Evaluation of e-Cohesion
E-Cohesion is a requirement outlined in the Common Provisions Regulation (CPR) that the Member States should ensure that, no later than 31 December 2015, all exchanges of information between beneficiaries and programme authorities (Managing Authorities and Intermediate Bodies, Certifying Authorities, and Audit Authorities) could be carried out by means of electronic data exchange systems. According to this regulatory requirement, programmes should provide (but not oblige) their beneficiaries with a system to allow the submission of information in electronic form.
This evaluation has a two-fold objective. First, looking backwards: to collect and provide up to date information on the implementation and performance of e-Cohesion systems during the 2014-2020 programming period and also to identify good practice systems which could help inspire further developments of e-Cohesion systems in the other Member States. To enhance a possible learning effect, the evaluation will also identify the challenges and difficulties encountered by the Member States in setting up e-Cohesion systems and document them in a Catalogue of challenges. Next, looking forward: to analyse the preparedness of the e-Cohesion systems currently in place in view of the main relevant changes to be introduced by the new CPR for the 2021 – 2027 programming period, and to identify options for the possible avenues for improvement to ensure that the users of e-Cohesion systems are able to make the most of the simplification potential of e-Cohesion.
To achieve these objectives and to inform answers to the evaluation questions on relevance, coherence, effectiveness, user-friendliness, efficiency, EU added value, the study team will:
- map e-Cohesion systems across all EU27;
- provide in-depth analysis of five selected e-Cohesion systems (informed by desk research and interviews);
- carry out five large surveys of all beneficiaries of the Cohesion Policy of the EU, Managing Authorities, Intermediate Bodies, Certifying Authorities, and Audit Authorities;
- summarise the information collected in 27 country fiches for the Member States and one for Interreg programmes,
- prepare Catalogue of challenges and detailed recommendations on the implementation of the modifications needed (if any) to comply with the legislative proposal of the Commission for the next programming period.