Evaluating cohesion policy for better efficiency

30-09-2016

The principles guiding cohesion policy for the 2014-2020 period include efficiency and a results-oriented approach. Evaluation is an important tool for assessing the impact of cohesion policy programmes and the contribution of funding to EU objectives, evidencing the performance of policies with concrete data. It can also translate into better efficiency, improved implementation and more effective policy design. However, evaluation also encounters challenges related to resources and administrative capacities, political pressures, the availability of data and the limitations of evaluation methods. The regulations on the European Structural and Investment Funds lay down a variety of reporting requirements, evaluation procedures and indicators to be monitored. Evaluations are carried out at the ex-ante, interim and ex-post stages, applying various quantitative and qualitative methods. Member States and the European Commission prepare reports at various points in the programming period using the findings obtained in the process of evaluating themes, programmes and projects. Ex-post evaluations for the 2007-2013 programming period are still under way, with a number of preliminary findings already available. The first implementation reports for the current 2014-2020 period were released in May this year, while a summary report from the European Commission is expected by the end of 2016.

The principles guiding cohesion policy for the 2014-2020 period include efficiency and a results-oriented approach. Evaluation is an important tool for assessing the impact of cohesion policy programmes and the contribution of funding to EU objectives, evidencing the performance of policies with concrete data. It can also translate into better efficiency, improved implementation and more effective policy design. However, evaluation also encounters challenges related to resources and administrative capacities, political pressures, the availability of data and the limitations of evaluation methods. The regulations on the European Structural and Investment Funds lay down a variety of reporting requirements, evaluation procedures and indicators to be monitored. Evaluations are carried out at the ex-ante, interim and ex-post stages, applying various quantitative and qualitative methods. Member States and the European Commission prepare reports at various points in the programming period using the findings obtained in the process of evaluating themes, programmes and projects. Ex-post evaluations for the 2007-2013 programming period are still under way, with a number of preliminary findings already available. The first implementation reports for the current 2014-2020 period were released in May this year, while a summary report from the European Commission is expected by the end of 2016.