EU regional policy cap building Claus

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EU regional policy and financial instruments UNDP Seminar on Local Capacity Building to Absorb EU Funds Skopje, 1-3 December 2004 : 

EU regional policy and financial instruments UNDP Seminar on Local Capacity Building to Absorb EU Funds Skopje, 1-3 December 2004 Claus Schultze, INTERREG IIIC East Joint Technical Secretariat, Vienna +43 1 4000 76142,,

Policy context: 

Policy context EU regional policy is extremey complex It is a policy that still evolves Based on political consensus Hence a mix of political and technical ingredients (framework+funding) Policy cycle often not closed, experiences lost Member States and Commission are masters of the game with role of MS growing But need to programme for needs of regions (at least in ERDF) and involve stakeholders

Current instruments: 

Current instruments Structural Funds: ERDF, ESF, EAGGF (part of CAP), FIFG (part of CAP) CIs: URBAN, EQUAL, INTERREG, LEADER Cohesion fund Pre-accession instruments State aid rules (Other sectoral programmes important in the context of territorial development, i.e. SMEs, Information Society, Research, etc.) Overlap with other EU policies, lack of coordination, lack of harmonisation


Eligibility Nuts data determines eligibilty Cohesion Fund: Nuts 1 (MS level) Objective 1: NUTS 2 regions < 75% Objective 2: NUTS 3 or smaller: Declining regions with certain characteristics (e.g. unemployment rate) SF are governed by different funds (e.g. allocation of money, eligible activities, management structures and procedures) Each fund has their own management rules and legal basis

Region in EU terms (1): 

Region in EU terms (1) NUTS specification Nuts 1 (3-7 million) Nuts 2 (800‘ to 3 million) Nuts 3 (150‘ to 800‘)

Region in EU terms (2): 

Region in EU terms (2) The political region The Committee of the Regions 317 elected representatives from 25 MS Nominated by national governments Represent the entire range of local and regional government: regional presidents, regional parliamentarians, town councillors, mayors of large cities, etc. Strengthens regional/local level in the EU Advisory body with rising influence Competition with EP + legislative regions

Governance apects (1): 

Governance apects (1) Regions/localities can get involved in programming (mostly competence of MS) Regions/localities can get involved in programme implementation (shared competence) Regions/localities can be beneficiaries or coordinators of individual projects

Governance aspects (2): 

Governance aspects (2) Partnership principle vs. subsidiarity No clear binding rules, only soft law Top-down vs. bottom-up elements Depending on governance arrangements SF: specific regimes (e.g. ESF and Cohesion Fund centralized, ERDF decentralised) In new MS: pretty centralised management (not much prior experience, lack of capacities and experiences at regional level, MS responsible in case of irregularities, etc.)

Public participation: 

Public participation Regions/localities only one actor among other stakeholders (e.g. NGOs) Involvement in new MS and some more centralised old MS not systematic and often only sporadic NGOs (e.g. environment) often better informed and have professional lobbying (e.g. EEB bankwatch)

Programming: Examply Hungary: 

Programming: Examply Hungary Consultation process (Source: NDP, 259ff.) Social partners, economic and professional organisations: contacted directly Regional partners and local governments : Regional Development Councils and Agencies were asked to comment on the plan, due to high number of potential partners (>3000 localities) indirect contact through their associations Non-governmental organisations registered on official lobby list of Parliament received plan for consultation Seminars National Partnership Conference Webpage, etc. Partners actively responding to request by NPD Office

Capacity building: 

Capacity building Before enlargement and ongoing: PHARE-Twinning (mainly national level) and other Phare-funded capacity-building measures + Phare CBC, SPF After enlargement: Mainly up to MS (TA budgets) INTERREG CI contributes indirectly to capacity-building at regional level (ex/ex) INTERACT Point Managing Transition provides services ( EU concentrates on national level and implementation structures No systematic CB for regions, not to speak of localities (too many for EU to deal with)


INTERREG III Community Initiative: indirect CB instrument 3 strands: IIIA: cross-border (54 programmes) IIIB: transnational (13 programmes) IIIC: interregional (4 programmes) Available Budget (2000-2006) SF total: 195 billion (EU15) INTERREG: 4.9 billion (EU15) IIIA:67%, IIIB:27%, IIIC:6%


Case-study: : 

Case-study: INTERREG IIIC is only ERDF-funded programme, that allows all regions and localities to build European-wide partnerships following a bottom-up approach Projects aim at policy learning, skills development and capacity building („improving policies and instruments of regional development and cohesion“) Method: Exchange and dissemination of Structural Funds and other relevant experiences and know-how transfer Projects involve and/or target regional/local authorities or bodies responsible for development policies/instruments Strong visibility, transparent procedures, proximity to project promoters


Management Joint Technical Secretariats North: Rostock, Germany East: Vienna, Austria South: Valencia, Spain West: Lille, France Managing and Paying Authorities are regional public bodies, Monitoring and Steering Committee are representatives of Member States and Neighbouring States


Timeline Programme start: 2002 1st call: October – Januar 2003 2nd call: May – September 2003 3rd call: March – April 2004 4th call: June – October/November 2004 Winding up: 2008 Eligible beneficiaries Public bodies Public equivalent bodies


Co-operation themes


Separate budget for Border Regions Remaining: 0,465 Million ERDF Budgets

Applications - Projects: 

Applications - Projects Total: 83 157 341 98 679 24 57 54 44 179

Partners in approved operations: 

Partners in approved operations 1888 partners (incl. Lead Partners) 27 % local authorities 29 % regional authorities 7 % national authorities 37 % public equivalent bodies 49 countries 93% EU incl. 20% new MS 7% other 191 different EU regions 46 % are Objective 1 Total: 250 535 509 594

EU Countries involved: 

EU Countries involved Partners in approved operations (incl. LPs)

Non-EU Countries involved: 

Non-EU Countries involved Partners in approved operations

Most active regions: 

Most active regions

Lessons so far: 

Lessons so far Strong mobilisation of European regions High interest in programme, patronage of EU is factor for success and increased commitment Only EU programme that stimulates strong bottom-up activity on strategic issues Many links and networks established Transfer and dissemination of knowledge and experiences that would have remained isolated In-house capacity often weak, many equivalent bodies, many consultants involved Some implementation problems (management and underspending)

What does it take?: 

What does it take? Governance dimension, skills dimension Multi-level game EU-level: Regional offices, associations, networks National level: Transparency and clear processes Regional level: Development agencies and other actors offering services for public bodies Local level: Inhouse capacities in municipalities, But consultants necessary for short-term assingments (e.g. proposal writing)

Specific Capacity Problems: 

Specific Capacity Problems Regions/localities eager to engage in EU projects Often unrealistic expections about EU funding Lack of project development skills Lack of professionality Lack of language skills Internal administrative problems (lack of leadership, coordination, etc.) Underdeveloped project pipeline e.g. Project Generation Facility (HU)

What can be done?: 

What can be done? Regions and local authority associations should offer permanent training on EU, regional development and other programme opportunities INTERREG good instrument, to be continued and improved (also third-country funding), in particular INTERREG IIIC Support of twinning in relevant policy areas for local level could be useful (current EU programmes not sufficient) Q for other donors: leave problem to EU and MS or step in with own activities????

Plans for the future SF?: 

Plans for the future SF? New constitution: territorial cohesion as goal (so far: economic and social cohesion) Greater emphasis on spatial issues and specific geographical handicaps Proposal for new SF regulations Simplifaction/Decentralisation Strategic priorities: new objectives Convergence (78%), Competitiveness (18%), Territorial Cooperation (4%) Abandons system of designated areas for thematic approach Thematic priorities: Lisbon/Gothenburg

Plans for the future?: 

Mainstreaming Community Initiatives Down to 3 from 6 funding instruments Goal: Simplification/Decentralisation ‘One programme, one fund’ rule One document at strategic EU level, national and regional programmes ERDF + ESF + Cohesion fund – same rules Financial control: definition of minimum set of control systems, system check, national on-spot checks and reporting Plans for the future?

Plans for the future: 

Plans for the future 75% co-funding across the board Co-funding only for public expenditure CBC: 10% may be used outside EU CBC: 20% may be used for adjacent areas TNC: 10% may be used outside EU TNC: 20% may be used outside progr. area 13 TNC areas to be streamlined Better harmonisation across border with PAI and NNI

CB as ongoing challenge: 

CB as ongoing challenge Political leadership and capable human resources important (e.g. cities) Staff fluctuation in PA often high, low salary, brain drain to private sector Changing EU priorities and programme frameworks Ongoing extension of EU acquis with impact on regions/localities

Accession Countries: 

Accession Countries Fulfil Chapter 21: national level capacity, establishment of implementation structures Phare continuing, from 2007 New Instrument for Pre-Accession planned to replace Ispa, Sappard, Phare CBC, etc. Close to enlargement: more grant schemes, more decentralised implementatin rules Delivery modeled on SF (Shadowing)

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