Answer given by Mr Hahn on behalf of the Commission
The Polish Partnership Agreement identifies the need for a specific Operational Programme for Eastern Poland (OP EP) with a budget of EUR 2 billion covering three thematic objectives: support to entrepreneurship, sustainable urban transport, and roads and railways. The discussions on this new OP EP are on-going. The first round of talks took place in July. It is therefore too early to say which precise measures the final programme will include.
The particular socioeconomic situation of Eastern Poland and the need for further support to this area have not been challenged. The Commission however notes the importance of establishing effective coordination mechanisms and demarcation lines between the new OP EP and the future programmes for five regions from Eastern Poland in order to avoid both the risk of double-funding and the creation of extra administrative layers for the implementation of funds, which the Commission observed during 2007-2013.
In order to improve programme implementation compared to the previous period, the Commission will also pay special attention to clearly established and prioritised investment needs, the on-going monitoring of EU funds' implementation (in particular the performance framework mechanism) and to complementarities with investments already co-financed during 2007-2013. These conditions have been outlined in Partnership Agreement.