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Delivery system (WORK PACKAGE 12)

Ex post evaluation of Cohesion Policy programmes 2007-2013, focusing on the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the European Social Fund (ESF) and the Cohesion Fund (CF)

The central aim of WP1 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 were in receipt of financial support over the period (Task 3). The further central tasks are to provide support to Commission services throughout 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 programmesperformed well in terms of implementation, selecting and carrying out projects -the main exceptions being Romania and Croatia which as newer Member Statesexperienced some teething problems (key finding 1). However, manybeneficiaries, especially in programmes with smaller budgets, perceived theadministrative burden to be higher than necessary - especially regarding torequirements during the application phase, control procedures and contradictoryinterpretations of rules at different levels of the delivery system (key finding 2).
  • Challenge 2: Results and impacts. Focussing the programmes on longer termimpacts proved a greater challenge - programmes in the 2007-13 period startedto concentrate on "Lisbon" goals, though this did not lead to much greaterconcentration and focussed only on inputs (key finding 3). Projects were oftenselected for their ability to absorb funding rather than their contribution to desiredimpacts on the region (key finding 4) and the majority of programmes funded didnot have in place a systematic impact measurement system (key finding 5).


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

Key Finding 2: Administrative and control arrangements are perceived asnecessary and useful but often disproportionate, especially outside theCohesion Countries. Overly strict or conflicting interpretations of eligibility rulesare a particular problem.

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

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

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

Autor: Project Leaders: Olaf Buske (KPMG Germany), Dr. Jan-Philipp Kramer (Prognos AG)

Kunde: European Commission, DG REGIO

Jahr: 2016

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