Technical Assistance and Communication are necessary and inevitable components of all Structural Funds programmes. The distinct feature of an applied research and the strategic nature of the ESPON 2013 Programme make it necessary also to dispose of capable Analytical Support.

ESPON operations are generally based on detailed specifications of project or in terms of reference. Potential beneficiaries submit project proposals and service providers present offers. Stakeholders and Experts can express their interest for Targeted Analyses and the Knowledge Support System.

In a programme involving the participation of 31 countries, 27 Member States and 4 Partner States, sufficient Technical Assistance is needed to ensure the smooth implementation of the Programme and the correct fulfilment of the responsibilities given by the EC Regulations for the Managing, Certifying and Auditing authorities. The large amount of countries involved requires extraordinary efforts to comply with the minimum requirements foreseen in relation to the implementation of the Management and Control Systems.

The Analytical Support requires staff with content related research skills, which do not overlap with the skills necessary for providing technical and administrative assistance. In this respect the ESPON 2013 Programme is unique compared to other programmes under Structural Funds 2007-2013.

The experience from the ESPON 2006 Programme clearly showed that the capacity needed for the preparation of project specifications, coordinating the research activities, follow-up applied research actions and for processing, transposing and synthesising scientific output to policy messages is substantial. Such skills have to be available for a proper programme management.

A Communication Plan for the period 2007-2013 will guide the communication activities towards potential beneficiaries of the programme operations. This will each year be detailed stating the concrete activities foreseen.