Managing the Demands of Two Programme Periods - State of Play of the 2007-13 & 2014-20 Programmes : IQ-Net Review Paper 34(1)

Michie, Rona (2014) Managing the Demands of Two Programme Periods - State of Play of the 2007-13 & 2014-20 Programmes : IQ-Net Review Paper 34(1). European Policies Research Centre, Glasgow [University of Strathclyde].

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The focus for the 2007-13 programmes continues to be on achieving and maintaining full levels of commitment, accelerating payment levels and preparing for programme closure. Commitment rates are at or nearing 100 percent in many programmes, but audits and payment interruptions continue to have an impact. The average payment rate in EU28 is now 68.2 percent, an increase of 8.8 percent in six months. In preparing for closure of the 2007-13 programmes, the most widespread area of concern is capacity issues. By mid-May 2014, all 28 Member States had formally submitted their PAs to the Commission. At time of writing, Denmark, Germany, Greece and Poland had their PAs approved. By the end of April 2014, ten countries had submitted a total of 76 OPs. Informal discussions with the Commission prior to formal PA and OP submission have focused on the need to adhere closely to the Commission’s Position Papers, addressing thematic concentration, results orientation, especially the intervention logic, and how to demonstrate meeting the ex ante conditionalities. Draft OPs are becoming available. A total of 16 countries have chosen to introduce multi-fund programmes in 2014-20 (among IQ-Net partner countries, these are CZ, DE, GR, FI, FR, PL, PT and SI). Experience so far with multi-fund programming is regarded as quite positive, particularly where there has been previous experience in 2000-06. At least nine IQ-Net partners plan to use ITIs; eight plan to use CLLD approaches. Most commonly, ITIs are being introduced to deliver integrated support in urban areas, often following on from integrated urban projects in 2007-13. Preparations are still at an early stage with regards to CLLD approaches; several partners are planning to build on experience under LEADER. The drive for simplification for beneficiaries is evident in partner programmes, through introduction of simplified cost approaches and, where possible, the drafting of simpler eligibility rules.