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Cohesion policy: Outlook for technical assistance

10-05-2017

Technical Assistance (TA) can be a valuable tool when it comes to supporting the planning and execution of EU funds. It can, among other things, strengthen institutions and boost administrative capacity for effective EU fund management. A report appearing on the European Parliament's May plenary agenda makes various suggestions with a view to making technical assistance more efficient.

Technical Assistance (TA) can be a valuable tool when it comes to supporting the planning and execution of EU funds. It can, among other things, strengthen institutions and boost administrative capacity for effective EU fund management. A report appearing on the European Parliament's May plenary agenda makes various suggestions with a view to making technical assistance more efficient.

Greece's financial assistance programme (March 2016)

05-04-2016

This briefing gives an overview if the economic situation in Greece and the main elements of the third financial assistance programme. This briefing is regularly updated. It served also as a background document for the delegation of the Financial Assistance Working Group to Athens end of March 2016. The previous update was made in view of an Economic Dialogue on 2 March 2016 with Mr Euclid Tsakalotos, Minister of Finance of the Hellenic Republic, in the competent Committee of the European Parliament ...

This briefing gives an overview if the economic situation in Greece and the main elements of the third financial assistance programme. This briefing is regularly updated. It served also as a background document for the delegation of the Financial Assistance Working Group to Athens end of March 2016. The previous update was made in view of an Economic Dialogue on 2 March 2016 with Mr Euclid Tsakalotos, Minister of Finance of the Hellenic Republic, in the competent Committee of the European Parliament.

EU Policy Coherence for Development: The challenge of sustainability

22-03-2016

The EU has been at the forefront of efforts to define and implement the concept of policy coherence for development (PCD) in recent years. A range of instruments has been established to promote the inclusion of development issues in all EU policies. The workshop offered a platform for a lively debate among practitioners and researchers about the achievements of the EU in practice, the potential of recent reforms such as the better regulation package, and the lessons learnt from PCD efforts steered ...

The EU has been at the forefront of efforts to define and implement the concept of policy coherence for development (PCD) in recent years. A range of instruments has been established to promote the inclusion of development issues in all EU policies. The workshop offered a platform for a lively debate among practitioners and researchers about the achievements of the EU in practice, the potential of recent reforms such as the better regulation package, and the lessons learnt from PCD efforts steered by the OECD at international level. As regards the security-development nexus, speakers highlighted both the progress made in enhancing PCD, for example through the comprehensive approach, and the risks of 'securitising' development policy. The Sustainable Development Goals, which include a target for 'Policy Coherence of Sustainable Development', have added a new layer to the debate. The UN views PCSD as a key factor in facilitating the achievement of the SDGs, and the OECD has taken the concept fully on board. But there are also critical voices which fear that the broader approach could lead to the dilution of the clearly defined legal obligation enshrined in the EU treaties. There was some consensus that PCD needs high-level political engagement to be effective.

Išorės autorius

Maurizio CARBONE and Mark FURNESS

Economic Dialogue with Greece

01-03-2016

This note presents selected information on the current status of the EU economic governance procedures and related relevant information in view of an Economic Dialogue with Mr Euclid Tsakalotos, Minister of Finance of the Hellenic Republic, in accordance with the EU legal framework, in particular Article 2a of EU Regulation 1467 as amended by Regulation 1177/2011 and Article 7(10) of EU Regulation 472/2013.This briefing is an update on a previous briefing on Greece’s Financial Assistance Programme ...

This note presents selected information on the current status of the EU economic governance procedures and related relevant information in view of an Economic Dialogue with Mr Euclid Tsakalotos, Minister of Finance of the Hellenic Republic, in accordance with the EU legal framework, in particular Article 2a of EU Regulation 1467 as amended by Regulation 1177/2011 and Article 7(10) of EU Regulation 472/2013.This briefing is an update on a previous briefing on Greece’s Financial Assistance Programme.

ICT in the developing world

21-12-2015

Over recent years, there have been increasing opportunities for inhabitants of low and middle-income countries (LMICs) to use information and communication technologies (ICT). ICT can potentially help LMICs tackle a wide range of health, social and economic problems.By improving access to information and enabling communication, ICT can play a role in achieving millennium development goals (MDGs) such as the elimination of extreme poverty, combating serious diseases, and accomplishing universal primary ...

Over recent years, there have been increasing opportunities for inhabitants of low and middle-income countries (LMICs) to use information and communication technologies (ICT). ICT can potentially help LMICs tackle a wide range of health, social and economic problems.By improving access to information and enabling communication, ICT can play a role in achieving millennium development goals (MDGs) such as the elimination of extreme poverty, combating serious diseases, and accomplishing universal primary education. This study is aimed at examining the nature and extent of impact of ICT on poverty reduction in LMICs. A specific focus is developed for the health sector, elucidating which support ICT may provide to reduce inequalities and strengthen health systems in LMICs. In addition, present EU actions in the area of improving ICT diffusion in LMICs are assessed.  Building on three literature reviews, the study first describes the conditions hampering or facilitating the support of ICT to poverty reduction in LMICs, then focuses on the specific opportunities and obstacles in the use of ICT in the healthcare sector and, finally, it illustrates the EU policy approach for promoting ICT in LMICs. Evidence from desk analysis is complemented by the opinions of 145 surveyed experts, ten of which were also interviewed.  Experts’ opinions confirm the evidence of desk analysis pointing to health and education as the main areas in which ICT can play a significant role in LMICs development.  Building upon the evidence collected, the study provides policy options for future action which the EU could undertake to help LMICs profit from all the opportunities that ICT offer.

Išorės autorius

External authors: Laura Delponte (lead author), Matteo Grigolini, Andrea Moroni and Silvia Vignetti (Centre for Industrial Studies - CSIL, Milan, Italy). Massimiliano Claps and Nino Giguashvili (International Data Corporation - IDC, Milan, Italy).

EU Trust Funds for external action: First uses of a new tool

27-11-2015

Since January 2013, the new Financial Regulation applicable to the EU budget allows the European Commission to create and administer Union Trust Funds in the field of external action: these are multi-donor trust funds for emergency, post-emergency or thematic actions. The European Parliament welcomed this development in an April 2013 resolution, considering that it would allow the EU to raise the visibility of its external action and to have greater control over the delivery chain of relevant funds ...

Since January 2013, the new Financial Regulation applicable to the EU budget allows the European Commission to create and administer Union Trust Funds in the field of external action: these are multi-donor trust funds for emergency, post-emergency or thematic actions. The European Parliament welcomed this development in an April 2013 resolution, considering that it would allow the EU to raise the visibility of its external action and to have greater control over the delivery chain of relevant funds. The first two EU Trust Funds were created in 2014: the Bêkou EU Trust Fund (€108 million), focusing on the stabilisation and reconstruction of the Central African Republic and the Madad Fund (€542 million), dealing with the response to the Syrian crisis. As part of intensifying efforts to tackle the refugee crisis, the European Commission and Spain have also set up an Emergency Trust Fund for stability, to address the root causes of irregular migration and displaced persons in Africa. The new fund has an initial budget of €1.8 billion and targets 23 countries in the Sahel and the Lake Chad region, the Horn of Africa and North Africa. The bulk of funding has so far come from the EU budget and the European Development Fund (EDF). By comparison, Member State contributions to the Trust Funds have to date been relatively low. The European Commission and the European Parliament are therefore urging Member States to match the EU budget and EDF contributions to the Trust Funds. The Commission's aim is to increase the amounts in the Madad Fund and the Emergency Trust Fund for Africa to €1 billion and €3.6 billion, respectively.

Research for REGI Committee - Tools to support the territorial and urban dimension in cohesion policy: Integrated Territorial Investment (ITI) and Community-Led Local Development (CLLD)

30-10-2015

For the 2014-2020 programming period the regulations encourage the usage of integrated and place-based oriented approaches to foster economic, social and territorial cohesion , at the same time putting a greater weight on urban development actions in order to attain the Europe 2020 Strategy goals. These territorial approaches can be implemented by using tools such as the Integrated Territorial Investment (ITI) and the Community-Led Local Development (CLLD). The Partnership Agreements, between the ...

For the 2014-2020 programming period the regulations encourage the usage of integrated and place-based oriented approaches to foster economic, social and territorial cohesion , at the same time putting a greater weight on urban development actions in order to attain the Europe 2020 Strategy goals. These territorial approaches can be implemented by using tools such as the Integrated Territorial Investment (ITI) and the Community-Led Local Development (CLLD). The Partnership Agreements, between the Member States and the European Commission, should indicate how ITI and CLLD will be used by Member States and the types of areas and challenges that these mechanisms will address.

Enabling Greece to make best use of EU funding

28-09-2015

On 17 July 2015, the European Commission proposed, as an exceptional measure, to amend the common rules governing the implementation of the five European Structural and Investment Funds, to provide immediate liquidity to Greece and help the country make full use of available EU funding to finance investment and economic activity. This follows the decisions taken at the Euro Summit of 12 July 2015, which paved the way for a new support programme for Greece.

On 17 July 2015, the European Commission proposed, as an exceptional measure, to amend the common rules governing the implementation of the five European Structural and Investment Funds, to provide immediate liquidity to Greece and help the country make full use of available EU funding to finance investment and economic activity. This follows the decisions taken at the Euro Summit of 12 July 2015, which paved the way for a new support programme for Greece.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: 17 Goals Agreed, Now for the Hard Part

23-09-2015

After more than two years of consultations and negotiations, 193 UN member states agreed on 2 August 2015 to a new sustainable development agenda that is as ambitious as it is fraught with potential pitfalls. Titled ‘Transforming our world: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development‘, the agenda will be formally adopted at the UN summit on 25-27 September in New York. With 17 sustainable development goals (SGDs), it aims for an economic and societal transformation, integrating all three pillars ...

After more than two years of consultations and negotiations, 193 UN member states agreed on 2 August 2015 to a new sustainable development agenda that is as ambitious as it is fraught with potential pitfalls. Titled ‘Transforming our world: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development‘, the agenda will be formally adopted at the UN summit on 25-27 September in New York. With 17 sustainable development goals (SGDs), it aims for an economic and societal transformation, integrating all three pillars of sustainable development – economic, social and environmental. The sectorial scope of the new agenda is enormous, including areas such as migration, industrialisation and energy. The SDGs are universal in nature, creating responsibilities for all countries, spanning domestic development outcomes, assistance to other countries and global public goods. The EU has played a major role in the process and has fought hard for the inclusion of EU values such as human rights and good governance, and for effective implementation and review processes. The ambitious agenda creates implementation challenges at all levels, including indicators and data collection, communication and outreach, the financing challenge and the balance between universality and national ownership.

Cost of Corruption in Developing Countries – How Effectively is Aid Being Spent?

07-04-2015

Corruption undermines development and reduces the effectiveness of development aid. Illicit financial flows are a consequence of flourishing corrupt practices, often amongst the rich in society. Such flows, estimated at USD1 trillion a year, drain the resources that should be invested in improving developing countries, thus hurting poor people disproportionately. The EU has invested much in curbing corruption in member-, candidate, accession- and to some extent neighbouring countries, but has so ...

Corruption undermines development and reduces the effectiveness of development aid. Illicit financial flows are a consequence of flourishing corrupt practices, often amongst the rich in society. Such flows, estimated at USD1 trillion a year, drain the resources that should be invested in improving developing countries, thus hurting poor people disproportionately. The EU has invested much in curbing corruption in member-, candidate, accession- and to some extent neighbouring countries, but has so far had a strategic vacuum and minimal operational investments in anti-corruption initiatives in developing countries in general. Emphasis has been on safeguarding own funds, but as the EU often delegates implementation to other actors this is an inefficient and incomplete approach. The EU needs to strengthen national anti-corruption systems in developing countries, and those of its implementing partners. This will require a renewed strategy process with a focus on the special characteristics of developing countries, as well as internal change management efforts to ensure that EU policies are aligned and that EU institutions are adequately resourced to implement their tasks.

Išorės autorius

Jesper JOHNSØN, Nils TAXELL and Thor Olav IVERSEN (CMI, Norway)

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