Ex-ante assessment methodology for financial instruments in the 2014-2020 programming period: Enhancing the competitiveness of SME, including agriculture, microcredit and fisheries (Thematic objective 3) - Volume III
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This methodology is intended as a toolbox encompassing good practices and providing practical guidance to Managing Authorities (MAs) in the preparation and the realisation of the ex-ante assessment of the financial instrument (FI) envisaged in the Programme(s), as required by Article 37 (2) of the Common Provisions Regulation (CPR).The ex-ante assessment process should also allow MAs to ensure that ESI Funds resources allocations to FIs are fully aligned with the objectives of ESI Funds and Programmes and are used in accordance with the principle of sound financial management (meaning in the most economic, efficient and effective way).
This document constitutes Volume III of the ex-ante assessment methodology dedicated to Thematic Objective 3, notably: “Enhancing the competitiveness of SMEs, including agriculture, micro-credit and fisheries”. It aims to present specificities of this area to be taken into account for the ex-assessment of the FI, at proposing tools adapted to this area and at sharing good practices related to it.
It should be used in conjunction with Volume I – Ex-ante assessment methodology, as the common descriptions and tools of the General Methodology are not repeated in this volume.
Therefore some paragraphs might be rather limited as long as there are no specificities related to this area.
It is important to note that significant interconnections exist between the research, technological development and innovation themes and entrepreneurship. In particular innovation is a major driver of start-up and SME competitiveness. As a result this specific methodology addresses topics and issues that are also discussed in Volume II: Strengthening research, technological development and innovation (Thematic Objective 1).
In order to facilitate the reading of this Volume the same structure as Volume I has been developed around the seven main groups of elements proposed in the Article 37 (2) of the CPR, namely:
a. Analysis of market failures, suboptimal investment situations and investment needs;
b. Assessment of the value added of the FI;
c. Estimate of additional public and private resources to be potentially raised by the FI;
d. Assessment of lessons learnt from similar instruments and ex-ante assessment carried out in the past;
e. Proposed investment strategy;
f. Specification of expected results;
g. Provisions allowing the ex-ante assessment to be reviewed and updated.
Additionally some specific methodological recommendations have been detailed for agriculture, micro-credit and fisheries in Chapters 10, 11 and 12.
The different elements of the ex-ante assessment can be performed in stages, as foreseen by Article 37 (3), and MAs are not obliged to strictly follow the order described in Article 37 (2).
As a result, the ex-ante assessment shall be conceived as an iterative process rather than as a strictly linear one. This means that MAs will most likely go back and forth when undertaking the ex-ante assessment and will have to ensure the coherence of the whole assessment before it is finalised.
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