Project generation and selection in Cohesion policy in 2014-20: between results-orientation and micro-management

Cite as: Gross, F., & Polverari, L. (2014) Project generation and selection in Cohesion policy in 2014-20: between results-orientation and micro-management. IQ-Net Thematic Paper, Vol 34, No. 2. European Policies Research Centre, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow

The 2014-20 programme period sees the introduction of results-orientation to reverse the input-driven programming logic. The role of results-orientation will become more important across IQ-Net partner countries and regions, but other considerations remain important. While the focus on results-orientation may lead to greater transparency and enhanced simplification during project selection, there are concerns over the impact of absorption and compliance (notably State aid and public procurement rules) considerations. The attitude taken by auditors will be critical for the practical application of resultsorientation. The domestic context can add to the complexity, especially where legal frameworks are inconsistent/in flux or where the allocation of responsibilities and coordination arrangements are unclear. The wider economic, fiscal and policy context also impacts on how straightforward it will be to generate projects with high potential. More fundamentally, there are issues linked to the prevailing administrative and political culture in some countries, partly linked to capacity problems, and a change in thinking is needed to translate results-orientation at the stakeholder level.

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