Financing the energy renovation of buildings with Cohesion Policy funding - (February 2014)
Helping managing authorities in planning and deploying sustainable energy investments in buildings within their Cohesion Policy operational programmes – this is the main goal of the 'Financing the energy renovation of buildings with Cohesion Policy funding' technical guidance.
Tackling energy consumption in European buildings is vital. Nearly 40% of final energy consumption –as well as 36% of all greenhouse gas emissions – is attributable to housing, offices, shops and other buildings across the public and private sector. A major and sustained increase in public and private investment is needed for the European Union to meet its 2020 climate and energy targets. In the 2014-2020 period, Cohesion Policy funds will play a major role in the refurbishment of buildings with the allocation of a minimum of €23bn for investments in the shift towards to low-carbon economy, including energy efficiency and renewable energy use in buildings.
The guide informs managing authorities about the European requirements on buildings and energy efficiency, provides a list of good practice approaches and case studies, and explores the different financing mechanisms that managing authorities can use to support sustainable energy projects with the aim to launch large scale investments in the energy renovation of buildings and to attract greater levels of private-sector investments.
Promoting multi-level governance in support of Europe 2020 - (December 2013)
The Commission recognises that regional and local public authorities play an important role in conceiving and delivering public policies that are relevant for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. However, regional and local public authorities have very diverse mandates and capacities and work under different institutional and governance arrangements. There are therefore difficulties to identify models of governance or partnership that work effectively and can easily be transferred.
The main purpose of the study is to identify and document the processes and success factors leading to strong, high quality political and administrative partnerships across levels of governance, primarily between municipal, regional and national public authorities and including relevant political powers and to test the transfer of lessons learned. Four case studies in each of the two policy fields of "promoting energy efficiency policies" and "social inclusion in an urban context" will provide the basis for networking and transfer to 8 other partnerships in each policy field.
Quality of life in cities - Perception survey in 79 European cities - (October 2013)
This Flash Eurobarometer, “Quality of life in European cities” (No 366), was conducted at the request of the Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy to get a snapshot of people’s opinions on a range of urban issues. Earlier surveys were conducted in 2004, 2006 and 2009.
This survey included all capital cities of the countries concerned (except for Switzerland), together with between one and six more cities in the larger countries. In each city, around 500 citizens were interviewed. A total of 79 European cities were used in this analysis. In addition to these, the surroundings areas of Athina, Lisboa, Manchester and Paris were analysed. The report therefore refers to “83 cities”, though a more accurate terminology would be “79 cities and 4 surrounding areas”.
Housing investments supported by the European Regional Development Fund 2007-2013: Housing in sustainable urban regeneration
Across the EU, significant challenges remain in dealing with poor quality, unaffordable and low energy efficiency housing. Such problems tend to be deep-seated and complex, and differ between Member States. Housing problems in Western European cities tend to focus on high-rise building blocks, stemming from poor materials and design; wider urban issues such as traffic problems and social problems linked to poverty and unemployment, and inadequate management of housing estates. Housing problems in Central and Eastern Europe are similar, but have developed through different processes. A range of factors, including state-led allocation mechanisms and a state-controlled economy were followed by a transition period during which an aversion against collective forms of ownership emerged. The resulting problems are centered on the large scale deterioration of urban peripheral housing estates or traditionally built inner city areas. This report also notes that problems of segregation are present not only in big cities but also in middle-sized and smaller cities.
Green Public Procurement: Criteria for Waste Water Infrastructure
Cohesion policy provides significant financial support to Member States and regions in order to invest in waste water treatment infrastructures. In the programming period 2007-13, about EUR 14.4 billion are planned to co-fund related projects while significant funding was already invested in this area in the previous programming period of cohesion policy. In order to increase the environmental benefits of these infrastructures, specific Green Public Procurement criteria on waste water infrastructure have now been developed with a specific focus on reducing the costs of these installations over their lifetime. These criteria could in particular, where relevant, help public authorities building or upgrading their waste water infrastructure in the 2014-2020 programming period through cohesion policy. The guidance is at the moment only available in English. Translations into all EU languages will be made available in the second semester of 2013.
Urban Development in the EU: 50 Projects supported by the European Regional Development Fund during the 2007-13 period
The Commission has published a study on European Regional Development Fund projects improving the standards of living and working in Europe's cities. 'Urban development in the EU' presents 50 projects which received ERDF investment and offers an information package for selected cities, with detailed information on projects and results there. The study gathers a range of good urban practice, and is a 'state of play' in how the cities have put local urban policies into action with ERDF investment from 2007-13. The cities highlighted reveal interesting ideas, solutions and cooperation or collaboration methods serving as inspiration for other urban areas and managing authorities.
EU15 countries benefit from cohesion investments in Visegrad countries
EU cohesion funding for the Visegrad Group (V4) countries (ie Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Poland) has benefited the economies of the EU15 countries, according to research carried out for the Polish Ministry of Regional Development. The study found that EU cohesion funding had increased consumer, investment and intermediate demand in the V4 countries. This increased demand concerned to a large extent concerns goods and services from EU countries. €1 spent by EU15 countries resulted in 61 cents of additional exports to the V4 countries. The study also looked at the benefits in terms of research and development, innovation, environmental protection and transport.
Measuring the impact of changing regulatory requirements to administrative cost and administrative burden of managing EU Structural Funds
A study "Measuring the impact of changing regulatory requirements to administrative cost and administrative burden of managing EU Structural Funds (ERDF and the Cohesion Fund)" commissioned by DG Regional Policy shows that there is considerable scope for reduction of administrative burden for beneficiaries under the Commission proposals for 2014-2020. A reduction of 20% compared to the period 2007-2013 could be expected by implementing the simplifications proposed by the Commission.
Study on migration and demographic trends in the outermost regions
The study is aimed at deepening the understanding, the knowledge and the projections of the demographic and migratory trends in the Outermost Regions. The report describes the major short and medium-term impacts of the demographic and migratory trends as well as their probable impact on the economic and social cohesion. Using the result of the analysis, the experts outline the main risks and the opportunities associated with these phenomena.
The research consisted in the analysis of data and literature as well as interviews of local stakeholders which took place during 2011.
Caveat: the independent consultant is responsible for the contents which do not bind the European Commission.
Cohesion Policy and Sustainable Development(March 2012)
The purpose of this study was to examine how Cohesion Policy could contribute to managing the shift to the green economy and to contribute to the development of the framework for Cohesion Policy post-2013.
The study assessed the impact of cohesion policy investments 2007-2013 on the environment, and the way that sustainable development considerations have been integrated into planning, implementation and follow-up at the strategic, programming and policy level. This was done through a number of case studies, as well as analysis of the available data at EU level, in particular in relation to expenditure. It also made a number of recommendations on how the integration of sustainable development into cohesion policy could be improved.
The study was completed in December 2011 by a consortium led by the Institute for European Environmental Policy.
Final Report - Executive summary - Supporting paper 1 - A Literature Review - Supporting paper 2 - Cohesion Policy Performance - Supporting paper 3 - Role of non-Cohesion Policy Instruments - Supporting paper 4 - Case studies - Supporting paper 5 - Tools for Sustainable Development
Comparative study on the project selection process applied in Cohesion Policy programmes 2007-2013 in a number of Member States (February 2012)
Selecting projects best contributing to fulfilment of the programme objectives with minimum administrative resources is crucial for delivery of the Cohesion Policy. DG Regional Policy commissioned a study comparing the project selection process in Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, the Netherlands, Slovakia and Slovenia in the fields of research and development, innovation in the small and medium enterprises and urban regeneration. The study identified a number of areas for improvement of the process, in particular for reduction of the administrative burden, and provides recommendations and good practice examples for setting-up the project selection structures and procedures for this and the next programming periods.
The impact of single market on cohesion : Implications for Cohesion Policy, Growth, and Competitveness (December 2011)
The study assessed the impact of the Single Market on growth, competitiveness and employment in EU27, in particular as regards its role in generating disparities and convergence processes. It also analysed the institutional and policy linkages between cohesion policy, the Lisbon process and the Europe 2020 strategy. The study draws on a range of sources, including desk-based research, modeling work, econometric analysis as well as qualitative assessment through a number of case studies covering regions with different characteristics. The study draws conclusions concerning the alignment of cohesion policy with the Europe 2020 strategy, the integration of regions into the Single Market, the role of leading regions, the quality of public investment as well as the framework conditions for investments and addresses governance challenges.
Cities of tomorrow - Challenges, visions, ways forward - (October 2011)
More than two thirds of the European population lives in urban areas. Cities are places where both problems emerge and solutions are found. They are fertile ground for science and technology, for culture and innovation, for individual and collective creativity, and for mitigating the impact of climate change. However, cities are also places where problems such as unemployment, segregation and poverty are concentrated. The ‘Cities of tomorrow’ reflection process will provide inspiration for policymakers and practitioners involved in urban development, whether at local, regional, national or European level.
Cities of tomorrow - Thematic issue papers
- Urban social challenges
- Urban economic challenges
- Urban environmental challenges
- Urban governance challenges
- Mapping of urban foresights
Regional Challenges in the Perspective of 2020 – Phase 2: Deepening and Broadening the Analysis
The Commission Staff Working Document "Regions 2020 – An Assessment of Future Challenges for EU Regions" from November 2008 analysed the effect of global challenges on European regions. The paper led to a substantial discussion among stakeholders as well as the academic community, and the need for a follow-up analysis became clear. The adoption of the Europe 2020 Strategy in March 2010 reinforced the need for a follow-up study.
The follow-up study Regional Challenges in the Perspective of 2020 – Phase 2: Deepening and Broadening the Analysis" started in January 2010 and finalised in August 2011. The study was carried out by the OIR (Austrian Institute for spatial planning) and a number of other partners including Spatial Foresight, the Federal German Institute of Research on Buildings and Spatial Affairs, Pöyry and the Vienna University for Soil Sciences. The study uses an interdisciplinary approach which analyses the vulnerability of regions to different challenges. It also examines the capacity of regions to adapt to these challenges. The methodology was originally developed to analyse the effects of climate change by using biophysical indicators. This approach has been extended to other areas like economics, demography and energy. The examined challenges were globalisation, demographic change, climate change, secure, sustainable and competitive energy, social polarisation, and the economic and financial crisis. The analysis was carried out for European regions as well as for neighbouring countries.
Considering the variety of challenges, it becomes clear that a place based and regionally differentiated cohesion policy is required to reach a sustainable recovery path as envisaged in the Europe 2020 Strategy. Member States and regions would need to clearly capture, describe and communicate the regionally differentiated needs and vulnerabilities in order to provide tailor made answers to the actual challenges within the framework of Cohesion Policy.
EU Cohesion policy in a global context
The main purpose of the study was to provide a better understanding of the specificities of EU cohesion policy in a global context through comparative research of regional development policies in a number of selected OECD countries (Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Poland, Spain, Switzerland, UK and USA) and international financial institutions (EBRD, EIB and the World Bank). It involved the benchmarking of cohesion policy against other economic development policies, identifying the commonalities and differences in policies, and the lessons to be learned from these other policies. The study focused on two key headings. The first is performance management, including: the use of contracts and co-financing; the use of programmes, targets and guidelines; conditionalities (ex ante, ex post, structural, governance); incentives/sanctions (reputational, financial); and, the role of evaluation and reporting in policy feedback. The second is assurance, including: the scope of assurance systems, the operation of systems (e.g. division of responsibilities); and the role of audit. The study concluded with a number of policy recommendations for the future development of cohesion policy.
Quality of Government in EU Member States and regions
This report has analysed a wide range of governance indicators and shows that a significant number of EU Member States score poorly on all of these indicators. Poor governance undermines social and economic development and can reduce the impact of Cohesion Policy. For example, poor governance can hinder economic growth, damage the environment or reduce personal safety and well-being. The report concludes that four issues are particularly relevant for the EU: 1) corruption, 2) rule of law, 3) government effectiveness and 4) voice and accountability. This study is the first to measure the quality of government in the EU at the regional level. It is based on the largest multi-country, regional quality of government survey to date. This survey shows that several Member States are confronted with a large internal variation in the perceptions of quality of government. The report concludes with ten case studies which provide insight into how regional quality of government can be enhanced. This study was financed by the European Commission. Nevertheless, the study represents solely the views of its authors and cannot in any circumstances be regarded as the official position of the Commission.
Lessons from shared management in cohesion, rural development and fisheries policies
The aim of this study is to offer a comparative perspective of the views of officials of the Commission Services concerning the systems and practices specific to the shared management system applied to structural policies, i.e., cohesion policy, rural development policy and fisheries policy. To achieve this objective, the study maps existing arrangements in the three policy areas concerned and explores how well the systems function on the basis of interviews with EC officials.
The Objective of Economic and Social Cohesion in the Economic Policies of Member States
This study identifies which are the most relevant policies of Member States for the objective of economic, social and territorial cohesion enshrined in the Treaty of the European Union. It describes how such policies are designed and implemented with a view to determining how and to what extent they contribute to the achievement of these objectives. The study contains a main part which presents the main results for the whole EU and then a second part with a single country report per Member State.
Report on joint study on regional policies in China and EU
A study which compares aspects of regional policy in China with cohesion policy in the European Union – financed by the Commission under its EU-China Policy Dialogues Support Facility - has been carried out in 2008-2010. The study examines the regional policies of the European Union and China to assess their potential to speed the economic growth of regions which are lagging behind. The study is on practical aspects of policy-making and regional development. It concentrates, in particular on: the definition and economic classification of regions; the governance and co-ordination of regional policy; and the role of regional policy in improving competitiveness, sustainable development and urban and rural development. As illustrations, the study report describes examples of best practice in these subject areas in China and the EU.
- Less Poverty, More Employment: Helping the European Union to achieve its 2020 targets - A Study of the organisation of the European Union Cohesion Policy with special reference to anti-poverty policy in the People’s Republic of China
- EU–China Cooperative Research Program on Regional Policy : Research Report of the Chinese Expert Group
Regional governance in the context of globalisation: reviewing governance mechanisms and administrative costs
This is the first study to provide a systematic evidence-based survey of the administrative workload and costs for Member State public authorities of the implementation of the European Regional Development Fund and Cohesion Fund during the 2007-2013 period.
The study concluded that:
- an estimated 3-4% of total eligible expenditure is devoted to administration
- there are considerable variations in administrative costs and workload between programmes
- the highest proportion of administrative costs lies with the Managing Authorities
- there is a heavy workload associated with project selection and verification of deliverables.
Study on the development of diagnoses and regional innovation strategies in the French regions under the ERDF Operational Programmes for the 2007 – 2013 programming period (July 2010)
The aim of this study was to analyse the development of diagnostics and of the Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS), and more particularly to examine: the process of developing and adapting the RIS in the regions, and the chosen methods of governance; - the main developments or reorientations in relation to the initial situation in 2007, and how the process and its constitutive elements may have contributed; the main conclusions drawn from the RIS exercise, particularly with a view to the mid-term review of the ERDF operational programmes.
The regional impact of technological change in 2020 (2010)
This study highlights the great diversity in development pathways and trajectories of innovation across European regions. A regional knowledge-based economy has multidimensional aspects. It includes a variety of knowledge activities and multiple interactions among a range of actors including universities, research institutes, enterprises, knowledge workers and institutions. The spatial patterns and trends for the different aspects of the knowledge-based economy vary significantly across Europe. Most aspects show convergence and generate catching-up processes, while some show divergence between European regions.
Regional Challenges in the Perspective of 2020 - Regional disparities and future challenges (December 2009)
The study broadens and deepens the analysis carried out in “Regions 2020”. The papers composing this study analyse the regional impacts of five key challenges that regions will face in the future, i.e. globalisation, demographic change, climate change, sustainable and competitive energy as well as social risks. Five thematic workshops were carried out with contributions from the World Bank and the Bertelsmann Foundation. From each of the workshops a background paper emerged and was then synthesised in the Synthesis report. The study contributes to defining two overall scenarios of regional disparities in the perspective of 2020 as well as introducing neighbourhood issues into the discussion on challenges.
Synthesis: - Background Paper on: New Social Risks - Background Paper on: Energy - Background Paper on: Demographic Challenge - Background Paper on: Globalisation - Background Paper on: Climate change
"Regions 2020" provides a first prospective analysis of the likely regional impact of four of the biggest challenges facing Europe: globalisation, demographic change, climate change, and the energy supply.
Using a series of indicators, the report maps out the degree of vulnerability of European regions to these challenges, and examines the potential disparities that these may generate across the EU.
The findings of the report, produced by the Commission's Directorate-General for Regional Policy, will feed into the reflection process on the future European Cohesion Policy.
The main objective of these studies is to provide background material and support for the forthcoming negotiations on the preparation of the 2014-20 ERDF interventions. The reports present a global overview at national and regional level of the current situation in Spain on key thematic areas for 2014-2020.
Each study provides information on:
- Analysis of the current situation
- Assessment of past and present ERDF interventions
- Policy guidelines and investment priorities for the 2014-20 ERDF interventions
"Financial instruments and SME support co-financed by the ERDF in Spain in 2014-20: strategic guidelines and investment priorities"
"Study on Research and Innovation support to enterprises in Spain: Recommendations for strategic guidelines after 2013"
"Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energies in Spain: Recommendations for Strategic Guidelines and investment priorities for the ERDF programming period 2014-20"
"Sustainable urban development co-financed by the ERDF in Spain in 2014-20: Strategic guidelines and investment priorities"
The studies listed were commissioned by the European Commission as part of the preparatory work for the Sixth report on economic and social cohesion. The contents of these studies are the responsibility of their authors and do not bind the Commission.
- EU Regional Competitiveness Index: RCI 2013 (2013) by Paola Annoni and Lewis Dijkstra
The Regional Competitiveness Index (RCI) was developed to measure the different dimensions of competitiveness at the regional level. The first edition was published in 2010. RCI 2013 reveals a strong regional dimension of competitiveness, which national level indicators cannot capture. The RCI shows the strengths and weaknesses of each of the EU NUTS2 regions. It can provide a guide to what each region should focus on, taking into account its specific situation and its overall level of development.
EU countries with a large gap or high variation in regional competitiveness should consider to what extent these gaps are harmful for their national competitiveness and if these gaps can be reduced. For example, the gap between the capital region and the second most competitive region in Romania, Slovakia and France is very wide, while regional competitiveness in Germany does not show any big jumps. Already in the 2010 edition of RCI, the lack of regional spill-overs was noted in particular around the capitals of some of the less developed EU countries. Although the crisis may have limited the potential growth in regional spill-overs, in the medium-term such spill-overs should be strengthened. The overall competitiveness of a country depends on the performance of all its regions and not just its capital region.
Quality of Life at the sub-national level : an operational example for the EU (2013) by Paola Annoni and DorotaWeziak-Bialowolska with contribution of Lewis Dijkstra.
The Quality of Life at the sub-national level report investigates two important dimensions of quality of life at the sub-national level: living standards and health. This report combines both 'objective' and 'subjective' data or in other words observable data and perception-based data. For the living standards dimensions, the report covers absolute poverty, relative poverty and earnings and income. The health dimension covers objective health and subjective health issues. Last but not least, the report proposes a way forward on how to assess inequalities within regions. This report is the first of its kind to address quality of life issues at the regional level across the entire EU and reveals significant differences in quality of life between regions within and between countries. The analysis also highlights that while in most regions with objective and subjective health indicators are in agreement, in some regions the subjective indicators are considerable better or worse than the objective indicators. The report combines information from a wide range of sources including SILC, the UK (USS) and German (SOEP) household survey and Eurobarometer, Eurostat and other.