When we reviewed what we had done so far I had, in the back of my mind, the promise I made to the Members of the European Parliament, to the Members of the Committee of Regions and to the Member States, which were worried about delays in the adoption of Operational Programmes (OP's). These programmes determine the way EU funds, in accordance with the budget and the guidelines set in Partnership Agreements for a period of seven years, will be used throughout a Member State or within one particular region, to improve the quality of life of the citizens, to create job, growth, and to develop the competitiveness of the territory. They are vital, performance-guided investments that have a tangible and important impact on the daily life of people.
I promised that me and my team, strongly supported by the Directorate-General for Regional and Urban policy, were going to do everything we could to adopt as many OP's as possible before the end of 2014. I personally studied and signed each and every one of them. But had we done enough?
So we sat down and looked at the numbers. And it turned out that 63% of all OP's for 2014-2020 were adopted during 2014, among which 90% since November, when the new Commission came into office! I looked at the number from 2007-2013; 15% of OP's were adopted during the first year of the budgetary period then.