01 Oct 2014 - 01 Nov 2015
EU, Europe, Financial sector, investment, Research, structural policy

The implementation of the provisions in relation to the ex ante conditionalities during the programming phase of the European Structural and Investment (ESI) Funds


Project description:

The effectiveness of the investments financed by the ESI Funds depends on sound macroeconomic policies, a favourable business environment and a solid institutional framework. In many sectors, a combination of strategic and regulatory conditions for public investment needs to be in place in order to tackle bottlenecks to growth effectively. Inappropriate policies as well as administrative and institutional bottlenecks have limited the effectiveness of EU funding in the past. Gaps also remain as regards the implementation of EU legislation into national law in areas directly linked to the ESI Funds. Although there had been attempts in the past to establish ‘conditionalities’ linked to the strategic, institutional and administrative arrangements in place, their application remained discretionary and unsystematic. Therefore, ex ante conditionalities have been introduced in the regulatory framework for the ESI Funds for the 2014-20 period to ensure that the effectiveness of EU investment is not undermined by unsound policies or regulatory, administrative or institutional bottlenecks. As part of the work to assess implementation of new or specific provisions in the 2014-2020 Regulations for the ESI Funds, the DG REGIO wishes to assess the implementation of the provisions relating to ex ante conditionalities during the programming phase, including to what extent those provisions have influenced practical implementation on the ground.

General Objectives of the Project:

The overall purpose of the study is to develop an evidence-base on how the regulatory provisions relating to ex ante conditionalities have been applied in the programming phase. The findings feed into the Commission's assessment of the outcome of programming negotiations and into further reflections on the future of the policy.

Project Structure and Involvement of CASE:

Consortium, implementing the project, is led by METIS (Austria). Project is implemented in cooperation with AEIDL, CASE and Panteia and ICF1 as subcontractor The key tasks of the study are the following:
1.    Methodological report.
2.    Synthesis of EAC provisions.
3.    Provision of an assessment of how the provisions relating to the applicability and the fulfilment of ex ante conditionalities have been implemented during the programming phase.
4.    Provision of conclusions.
5.    Meetings with the Commission staff.

CASE contributes with thematic expert to the core team with focus on the issues of large infrastructures and specific themes to be tackled for newer Member States and are also responsible for country case-studies for the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Project Output:

1.    Synthesis of the applicability and fulfilment of ex-ante conditionalities (EAC) as these are outlined in the Partnership Agreements (PA) and specified in the Operational Programmes (OP) co-financed by the ERDF and CF, including the multi-funded programmes (with ESF).
2.    Assessment of the applicability and fulfilment of the EAC based on an analysis of the processes and the methodologies applied by the Member States, managing authorities, and the EC in the informal dialogue;
3.    Conclusions on the strengths and weaknesses on the provisions related to the EAC during the programming phase and the general value of the EAC to ensure a better framework in the MS.
Project activities include: participation in the kick-off, interim and final meetings; preparation of methodological, two interim and final reports

Sponsor: EC DG Regional and Urban Policy

Partners: METIS (Austria), Panteia, AEIDL, ICF (subcontractor).