On 17th June, the Programme Monitoring Committee met in Umeå, Sweden. This meeting was organised as a back-to-back meeting with the shadow Monitoring Committee for the upcoming NPA 2014-2020, held on 18th June.
At this meeting, the PMC approved the Annual Report for 2013, which was subsequently submitted to the European Commission. For this report, the European Commission asked programmes to describe their main achievements. You can read the programme's response in a 2-page paper, outlining tangible and intangible impacts of NPP projects. Work is currently ongoing on a project outcomes publication, which will be presented at the Cool North conference on 30th September in Scotland.
In addition, the PMC discussed the issue of project underspending. On average, main projects spend only approx. 86% of their project budgets, for different reasons such as currency fluctuations, delays in project start-up, partner withdrawals, and over budgeting. This means that some programme funding will remain unspent, which cannot be reallocated to new projects. The PMC will consider different options to prevent project underspending in the new programme period.
Despite the underspending of the programme budget, the NPP has funded 47 main projects, surpassing the target of 40 projects. Among these are 8 strategic projects.
Shadow MC 2014-2020
At this meeting, the MC discussed the status of the approval of the Cooperation Programme document for the Northern Periphery and Arctic 2014-2020 Programme. A few programme partner countries still needed to provide formal approval, which is expected by the end of June. The programme hopes to be able to submit the document to the European Commission by early July, anticipating programme approval around late November.
The First Call for Applications will be pre-announced on 27th June. The NPA 2014-2020 will be formally launched at the Cool North conference on 30th September in Scotland. This is also when the First Call will open.