Partnership Principle in Practice - Conference in Brussels, October 21-23, 2004 Institute of Environmental Economics Best Available Practices Public Participation in Programming, Implementing and Monitoring EU Funds Andrzej Guła Project: Public Eye on EU Funds – public participation in EU funds programming, implementing and monitoring CEE Bankwatch Network, Institute of Environmental Economics; Supporting NGO representatives taking active part in programming, monitoring and implementing the EU Funds (exchange of information between NGOs, expert assistance, training); New member states, accession countries. BEST PRACTICE GUIDE Best Available Practices REPORT Why NGO participation? What is current status for NGO participation in different countries? What are the good practicies that could be propagated? How to make the participation more efficient? Reccomendations. ENGO Why NGO participation? Preventing negative impacts of the EU funded projects on the environment, Promoting sustainable development concept to be incorporated in allocation patterns of the EU Funds, Enforcement of the domestic and EU environmental legislation, Encouraging proper use of the tools that are aimed at protecting the environment (e.g. EIA) Increasing transparency of EU Funds redistribution, Preventing corruption cases. Current status for NGO participation EC regulations leave free hand for the authorities of beneficiary countries to implement partnership principle; 1260/1999/EC laying down general provisions on the Structural Funds; 1164/94/EC establishing a Cohesion Fund; Social and economic partners vs. NGOs vs. ENGOs Environmental ministries more willing to co-operate with ENGOs; ministries of transportation are rather „closed” for involving ENGOs; Positive developments – Polish Ministry of Infrastructure (responsible for transportation projects) allowed ENGOs to participate in the works of steering committees for the Cohesion Fund, and structural funds for transportation projects; Participation principle can be realized by appointing advisory bodies (ad hoc/permanent), organizing hearings, collecting comments from parties concerned; Advisory bodies create possibility for NGOs to exert direct impact on the programmes, projects; Various advisory bodies: monitoring committees, steering committees, working groups; Diverse functions; NGO participation in programming NGO participation in implementation NGO participation in monitoring Independent NGO monitoring - advocacy campaigns for improving EU funds transparency, environmental performance etc. Participation in programming Since programming documents set the basis for allocation of the EU Funds resources into the different priority fields the NGO involvement in programming process is of crucial importance; The authorities responsible for drawing programming documents should organise effective consultaion process; NGO participation in implementation process Implementation process reffered to in the BAP report relates mostly to project appraisal and selection stage; Various committees for selecting projects to the Cohesion Fund, or Structural Funds have been established; NGO representatives in the bodies advising in project selection (Regional Steering Committees for the Structural Funds; Steering Committee for the Cohesion Fund); The role of NGOs should be to promote transparent selection process, and investments that have high environmental performance, to ensure that during the selection stage environmental standards and requirements are taken into consideration. NGOs participation in monitoring proccess Montitoring committees (MC) defined in EC regulations; 1260/99/EC: „MC are bodies appointed by Member State supervising assistance, checking on how it is being managed by the Managing Authority, ensuring compliance with its own guidelines and implementing rules and reviewing evaluations; Inclusion social and economic partners; E.g. of MC: ISPA project monitoring committee (Lithuania); Sectoral Operational Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development (Slovakia); Very often the MC evaluating projects focus on financial monitoring, and physical progress of projects they do not perform environmental monitoring i.e. compliance of projects with environmental legislation. Reccomendations European Commission, EU authorities National authorities ENGOs Better definition of the partnership principle in new regulations establishing the EU funds; Recognition of the role of ENGOs in EU funds programming, implementing and monitoring; Guidelines for public participation should be drafted by the European Commission; EC should closely monitor implementation of partnerships; EC should enforce correct implementation of SEA (if SEA is conducted for the programmes, how SEA is conducted) Partnership principle reflected in national legislation; ENGOs recognized as partners; National authorities should put more attention to organizing the consultation process; Appointing the advisory bodies – steering/monitoring committees with participation of ENGOs; How the NGOs are appointed to such committees; Let the ENGOs to decide about the representatives in various committees – voting organized among ENGOs. ENGOs – set clear goals in terms of what changes they want to achieve in Structural Funds and Cohesion Fund programming and implementation; Level of competence of ENGO representatives in steering committees; Expert assistance; Involvement of wider ENGO community → support for representatives (feedback); Building coalition of ENGOs monitoring the EU funds.