Mixed progress with the 2007-13 programmes : review of programme implementation Summer 2008 - Autumn 2008

Vironen, Heidi and Kah, Stefan (2008) Mixed progress with the 2007-13 programmes : review of programme implementation Summer 2008 - Autumn 2008. In: 25th IQ-Net Conference, 2008-11-19 - 2008-11-21. (http://www.eprc.strath.ac.uk/iqnet/downloads/IQ-Ne...)

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European Commission approval of Structural Funds programmes was generally concluded by the end of 2007. Implementation of the new Operational Programmes (OPs) was therefore able to start in earnest during 2008 but has often been progressing quite slowly. The early results appear to be mixed, with specific problems causing delays in several countries and regions. Among IQ-Net programmes, there is considerable variation in terms of project generation and the commitment of funding. Many partners report a high demand from applicants and are beginning to make sizable commitments. In other cases, commitments remain much more limited or provisional. A common issue for nearly all programmes is that payment requests cannot be submitted to the Commission prior to the approval of the Management and Control Systems. Therefore, spending issues and the n+2 (n+3) rule have become an increasing concern. The early stages of programme implementation have also proved to be challenging in administrative terms. Many IQ-Net partners have continued to face problems with human resources, as well as delays with the introduction of the monitoring systems. However, more positive progress has been made in areas such as the establishment of new partnership structures, and communication and evaluation activities. Alongside the implementation of the new programmes, the closure of the 2000-06 programme period is gradually moving centre stage, in the face of approaching closure deadlines. IQ-Net partners are focusing their efforts on ensuring maximum absorption of funds, whilst also preparing for the final closure; the workload involved is causing problems in several cases.