Chapter 2: The institutions and procedures of Cohesion policy
Cohesion policy engages a multiplicity of actors over successive programming periods both in renegotiating the Structural Funds regulations and interpreting them within the new design of the operational programmes financed by the three main funds. The chapter first maps the actors and institutions in Cohesion policy, from EU institutions to formalised interest groups. Next, it briefly introduces the financing, rules and procedures in operation. The chapter then looks in depth at the implementation cycle, examining how programmes are drawn up, covering project appraisal, providing match funding, and eventually assessing programme and project results to show how policy fared. Finally, it examines financing for technical assistance and questions of administrative capacity to ensure good implementation and monitoring. The architecture of Cohesion policy governance is arguably of policy networks, whereby multilevel policy actors participate in operational programmes with various clusters of actors (experts, lobbies, academics, non-governmental organisations, and so on), and where various roles and tasks are performed at different levels.
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