JASPERS' seventh Stakeholders meeting took place in Brussels on 10 November, 2015.
The event was attended by over one hundred representatives of the JASPERS beneficiary countries and by JASPERS' partners (EIB, European Commission via DG Regional and Urban Policy and EBRD).
Stakeholders meetings provide JASPERS with useful input from Member States which helps to improve JASPERS' service.
The 2015 meeting was structured around five panel sessions:
- Investment framework 2014-2020: needs, expectations and available advisory support
- Using JASPERS throughout the projects cycle
- Support to non-major projects, programme schemes and horizontal actions
- How to handle capacity building needs in the 2014-2020 programming period
- Connecting Europe Facility: support to Member States
"JASPERS increasingly plays a role in the early stages of project development" said Nicholas Martyn, Deputy Director General of DG Regional and Urban Policy. "The earlier that input by specialists takes place, the better". The important role of JASPERS as IQR was also underlined, as the basis for a rapid decision to grant assistance.
Simon Barnes, Head of Advisory Services of the European Investment Bank, described the role of JASPERS in the context of advisory services and explained how JASPERS can contribute to the European Advisory Hub.
Representatives of the Managing Authorities of JASPERS' beneficiary countries actively contributed to the panel sessions, providing JASPERS with precious feedback.
JASPERS is successfully used throughout the project cycle, explained Catalin Gheran of the Ministry of European Funds in Romania, thanks to a mix of high quality expertise, a results oriented approach and the direct relation with the Commission services.
Current and future challenges are the increased workload, the need to safeguard its assets, to avoid a "globalisation" mode and a top-down approach, and the possibility that the IQR function adds an increased pressure on JASPERS.
The need for specific training and the transfer of information throughout the chain of knowledge was also raised in the context of capacity building. Balázs Pichler, head of Department for Monitoring and Evaluation at the Ministry of European Structural and Investment Funds of Hungary suggested that JASPERS hold regional workshops besides multi-country events, "train the trainer" events with translated résumés and video summaries of its seminars.
Stéphane Ouaki from DG MOVE explained how JASPERS can support Member States in the context of Connecting Europe Facility. JASPERS can provide technical assistance for project development and implementation to projects on the TEN-T core network that are eligible/financed under the CEF "cohesion envelope". The aim is to help MS that specifically ask for JASPERS' assistance fully absorb national allocations. Seven countries have so far asked JASPERS' support: Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.