Project detail

Ex-post evaluation of cohesion policy programmes financed by the ERDF in 2014-2020 - SME Support

CSIL led the ex-post evaluation of the support provided by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) during the 2014-2020 programming period. This evaluation is part of a broader exercise aimed at assessing the impact of ERDF and Cohesion Fund interventions, contributing to the European Commission’s commitment to transparency, accountability, and evidence-based policy-making. The primary goal of the evaluation was to analyse how ERDF interventions supported SME competitiveness across the EU.

The evaluation employed a theory-based impact approach, utilising a mix of qualitative and quantitative evidence. The methodology included documentary analysis, literature review, stakeholder consultations through semi-structured interviews and workshops, data and text mining using automated or semi-automated methods, and statistical and econometric analysis, including counterfactual impact techniques.

The study identified the various policy instruments employed by the ERDF to support SMEs and evaluated their contributions to employment, productivity, value-added, business creation, sustainable growth, internationalisation, and SME resilience. It also highlighted the increased use of financial instruments and the role of ERDF resources in enhancing SME resilience in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Project insights

Stakeholder seminar


Client: EU Commission - DG REGIO
Client type: public
Year: 2022-2024
Consortium: CSIL (leader), Prognos and PPMI (partners)
this project
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