The European Commission (EC) recently published a first assessment on the introduction of preconditions that member states must fulfill to receive funding from the European Structural and Investment (ESI) Funds, indicating that the preconditions have proved valuable.
The preconditions, or ex-ante conditionalities, were introduced as a
key element of the Cohesion Policy reform for 2014-2020. They include
requirements in sectors ranging from energy efficiency, innovation, digital
plans and education reforms. To date, member states are fulfilling 86 percent
of the preconditions, and those that are not fulfilling them all have until
this summer to report on their plans to do so.
The recently published assessment shows that these preconditions are
helping reduce bottlenecks to investment, supporting structural changes and the
implementation of country specific recommendations (CSRs) and helping to better
target the use of ESI Funds.
“This report shows that the preconditions have improved the framework
within which the EU budget operates,” said Regional Policy Commissioner Corina Creţu. “By linking the
reception of EU funds to the implementation of key structural changes, we have
not only contributed to guaranteeing sound public investments. We are also
helping to improve quality of life across the EU, while setting the right
conditions for growth and job creation, in line with the objectives of
President (Jean-Claude) Juncker's
New EC report finds structural funding reforms show benefits