This represents the work of an independent contractor and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Europesn Commission
In August 2014, DG MARE commissioned an evaluation of the transitional financial programme (TFP) of the Integrated Maritime Policy (IMP). The programme was established to provide financing for the further development and implementation of the IMP. The funding (EUR 40 million) aimed at supporting actions not covered under existing EU funding initiatives and sought coherence with other relevant EU policies. The programme was in operation from 2011 to 2014.
The evaluation classified the 70-odd projects funded under the TFP into five clusters representing the key intervention areas of the IMP. Data were collected through interviews with around 80 stakeholders, desk research of project and policy documentation and case studies of 12 individual projects.
The overall assessment of the five clusters Marine Knowledge, IMS, Environment, Blue Growth and sea basins and maritime spatial planning is that the TFP has, or will, achieve most of its objectives and will do so relatively efficiently. The policy framework is coherent and the actions have contributed to achieving this. The projects were relevant and have overall generated EU added value. The future programme would benefit from a review of implementation methods and focus areas, enhanced coordination between programme actions and additional efforts to increase programme awareness and stakeholder involvement.
A number of issues or key findings emerged during the analysis. In particular, cross-cutting and horizontal themes, sectors and topics have been gathered under the headings below. The key findings and lessons learnt target ways of strengthening the actions under any future programme.
Seven key issue areas were identified:
- Implementation efficiency - The procurement methods were effective and delivered the services required. Streamlining of timetables to avoid long implementation delay could improve implementation speed.
- Type of actions and support - In many areas of the IMP, such as IMS and Environment, there is a need for supporting Member State administrations. There is a need to focus more on capacity-building, rather than on technical assistance, in future projects/actions.
- Coordination between clusters and actions - Policies within the IMP framework are well-integrated, however, actions and projects are not sufficiently coordinated with other activities in spite of obvious and direct links.
- Awareness and cooperation – Stakeholders who have not been directly targeted have little insight. There is a need to ensure that all relevant industries (industry organisations), NGOs, Member State representatives, and other stakeholders become aware of the actions.
- Sustainability and replicability - Efforts have been made to render the results sustainable, for example in marine knowledge. In other clusters, there is a need to look at how projects are to be made sustainable or replicable.
- Stakeholder involvement - The TFP revolves around involving stakeholders and focuses on stakeholders’ needs for participation in different processes. There is a need to enhance the involvement of the Member States and to maintain it for other stakeholders.
- EU added value and the future - A key added value is the cooperation between Member States, as many of the activities would not take place without the EU funding. Development and sharing of good practices need to be further supported in the future