European Commission Perspectives on the 2014-2020 Partnership Agreements & Programmes : A Comparative Review of the Commission’s Position Papers

Mendez, Carlos and Bachtler, John and Granqvist, Kaisa (2013) European Commission Perspectives on the 2014-2020 Partnership Agreements & Programmes : A Comparative Review of the Commission’s Position Papers. [Report]

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    Abstract

    In late 2012, the European Commission sent a ‘Position Paper’ to each Member State containing the position of the Commission Services on the development the Partnership Agreement (PA) and Operational Programmes (OPs) in each country for the period 2014-2020. The stated purpose of the Position Papers is to provide a framework for dialogue on the new PAs and OPs before the formal negotiations. Each paper sets out the key country-specific challenges and presents the Commission Services' preliminary views on the main funding priorities for the country concerned for ‘growth enhancing public expenditure’. The following paper provides a comparative overview of the Commission’s Position Papers covering all Member States in order to provide insights on how the Commission assesses the main challenges and policy priorities for the 2014-20 period. The paper begins with an overview of the main development challenges identified by the Commission. This is followed by a review of the proposed priorities for funding, including the thematic objectives and associated country-specific recommendations. The next section examines the Commission’s views on ex-ante conditionality and added value. The final section reviews the proposed changes to governance arrangements, including: the programme architecture; coordination arrangements; horizontal principles; partnership; financial management, audit and control; administrative capacity; and monitoring and evaluation. A final section provides a critical assessment of the Position Papers.