(09 June 2015) – A “Task Force on Better Implementation” of cohesion policy has ben set up by the European Commisssion. Eight countries are particularly concerned.
The Task Force aims to help a number of countries who are facing difficulties in carrying out previously planned investments to improve their “absorption” capacity and seize investment opportunities through stronger administrative capacity.
The attention of the Task Force is currently focused on a group of countries whose absorption rates are below the EU average. The situation could lead to the ‘decommitment’ and loss of the funds that have been allocated or are planned. The eight countries concerned are Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia.
The first action of the Task Force has been to take stock and analyse the situation through a structured and uniform approach across the Member States concerned. This involved identifying bottlenecks and key weaknesses in implementation for each priority axis of the programmes concerned. For some countries there are problems and delays in implementing major infrastructure projects, especially environmental and transport ones. Others suffer from overall weaknesses in theiradministrative capacity, as well as more structural and governance issues.
The Task Force is responsible for drawing up action plans for each Member State concerned, or reviewing existing plans where already in place. According to the Commission, this process will ensure an exchange of experience and a spread of good practice among the participants.