Focusing on preparing the new programmes - state of play with 2007-13 and 2014-20 programmes

Vironen, Heidi and Michie, Rona and Granqvist, Kaisa (2013) Focusing on preparing the new programmes - state of play with 2007-13 and 2014-20 programmes. In: 35th IQ-Net Conference, 2013-12-02 - 2013-12-04, Scotland.

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Abstract

After two years of intense negotiations, first within the European Council and then with the European Parliament, the agreement reached with the Parliament on 20 November provides certainty on the regulatory framework for Cohesion policy in the 2014-20 programme period. Programming has of course been underway for a year or more, as Member States, national and regional authorities have been developing their new Partnership Agreements (PAs) and Operational Programmes (OPs), while engaging in informal dialogue with the European Commission. Progress with the drafting of Partnership Agreements is generally on schedule and the aim is to submit formally the majority of PAs towards the end of 2013. The focus for 2007-13 programmes over the last six months has been on achieving and maintaining full levels of commitment, which may involve the recycling of funding, and accelerating payment levels. The rate of absorption across EU27 has increased by nearly eight percentage points to 59.4 percent over the last six months, although marked differences between Member States and Funds remain. However, across EU27, the pace of spending (as measured by payments) remains around six percentage points behind the same point in 2000-06. However, as the Commission cannot currently make payments on most budget lines, this underestimates programme progress somewhat. On the basis of the information available in October and November 2013, the aim of this paper is two-fold: •To provide a review of the preparation, content and delivery implications of the PAs and OPs for 2014-20; •To provide an update on the financial and physical progress of the 2007-13 OPs and the preparations for programme closure.