EU Cohesion policy: study calls for a strategic focus on quality projects and on removing administrative barriers to investments

Today, the Commission published a study that aims to enhance the understanding of the Technical Assistance (TA) at the initiative of Member States during the 2014-2020 period. The report assesses the capacity of the public administrations to prepare, manage and implement EU Cohesion policy projects as well as to remove important barriers to investment. It calls on the national and regional authorities to ensure more leadership and coordination, involvement and strengthening of the competencies of all relevant stakeholders and beneficiaries, invest in long-term learning and development strategies of their staff, using the tools developed under EU Cohesion policy. Moreover, the study contains a very useful compendium of good practices in the different areas, stressing the need for broader administrative reforms. The recommendations are in line with the European Commission’s focus on strategic capacity building of the new EU funding instruments and initiatives of the next long-term EU budget 2021-2027 and NextGenerationEU. Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, Elisa Ferreira, said: “Cohesion policy is at the heart of recovery for a more sustainable and resilient Europe. Good governance and sound institutions are conducive to growth and economic development. Member States and regions should think strategically about strengthening their capacity to plan and implement public investment, involving key stakeholders and taking advantage of the green and digital transition.” The Commission also made available practical toolkit, which administrations can use to better prepare for future EU Cohesion policy investment programmes.