Delivery System - Work Package 12 Ex post evaluation of Cohesion Policy programmes 2007-2013, focusing on the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Cohesion Fund (CF)
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The purpose of this evaluation was to provide an assessment of the performance of the 2007–13 Cohesion Policy delivery system. In this context, “delivery system” is understood as the combination of legal requirements and procedures that support the effective and efficient investment of European Union resources, and of the outlining of roles and responsibilities in planning, management and implementation of the policy at each level of government. Many legal requirements and procedures of the delivery system in the 2007–13 period were quite similar for all programmes, i.e., they did not differ greatly irrespective of the amount of funding, quality of governance or socioeconomic development level.
As specified by the Tender Specifications (p. 11), the evaluation aimed to “analyse the effectiveness and efficiency of the delivery system and identify the main success factors that support the accountable implementation of a policy that is legal and regular, which delivers results in a timely and responsive manner at reasonable costs to national administrations and beneficiaries.”
The evaluation covered the Cohesion Policy delivery system in all 28 Member States, it collected and analysed evidence on stakeholder expectations and on their judgment of performance of the delivery system against these expectations, on strengths and weaknesses and factors driving successes and failures. This wide coverage was important in order to capture differences in the implementation of programmes across Member States and regions with varying socio-economic contexts, public administration systems, administrative capacities and quality of governance. These variations are vital because the Cohesion Policy delivery system essentially works through and relies largely on the pre-existing, heterogeneous national and regional public administrations of Member States.
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