Preparing for 2021-2027 through Roadmaps for Administrative Capacity Building
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)