Country report Germany - Work Package 1 Ex post evaluation of Cohesion Policy programmes 2007-2013, focusing on the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Cohesion Fund (CF)
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The German economy was hit hard by the global recession in 2008-2009 but recovered quickly over the next two years. From 2012, however, growth slowed down and over the programming period as a whole was significantly less than anticipated when the programmes were drawn up. Combined with budgetary consolidation, this limited the funds available for co-financing. At the same time, employment expanded and the unemployment rate in 2015 was only 5%, half the EU average. Job creation was, therefore, less of a priority than in the rest of the EU.
Regional disparities in GDP per head and employment also narrowed over the 2007-2013 period, as they had done over the preceding period, as Convergence regions in the East grew faster than Competitiveness regions in the West.
In total, support from the ERDF amounted to EUR 16.1 billion over the period, equivalent to 2.5% of Government capital expenditure, although 4-5 times this percentage in Convergence regions, where funding averaged around EUR 111 per head each year. The programmes’ implementation rate, as reflected in payments of the ERDF from the EU in relation to the funding available, was relatively consistent over the programming period, apart from an initial delay due to the overlap with the previous period. At the end of March 2016, payments amounted to 91% off the ERDF available suggesting that all the funding was probably spent by the end of 2015 as required.
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