of collected values (or measurements) for each indicator identified at a specific point in time (date):

  • Baseline – Generally in the past, and used as a reference point value at the beginning of the Intervention;
  • Current Value – A progress measurement value to date;
  • Target – Prediction of expected end or intermediate (for intermediate targets) value for future dates determined by an anniversary in the project, or at the end of the intervention;

The periodicity of the reporting on values to date (progress) is normally set contractually. However, the Operational Manager can also decide to modify the default settings in the system, and request a more frequent reporting from the Lead Implementing Partner.

For each value encoded, a Source of Verification (SoV) must be specified. Most indicators designed by the Quality Managers will have a suggested or mandatory SoV. If it is not the case, the Implementing Partner will need to specify where the data collected came from, and the date in which it was collected.


Term: Work Breakdown Structure

Acronym: WBS


The Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) allow to define and manage a comprehensive workplan for all activities of a DG. Typically, the workplan of a DG is organised according to a WBS.  This workplan describes the activities planned by the DG as a hierarchy of nodes, to assign budget for all those activities, in a structured and coherent way. In the MAP tool, those nodes are called Planning Nodes.

The structure of a workplan is business specific. The upper layers depicting the core activities of the organisation that are then further decomposed in finer detailed activities representing the DG’s active Programmes/Projects and operations/Services. Planning nodes can be defined independently of the DG organigram permitting the implementation of the proposed activities via appropriate combinations of implementation plans.

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