Cohesion Policy and Sustainable Development. Policy Instruments, Supporting Paper 5

This report provides a synthesis of the different integration tools and alternative instruments to deliver sustainable development at each stage of the Cohesion Policy cycle. It explores the innovative tools and mechanisms used by Member States to assess how existing tools could be improved. The report reviews also possible changes to Cohesion Policy expenditure to improve integration of sustainable development into Cohesion Policy.

The report shows that there exists a wide range of integration instruments, tools and mechanisms, which manifest themselves within the complex multi-level governance system that Cohesion Policy operates in. Many of the explored tools are already embedded into the existing regulatory basis of Cohesion Policy, whereas others have been developed in a bottom up manner by the managing authorities in the respective Member States and regions.

The study shows that there is considerable variation in the actual application and operationalisation of most instruments by the respective managing authorities. These often depended on the maturity of administrative systems and decision-making traditions, the capacity and skills of the managing authorities and environmental actors as well as the political commitment for environmental sustainability.

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