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1 DG Regio Evaluation Network Meeting Albert Borschette, Brussels, 14 October 2010 Ex post evaluation of Interreg III - Presentation of Final Results Pasi Rantahalvari Evaluation Unit DG for Regional Policy European Commission
2 Objectives of the Ex Post Evaluation Overall to establish the impact of INTERREG to provide evidence on whether the Initiative succeeded in fostering the development of the Community through co-operation Ongoing period to influence the implementation of the current Territorial Co-operation Objective Future policy to influence the debate on cohesion policy after 2013
3 Challenges Variety of programme contexts EU15 and EU12 as well as external borders Between different Strands Literature findings Unspecific and unrealistic expectations of what Interreg could achieve and what the impact could be Fuzzy objectives not conducive to evaluate impact and whether Interreg met its policy expectations Interreg largely about mutual learning But Interreg budget too small to have a measurable impact on regional statistics but too large not to evaluate!
4 Conclusions on Strands A and B (I) Diversity – budget, coverage, context, maturity Physical investments generate impact when real cross-border/transnational relevance Soft co-operation outcomes equally important when a joint and durable problem solving capacity Significant institutional/networking and socio- economic outcomes achieved by the programmes Joint preparation of programmes and implementation of main factors that fostered the integration
5 Conclusions on Strands A and B (II) Policy objectives not specific Programme strategies tended not to be focused Weaknesses in monitoring (inappropriate indicators & target setting) Limited interaction with other EU-programmes Modest financial leverage effects (mobilising private sector funding)
6 Conclusions on Strand C Stimulated exchange of experience and knowledge between regions on a broad range of issues among a large number of regional and local authorities However, transfer of knowledge and good practices towards other EU programmes below expectations Therefore limited impact on EU Cohesion policy as a whole
7 Quantified activity reported by Interreg programmes (I) Creation or maintenance of 115,200 jobs and 5,800 start-ups and new businesses More than 3,900 businesses enhanced or diversified 544,000 attended different events to increase their knowledge and expertise More than 1 million were mobilised in the development of border regions 12,000 networks and co-operation structures created to further promote and intensify co-operation
8 Quantified activity reported by Interreg programmes (II) 1,285 plans or concepts dealing with cross-border or transnational problems elaborated 63,000 agreements or conventions to facilitate co- operation along the borders 123,000 pieces of information material produced to raise awareness of the challenges of integration 1,030 transport infrastructures built or supported 18,000 km of roads, railways, routes and paths built or upgraded
9 Quantified activity reported by Interreg programmes (III) Infrastructure investments in environment (170) and communication (270) 113,700 different services developed 25,000 measures on natural, cultural, urban and rural development to promote initiatives on the ground OVERALL, INTERREG MUCH MORE THAN JUST LEARNING! BUT, THESE ARE NOT IMPACTS!
10 Overall impact of INTERREG III Interreg was much more than mutual learning, although this too was important Financially larger programmes generated significant investments and achieved lasting tangible impacts Smaller programmes achieved mostly intangible impacts on territorial development Interreg generated important soft leverage effects – actor mobilisation, an increased inter-cultural understanding and development of social capital
11 Recommendations for 2007 – 2013 (I) To ensure that programme logic is consistent: what do programmes aim to achieve and how will they know when they have been successful? To promote projects with strategic importance: how can programmes be sure that projects will contribute to achieving the objectives of the programme?
12 Recommendations for 2007 – 2013 (II) To improve monitoring and evaluation of the programmes with support from Interact and DG REGIO To establish pro-active and ongoing interaction with other ETC and mainstream programmes To experiment the EGTC to set up fully integrated co-operation structures To start preparing joint territorial development strategies in the programme areas for the future
13 Overall Conclusion of the DG for Regional Policy We could not quantify the impact of Interreg, although we could provide evidence that it did have an impact How sure are we that future evaluators will be able to provide stronger evidence on the performance of current programmes? Time to review the design & implementation of our ETC programmes!
14 Thank you for your attention
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