Publications of Batory, Agnes

Monitoring Committees in Cohesion Policy: Overseeing the Distribution of Structural Funds in Hungary and Slovakia

Under European Union (EU) law, Monitoring Committees (MCs) are charged with overseeing the implementation of Operational Programmes. Despite their potential to influence the process of fund disbursement, relatively little is known about the Committees’ operation and their impact in the new member states. This article is an empirical study of how three MCs actually work in Hungary and Slovakia. We find that whilst these bodies have relatively limited oversight capacities and are characterised by a primary concern with procedural compliance with EU requirements, nevertheless, they have an important role in providing significant opportunities for learning, information exchange, expert input and networking.

Re-visiting the Partnership Principle in Cohesion Policy: The Role of Civil Society Organisations in Structural Funds Monitoring

This article investigates the horizontal dimension of partnership arrangements in cohesion policy in three EU Member States: Austria, Hungary and Slovakia. The focus is on the practice of the monitoring committees (MCs), the primary institutional expression of partnership in the distribution of Structural Funds. The main findings are that in each country NGO participation in the MCs remained contentious, the working of the committees was rather formalistic, and the bodies' purpose and role conceptions were ambiguous. The implication is that partnership as currently practised does not live up either to normative expectations suggested by the EU regulation of the committees or to the expectations of civil society partner organizations themselves.