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Reforming the Implementation Mechanism for Lean and Smart Management of ESIF

The Case of Greece

Konstantinos Arvanitis, Anastasia Arvaniti

The findings from the application of Structural Funds in the programming period 2007-2013 have led the Greek State to decisions that will hopefully ensure a more efficient and intelligent management of the resources in the programming period 2014 - 2020. The simplification of the institutional framework for the implementation of co-financed projects that started in the mid of the 2007-2013 period, identified the most problematic areas of the whole implementation trail. As a fact, institutional and legislative interventions undertaken have already accelerated the absorption of EU funds (speeding (up) environmental and archaeological permits, expropriation, funding of the projects). In the context of the current redesign of the structure and management mechanism for the operational programmes (OPs) 2014-2020, the lessons learned from the past experience have led to specific interventions that focus both on the "architecture" of the operational programmes and on the mechanism for management and implementation. Major principles (see Box 1) adopted in the designing of the new implementation mechanism are as follows: - Clear separation of the roles of management and implementation and demarcation between political and operational levels; - Decentralisation of the management for the regional operational programmes giving all related responsibilities to the elected regional authorities, so that all the regional scale projects can be managed at a regional level; - Restricting the use of intermediate bodies to the completely necessary cases; - Further strengthening the coordination of the OPs implementation; - Redesign of the procedures and rules of the current management and control system in order to be more result oriented and accelerate the implementation of programmes; - Further simplification of the national implementation framework of co-financed projects.

Konstantinos Arvanitis, Chemical Engineer, and Anastasia Arvaniti, Industrial & Management Engineer, National Coordination Authority for NSRF 2007-2013, Ministry of Development and Competitiveness, Athens, October 2014. Please, contact the authors at: <>, <>.


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