Halfway There? Taking Stock of the Progress of ESIF Programme Implementation

Michie, Rona and Dozhdeva, Viktoriya (2017) Halfway There? Taking Stock of the Progress of ESIF Programme Implementation. [Report]

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    More than halfway through the 2014-20 programme period, the current set of ESIF programmes are well underway despite a slow start. 2017 has provided Member States with the opportunity to take a strategic look at the progress of implementation so far with the submission of their Progress Reports. The designation process has been completed for most programmes. Adoption of the Omnibus proposals is potentially anticipated by the start of 2018, especially relevant in the context of the ongoing debate on simplification. At the same time, 2017 has seen the submission of final implementation reports and closure packages for the 2007-13 programmes. Looking to the future, the debate on post-2020 reform has intensified, supported by the publication of the Commission’s Seventh Cohesion Report. The aim of this paper is to provide a review of progress in implementing ESIF programmes in IQ-Net countries and regions over the last six months. The paper starts by reviewing the latest financial data on commitments and payments. It then examines current programming issues, including contextual changes with an impact on ESIF implementation and planned and accomplished changes to programmes. The next section discusses the dynamics and main issues facing project generation and selection. New developments in implementation systems are then reviewed. The closure process in the 2007-13 programmes is then reviewed and the paper closes with an overview of the current state of debate on the post-2020 reform at EU, Member State and regional levels.