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Evaluation of Cohesion Policy

Over successive programming periods, the Commission has emphasised that Structural Funds programmes should be subject to regular and rigorous evaluation. This improves the effectiveness of programmes and provides knowledge on the impact of cohesion policy.

For the 2000-2006 period, the Structural Fund regulations specify that programmes should be evaluated systematically (ex ante, mid term and ex post). For 2007-2013, it is proposed to continue systematic evaluation at ex ante and ex post stage with more strategic and needs driven evaluation undertaken during the programme period.

Evaluation of cohesion policy is undertaken on a partnership basis, with Member States responsible for ex ante and mid term or ongoing evaluation, while the Commission is responsible for thematic and ex post evaluations. An important task of the European Commission is to provide guidance on evaluation and to facilitate exchange of experience across Member States.

This section of the website contains a range of information on evaluation and the Structural and Cohesion Fund. It contains the following sections:

1. DG Regional Policy Evaluation Network

Information on DG Regional Policy’s Evaluation Network with the Member States, including links and reports discussed by the Network.

2. Commission Working Papers

Guidance on evaluation of the Structural and Cohesion Funds for the different funding periods

3. GUIDE to evaluating socio-economic development

This Guide has been developed for the European Commission by experts in evaluation in order to promote and improve the practice of evaluation in the European Union.

4. Commission’s Guide to Cost Benefit Analysis of Large Projects

Cost benefit analysis (CBA) is required for large projects under Structural and Cohesion Funds and ISPA. This guidance was drawn up for the Commission in 2003 and it is for use by EU officials, Member State authorities and external consultants involved in CBA.

5. Evaluations undertaken for the Commission

Thematic and Ex Post Evaluations undertaken for the Commission since 1997

6. Conferences

Every two to three years, the Commission organises an international conference on evaluation and the Structural Funds. Papers and conference proceedings from the last three conferences can be accessed here.




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