On 6 October 2011, the European Commission published a package of six new regulations. Their final versions were approved on 17 December 2013. In the programming period 2014–2020, they form the legislative basis for aid from the European Structural and Investment Funds. The set of these regulations is to ensure uniform rules throughout the European Union as well as improving coordination among individual funds and also for programmes at the national level.
The intention of the European Union is that these funds contribute, to the greatest possible, to fulfilling the EU 2020 Strategy – strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, which is a long-term vision for the development of the European Union. For a better use of these Funds for the benefit of the EU 2020 Strategy, each country has drawn up a Partnership Agreement, which was assessed and evaluated by the European Commission. Individual programmes will contribute to its implementation. These documents also specify the distribution of allocated funds among areas of intervention.
What is new in the programming period 2014–2020?
In comparison with the programming period 2007–2013, several novelties have been introduced in the system of drawing from EU Funds. Both at the EU and Czech levels. The most important ones include:
- an increase in the number of participating funds (now including the EAFRD and EMFF, i.e. funds of the rural development policy and the Common maritime and fisheries policy)
- setting a system of ex ante conditionalities;
- better measurability of benefits of supported operations (emphasis on fulfilment of the set indicators);
- financial dependence on the speed and quality of drawing (performance framework);
- a higher degree of use of territory-specific approach and use of integrated tools;
- a higher degree of use of financial instruments at the expense of subsidies.
In the Czech conditions, the main novelties include in particular:
- a decrease in the number of programmes (fewer thematic OPs and establishment of a single Integrated Regional Operational Programme instead of original seven ROPs);
- the concept of a Uniform methodological environment (to ensure the same rules throughout the system);
- extended functioning of the monitoring system (administrative simplifications, applicants will no longer have to print any papers).