Ex-ante conditionality – General guidance Workshop on strategic programming, monitoring and evaluation Ilse De Mecheleer, DG EMPL Madrid, 22 February 2013 Overview of the presentation • Introduction • Main principles of ex-ante conditionality • Assessment of ex-ante conditionalities: • By Member States • By Commission • Suspension of interim payments • Lifting of suspension of interim payments Introduction Types of conditionality proposed by the Commission • Ex-ante conditionality: o Art. 17 CPR and Annex V CPR (Cohesion policy) • Macroeconomic conditionality: o Art. 21 CPR • Ex post conditionality (achievement of targets set in performance framework): o Art. 20 (4) CPR Types of ex-ante conditionality • Thematic ex-ante conditionalities are linked to investment priorities. Only those thematic ex-ante conditionalities need to be assessed which are linked to investment priorities selected by Member States. • General ex-ante conditionalities are linked to horizontal aspects of programme implementation. They only apply to those programmes for which their fulfilment is relevant to the efficiency and effectiveness of investments in their programmes. Main principles of exante conditionality How does it work: main principles (1) • Ex-ante conditionalities are set out in the Fund-specific rules: Cohesion policy: Annex V CPR • Thematic ex-ante conditionalities are linked to investment priorities • Applicability • link to specific objective (SO) (see Art. 2 CPR for definition SO) • introduction of definition of ‘applicable ex ante conditionality’: ‘A precisely predefined critical factor which is a necessary prerequisite for and has a direct and genuine link to and direct impact on the effective and efficient achievement of the specific objective for an investment priority or a Union priority’. • Fulfilment • limited to criteria for fulfilment in fund-specific rules How does it work: main principles (2) • Applicable ex-ante conditionalities: to be fulfilled before the start of the programming period • If not fulfilled, to be fulfilled at the latest by 31.12.2016 Action plan • Non-fulfilment of ex-ante conditionalities may lead to the suspension of all or part of interim payments: o at the time of the adoption of the programmes in case of significant prejudice o by the deadline for fulfilment (action plan) • Ex-ante conditionality does not apply to European Territorial Cooperation Programmes Steps of Art. 17 CPR (for all ESI Funds) 1. Self-assessment by Member State on applicability and fulfilment + action plan in case applicable ex-ante conditionalities are not fulfilled 2. Commission assessment of adequacy and consistency of information provided by MS 3. Suspension of interim payments: 1. Upon adoption of the OP 2. In case of non-fulfilment of the actions by the deadline 4. Lifting of suspension Self-assessment by Member States Self-assessment by MS (Art. 17(2) CPR) • When ? in the framework of establishment of PA and programmes already in informal dialogue • Who in MS ? Depending on the specific institutional arrangements: level that is responsible for fulfilment (national/regional) • What ? Applicability and fulfilment. In case of non-fulfilment : action plan • Important to start early, inform and involve the relevant Ministries How to assess applicability ? • For thematic ex-ante conditionalities: check Annex V CPR: conditionality linked to a selected IP ? • For thematic and general ex-ante conditionalities: • Art. 17 CPR: definition of applicability: check applicability in relation to specific objective How to assess fulfilment? • For thematic and general ex-ante conditionalities: limited to the criteria in fundspecific rules • Need to assess fulfilment of each and every criterion • Provide reference to relevant documents demonstrating fulfilment Action plan • The action plan has to contain: • Actions to be taken for each criterion that is not fulfilled • Timetable for the actions: max. deadline 31.12.2016 • Bodies responsible for fulfilment of the actions • Need to report on fulfilment of actions not later than: • Annual Implementation Report submitted in 2017 or • Progress report submitted in 2017 Where to provide the information on self-assessment ? Partnership Agreement (Art. 14(1)(b)(iii) CPR) • - Summary • - Fulfilment of applicable ex-ante conditionalities at national level • - Action plan • Not: programmes to which they apply • and priorities affected OP (Art. 87(6)(b) CPR - - Information to be in accordance with summary in PA - - Fulfilment of applicable ex-ante conditionalities of the OP (always in OP) - - Priorities which are affected - - Action Plan - - Quid information on applicability ? Advice for self-assessment (based on test in ESF TWG) • Start early • Common understanding: share draft selfassessment and discuss on informal basis with the Geo Units • Be short and to the point: do not include nonrelevant information, but ensure that the (non) fulfilment of each criterion is motivated. • Action plan: in case of applicable ex-ante conditionality which is not fulfilled: prepare action plan and start its implementation, possibly cofinanced by the ESF. Assessment by Commission Assessment by Commission (Art. 17(4a) CPR) • What ? Consistency and adequacy of the information provided by MS on applicability and fulfilment of applicable ex-ante conditionalities, i.e. self-assessment of MS, but also action plan • When ? in the framework of assessment of PA and programmes already in informal dialogue • What if Commission disagrees with MS? Commission has burden of proof (Art. 17(4b) CPR) Assessment of applicability by Commission • Same as MS : check whether definition of applicability is fulfilled in relation to the specific objective. Assessment of fulfilment by Commission • Limited to the criteria for fulfilment • Respect national and regional competences to decide on the specific and adequate policy measures including the content of strategies • BUT need to assess fulfilment of criteria • Basis for assessment: i.a. CSRs, SWD on NRP Assessment of fulfilment by Commission – Preparatory action (to be) taken • General guidance (forthcoming) • Specific guidance on all ex-ante conditionalities (forthcoming) • Discussion with MS in informal dialogue (cfr. position papers): come to mutual understanding Assessment of action plan by Commission • Adequacy of action plan: will it lead to fulfilment of the ex-ante conditionality criteria ? • Deadline of 31.12.2016: maximum • Commission accepts proportionality for action plan • Important if not all criteria for fulfilment of an applicable ex-ante conditionality are ‘relevant’ for efficiency and effectiveness of achievement of the specific objective Suspension of interim payments Suspension of interim payments: upon adoption of the OP • In which case? to avoid significant prejudice to the effectiveness and efficiency of the achievement of a specific objective • What ? All or part of the interim payments related to the relevant priority axis proportionality: actions to be taken and funds at risk • Option for the Commission, no obligation Suspension of interim payments: failure to complete the actions by the deadline • What ? All or part of the interim payments related to the relevant priority axis proportionality: actions to be taken and funds at risk • Basis for suspending interim payments: no obligation • Information on fulfilment to be provided at the latest in AIR in 2017 or Progress Report in 2017 • Need for Commission observations within 60 days of submission of the report (Art. 17(5a) CPR) Lifting of suspension of interim payments Lifting of suspension of interim payments o Upon completion of the actions to fulfil applicable ex-ante conditionalities o Upon OP amendment leading to nonapplicability of ex-ante conditionalities THANK YOU !