On the basis of Article 5(6) of Regulation (EU) No 1303/2013 (Common Provisions Regulation), the Commission set up an expert group with partners at EU level in the field of the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESI Funds), for the programming period 2014-2020.

The "Structured Dialogue with European Structural and Investment Funds' partners group of experts" was formally established through Commission Decision C(2014) 4175 of 26 June 2014. 

The mission of the Structured Dialogue group of experts is to establish an open, frank and informal dialogue with partners working in the field of the ESI Funds. The Structured Dialogue is a mutual trust building mechanism in order to bring the ESI Funds closer to civil society, assist the Commission in the development of this policy in the different areas of expertise and to discuss the implementation of the ESI Funds. 


Image: Tamara Espiñeira , Secretary General, Atlantic Cities who participated at the 11th meeting of the Structured Dialogue with ESIF partners organised by the European Commission in Brussels on 19/11/2019.

The members of the Structured Dialogue are umbrella organisations at EU level. They have been selected according to their representativeness of one of the three categories of partners, in a quadruple helix approach:

  1. Associations representing regional, local, urban and other public authorities, 
  2. Economic and social partners,
  3. Bodies representing civil society, such as environmental partners, non-governmental organisations, and bodies responsible for promoting social inclusion, gender equality and non-discrimination).

Atlantic Cities network is a member inside the first group, as a European association of local authorities. All members of the Structured Dialogue must be registered in the Commission's transparency register. 

Image: Atlantic Power Cluster, a successful Atlantic project 

Three main topics were presented in the 11th meeting of the Dialogue: an update on the current negotiations for the future of the structural funds, the progress made in simplification for these funds and the complementarity between them. The Atlantic Cities were represented by its Secretary-General, Ms. Tamara Espiñeira.  

Atlantic Power Cluster, a project financed by INTERREG Atlantic Area and managed by 17 partners all over the five countries (ECORIS3 partner CIT among them) was selected as a good practice on combining funds, as it took stock of different EU policies such as regional and maritime policy and the Connecting Europe facility.  

The Atlantic Power Cluster worked to implement a transnational marine energy strategy so the partner regions could seek complementarities to tackle the crucial challenges for the development of marine energies in the Atlantic Area (AA). Furthermore the project sought to develop cooperation and joint approaches to facilitate the identification of new market niches in the renewable energy sector and the redefinition of educational and training programs as per the needs of the offshore and marine energy sector in the AA. The project contributed to a "greener" model of energy development, while enhancing the competitiveness and innovation capacities in the Atlantic regions. 

The Structured Dialogue will pursue its work in 2020, in order to follow-up and contribute to the future shape of EU Regional Policy.  

Further Information:  

  • Structured Dialogue:  


  • Atlantic Power Cluster: 



  • Atlantic Cities: