Programming has advanced considerably. By the start of November 2014, all but one of the 28 Partnership Agreements were agreed, although only a small number of operational programmes have been approved. In the IQ-Net countries, the negotiations of the PAs have been administratively challenging. For some negotiations have focused on descriptive issues, while for others there has been a greater emphasis on content. he Commission has adopted a selective approach to supporting transport and energy infrastructure (TO7), particularly in the more developed Member States. There are also specific limitations for supporting ICT (TO2) and energy efficiency within the low carbon economy theme (TO4). Fulfillment of ex ante conditionalities have been challening with comments and changes proposed by the Commission not necessarily viewed to be justified. In addition, problems have been faced with setting indicators, and in relation to new Commission Acts and guidelines includng with respect to fraud prevention.
The rate of financial absorption of 2007-13 programmes has increased in the EU28 over the past six months, albeit at a slower rate than in the previous periods. Concerns in the IQ-Net programmes continue to relate to payment interruptions, the level of payments and decommitment. IQ-Net programme authorities are progressing with preparations for closure, but are somewhat concerned with the amount of work involved and the capacities needed for this process.