• Strengthening the discussion around Cohesion Policy and the ESI Funds
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Milestones of the programming period 2014-2020


Partnership Agreements and operational programmes are discussed between the Commission and the Member States during the course of 2014 (possibly also in 2015). Anecdotal evidence and ex ante evaluations will be available during the talks; concise information will be available by the second half of 2015 the latest. Inference can be drawn on topics like: understanding strategic goals and renewed Cohesion policy tools by the MSs; correlation between EU2020 and MS investment priorities; problems of the new ESI Fund tools (like JAPs, ITIs or CLLDs) as foreseen by the MSs; financial allocation and implementation schedules of ESI Funds; contextual scenarios relevant to programme implementation and effectiveness as programmed by MSs.


Interim evaluations can be meta-evaluated as evidences accumulate during the present period of implementation of the Funds. However, ex-post evaluations shall only be completed by the Commission by the end of 2015. Evaluation evidences can be collected and used to forecast both changed and unchanged elements of the policy, at least those in the domain of external validity of the evidences.


First pieces of information on the new programming period will slowly appear. Although impact evaluations of the priorities are highly unlikely to have been completed within the contract term, indicator values, implementation reports and implementation and process evaluations will start to deliver. Also, the review of the performance of the programmes in each Member State will be completed in 2017, with reference to the performance framework set out in the respective Partnership Contract and programmes. The review shall examine the achievement of the milestones of the programmes at the level of priorities. Thus, detailed information on the efficiency and some information on the effectiveness of Cohesion Policy and the ESI Funds will be available.  Regarding objectives set in the Common Strategic Framework,

  • the coherence and consistency with the economic policies of Member States and the Union,
  • coordination mechanisms among the CSF Funds and with other relevant Union policies and instruments,
  • horizontal principles and cross-cutting policy objectives
  • and arrangements to address territorial challenges can be assessed.