Shaping Transitions with Evidence

9th Conference on the Evaluation of EU Cohesion Policy
Porto, 16-17 September 2021

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Cohesion policy is the EU budget’s main investment policy. It targets all regions and cities in the European Union in order to support job creation, business competitiveness, economic growth, sustainable development, and improve citizens’ quality of life. The COVID-19 crisis has shown once more the essential role of cohesion policy in helping Member States and regional authorities to respond quickly and flexibly to the health and economic crisis triggered by the pandemic helping the most affected territories, sectors and population. With its strong focus on performance, accountability and transparency in its investments, cohesion policy is at the forefront of the EU’s green and digital transitions that will shape the process of recovery and the future of Europe over the next decades.

The Conference will provide an opportunity to stress the importance of evidence-based policy in a fast-changing world, in view of the launch of the evaluation of cohesion policy’s 2014-2020 investments over the next year. It will provide a platform for discussing the methods used to assess the role of the policy under the different investment themes. It will also be the occasion to take stock of the evaluations carried out by the Member States and the Commission during the period 2014-2020.

In parallel to the conference, we will display an exhibition of posters on evaluations on cohesion policy programmes, carried out in the Member States, which will provide further opportunities for exchanging good practices and share experiences on methods and findings.

The conference is organised in the Alfandega Porto Congress Centre and will be held in a hybrid format, allowing participants who will not be able to travel to join via an online platform. We invite policymakers from EU Member States, managing authorities, evaluation experts, academics, civil society and other stakeholders from across Europe to join us in Porto for one and a half days of discussion and networking.

  • Organisation responsible: Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy of the European Commission
  • Contact: If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact the DIRECTORATE-GENERAL FOR REGIONAL AND URBAN POLICY, unit B.2. For this purpose, please send an E-Mail to: regio-eval-conference@ec.europa.eu

Download the programme pdf

Download the booklet pdf

The plenary sessions of the conference are moderated by Jennifer Baker.

Thursday, 16 September 2021

Session hours refer to Porto local time (1 hour behind CET)

10:00 – 10:30

Session 1 – Plenary: Opening

 

Languages: EN, PT, SI

Opening remarks:

  • Marc Lemaître, Director-General for Regional and Urban Policy, European Commission
  • Zvone Černač, Minister for Development and European Cohesion Policy, Slovenia

Welcoming addresses:

  • António Cunha, President of the Norte Regional Coordination and Development Commission, Portugal
  • Nuno Manuel Oliveira dos Santos, President of the Agency for Development and Cohesion, Portugal

 

 

10:30 – 11:15

Session 2 – Plenary: The value of evaluation for a performance-oriented policy

 

Languages: EN, PT, SI

Speeches:

  • Iliana Ivanova, Dean of Chamber II “Investment for cohesion, growth and inclusion”, European Court of Auditors
  • Veronica Gaffey, Chair of the Regulatory Scrutiny Board, European Commission
  • Andriana Sukova, Deputy Director-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, European Commission
  • Michael Wimmer, Director of Strategy, Better Regulation & Corporate Governance, Secretariat-General, European Commission

 

 

11:15 - 11:45

Coffee break

 

 

11:45 – 13:00

Session 3 – Parallel workshops
Language: EN

 

Workshop 3A: European Green Deal - Presentation PDF

Evaluation findings in the area of climate and environment

  • Sabine Bourdy, Head of Mainstreaming & Environmental Assessments Unit, Directorate-General for Environment, European Commission
  • Mihai Panaite, Evaluation Officer, Evaluation and European semester Unit, Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy, European Commission
  • Myriam Bovéda, Team Leader, Smart and Sustainable Growth Unit, Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy, European Commission
  • Normunds Strautmanis, Deputy Head of Evaluation Unit, Ministry of Finance, Latvia
  • Rob Williams, Senior Consultant, Trinomics  

 

 

 

Workshop 3B: A Europe fit for the digital age - Presentation PDF

Evaluation findings in the area of ICT

  • Fabrizia Benini, Head of Digital Economy, Recovery Plan and Skills Unit, Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology, European Commission
  • Arturo Polese, Team Leader, Evaluation and European semester Unit, Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy, European Commission
  • Henriette Kiss, Head of Evaluation & Planning Unit, Department for Monitoring & Evaluation, Prime Minister's Office, Hungary
  • Gérard Pogorel, Professor of Economics and Management-Emeritus, Institut Polytechnique de Paris
  • Ivars Solovjovs, Board member, Cetera SIA

 

 

 

Workshop 3C: An economy that works for people: R&I, SMEs competitiveness - Presentation PDF

Evaluation findings in the area of research and innovation/competitiveness of SMEs

  • Nicola De Michelis, Director of Smart and Sustainable Growth and Programmes Implementation, Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy, European Commission
  • David Alba, Team Leader, Evaluation and European semester Unit, Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy, European Commission
  • Silvia Vignetti, Director, Development and Evaluation Unit, CSIL Centre for Industrial Studies
  • Jana Drlíková, Head of the Evaluation Unit, Czech Republic
  • Slavo Radošević, Professor of Industry and Innovation Studies, University College London

 

 

13:00 - 14:30

Lunch

 

 

14:30 – 15:45

Session 4 – Plenary: How can evidence-based policy keep up with the fast-changing world? - Presentation PDF

 

Languages: EN, PT

Panel discussion:

  • Peter Berkowitz, Policy Director, Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy, European Commission
  • Duarte Rodrigues, Vice-President, Agency for Development and Cohesion, Portugal
  • Riccardo Crescenzi, Professor of Economic Geography, London School of Economics
  • Dominika Rogalińska, Director of the Department of Spatial and Environmental Research, Central Statistical Office, Poland
  • Katerina Mantouvalou, Director, Europe Policy, ICF
  • Jos Vaessen, Adviser, Independent Evaluation Group, World Bank
  • Julia Bachtrögler-Unger, Economist, Austrian Institute of Economic Research

Q&A

 

 

15:45 - 16:15

Coffee break

 

 

16:15 – 17:30

Session 5 – Parallel workshops
Language: EN

 

Workshop 5A: An economy that works for people: the social dimension - Presentation PDF

Evaluation findings in the area of employment, education and social inclusion

  • María José Cueto Faus, Head of Better Regulation Unit, Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, European Commission
  • Joaquim Bernardo, President, Managing Authority of the Human Capital OP, Portugal
  • Wioletta Dąbrowska, Deputy Director, Regional Development Department, Podlaskie Voivodeship Marshall Office, Poland
  • Małgorzata Zub, Head of the Research Team, Evalu
  • Elena Meroni, Research Fellow, Centre for Research on Impact Evaluation, JRC, European Commission

 

 

 

Workshop 5B: Challenges and opportunities of MS evaluations (assessing the territorial dimension, disseminating the lessons learnt, measuring impact)   - Presentation PDF

MS territorial evaluation findings

  • David Alba, Team Leader, Evaluation and European semester Unit, Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy, European Commission
  • Stéphane Jacobzone, Head of the Evidence, Monitoring and Evaluation Unit, OECD
  • Carla Leal, Head of the Strategic Monitoring and Evaluation Unit, Agency for Development and Cohesion, Portugal
  • Jan Kramer, Head of Brussels office, Prognos AG
  • Elliot Stern, Emeritus Professor of Evaluation Research at Lancaster University

 

 

 

Workshop 5C: The use of data for evaluation - Presentation PDF

Data sources for evaluation and the links among them

  • John Walsh, Team Leader, Evaluation and European semester Unit, Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy, European Commission
  • Véronique Menez, Coordinator of European Funds, National Agency for Territorial Cohesion, France
  • Daniele Bondonio, Professor of Statistics for Economics, University of Eastern Piedmont, Italy  
  • Audronė Sadauskaitė, Researcher, Visionary Analytics
  • Emanuela Sirtori, Senior Researcher, CSIL Centre for Industrial Studies

 

 

18:30 – 23:00

Social event and networking dinner

 

 


Friday, 17 September 2021

Session hours refer to Porto local time (1 hour behind CET)

9:45 – 11:00

Session 6 – Plenary: Evaluation: A compass for the transitions

 

Languages: EN, FR, PT

Panel discussion:

  • Elisa Ferreira, European Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms
  • Younous Omarjee, Chair of the Committee on Regional Development, European Parliament
  • Nelson de Souza, Minister for Planning, Portugal
  • Vasco Alves Cordeiro, First Vice-President, European Committee of the Regions
  • Lilyana Pavlova, Vice-President, European Investment Bank

Q&A

 

 

11:00 - 11:30

Coffee break

 

 

11:30 – 12:15

Session 7 – Plenary: Wrap-up and conclusions - Presentation PDF

 

Languages: EN, FR, PT

Feedback from workshops - Rapporteurs from the parallel workshops:

  • David Alba, Carlo Amati, Philip Engels, Mihai Panaite, Arturo Polese, Evaluation and European Semester Unit, Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy, European Commission
  • María José Cueto Faus, Head of Better Regulation Unit, Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, European Commission

Wrap-up and next steps towards 2014-2020 ex post evaluation:

  • Mariana Hristcheva, Head of Evaluation and European Semester Unit, Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy, European Commission
  • María José Cueto Faus, Head of Better Regulation Unit, Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, European Commission

 

 

12:15

Closing remarks:

  • Elisa Ferreira, European Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms
  • Ana Abrunhosa, Minister for Territorial Cohesion, Portugal

 

 

 12:30-14:00

 Lunch

 

Posters on evaluations from the Member States

The conference hosted the Second Poster Exhibition of evaluations carried out by the Member States on cohesion policy programmes in the recent years. The presented evaluations cover interventions co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund/Cohesion Fund (ERDF/CF), the European Social Fund/Youth Employment Initiative (ESF/YEI) or both. The Second Poster Exhibition includes 34 posters from 13 Member States. Posters from the First Exhibition are available here.