Good governance for Cohesion Policy - Administrative capacity building
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During the 2014-2020 funding period, the European Structural and Investment (ESI) Funds are investing over EUR 450 billion to support competitiveness, growth and jobs in the EU. This vital funding is being channelled to hundreds of thousands of beneficiaries in the Member States and regions. For many of them, this is the main source of public funding.
To ensure that these vital resources are used to their full potential for the benefit of European citizens, it is imperative to have strong national, regional and local administrations. Indeed, the capacity of Member States to manage such investments effectively and efficiently is one of the key factors contributing to their success. Conversely, when public administrations managing the funds (managing authorities, intermediate bodies, certifying authorities, audit authorities, joint secretariats) are confronted with bottlenecks and challenges, the end result is that investments cannot deliver the expected benefits on the ground.
Furthermore, one of the main distinguishing features of Cohesion Policy is that it is delivered via “shared management” between the EU, national and regional levels. In fact, this is part of its richness since it ensures that all interests are taken into account and that there is authentic cooperation at all levels. At the same time, this implies shared responsibility which must be underpinned by a sound and efficient institutional context, based on mutual trust, common principles and values.
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