The promotion of development by means of public investment
with the support of the Structural Funds since 1989 has led
to a mutual apprenticeship for Member States, the regions,
local authorities, economic and social partners and the Commission.
Being a policy with shared responsibilities, the management
of the Structural Funds comes mainly within the actual responsibility
of the Member States at national and regional level. However,
because of Article 274 of the Treaty, the Commission alone
is ultimately responsible for the performance of the budget
and the proper management of the Structural Funds.
The 1999 reform clearly strengthened decentralization but,
on the other hand, strengthened the Commission's ultimate
The current system is based on uniform rules which apply
to all Member States. However, it is apparent that there are
in fact different practices linked to different political
and administrative situations. De Facto differentiation has
become established under the cover of uniform rules.
Enlargement will see the arrival of Member States with administrative
and financial structures and methods which are very different
from those of the current Member States.
It is necessary to give some unbiased thought to the future
management of the Structural Funds and to the division of
responsibilities as from 2007.
Theme 1 : « What division of responsibilities between
States and the regions ? »
Bruno Dente -
Theme 2 : « A uniform or differentiated system? »
- Henri Malosse
- John Bachtler
Theme 3 : « What implementation method ? »
- Maike Richter
- Christer Christensen