Ex post evaluation of major projects supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and Cohesion Fund between 2000 and 2013

The objective of the consultation process is to provide stakeholders with an opportunity to express their views and perceptions on the implementation and performance of major projects supported by the European Regional Development Fund and the Cohesion Fund in the area of transport.

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Major projects are large-scale interventions (total cost of more than EUR 50 million) in transport, environment and other sectors such as research, enterprise support, energy or ICT receiving support from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) or Cohesion Fund (CF).

Major projects are an important instrument for Cohesion policy. In the 2000-2006 programming period, the European Commission adopted over 360 ERDF major projects and close to 120 CF projects whose total cost exceeded EUR 50 million. In the following programming period 2007–2013, the European Commission adopted 945 ERDF and Cohesion Fund major projects. The EU contribution in these projects amounted to EUR 76.8 bn and was equal to almost 30% of the allocation from the ERDF and Cohesion Fund to the Convergence and Regional Competitiveness programmes.

The purpose of the Ex post evaluation of major projects is to assess the long term contribution of selected number of major investment projects in the transport sector (road, railway and urban transport such as metros or tramways) co-financed by the ERDF and the CF during the two consecutive programming periods between 2000 and 2013 to the economic development, the quality of life and well-being of citizens, including also effects for the environment.

From a concrete point of view, the major projects for transport (construction or modernisation of the infrastructure) co-financed with the Cohesion Policy aim at creating international links, increasing accessibility at the regional level and more broadly facilitating free movement of people and goods throughout the EU. They contribute to significant time savings for the businesses and citizens, improving mobility and economic relations between and within the regions while respecting environment and biodiversity. They contribute to create new jobs in the EU, in both the construction phase and the operational phase of the projects. Finally, especially for railway and urban transport infrastructure, the projects participate in the reduction of GHG emissions by encouraging people to use cleaner transport with lower impact on climate change. 

The Ex post evaluation on major projects from 2000 to 2013 is structured in 5 Tasks:

  • Under Task 1 on conceptual basis, the contractor carries out a literature review to analyse theoretical foundations for evaluating the long term contribution (direct and indirect as well as expected and unexpected) of transport infrastructure investment to economic development as well as to the quality of life and well-being of society.
  • Task 2 on preliminary review of 30 ERDF and CF projects and selection of 10 projects for evaluation consist of reviewing 30 ERDF or CF projects in the field of transport (road, rail and urban transport), adopted by the Commission within two programing periods (2000-2006 and 2007-2013) and operational for at least 5 years by the time of the study.
    The objective of the review process is to provide information on each of the 30 ERDF or CF projects, assess the availability and quality of information available and to provide a preliminary judgement on their evaluability. The review exercise leads directly to a proposal for selection of 10 projects for in-depth evaluation.
  • Task 3 includes case study of 10 selected major projects implemented between 2000 and 2013
    After selecting the 10 case studies, the contractor carries out an in-depth analysis on the following items:
    • Project scope, Socio-Economic Context, Objectives and Alternative Options;
    • Analysis of the Long Term Contribution of the Project to Economic Development as well as the Quality of Life and Well-Being of Society: For each project, the contractor evaluates its long-term contribution (direct and indirect) to economic development and quality of life with a broad understanding of the concept;
    • Analysis of the financial sustainability of the project: The contractor analyses, for the investment phase, if the various sources of financing were able to cover the investment costs and if ERDF of CF co-financing were critical, and for the operational phase, if there has been a suitable combination of capital finance and revenues generated by the project to cover operating and maintenance costs.  
  • Under Task 4, the contractor organises a seminar to discuss and deepen analysis on the emerging findings of the project case studies prepared under Task 3.
  • Finally, Task 5 consists of synthesising the main evaluation findings and carrying out a cross project analysis. The longer term impacts of the projects will be compared and contrasted and, to the extent possible, results will be presented in terms of whether the long-term contribution of 10 selected projects has represented value for money.

The objective of the consultation process is to provide stakeholders with an opportunity to express their views and perceptions on the implementation and performance of major projects supported by the European Regional Development Fund and the Cohesion Fund in the area of transport.

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