Better competencies for better results in investing EU funds

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18/12/2017

The European Commission is helping Member States and regions to improve their capacity to invest EU funds for better results through strengthening their professional and operational competencies. A brand new tool is now available for all public institutions involved in managing the European Regional Development Fund and Cohesion Fund - national coordinating bodies, managing, audit and certifying authorities, joint secretariats and intermediate bodies – in order to identify and address competency gaps and adapt their training strategies.

The tool, designed by the Commission's Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy (DG REGIO) consists of:

  • an EU Competency Framework which contains a set of competencies that administrations and officials should possess;
  • a web-based self-assessment tool allowing employees to rate their proficiency level for each competency required for their job-specific profile. This will help to define future development objectives.

An important feature, especially for public managers, is the possibility to aggregate data from the self-assessments of all employees, thereby creating an overview of the administration as a whole. Thus, the findings can serve as a basis for developing learning and development plans to fill the gaps.

This user-friendly and flexible tool covers a full range of competencies and can be applied to all kinds of administrations regardless of their size or whether they are managing a sectoral or regional operational programme. Its impact goes well beyond the management of the funds. It can also contribute to a greater focus and a strategic approach towards longer-term competency development, ultimately improving the functioning of the entire administration and the quality of the services it provides for citizens and businesses.

Helping EU Member States and regions to improve the way EU funds are managed and invested is one of the priorities for Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Creţu. According to the 7th Cohesion Report, in order to amplify the impact of the Cohesion policy investment, Member States and regions need high-quality institutions. Public officials require more sophisticated operational, professional and managerial competencies, not only in the area of the EU funds but also in other policy fields such as public procurement, state aid, etc.  

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