Information from the Ministry of Infrastructure and Development suggests that new European funds will soon provide the economy with a significant injection of resources, as negotiation with the European Commission regarding Operational Programs is underway and the government passed the implementation bill on May 8th .
New money will be available to invest on innovation, research and development and interregional infrastructure and will be used more efficiently than in the last perspective – not only will it “work” a couple of times (as some of it will be returned), it will also be used to support truly needed projects, which will be guaranteed by an improved competition system. However, it is still only a general idea, as executive documents are not ready yet. Thus, entrepreneurs will have to wait to find out, to what extent these objectives are met.
Meanwhile, Operational Programs are very general – they do not include information key for all beneficiaries (entrepreneurs applying for support): What will be the procedure of granting support? How much own contribution will be required? What documents will be required? What spending will be possible to finance? Which entities will be allowed to participate in particular competitions? Answer to these and other – no less important – questions will be included in executive documents, such as Detailed Priority Descriptions, guidelines for spending qualification and regulations on financial support in Operational Programs.
In 2013, working groups supporting the preparation of Operational Programs for 2014-2020 were established. These groups – apart from their advisory roles – provided members with information on the state of works.
When the Operational Programs were ready, these entities have ceased their activities. However, Employers of Poland believe that their goal was not achieved, as the aforementioned executive documents are inseparable from the Operational Programs, as without them one cannot speak of a fully prepared European fund implementation system.
We believe that it would be beneficial to use the formula of these groups for further cooperation on planning the new perspective. Detailed Priority Descriptions or guidelines are so important, that they should be elaborated with the support of entrepreneurs – even more so considering that the legislative procedure does not oblige the lawmakers to subject such legal acts to social consultation.
Such a big amount of European funds should not be distributed by government officials, who can have a narrow view of the needs and capabilities of entrepreneurs and the economy as a whole. Thus, the best solution would be to invite entrepreneurs to participate in the works on executive documents as soon as possible.