The use of new provisions during the programming phase of the European Structural and Investment Funds
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The analysis of all the 28 Partnership Agreements and of 292 operational and co-operation programmes for the 2014-2020 period financed by the European Regional Development Fund, the Cohesion Fund and the European Social Fund, completed with a survey of managing authorities and interviews at European, national and regional levels, revealed that the new regulatory framework has significantly altered the Member States’ approach to programming. The new provisions required programmers to link strategic thinking and result-based management, and relate strategic thinking with the objectives and the means of the Europe 2020 strategy.
The new programming approach succeeded to make the strategy behind the allocation of resources, the links between means and results more specific and transparent than before. However, the presentation of programmes became rather complicated. The wide range of needs addressed suggests an apparent demand for integrated territorial approach. At the same time, the scope for applying the integrated instruments in all sectors and types of areas has not yet been exhausted.
Implementation-related new provisions were among the less controversial elements of the nineteen new provisions analyzed, and in general, Member States did comply with new requirements in this area. This provides a good basis for further developing implementation capacity.
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