The rate of financial implementation has improved across the EU27, with the average payments rate now at 44.1 percent (November 2012). Yet, there are wide variations between countries. In most IQ-Net programmes, financial progress can be considered to be satisfactory. In response to implementation challenges, many IQ-Net programme authorities have undertaken programme amendments or adopted measures to speed up thes pending.There have not been any major changes in the implementation structures and procedures in IQ-Net member programmes. Over the past six months there have been concerns over financial engineering instruments, not least because of a lack ofco-financing and demand. IQ-Net programme authorities have continued their evaluation efforts with a focus on ex-ante evaluations for 2014-20. Preparations for the 2012 Strategic Reports have started.
Most IQ-Net programmes have made considerable progress over the last six months in terms of preparatory work for 2014-20, drafting Partnership Agreements and starting to prepare and consult on operational programmes. In terms of programme content, it is still too early for concrete details to have emerged, and while broad continuity in terms of programme architecture is expected in some programmes, others anticipate more extensive change. The main themes expected to be given an increased focus in future are energy efficiency, renewables and low-carbon economy, RTDI, SMEs and social inclusion. Use of Financial Instruments is expected to increase. The Commission’s proposals in the fields of Smart Specialisation Strategies, Community-Led Local Development and ITIs are being addressed in a range of ways by programmes. Future management and implementation arrangements are also still largely undecided, but linked to anticipated changes in programme architecture, a degree of rationalisation is already anticipated in a few programmes, along with broad continuity in others.