Brussels, 19th April 2010
Commission assesses cohesion policy's achievements: around 1.4 million jobs created in Europe in 2000-2006
The investment of €123 billion through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) between 2000 and 2006 has had a clear impact in the regions. An estimated 1.4 million jobs were created during this period, 2 000 km of motorways were built and 14 million people drink better water thanks to EU supported projects. These results will be presented today at an evaluation conference in Brussels where Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for Regional Policy, will meet representatives from Member States, regions, the European Parliament, the Committee of the Regions and the European Court of Auditors.
Commenting on these results, Commissioner Hahn said: “These figures show how important the European cohesion policy is. With our investments we do not only make the European Union visible to our citizens in the regions but we also deliver tangible results to the direct benefit of our economy. By doing this evaluation, we get the opportunity as well to learn from good practices elsewhere and to continuously improve projects and programmes”.
A synthesis report presented today by the Commission wraps up the main findings of the evaluations. It shows how cohesion policy successfully reduced disparities between Member States and regions and how it delivered not only economic development, but also environmental and social development. Key findings include:
In the field of enterprise and innovation support:
In the field of transport:
In the field of environment:
The results of these evaluations give an important insight on how to maximise the effects of cohesion policy interventions in the future and will stimulate the debate on the future shape of the policy. The Commission’s report formulates policy recommendations for 2007-13 and beyond. Cohesion policy should be more oriented on performance, with greater concentration of expenditure in particular intervention areas and a greater focus on results from planning and negotiating the programmes right through to their closure.
Note for editors:
Most of the programmes launched in 2000-2006 are now closed, with the deadline for payment reimbursement claims fixed at 30 June 2009 for all countries. An extension until December 2009 was granted to certain Greek programs. For the current period 2007-2013, the implementation of programmes is in full swing (see IP/10/396).
More evaluations, currently under way, look at the effects of the European Social Fund (ESF) and the Cohesion Fund.
There are three types of evaluation under cohesion policy: before (ex ante), during and after (ex post) the programming period. Evaluation of cohesion policy is undertaken on a partnership basis, with Member States responsible for ex ante evaluation and the European Commission for ex post evaluation. Both Member States and the European Commission are responsible for evaluation to be carried out during the programming period.
The Commission's synthesis report and all thematic evaluations are available at: http://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/sources/docgener/evaluation/expost_reaction_en.htm
Panorama magazine, "Evaluating Regional Policy – insights and results" : http://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/sources/docgener/panorama/pdf/mag33/mag33_en.pdf
Consult stories of projects: http://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/projects/stories/index_en.cfm