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Delivering Cohesion Policy : the Malta Experience Ms. Marlene Bonnici Permanent Secretary EU Funds.

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Presentation on theme: "Delivering Cohesion Policy : the Malta Experience Ms. Marlene Bonnici Permanent Secretary EU Funds."— Presentation transcript:

1 Delivering Cohesion Policy : the Malta Experience Ms. Marlene Bonnici Permanent Secretary EU Funds

2 Planning – 30 to 36 months before Timing: Minimum 30-36 months before indicative start of Programme, however this depends on national obligations (e.g. parliamentary approval, etc….). A number of processes have to happen simultaneously. Hence, the different structures responsible have to be co- ordinated and aligned.

3 Planning – 30 to 36 months before (cont.) Strong co-ordination and decision taking procedure in place (including political, technical and administrative dimensions). Set-Up Administrative structures: drafting, consultation and consolidation of documents.

4 MT – Co-ordination Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) chaired by the Parliamentary Secretary responsible for Finance within the Office of the Prime Minister. MT : IMC:-Core Members + ad hoc experts (as required) –Office of the Prime Minister; –Finance; –Economy; –Agriculture and fisheries; –Cabinet Secretariat; and –Managing / National Co-ordination Authority.

5 Consultative Process and Consultees Consultative process needs to be strongly managed and co-ordinated. Identify stakeholders: - Government Ministries and other public entities; - Local / regional Government; - Socio-Economic Partners; - Civil Society; - Political Parties; - Ad hoc experts; and - Other organisations implementing / managing EU funds and Programmes (demarcation).

6 Consultative Process and Consultees (cont. 1) Method/s of consultation : –SWOT workshops (broad and/or focused sessions); –Sectoral Working Groups; – Presentation and participation at stakeholders’ informal/ formal working sessions; and –bilateral meetings.

7 Consultative Process and Consultees (cont. 2) And receipt of feedback: –Questionnaires; –Interviews; –SWOT sessions; and –Minutes of bilateral sessions. IMPORTANT - STRONG MODERATOR

8 Administrative Set-Up Identify drafting team : –Contract out (issue tender – Timing!!!); –Internal Resources; or –A combination of both (MT experience so far). Establish procedures to manage communication flow between drafting team, feedback received and decision makers.

9 Preparatory Phase – Minimum 30 months before Launch tenders and contract: –Drafters/ Programming Consultants; –SEA Consultants; and –Ex-ante Evaluators. Set up co-ordination mechanism between the different inputs and deadlines for decisions.

10 Programming - Drafting Phase I – minimum 24 months before Consult relevant National Strategies (no point in re-inventing the wheel and timing). Commence drafting of first chapters (snapshot of socio-economic and territorial situation). IN PARALLEL: Launch consultation (SWOT) or similar exercise.

11 Programming - Drafting Phase I – minimum 24 months before (cont.) Simultaneously initiate SEA and Ex-Ante Evaluation. Prepare project pipe - line (particularly larger projects requiring multiple studies and permits).

12 Drafting Phase II – Minimum of 22 months before Consolidate inputs from the various parallel processes. Produce first "clinical” draft of the strategy and emerging priorities (IMP: keep the deadline). Submit for “internal consultation” (IMC / Cabinet).

13 Drafting Phase II – Minimum of 22 months before (cont.) Undertake any revisions at this stage (prepare justifications for any deviations from clinical draft). Start putting the fundamentals into the implementation system.

14 Launch for (Wider) Public Consultation - 20 months before Organise separate workshops/seminars well with set questions and competent moderators. It is important to focus. Invite stakeholders to submit written feedback. Important to give stakeholders sufficient time to react. Processing of feedback.

15 Consolidation and Final (first) Draft - 18 months before Consolidate draft strategy including: –Input from SEA and Ex-Ante which may require a second consultation process. –Prepare draft programmes (in small countries there will be a lot of overlap between the strategy and the OP/s). –Consolidate Implementation System.

16 Negotiations with the European Commission – 15 months Discuss any major issues with the EC as soon as these emerge. Present first draft to the EC and seek to address issues informally. Negotiations are by their very nature a process of give and take - hence identify the issues that are non-negotiable and prepare strong justifications.

17 Negotiations with the European Commission – 15 months (cont.) Outcome of negotiations may require further consultations at technical / political levels with various stakeholders. IMPORTANT – TIMING - Quick decision making procedures (at national level)

18 Final stages - 3 months before official launch Consolidation of final draft. Conclude any internal obligations with regard to MS approval of the document/s. Submission to the EC for approval (check submission procedures).

19 Final stages - 3 months before official launch (cont.) In parallel: - Ensure establishment of implementation system; - Set up Monitoring Committee and define criteria for the selection of operations;and - Prepare for launch of Programme (tendering for event).

20 Delivering Programmes Set up a strong but lean Implementation System: - Managing Authority in a central Ministry (use existing structures); - Light Structure - limited number of Intermediate Bodies; - Establish clear demarcation of who is doing what in the system; - Make sure your stakeholders own the system; and - Establish a mechanism of rapid escalation (including political).

21 Delivering Programmes(cont.1) Ensure capacity to implement: - S ufficient human resources across ALL horizontal stakeholders (internal and/or external recruitment); -Training and capacity building; - Set up a strong monitoring system; - Create foresight capacity (through monitoring); - Get the paperwork right; - Retain a degree of pragmatism and flexibility; and - Communicate your results.

22 Main Issues encountered (programming) Decisions on the structure responsible for co- ordination (and who should be involved). Selection of the drafters (in-house vs, outsourcing). Various (at times conflicting) inputs from the various processes (SEA, Ex-Ante and consultations). Selection of measures (within the priorities) suitable for Cohesion Policy financing (timing, eligibility, etc.).

23 Main Issues encountered (programming) (cont.) Identifying appropriate quantifiable indicators. Availability of data and statistics. Preparing project pipe-line. Setting up implementation system (especially first time round). Political implications (e.g. elections, changes within Government, etc..)

24 Problems encountered (implementation) Resistance to new set-up by Beneficiaries; Internal struggles on responsibilities / functions; Permission to recruit (austerity measures); (Very) steep learning curve; Availability of experienced trainers; High staff turn-over; Multiple parallel processes (different skills); Permitting; and Self-made unnecessary burdens / problems.

25 Possible Mitigation Measures Use existing structures (where possible). In-house drafters drawing upon existing sectoral and other strategies (or combination). Ideally one tender is issued for the various consultancies required with various experts involved in the different aspects of programming and planning.

26 Possible Mitigation Measures (cont.1) Hold in-depth discussions with technical experts to determine appropriate measures for CP. Use official (National Statistics) as much as possible. Keep detailed record of any targets, workings (in case of composite indicators) and baseline sources. Initiate discussions (including all stakeholders) at a very early stage on project pipe-line (do NOT leave this to chance).

27 Seek to use existing structures / procedures (perhaps drawing upon any existing experience with EU funding set-ups). Training and innovative capacity building measures. Write your own implementation system. Make time for evaluations and external feedback. Possible Mitigation Measures (cont. 2)

28 Consider a centralised / streamlined system (if possible): - Maximises on existing qualified / trained resources ; and - Minimises on internal conflicts. Possible Mitigation Measures (cont. 3)


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