Preparing for 2021-2027 through Roadmaps for Administrative Capacity Building

Wed 9, October 2019
09:15 - 10:45 CET

The importance of adequate administrative capacity for effective and efficient implementation of Cohesion Policy is reflected in the legislative framework for the European Structural and Investment Funds in the current Programming Period, and even more so in the Commission's proposals for 2021-2027. Ideally, administrative capacity issues should be addressed at the very beginning or even before the actual start of a new Programming Period.

Five Managing Authorities (MA) of national/regional programmes in Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Poland and Spain are working together with the OECD in the framework of the pilot action on frontloading of administrative capacity building. This pilot project is supported by DG Regional and Urban Policy. The purpose of the project is to develop roadmaps and implement country-specific actions to strengthen their administrative capacity. At the same time, the pilot project tests a new approach proposed by the Commission for the 2021-2027 programming period, which would allow Member States to carry out targeted administrative capacity measures. The experiences will be disseminated to other MAs, feeding in to preparatory work for the upcoming programming period.

The session will present the experiences of the Croatian MA and the Greek MA, the OECD and the Commission. It will also refer to the new provisions on administrative capacity building suggested by the Commission for the next programming period.

Ann-Kerstin Myleus, Deputy Head of Unit, Administrative Capacity Building and European Solidarity Fund Unit, DG REGIO, European Commission, Belgium.
Daniel Gerson, Head of Public Employment and Management Project, Reform of the Public Division, OECD, France.
Marina Hudolin, Head of Department for Administrative Capacity Monitoring and Development, Ministry of Regional Development and EU Funds, Croatia.
Maria Varinia Michalun, Decentralisation, Public Investment and Subnational Finance Unit, OECD, France.
Ann-Kerstin Myleus, Deputy Head of Unit, Administrative Capacity Building and European Solidarity Fund Unit, DG REGIO, European Commission, Belgium.
Konstantinos Raftopoulos, Head of Unit, Management and Control Unit, Managing Authority OP Transport, Environment, Greece.
The Future of the EU and the roles of the Regions and Cities
European Commission - DG REGIO
English (EN), Español (ES), Polski (PL)

Session summary

In 2018, DG REGIO launched a pilot project on frontloading administrative capacity building, the aim of which is to help Member States to prepare for the next Programming Period 2021-2027 before it actually starts. The project is being implemented with the support of the OECD, which worked together with five managing authorities from Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Poland and Spain that had volunteered to participate. After a joint analysis of the capacity-building needs, also involving a wider range of stakeholders, actions were developed to address these needs and were presented in the form of roadmaps on administrative capacity building. Experiences and lessons learned from the pilot will be used to assist Member States wishing to develop such roadmaps for the upcoming Programming Period in order to support efficient management and implementation of the ESI Funds.

During the session, the project was presented from two perspectives - that of the OECD, which developed the project methodology and provided technical support to the managing authorities, as well as two of the managing authorities participating in the project. The OECD presented the overall outcome and conclusions of the recently accomplished Phase 1, stressing that a number of the challenges identified - relating to human resources policies, framework conditions and strategic planning - were common to most of the managing authorities. The representatives of the participating Croatian and Greek managing authorities shared their experiences with the audience, explaining their motivation and the reasons behind their participation in this pilot project. They also presented what the managing authorities expect to achieve during Phase 2 of the project, during which certain actions will be implemented, as well as from a longer-term perspective. While participation in the project required some additional efforts on the part of the managing authorities, it is expected that the opportunities provided by the pilot action and the results that it will deliver will be well worth it. 

While this new approach of developing roadmaps was tested with five participating managing authorities, other managing authorities could also learn from the results of the project as part of their preparations for the upcoming Programming Period. In this context, exchanges on this subject between managing authorities are very much encouraged and supported. 

Take away message

The experiences and lessons from the pilot project on frontloading administrative capacity building can assist Member States in their preparations for the 2021-2027 Programming Period. The method used for developing roadmaps on administrative capacity building provides opportunities to take a fresh look at the existing systems, tools and policies, as well as help to ensure that well-designed organisational structures, the right systems and tools, skilled and motivated staff and the right framework conditions are in place in due time.

"It is important to put the focus on people. The feasibility of the roadmap is also equally important". (M. Hudolin)


"The world is changing around us and we need to change to be able to respond to the new needs and circumstances". (K. Raftopoulos)

"We often talk about challenges but this project has provided new opportunities that could help to deliver desired change". (D. Gerson)

"The pilot experience has been revealing". (M.V. Michalun)