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Research for REGI Committee-The Role of Evaluation in Cohesion Policy

27-05-2020

This study analyses the role of evaluation in Cohesion Policy, with a focus on the 2014–2020 programming period. It presents and assesses those EU rules which shape evaluations and their implementation at both the EU and Member State levels. Based on this evidence, it discusses possible options for the post–2020 period.

This study analyses the role of evaluation in Cohesion Policy, with a focus on the 2014–2020 programming period. It presents and assesses those EU rules which shape evaluations and their implementation at both the EU and Member State levels. Based on this evidence, it discusses possible options for the post–2020 period.

Zunanji avtor

CSIL: Julie PELLEGRIN, Louis COLNOT, with support from Matteo PEDRALLI Country experts: University of Warsaw Diana IONESCU (RO), Tomasz KUPIEC (PL) Agnieszka OLECHNICKA (PL) CSIL: Matteo PEDRALLI (IT) ESTEP: Neringa VIRŠILIENĖ (LT) Scientific Advisers: FREE UNIVERSITY OF BRUSSELS-VUB: Nicola FRANCESCO DOTTI and THE UNIVERSITY OF MILAN: Massimo FLORIO

Exceptional coronavirus support measures of benefit to EU regions

19-05-2020

The coronavirus pandemic is affecting the EU's regions in various ways. Although the virus has spread all over Europe, certain western EU regions have recorded relatively higher numbers of Covid-19 cases and deaths. Most of the deaths from the virus have so far been particularly concentrated in certain Italian, Spanish and French regions. Healthcare systems in many EU regions are under tremendous pressure as they tackle the inflated needs caused by the coronavirus. What is more, the pandemic is also ...

The coronavirus pandemic is affecting the EU's regions in various ways. Although the virus has spread all over Europe, certain western EU regions have recorded relatively higher numbers of Covid-19 cases and deaths. Most of the deaths from the virus have so far been particularly concentrated in certain Italian, Spanish and French regions. Healthcare systems in many EU regions are under tremendous pressure as they tackle the inflated needs caused by the coronavirus. What is more, the pandemic is also having a severe impact on the European economy. As many economic sectors have reduced their activities, the social and economic impact of the pandemic is likely to be felt in all EU regions. Although it is still too early to make concrete predictions, the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic could well further impede the social, economic and territorial cohesion of the EU by increasing the existing divisions between EU regions. The European Commission has put forward a number of proposals to alleviate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on EU territories. The European Parliament has been supportive overall of the Commission's proposals. It triggered urgent procedures in order to approve them swiftly so that EU citizens could benefit quickly from their positive impact. Actions under various EU funds and policy instruments are now geared towards health-related purposes and the reigniting of the economy. In these critical times, cohesion policy could be no exception to the rule and is being drawn on increasingly to provide emergency relief. A number of amendments to the regulation governing the European structural and investment (ESI) funds have been approved by Parliament in order to allow flexible use of the funds in addressing the challenges posed by the crisis. A number of additional regulations and policy instruments meanwhile complement the ESI funds in the fight against the pandemic's negative consequences. Local and regional authorities are at the forefront of the pandemic as they are often responsible for providing much of the emergency response. They can use the newly adopted EU measures to reinforce their coronavirus action and to support their economic sectors.

Outermost regions of the EU

15-05-2020

The European Union's outermost regions qualify for special treatment owing to structural difficulties, such as remoteness, difficult topography or economic dependence on a few products, that can severely hamper their development. Specific support mechanisms exist under cohesion, agricultural and fisheries policies, with the Commission outlining measures aimed at assisting outermost regions in communications published in 2004, 2008, and 2012. Nevertheless, with the outermost regions continuing to ...

The European Union's outermost regions qualify for special treatment owing to structural difficulties, such as remoteness, difficult topography or economic dependence on a few products, that can severely hamper their development. Specific support mechanisms exist under cohesion, agricultural and fisheries policies, with the Commission outlining measures aimed at assisting outermost regions in communications published in 2004, 2008, and 2012. Nevertheless, with the outermost regions continuing to face numerous challenges in areas such as mobility, unemployment and climate change, discussions were launched on the formulation of a new strategy, which was published in October 2017. Following extensive consultation with stakeholders, the 2017 communication offers a new approach to supporting the outermost regions' development by optimising their assets, exploiting new opportunities for growth and job creation, and focusing more on their specific circumstances and needs. To this end, the communication outlines a series of concrete and coordinated actions to be taken at European Union (EU) and national level, as well as by the outermost regions, and calls for stronger partnership between outermost regions, Member States and the EU. In May 2018, the European Commission put forward a broad package of proposals for the 2021-2027 period, providing the legislative framework needed to guide this strategy beyond 2020. Taking account of the specific needs of the outermost regions in a total of 21 proposals, the Commission has ensured the continuation of many of the special measures supporting their development. However, these proposals have met with a mixed response on the part of the outermost regions, particularly when it comes to the proposed reductions in co-financing rates and financial resources. Published in March 2020, the European Commission report on the implementation of the 2017 communication considers that it has delivered concrete results and that the process of implementing the communication is going in the right direction. Yet with development continuing to lag behind in the outermost regions, it is clear that challenges persist. It remains to be seen whether the 2017 strategy and the special measures put forward for the post-2020 period will together be sufficient to close the inequalities gap with the rest of the EU, and achieve the ambitious new goals of the Green Deal. This is a revised and updated version of a briefing from January 2018.

Coronavirus and the cost of non-Europe: An analysis of the economic benefits of common European action

11-05-2020

This EPRS paper focuses on the economic benefits of common action at European level and the risk involved if the current coronavirus crisis and its aftermath were to stall or reverse the process of European integration. It attempts to quantify the losses from: (i) any gradual dismantling of the EU project - where cautious estimates suggest that erosion of the EU single market alone would cost the European economy between 3.0 and 8.7 per cent of its collective GDP (this would be existing 'European ...

This EPRS paper focuses on the economic benefits of common action at European level and the risk involved if the current coronavirus crisis and its aftermath were to stall or reverse the process of European integration. It attempts to quantify the losses from: (i) any gradual dismantling of the EU project - where cautious estimates suggest that erosion of the EU single market alone would cost the European economy between 3.0 and 8.7 per cent of its collective GDP (this would be existing 'European added value' permanently lost); and (ii) a parallel failure to take advantage of the unexploited potential of collective public goods that have yet be achieved (this would be future GDP growth foregone). The latter 'cost of non-Europe' in 50 policy areas was identified by EPRS in 2019 as around 14 per cent of EU GDP by the end of a ten-year running-in period.

Specific flexibility measures for ESI funds in response to the coronavirus outbreak

15-04-2020

With much of Europe in the grip of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), on 2 April, the European Commission announced a further series of measures to help Member States cope with the socio-economic impact of the crisis. Amongst them is a proposal aiming to provide more flexibility in the use of European structural and investment funds (ESI funds). It is expected to be voted under the urgent procedure during the 16-17 April plenary session.

With much of Europe in the grip of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), on 2 April, the European Commission announced a further series of measures to help Member States cope with the socio-economic impact of the crisis. Amongst them is a proposal aiming to provide more flexibility in the use of European structural and investment funds (ESI funds). It is expected to be voted under the urgent procedure during the 16-17 April plenary session.

Towards a renewed territorial agenda for the EU

31-03-2020

The main objective of the territorial agenda is to strengthen territorial cohesion, an EU principle that seeks to ensure the balanced development of the EU and reduce its regional disparities. Agreed in May 2011 and the culmination of a process begun many years earlier with the European Spatial Development Perspective, the Territorial Agenda 2020 is currently being revised with a view to establishing a continued role for this initiative within the EU's new cohesion policy framework beyond 2020. Aimed ...

The main objective of the territorial agenda is to strengthen territorial cohesion, an EU principle that seeks to ensure the balanced development of the EU and reduce its regional disparities. Agreed in May 2011 and the culmination of a process begun many years earlier with the European Spatial Development Perspective, the Territorial Agenda 2020 is currently being revised with a view to establishing a continued role for this initiative within the EU's new cohesion policy framework beyond 2020. Aimed at ensuring the implementation of the Europe 2020 strategy in line with the principle of territorial cohesion, the Territorial Agenda 2020 strives to promote the integration of the territorial dimension across many different policies. To deliver on this ambition, it has established an action-oriented political framework based around six territorial priorities and a series of implementation mechanisms to make EU territorial cohesion a reality. However, with the territorial agenda a low political priority in past years, implementation has remained weak, while the process itself has been beset by challenges, such as fragile intergovernmental cooperation and a low level of awareness. This situation has been compounded by the complex and abstract nature of the territorial agenda, making it difficult to communicate its aims and objectives. Set up in 2018 during the Austrian Presidency, an intergovernmental taskforce is currently leading the work on the renewal of the territorial agenda, the aim being to conclude the process under the German Presidency, with the signing of a 2030 territorial agenda in December 2020. A draft version of the territorial agenda was published in December 2019, underpinned by two overarching priorities, a 'just Europe' and a 'green Europe', establishing a clear link with the European Commission's current priorities and its strategy for sustainable growth, the European Green Deal. While this structure could well help embed the territorial agenda more firmly within the EU's policy-making system, increasing its relevance and improving its visibility, the ongoing coronavirus crisis looks set to overshadow these discussions in the coming months. This briefing has been drafted at the request of a member of the Committee of the Regions, under the Cooperation Agreement between Parliament and the Committee.

Women in local and regional government: Still a long way from achieving parity

02-03-2020

Local and regional institutions have direct impacts on the everyday lives of their citizens. They are vital for women's empowerment, being both the level of governance responsible for service delivery and a potential stepping-stone to a career in public office at national and European level. When their own decision-making bodies are fully representative, the interests and experiences of multiple groups are included. Therefore, the equal representation of women and men at all levels of local governance ...

Local and regional institutions have direct impacts on the everyday lives of their citizens. They are vital for women's empowerment, being both the level of governance responsible for service delivery and a potential stepping-stone to a career in public office at national and European level. When their own decision-making bodies are fully representative, the interests and experiences of multiple groups are included. Therefore, the equal representation of women and men at all levels of local governance is a democratic imperative. After all, women form half the population and need to be better represented in power structures. The representation of women in local and regional assemblies across the EU continues to improve, albeit at a slow rate. However, a number of social, political and institutional obstacles hinder the involvement of women in regional and local government structures. As data show, progress towards equal representation in local and regional government remains slow. Furthermore, progress cannot be taken for granted: in certain EU countries, previous achievements have been reversed. A number of structural and societal barriers continue to hinder women from seeking office and from fulfilling their mandates or accessing leadership positions. In order to boost female representation in local/regional structures, various local and regional strategies have been adopted. The European Union has been a staunch advocate of women's participation in decision-making at all levels of governance. Gender equality is one of the founding values of the European Union, as can be seen in Article 2 and in Article 3, paragraph 3, of the Treaty on European Union. Article 8 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) also reiterates that one of the EU's missions is the elimination of inequalities and the promotion of equality between women and men in all its actions. The European Parliament has adopted a number of resolutions supporting gender balance measures in political decision-making. Nevertheless, laws determining local and regional participation fall within the remit of the EU Member States. This is an updated and expanded edition of an 'At a glance' note from March 2019, PE 635.549.

Implementation of macro-regional strategies

20-02-2020

While each macro-regional strategy is unique in terms of the countries it brings together and the scope of its policies, they all share the same common aim: to ensure a coordinated approach to issues that are best tackled together. Building on the success of the pioneering 2009 European Union strategy for the Baltic Sea region, this form of cooperation has since become firmly embedded in the EU's institutional framework, with four strategies now in place, covering a total of 19 Member States and ...

While each macro-regional strategy is unique in terms of the countries it brings together and the scope of its policies, they all share the same common aim: to ensure a coordinated approach to issues that are best tackled together. Building on the success of the pioneering 2009 European Union strategy for the Baltic Sea region, this form of cooperation has since become firmly embedded in the EU's institutional framework, with four strategies now in place, covering a total of 19 Member States and 8 third countries. Every two years, the European Commission publishes a report to assess the implementation of these strategies, most recently in 2019. With the views of stakeholders and other players helping to complete the picture, it is possible to identify a number of challenges common to all macro-regional strategies in areas such as governance, funding, political commitment and the need to be more results oriented. This, in turn, has helped focus discussions on the future role of macro-regional strategies within the post 2020 cohesion policy framework. For while recent months have seen the idea of a fifth macro-regional strategy resurface, with negotiations now under way on the cohesion policy architecture beyond 2020, the future position of macro-regional strategies within this framework looks set to be the key issue in the coming months for all actors involved in the EU’s macro-regional strategies. Parliament has actively taken part in this debate, through its participation in trilogues on the cohesion policy package, and its 2018 resolution on the implementation of macro-regional strategies. The current Croatian EU Presidency has also committed to focusing on achieving the goals of macro-regional strategies and ensuring their complementarity with cohesion policy as part of its programme, helping to keep the issue high on the political agenda. Much will depend, however, on the outcome of the ongoing multiannual financial framework (MFF) negotiations, which will be critical not only for macro-regional strategies but also for the future shape of cohesion policy in general. This is an updated edition of a Briefing from September 2017.

Research for REGI Committee - Briefing: - Assessment of the Just Transition Fund proposal

18-02-2020

Soon after unveiling the overall roadmap for its flagship European Green Deal initiative, the European Commission published its first concrete proposal on 14 January 2020, on how to establish a Just Transition Mechanism (European Commission, 2020a, 2020b and 2020c). The objective of this initiative is to provide support to territories facing serious socio-economic challenges arising from the transition towards climate-neutrality. To reach the €100 billion of Just Transition Mechanism financing (for ...

Soon after unveiling the overall roadmap for its flagship European Green Deal initiative, the European Commission published its first concrete proposal on 14 January 2020, on how to establish a Just Transition Mechanism (European Commission, 2020a, 2020b and 2020c). The objective of this initiative is to provide support to territories facing serious socio-economic challenges arising from the transition towards climate-neutrality. To reach the €100 billion of Just Transition Mechanism financing (for the period 2021-2027) promised by European Commission President Von der Leyen, the initiative relies on three main pillars (European Commission, 2020a): 1. The creation of a Just Transition Fund (JTF): the Commission wants to add €7.5 billion of ‘fresh money’ to the total amount proposed in 2018 for the 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF). This is supposed to trigger between €30 billion and €50 billion of additional funding for the regions most affected by the transition 2. The use of a portion of the InvestEU financing devoted to climate to mobilise a total of €45 billion of investment in ‘Just Transition’ projects between 2021 and 2027. 3. The creation a public sector loan facility at the European Investment Bank partly guaranteed by the EU budget, to mobilise between €25 billion to €30 billion of additional public investments in 2021-2027.

Zunanji avtor

BRUEGEL - Aliénor Cameron, Grégory Claeys, Catarina Mideos and Simone Tagliapietra

Just Transition Fund

17-02-2020

The EU aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50 % by 2030 and achieve climate neutrality by 2050. This will require a socio-economic transformation in regions relying on fossil fuels and carbon-intensive industries. As part of the European Green Deal, on 14 January 2020, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a regulation to create the Just Transition Fund, aimed at supporting EU regions most affected by the transition to a low carbon economy. Funding will be available to all Member ...

The EU aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50 % by 2030 and achieve climate neutrality by 2050. This will require a socio-economic transformation in regions relying on fossil fuels and carbon-intensive industries. As part of the European Green Deal, on 14 January 2020, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a regulation to create the Just Transition Fund, aimed at supporting EU regions most affected by the transition to a low carbon economy. Funding will be available to all Member States, while focusing on regions with the biggest transition challenges. The fund will support workers, companies, and regional authorities, encouraging investments that facilitate the transition. The proposed budget for the Just Transition Fund (JTF) is €7.5 billion, to be complemented with resources from cohesion policy funds and national co financing (up to a total of €30-50 billion). The Fund will be part of a Just Transition Mechanism, which also includes resources under InvestEU and loans from the European Investment Bank. Total funding mobilised under the mechanism is expected to reach €100 billion, according to the Commission. In the European Parliament, the file has been entrusted to the Committee on Regional Development. The committee is due to hold a workshop on 19 February 2020 before starting discussion on the rapporteur's draft report. First edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

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