The Interreg Europe Policy Learning Platform has held its first peer review exercise, under the topic of Low-carbon economy, at the request of the region of Hauts-de-France, headquartered in Lille.
About the peer review
Peer reviews are a new service that allow managing authorities of structural funds programmes and public bodies in charge of local or regional development policies to receive hands-on feedback and advice from other European regions (peers) on the implementation of their programmes and policies. Peers from a selected number of regions are invited to the host region, to examine the specific territorial and thematic context, and make recommendations based on their experience and expertise.
The challenge encountered by the Hauts-de-France region
Hauts-de-France was formed in 2016 from the merging of the regions of Nord-Pas-de-Calais and Picardy. The region turned to the Interreg Europe Policy Learning Platform for advice on how to improve their absorption of structural funds for energy efficiency in social housing and public buildings.
#PolicyLearning in action
The Interreg Europe Policy Learning Platform, under the leadership of low-carbon economy expert, Katharina Krell, co-ordinated the peer review, bringing together six experts from five regions (in France, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, and Spain), with experience of managing public funding related to energy efficiency in building.
The peers spent two days in Lille, learning about the region and its challenges, consulting with stakeholders, and ultimately making recommendations to the region on how to fine-tune their ambitious policy instrument to better support all stakeholders involved in retrofitting of social housing and public buildings.
Hauts-de-France will now make efforts to enact two sets of recommendations: short-term measure that can still be implemented in the current funding period up to 2020, and long-term measures relevant for the next programming period.
Results and benefits for participants
Stéphane Andreani from the Directorate Climate, Air, Energy of Hauts-de-France region noted the benefits of learning with other regions:
'We should have a more European approach in the formulation of our Operational Programme; so far, we have only adopted a regional approach. Looking at what others are doing is very beneficial to us and helps us to decide what we should do and what we should avoid.'
Not only did the host region find the two-day process interesting and rewarding, but similar sentiments were expressed by the peers, noting that it was a valuable and well-organised learning process.
The first call for interregional peer reviews closed on 31 October 2018, but more calls will follow in the future, stay tuned.