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News IREAS

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Jan. 18, 2022

IREAS evaluated the Croatian Competitiveness and Cohesion Programme 2021-2027 in the context of mainstreaming climate change

IREAS experts evaluated the forthcoming Competitiveness and Cohesion Programme 2021-2027 at the end of November and beginning of December 2021 in terms of its setting and reflection of climate action. The main reason for this evaluation by the Czech experts was the workload of the national evaluators in Croatia in evaluating other programmes for the new period. IREAS experts agreed to provide exceptional assistance in this evaluation, which is being carried out for the European Commission (DG Clima) in a framework evaluation contract coordinated by the evaluation companies COWI A/S (Denmark) and Metis GmbH (Austria). IREAS centrum, s.r.o. is fulfilling partial activities of this project for the Czech Republic in the form of subcontracting, however, it can also assist other EU Member States with its evaluation capacities. 

The main objective of the programme is to strengthen the economy through digital and green transition, digitise public administration, improve connectivity and mobility throughout the Republic of Croatia and enhance the quality of life of the population. Socio-economic development and environmental protection in Croatia are significantly addressed by EU funds. The COVID-19 pandemic and two devastating earthquakes have significantly changed the pace of economic recovery after the Great Depression and led to a recession in 2020. The pandemic has clearly shown the lack of diversification of the economy and the predominance of low-productivity sectors, making the economy particularly vulnerable to external shocks. The structure of the economy is characterised by a significant share of services and a dependence on tourism, which have suffered heavily from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Given the relatively weak public finances and the need to tackle public debt, there is great potential for the use of EU funds.

The programme is very complex and consists of a total of 19 specific objectives, 9 of which have clearly defined climate spending. The programme as a whole is well aligned in its specific objectives and is also balanced in terms of the financial allocations set. However, the evaluation made a number of partial recommendations for the addition of intervention areas, as the individual specific objectives describe a number of measures with varying degrees of detail, but some of them are not sufficiently covered by climate relevant intervention areas.

Mainstreaming of climate change mitigation and adaptation in European Regional Development Fund and Cohesion Fund Programmes 2021-2027 Lot 1 (Contract number: CLIMA.A.3/C.3.C.1/SER/2019/0014)
Contracting authority: European Commission
Implementer: COWI A / S (Denmark); Metis GmbH (Austria), IREAS centrum, s. r. o. fulfills partial activities of this project for the Czech Republic in the form of subcontracting.
Contact: Assoc. Prof. Martin Pelucha (pelucha@ireas.cz)

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IREAS will start a two-year international evaluation project funded by Norway Grants on the topic of Lost Millennials

IREAS, in collaboration with 13 other partners from EEA countries, has succeeded in a call for Norway Grants with a new project on "Lost Millennials", which will focus analysis and research on the regularly neglected group of millennials. In the literature and in strategic documents at national level, they are referred to by the acronym NEET ("Not in Education, Employment or Training"). These are young people aged 25-29 who are not in education, employment or training and are mainly supported by their parents. IREAS will guarantee analysis and evaluation activities in this project.

The main objective of the project will be to contribute to the successful integration of 25+ NEETs into the labour market by increasing knowledge on the effects of employment initiatives on 25+ NEETs, building the capacity of stakeholders to carry out impact studies and thus improving the quality of labour market interventions. This will be achieved through the creation of a transnational research network to share know-how and best practices, the evaluation of government and community initiatives targeting 25+ NEETs, and the involvement of stakeholders to increase the policy relevance of the project results. The primary target group is researchers, practitioners and other stakeholders, while the target beneficiaries are 25+ NEETs with a focus on disadvantaged groups.


Evaluation project baseline annotation:
Project title: Lost Millennials - Transnational research network for the evaluation of initiatives targeting 25+ NEETs
Duration: 11/2021 - 01/2024
Contractor: EEA and Norway Grants Fund for Youth Employment
Implementer: Leader - HETFA Research Institute Ltd. 
IREAS is one of the 13 entities from EU countries that will implement the sub-activities of this project.
Contact: Petr Fanta, Ph.D. (fanta@ireas.cz) and Assoc. Ing. Martin Pělucha, Ph.D. (pelucha@ireas.cz) 

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IREAS evaluated five operational programs in the context of climate change mainstreaming

In the first half of April, IREAS experts evaluated the five prepared operational programs (hereinafter referred to as OPs) for the new programming period 2021 - 2027 in terms of their setting and reflection of climate measures. Specifically, these were the OP Transport, the Integrated Regional Operational Program, the OP Environment, the OP Technology and Applications for Competitiveness and the OP Technical Assistance.In the newly prepared programming period 2021 - 2027, the horizontal priorities are proposed, through which a comprehensive approach in financing from the EU structural funds should be achieved. These are:

(1) adaptation to climate change

(2) society 4.0

(3) the territorial dimension

The purpose of the evaluation was therefore to determine the extent to which the relevant climate change adaptation measures (i.e. the first horizontal priority) have been (or will be) able to be incorporated into the operational programs to be funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Cohesion Fund.
The evaluation was carried out for the European Commission (DG Clima) in a framework evaluation contract coordinated by the evaluation companies COWI A / S (Denmark) and Metis GmbH (Austria), which also prepared a detailed methodology for the evaluation approach. The IREAS centrum, Ltd. fulfills the partial activities of this project for the Czech Republic in the form of subcontracting. Associate Professor Martin Pělucha (IREAS) works as a lead expert in the Czech Republic.

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Monograph on rural development in the context of digitalization wins Rector’s Award of Prague University of Economics and Business.

A highly respected member of the Evaluation and Regional Policy team, Assoc. Prof. Ing. Martin Pělucha, Ph.D., won the Rector’s Award of the Prague University of Economics and Business for a prestigious publication on 2 February 2021 at a meeting of the Scientific Board. 

The publication is entitled “Rural Development in the Digital Age: Exploring Neo-Productivist EU Rural Policy” and was compiled by Assoc. Prof. Martin Pělucha and Prof. Edward Kasabov, while two sub-chapters were prepared by RNDr. Jana Kourilova, Ph.D. and also by Prof. RNDr. René Wokoun, CSc. In 2020, other monographs of academic staff of the Prague University of Economics and Business published in foreign publishing houses (Routledge and Palgrave Macmillan) were evaluated as a part of this award. In the context of renowned foreign publishing houses, the above publication took first place in this competition. (Results of the evaluation HERE).

The book “Rural Development in the Digital Age: Exploring Neo-productivist EU Rural Policy” was published by the British publishing house Routledge and focuses on the theoretical and practical context of EU rural development policy in the period 4.0. The publication is intended not only for researchers and policy makers in the field of rural policy, regional studies, economic geography and EU policy, but also for advanced students, especially for those of doctoral study programmes. You can order it here.