This paper assesses whether and how the new instruments for integrated territorial developmentintroduced in the 2014-20 programme period are contributing to new results. Did the obligation to invest five percent of ERDF funding into sustainable urban development (SUD) and the introduction ofthe new implementation mechanisms Integrated Territorial Investment (ITI) and Community-led LocalDevelopment (CLLD) lead to policy innovation? What is the evidence so far for any added value in theareas of governance and integration? What are the lessons learned for the future? State of play – The options to use territorial instruments have been taken up to a very differentextent, with some programmes investing up to 40 percent of their funding into ITIs or SUD and othersopting to only fulfil the minimum requirements. Implementation progress of territorial instruments isslower compared to ESIF implementation in general.
The governance of territorial instruments is creating challenges for programme managers. The effectiveness and efficiency of strategies can be undermined where existing capacities are limited. A difficulty forseveral IQ-Net programme authorities is the complexity associated with selecting operations, which isconsidered more onerous than with other ESIF operations. Generally, integration is most notable in terms of the combination of strategic objectives in territorial instruments. Proportionality and differentiation are key concerns in some of thesmaller IQ-Net programmes, as is the distribution of tasks and responsibilities.
The EC proposals for 2021-27 raise a number of questions: Without the obligation for a specific Art. 7 body, is there a risk that current benefits such asbuilding new capacity and cooperation at local and city levels are lost? One concern is that rural development will be separated out under the new proposals – whatimpact will this have on the scope for integration of Funds under CLLD, but also under ITI? What is needed to allow for a better combination of ESI Funds on the ground, which is anissue of particular importance for multi-sectoral territorial interventions? Is it getting more difficult to differentiate between the various territorial instruments? Is there ahigher risk of overlap, complexity and confusion?