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The contracting procedures applying to all EU external actions financed from the EU general budget and the European Development Fund are detailed in a Practical Guide.

This Practical Guide provides users with the comprehensive information necessary to undertake procurement or grant procedures from the very first steps to the award, signature and implementation of contracts.
The financing of external actions is governed by the applicable EU and EDF Financial Regulation, the common rules and procedures for the implementation of the Union’s instruments for financing external action (CIR) and by the relevant basic acts, for example, the programme regulation, such as the DCI, ENI, IPA II, or EIDHR for actions financed from the EU budget, and the Cotonou Agreement for actions financed from the EDF. This Practical Guide is used by the Directorates General and Commission Services in charge of the instruments financing and implementing external actions, mainly DG DEVCO, DG NEAR  or the FPI.

In March 2014, a regulation establishing the Common Rules and Procedures for the Implementation of the Union’s instruments for External Action (CIR) was adopted. The CIR provides a set of common rules for the DCI, EIDHR, ENI, ISP, IPA II, PI and NSCI2 consistent with the Financial Regulation of the Union’s budget. As from the adoption of the revision of Annex IV to the Cotonou Agreement in 2008, procurement contracts and grants financed under 10th and successive EDF have been awarded and implemented in accordance with EU rules and in accordance with the procedures and standard documents laid down and published by the European Commission for the implementation of cooperation operations with third countries, in force at the time of the launch of the procedure in question.

This Practical Guide provides users with the comprehensive information necessary to undertake procurement or grant procedures from the very first steps to the award, signature and implementation of contracts. The annexes cover both the award phase and the execution of contracts. This Practical Guide outlines the contracting procedures to be used in direct management and indirect management with ex-ante approval or with ex-post controls by the European Commission.

Following the revision of the EU Financial Regulation in 2016, the scope of the Practical Guide is extended over procurement and grant award procedures managed by the European Commission acting as contracting authority in shared interest with partner countries.

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