Skip to content
  • «
  • 1
  • »

The search returned 6 results.

Smart Specialisation in 2014-2020 ESI Funds Programmes: Not Just a Narrative journal article

Laura Polverari

European Structural and Investment Funds Journal, Volume 5 (2017), Issue 1, Page 20 - 31

This article explores the way in which Smart Specialisation has been integrated in the programming and implementation of the ESIF Operational Programmes of countries and regions which are partners in the IQ-Net Network – a network for improving the quality of Structural Funds programme management through exchange of experience. It discusses the design of Smart Specialisation Strategies through entrepreneurial discovery, the implementation of the strategies as part of the ESIF programmes, and the lessons learnt so far. It shows that the Smart Specialisation approach, albeit not novel in all cases, is considered on the whole as useful and to have contributed to better prioritisation and more joined-up policy-making. However, these are still early days and success will rest on effective implementation. This will require on-going engagement with stakeholders, to test and refine the validity of assumptions and choices made, and above all continued political endorsement to support cross-sectoral working and hold the private sector to account on their commitments to the strategy. The focus should now be placed on ensuring that implementation rises to the challenge and that adequate support is provided to regional and national authorities and to all types of stakeholders, throughout the life of the ESIF programmes, to allow them to continue to drive the Smart Specialisation approach through.



Dealing with Unhappy Customers: How Do Member States Handle Complaints under the ESI Funds? journal article

Laura Polverari, Rona Michie

European Structural and Investment Funds Journal, Volume 5 (2017), Issue 4, Page 299 - 308

The 2014-20 European Structural and Investment Funds regulations include provisions which strengthen the legal framework for examining and handling complaints under the ESI Funds. For the first time, the regulations require EU Member States to provide effective arrangements for examining complaints under their ESI Fund programmes (in Article 74(3) of the Common Provisions Regulation). However, provisions on how such complaints should be dealt with remain vague. This article examines some of the elements such complaints handling systems should include, proposes an analytical framework to assess the effectiveness of such systems, and asks whether imposing more stringent requirements on Member State authorities in this area could further exacerbate the already contested administrative cost of implementing Cohesion policy.


The Contribution of ESI Funds to Jobs and Growth: How are the New Reforms Working? journal article

John Bachtler, Carlos Mendez, Laura Polverari

European Structural and Investment Funds Journal, Volume 4 (2016), Issue 3, Page 117 - 132

The 2013 reform of Cohesion policy made significant changes to the regulatory framework for ESI Funds with important implications for the programming of the Funds and implementation. An important question is how these reforms are perceived ‘on the ground’ by managing authorities and other implementing bodies. This article examines how the reform changes have influenced the programming process and the early experiences of programme delivery, with respect to strategic coherence, thematic concentration, the results orientation, the performance framework, ex-ante conditionalities, financial instruments and integrated territorial development. Research among programme authorities suggests that most aspects of the new regulations have strong support in principle, but the potential benefits at programme level are still emerging and have often been obscured by the complexity of administrative procedures and associated workloads. Further efforts are needed to achieve real simplification for managing authorities and intermediate bodies, to enhance the functioning of subsidiarity and to improve further the intended results-orientation. Looking forward to post-2020, if support for Cohesion policy is to be maintained among those responsible for managing and delivering ESI Fund programmes, then issues of administrative capacity and implementation procedures need to be given far more weight at the stage of developing proposals and regulatory provisions.


The New Ambitions for 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Funds Evaluation journal article

Pouring Water in a Leaking Container?

Laura Polverari

European Structural and Investment Funds Journal, Volume 4 (2016), Issue 2, Page 59 - 67

One of the recurring criticisms that have been levied to EU Cohesion policy has been its inability to prove its effectiveness and value for money. These criticisms, and the parallel growing pressures to reduce the resources assigned to the policy in recent rounds of budget negotiations, have led to the introduction of changes in the regulatory obligations attached to funding. In the 2014-2020 regulations, efforts to improve the policy’s effectiveness have primarily related to a set of new obligations intended to improve the results-orientation of programme design and implementation, and to a strengthening of the purposefulness of evaluation activities, including through a shift from evaluating implementation to appraising impacts. This article focuses on the latter theme. It reviews the main evaluation obligations foreseen by the Common Provisions Regulations (CPR) and the change in evaluation focus advocated by DG REGIO, the preparation of Evaluation Plans in selected EU programmes and these plans’ coverage, focus, objectives and resources. The article concludes with some reflections on the challenges that the new regulatory framework entails for managing authorities. It argues that the new CPR and Commission guidance notes are addressing past weaknesses by adding new demands to old ones without having sufficiently addressed the problems behind the partly ineffectual responses to already existing requirements, and calls for a stock-taking exercise in order to appreciate what is working, what is not working and what is needed to make evaluation a real programme management and accountability tool.


2014-2020 EU Cohesion Policy: Results-orientation through better Monitoring journal article

Laura Polverari

European Structural and Investment Funds Journal, Volume 4 (2016), Issue 1, Page 26 - 34

Against the background of the new regulatory framework, this article reviews the varied experiences of selected programmes across the EU – the programmes that are part of the IQ-Net knowledge exchange network - with the fulfilment of the new monitoring requirements. The article is based on secondary source research and fieldwork interviews carried out in all the IQ-Net partner countries and regions with Managing Authorities and Intermediate Bodies, as well as an interview with the European Commission (DG REGIO). It starts with a review of the new monitoring obligations, and their rationale against the background of changed regulatory provisions. It then goes on to discuss the new monitoring arrangements in IQ-Net partner programmes, including the changes introduced to monitoring indicators and systems, the selection of results indicators, the main issues with the design and operation of the 2014-2020 monitoring systems, the challenges that remain to be addressed, as well as the additional efforts undertaken to supplement monitoring data with administrative and survey data, to better serve the needs of evaluation. Some concluding reflections are provided at the end of this paper.

  • «
  • 1
  • »