The Participants of the Conference Discussed the Innovation and Challenges of 2014-2020 Cohesion Policy

05 July 2013, Last updated at, 18:04 EEST
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author: PantherMedia/Scanpix

Friday was the closing day for the international conference where the Lithuanian and foreign experts discussed preparation for 2014-2020 EU Cohesion policy with the priority to programming and evaluation. They shared good practice on the issues as well. The conference was organised by the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Lithuania and the European Commission.

„Cohesion policy is of key importance for the sustainable development of the European Union’s economy. However, the tight financial resources require not only the greater efficiency of expenditures, but also a new approach towards programming and evaluation. These topics were in-depth discussed at the conference“, – Minister of Finance of the Republic of Lithuania Rimantas Šadžius said.

"The EU needs a more effective and more strategic use of cohesion policy funds and in particular of the ESF. We must draw lessons from the past and improve what can be improved. The common denominator of this effort is the focus on results. Evaluation plays a key role to inform decisions and to demonstrate impact", European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion László Andor said.

During the first day of the conference the experts from Lithuania and abroad discussed a new approach and requirements by the European Commission in the areas of intervention logic, development and implementation of programmes on result based management. The results and challenges of ex-ante evaluations of operational programmes of the upcoming period were discussed as well.

In the new period of EU Cohesion policy will be aimed at greater efficiency results and attention to the priorities of the Europe 2020 Strategy, which includes employment, R&D, climate change and energy sustainability, education, fight against poverty and social exclusion.

With the view to ensure greater efficiency, ex-ante evaluations of operational programmes 2014–2020 focus not only on the tasks that are typical for such evaluation (for instance, evaluation of the relevance of priorities and their compatibility with key strategic documents, or measurement of administrative resources), but also on the relevance and adequacy of programme indicators and evaluation systems.

During the second day the most of attention was given to the European Social Fund and its role in the fight against unemployment in Europe and the rise in risk of exclusion of certain social groups. The participants of the conference discussed how to evaluate the efficiency of investments of the Fund, use innovative measures and closer links with other Funds.

This conference was the opening event by the Ministry of Finance related to the Lithuanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. Nearly 200 participants from Lithuania and 25 foreign countries, including the representatives of the Lithuanian and the European Commission’s authorities,  academic society, evaluators, and other guests interested in the issues of the EU Structural Funds programming, monitoring and evaluation took part in the event. It was the fifth conference on the EU Structural Funds Evaluation organised by the Ministry of Finance in Lithuania (the first was held in 2005.).

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