Frontloading administrative capacity building for post-2020

The Commission is launching a new pilot action to provide hands-on support to national and regional administrations in their efforts to strengthen further their administrative capacity for management of the ERDF and Cohesion Fund. The initiative also aims at offering the possibility to better prepare for the implementation of cohesion policy investments in the post-2020 programming period.

The European Structural and Investment (ESI) Funds aim to support balanced economic, social and territorial development and cohesion across the EU. Achieving this goal depends on more than just funding – it requires skilled public servants working in efficient organisations capable of effectively managing complex projects within a multi-level governance context. It is particularly the case for public administrations which are directly involved in the management and implementation of programmes co-financed by the ESI Funds.

Administrations managing the ESI Funds face internal challenges related to skills, competencies or organisational capabilities, as well as external challenges i.e. how they coordinate and interact with internal and external stakeholders.

Result of the call

The Commission has selected five national and regional authorities in Greece, Poland, Spain, Croatia and Bulgaria to participate in a new pilot action on good governance and administrative capacity-building.

The 5 following cohesion policy programmes are concerned: the 'Transport Infrastructure, environment and sustainable development' programme in Greece, the Lubelskie regional programme in Poland, the Extremadura regional programme in Spain, the 'Competitiveness and cohesion' programme in Croatia and the 'Regions in Growth' programme in Bulgaria.

In phase 1 of the pilot action the five selected authorities, supported by experts from the OECD and the Commission, have developed roadmaps to address their administrative capacity building needs. Implementation of the actions identified in the roadmaps is currently on-going. The OECD has drafted a report, ‘Strengthening Governance of EU Funds under Cohesion Policy’, on phase 1 of the pilot action which includes key findings and recommendations for managing authorities, national authorities and the European Commission.

More information:

Under this Call, the Commission's DG REGIO seeks expressions of interest from managing authorities of ERDF and Cohesion Fund programmes wishing to enhance further their administrative capacity to be better prepared for the next programming period.

Work will be carried out in the framework of a pilot project. The experiences will be disseminated and feed into reflections on how to strengthen the administrative capacity of ESI Funds managing authorities for/in the post-2020 programming period.

The managing authorities participating in the pilot will benefit from technical support to analyse and address their administrative capacity building needs. The European Commission will cooperate with and use the expertise of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) for implementing the pilot.

The pilot will be divided into two phases:

  • Phase I: preparation of a comprehensive roadmap for administrative capacity building, and
  • Phase II: implementation of selected actions of the roadmap.

The key output of the first phase will be a comprehensive roadmap for administrative capacity building. The roadmap will include:

  1. relevant background information about the managing authority and the context in which it is operating;
  2. identification of areas for further strengthening linked to the effective and efficient implementation of the programme;
  3. identification of actions addressing the areas that need to be strengthened;
  4. selection of actions to be implemented during Phase II of the pilot;
  5. milestones, targets and deadlines for the actions; and
  6. tools and responsible actors.

The actions described in the roadmap will be split in two categories, one set of actions to be implemented within Phase II of the pilot and another set of actions to be carried out independently by the concerned managing authority (i.e. outside the pilot project) in a longer term perspective. Actions to be implemented within Phase II of the pilot will be selected in agreement between the Commission and the managing authority.

Who can apply under this call?

The expression of interest shall be submitted by managing authorities for national or regional operational programmes co-financed by the ERDF and/or the Cohesion Fund. The relevant national coordinating authorities (depending on the particular national context) should also be informed about the application.

Deadline for applications:

Monday 9th April 2018

How to apply?

Call for expression of interest