October 18th, 2021 AAAA
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Joint Paper by Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Malta, Poland, Romania and Slovakia regarding the technical and administrative assistance for Cohesion Member States under Connecting Europe Facility—Transport for the period 2021–2027



High quality of support in preparation and reviewing of CEF project applications on one side, and then safeguarding the smooth and regular implementation of the investments for which Grant Agreements were signed on the other side, are crucial for development of the TEN-T infrastructure in cohesion countries. The monitoring of ongoing projects is also necessary for making the implementation process smooth in accordance with the applicable EU and national laws and in line with the schedule. Thanks to the CEF monitoring systems at national levels, Member States (MS) are able to react rapidly & effectively on problems/challenges/risks in CEF projects taking into account national specificities as well. This system can be established thanks to the Programme Support Action (PSA) for Cohesion Member States.

 

Hence, the PSA for MS under the cohesion envelope of CEF constitutes a beneficial tool which effectively supports the implementation and monitoring process of CEF projects. The current PSA experience shows that MS have a possibility to take a variety of actions which support proper implementation of CEF projects on different fields i.a.: application process, monitoring of CEF projects’ implementation as well as communication actions. It brings favorable effects both at national and EU level. Thanks to the PSA, MS are able to support and assist beneficiaries, INEA and DG MOVE.

 

It is also of great importance to carry out communication actions to widen the information on CEF strategic investments which improve the transport network in the EU as well as make it more sustainable.

 

Considering this, we appreciate that DG MOVE announced a continuation of PSA in the next MFF. Simultaneously, during the CEF Committee meeting, MS were informed that some modifications in the approach to PSA implementation were planned. We are in favour of its simplifications, to make this tool more useful and effective. However, we are still concerned about a lack of key information on its shape and main assumptions. Thus, it will be highly appreciated to learn more about your views on a new edition of PSA. Our main points concern the following issues:

 

  • the role of MS under the PSA, especially in the context of one, single GA for MS that has been proposed. When a draft model of such GA might be foreseen? This information should be communicated in a timely manner, as MS need to prepare to this role, taking into account also the national conditions;
  • foreseen budget for PSA and the way of lump sums calculation. We are of the opinion that the available PSA budget should ensure sufficient support for all activities of the MS to enable suitable implementation of the CEF-funded actions;
  • catalogue of eligible costs. It is of particular importance to effectively monitor the implementation of the CEF-funded actions also at the MS level to ensure their proper and regular implementation. To do so accurately, the similar scope of eligible costs as in the current PSA should be kept for the next MFF;
  • flexible catalogue of eligible entities under the PSA. MS organise system of projects implementation taking into account national procedures and conditions. Each MS might have various needs in terms of institutions engaged in this process;
  • period of implementation. The PSA for MS should be available during the whole eligibility period under CEF investment projects, i.e., up to 2030;
  • actions referring to CEF1. PSA effectively supports monitoring of CEF projects. However, it should be noticed that PSA for MS in this MFF will be closed in the end of 2021. Taking into account that the monitoring process of currently implemented projects will be continued after 2021, the PSA under CEF 2 should ensure eligibility of costs referring to the monitoring actions conducted by MS under CEF 1.

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