I was surprised and, quite frankly, a bit annoyed, by some figures I came across on Twitter, regarding the adoption of Operational Programmes for the 2014-2020 programming period. This is why I decided to set the record straight here.
So I was upset to see that outdated figures circulated on Twitter about the work we have done so far in adopting the new Operational Programmes. I am very aware of the concerns and expectations regarding these programmes, given how vital they are to local and national economies. This is precisely why me and my team worked so hard to adopt as many as possible, as fast as possible. And I am proud of our work! Here is why:
By the end of 2014, 130 Regional Policy programmes (European Regional Development Fund/Cohesion Fund), the ones I am responsible for, were adopted, out of a total of 205.
Furthermore, in mid-February, 34 new Regional Policy programmes were adopted, only 24h after the adoption of the carry-over decision - a decision which allowed budgetary amounts from 2014 to be carried over in 2015, in order to adopt programmes that were ready by the end of 2014 but not yet adopted. Yes, I sat down, reviewed and signed each and every one of them within 24h, because I knew how much they were expected.
Now, 14 months after the beginning of the new budgetary period, 80% of the 2014-2020 programmes are adopted and the discussions are closed with 21 Member States. And this is even more significant given the late adoption of the multi-financial framework, in December 2013, and its strong impact on the programming of Cohesion Policy for 2014-2020. But we made up for this delay.
And as a matter of fact, I looked at the figures from 2007-2013; back then only 44% of them were adopted after 14 months.
It was not a pleasant surprise to read these allegations on the social media, but at least it gives me the occasion to thank my team once again for the great (and fast) work we have done!