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Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2018-06-13) World BankThe European Union’s Cohesion Policy is its biggest investment instrument. It supports the Europe 2020 strategy of smart, sustainable, and inclusive growth. With a budget of €351.8 billion for 2014–2020, the Cohesion Policy accounts for around one-third of the EU budget. The Cohesion Policy is primarily implemented through investments in EU regions and cities. Local and regional governments in the EU are responsible for more than half of all public investment. There is a growing focus on the importance of good governance to ensure effective implementation. The European Commission’s 6th Cohesion Policy report notes that governance problems not only delay the implementation of Cohesion Policy programs but also reduce the impact of these investments. The report states: ‘a lower standard of governance can affect the impact of Cohesion Policy both directly and indirectly. In the first place, it can reduce expenditure if programs fail to invest all the funding available. Secondly, it can lead to a less coherent or appropriate strategy for a country or region. Thirdly, it may lead to lower quality projects being selected for funding or to the best projects not applying for support at all. Fourthly, it may result in a lower leverage effect because the private sector is less willing to co-finance investment.’ The purpose of this report is to develop and test a set of actionable indicators for the regulatory frameworks of EU regions. Deregulatory measures focusing on ‘fixing broken regulations’ are a necessary and important element of investment climate reforms. However, gains from one-off initiatives aimed at cutting costs and procedures are often reversed if the responsible institutions, tools, and incentives are not changed.
Governance Reforms of State-Owned Enterprises: Lessons from Four Case Studies (Egypt, Iraq, Morocco, and Tunisia)(Washington, DC, 2015-08) World BankThe state-owned enterprise (SOE) landscape has become increasingly diverse. There used to be some relatively well-defined criteria, but with the growing complexity of state participation in the economy, there is no longer a uniform definition, and especially because the definition of a SOE has always been country-specific. SOE reforms can have major positive impacts not only by reducing fiscal risks by decreasing hidden subsidies, direct transfers, and overstaffing, but also by strengthening competition and developing capital markets. SOE reforms in developing countries began in the 1960s because of the poor performance of many of the SOEs. The reform movement sought to strengthen the internal capacity of SOEs. To enrich the discussion about possible avenues for performance-enhancing SOE reforms, this report presents the main principles of good governance of SOEs with references to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) guidelines on corporate governance of SOEs (OECD 2005). This document is divided into six parts: (1) an effective legal and regulatory framework for SOEs; (2) the state as an owner; (3) equitable treatment of shareholders; (4) relations with stakeholders; (5) transparency and disclosure; and (6) the responsibilities of the boards of SOEs.