- is convinced that for the 2021-2027 programming period, e-Cohesion is expected to play a significant role in supporting the simplification measures proposed for the implementation and management of the EU cohesion policy funds, as provided for in the Commission proposal for the Common Provisions Regulation post-2020.
- specified that its contribution is based on consultations with civil society organisations representing employers, workers and associations of various interests, as well as public authorities in five selected EU countries (Romania, Poland, Latvia, Greece and Italy). It covers the four main types of users, in order to understand how they have experienced and perceived the implementation and performance of the e-Cohesion system in place in their respective countries.
- underlined that the information report consists of an ex-post qualitative analysis of the relevance, effectiveness and the inclusion of civil society with regard to the e-Cohesion systems currently in place in the Member States examined. The report also includes proposals on how to improve the existing e-Cohesion systems, as well as on how to better include civil society in their future revisions.
- underlined that, as regards the general perception of the e-Cohesion policy, it emerged that, despite the problems noted in some Member States, the e-Cohesion systems are deemed to be a useful tool overall. Moreover, it seems that the Regulation has established a framework for the cohesion policy to be implemented more efficiently and that the systems in all countries register constant improvements.
- noted that in all five countries, the users on all sides of the IT systems agree that the COVID-19 pandemic was further confirmation of the need for streamlined e-Cohesion systems. This would ensure the constant communication and exchange of information between beneficiaries, managing authorities and intermediate bodies, certifying authorities, and audit authorities. The existing systems would thus be improved and be better placed to ride the digital transformation wave.
- highlighted that there are several good practices, that should be taken into account for future regulations or when designing similar systems. In particular, the open data systems, the interoperability, the module-based approach, and the training and assistance for beneficiaries are such examples.
- noted some disparities between Member States in the level and consistency of civil society and the social partners' involvement in the design and constant improvement of e-Cohesion systems.