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Evaluation of Cohesion Policy programmes: Work Package 12 – Delivery Systems


Europäische Kommission



The central aim of WP12 is to synthesis the main findings that come out from the evaluations and studies carried out under the various WPs that form the ex-post evaluation and to produce a synthesis report on these (Task 7). It is also to produce concise summaries on the developments and achievements in each of the 28 Member States which received financial support over the period (Task 3). The further central tasks are to provide support to Commission services throug-hout the whole duration of the evaluation with constructive proposals on the work carried out by other WPs (Task 5) and to organise their main meetings and seminars (Task 6).

  • Challenge 1: Programme and project implementation. Most programmes performed well in terms of implementation, selecting and carrying out projects -the main exceptions being Ro-mania and Croatia which as newer Member States experienced some teething problems (key finding 1). However, many beneficiaries, especially in programmes with smaller budgets, per-ceived the administrative burden to be higher than necessary - especially regarding require-ments during the application phase, control procedures and contradictory interpretations of rules at different levels of the delivery system (key finding 2).
  • Challenge 2: Results and impacts. Focussing the programmes on longer-term impacts proved a greater challenge - programmes in the 2007-13 period started to concentrate on "Lisbon" goals, though this did not lead to much greater concentration and focus only on in-puts (key finding 3). Projects were often selected for their ability to absorb funding rather than their contribution to desired impacts on the region (key finding 4) and the majority of programmes funded did not have in place a systematic impact measurement system (key finding 5).

Key Findings

Key Finding 1: Despite the challenges of the financial and economic crisis, which started in 2008, Cohesion Policy programmes delivered projects accounting for over 90% of the available EUR 347 billion by the end of 2015.

Key Finding 2: Administrative and control arrangements are perceived as necessary and useful but often disproportionate, especially outside the cohesion Countries. Overly strict or conflicting interpretations of eligibility rules are a particular problem.

Key Finding 3: Programme objectives tended to be very broad. There was an attempt to focus resources on European priorities (Lisbon objectives and earmarking process). However, this was only the first step towards a more focussed and strategic approach required in the 2014-20 peri-od.

Key Finding 4: Projects were often selected as much for their ability to absorb funding as for their contribution to the objectives of the programme.

Key Finding 5: In the 2007-13 period, there was still only a moderate tendency in many Member States and regions in being aware of, measuring, and reflecting on the progress of Operational Programmes towards their objectives.

To the final report (PDF,

Autoren: Dr. Jan-Philipp Kramer, Michael Astor, Holger Bornemann, Kristina Stegner, Anja Breuer

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