Project Partnership Agreement

A project partnership agreement is a legally binding agreement between the Government and a non-Federal sponsor (state, municipal government, flood control district, port authority, etc.) for construction of a water resources project.  It describes the project and the responsibilities of the Government and the non-Federal sponsor in the cost sharing and execution of work.

Models of a project partnership agreement

To streamline implementation and achieve national consistency, policy compliance, legal sufficiency, and equitable treatment of project sponsors, the Corps has developed models for drafting individual project specific agreements.  For each model posted, there are also links for the history and applicability of the model; and the implementation memo for the model that specifies the approval and signature authority for a project specific agreement developed using that model.

Model project partnership agreement

This section will present a draft project partnership agreement between the lead partner and partners of an Interreg Europe project. The agreement must be negotiated between partners and tailored to the partnership’s individual needs. Further, the program authorities cannot be held liable for the content nor for the use of this model. The partnership remains fully responsible for the content of the project partnership agreement which cannot contain any provision contrary to the subsidy contract.

Definitions and abbreviations         

For the purpose of project partnership agreements, the following words and abbreviations shall have the following meanings:

  • Agreement means the project partnership agreement
  • Approval Decision means the approval decision of the monitoring committee as indicated in the subsidy contract
  • Application Form means the application form as set out in annex 1 of this contract together with any amendments to the application form which are approved by the program authorities.
  • Lead Partner means: lead beneficiary as referred to in Article 13 of Regulation (EU) No 1299/2013
  • Program means the Interreg Europe program
  • Program Authorities means the managing authority, joint secretariat, certifying authority and/or audit authority
  • Program Manual means the latest published version of the program manual
  • Project Partners means the project partners named in the application form, including the lead partner

Other considerations in a project partnership agreement

The program manual section “project partnership agreement” pertains several aspects. Such include a project funded under Interreg Europe have to conclude an agreement concerning their mutual financial and legal responsibilities, including the functions and responsibilities of the lead partner,

Sample of key articles of a project partnership agreement

Article 1

Parties to the agreement are included in the first section of a project partnership agreement. The parties to this agreement are the lead partner and the project partners as listed in the latest approved version of the application form.

Article 2

Subject of the agreement is also included in a project partnership agreement. For instance,

  1. Subject of this agreement is the organization of a partnership in order to implement the project as indicated in the annexes. The annexes often comprise:
  • the latest version of the application form approved by the program to be included in the project partnership agreement.
  • the subsidy contract between the managing authority and the lead partner.
  • budget by budget line by partner, spending plan by partner, allocation of tasks and objectives, outputs and results by the partners.
  • Preparation of costs division.
  1. The annexes – including all provisions they are based on and refer to – are considered to be an integral part of the project partnership agreement.


Article 3

Obligations of the parties are also key elements included in a project partnership agreement.

Some of the lead partner’s obligations in an agreement include:

  1. Complying all obligations deriving from articles of the relevant agreement, the subsidy contract and the program manual, and inter alia, ensure the transfer of the subsidy to the project partners as quickly as possible and in full.
  2. The lead partner will inform the partners on a regular basis about any relevant communication between the lead partner and the joint secretariat within the project partnership agreement.
  3. Before submitting a request for change to the joint secretariat, the lead partner shall obtain the approval of its partners on the changes proposed. The lead partner may set a deadline to the partners for this approval so that beyond this deadline the proposed changes are considered as approved by the partners.

Partners’ obligations include:

  1. To be eligible as project partner under the relevant entity, the partner has to be a legal entity.
  2. All partners will do everything in their power to implement the project as defined in the present agreement and in line with the latest approved version of the application form.
  3. All partners shall comply with the provisions of the subsidy contract of the project partnership agreement, the program manual, the cooperation program and the latest approved version of the application form.
  4. All partners shall comply with the statutory rules under the relevant regional law, national statutory regulations, orders, decrees and rulings, permits and exemptions which are relevant for the performance of the present agreement, specifically with respect to their own portion of the project.

In addition, partners in a project partnership agreement shall fulfil the following obligations:

  1. Nominating a project manager and a financial manager. This is for the parts of the project for which it is responsible and give the lead partner the authority to represent the partner in the project.
  2. Providing the lead partner with all the information, in the prescribed form, necessary to draw up the mandatory reports for the project as well as all other reports on activities, requests for payment and other documents or information requested by the joint secretariat. The information so requested will be provided to the lead partner on time and complete.
  3. All exchanges of information with the program authorities shall follow the program requirements of the project partnership agreement.
  4. To make the partner contributions available as foreseen in the latest approved version of the application form.
  5. To actively encourage the involvement of the stakeholder groups in their regions, their participation in the project, and their cooperation with respect to disseminating the project results based on the project partnership agreement.
  6. To react promptly to any request of the lead partner, of program authorities and bodies involved in the program implementation, in particular for what concerns requests related to the coordination, implementation and evaluation of the project.
  7. To notify immediately the lead partner of any event that could lead to a temporary or final discontinuation or any other deviation of the project, as well as any change related to the name of the organization, its contact details, legal status or any other change concerning the partner’s legal entity which may have an impact on the project or on their eligibility to the program.
  8. To comply with the planned budget by budget line, spending plan by partner, allocation of tasks and objectives, outputs and results by partner as indicated in Annex III of this agreement and to notify the lead partner without delay of any event that may lead to a deviation.


Article 4

Eligibility of Expenditure in the project partnership agreement.

  1. Each project partner can only report eligible expenditure. In order to be deemed eligible, the reported expenditure of each project partner shall:
  2. relates to activities and costs which are carried out, incurred, and paid from the date of the approval decision to the project end date as indicated in the application form.
  3. relates to activities set out in the application form which are necessary for carrying out the project and achieving the project’s objectives, outputs and results, and are included in the budget of the application form.
  4. be reasonable, justified, and comply with the applicable EU and program rules. In the absence of rules set at the program level or in areas that are not precisely regulated national or institutional rules in accordance with the principles of sound financial management apply.
  5. be incurred and paid out by the project partner and be substantiated by proper evidence allowing identification and checking of the project partnership agreement.
  6. be identifiable, verifiable, plausible, determined in accordance with the relevant accounting principles. Further, the agreement also requires that the same be recorded in a separate accounting system or with an adequate accounting code.
  7. be verified by a first level controller in accordance with the relevant laws.
  8. By derogation to Article 4, simplified costs options may be indicated in the program manual and have to be applied accordingly by each project partner.
  9. In case a project partner does not comply with the eligibility rules, the lead partner and/or the program authorities may impose corrective measure which have to be implemented by the concerned partner. Those corrective measures can lead to the exclusion of any ineligible expenditure and to the request for repayment of all or part of the concerned subsidy of the project partnership agreement.

Final provisions


  1. This project partnership agreement is governed by the law of the country where the lead partner is located].
  2. If any provision in this agreement should be wholly or partly ineffective. The parties to this agreement undertake to replace the ineffective provision by an effective provision which comes as close as possible to the purpose of the ineffective provision.


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