In compliance with Article 13 of Regulation (EU) No 250/2014 establishing the Hercule III Programme, the Evaluation Roadmap prepared by OLAF and the Better Regulation Guidelines, this mid-term evaluation assesses the relevance, coherence, effectiveness, efficiency, EU added value and sustainability of the Programme. It is concluded that Hercule III scores well in all the evaluation criteria. In addition, the Programme appears to indirectly contribute to the targets of the Europe 2020 strategy. Therefore, the evaluation recommends the funding of a new edition of the Programme in order to sustain the protection of the EU financial interests in the coming years. Whereas no major changes would be required in the structure of the Programme, it is advisable to introduce certain improvements to enhance the current performance of Hercule III and its future editions. In this respect, the Programme should, inter alia, allocate more resources to protecting EU financial interests on the expenditure side of the budget, fighting against corruption and VAT fraud, fostering cross-border cooperation and procuring and making technical equipment available to national authorities. The mid-term evaluation was based on a mix of primary and secondary data. Primary data and information were collected from 574 stakeholders via: i) semi-structured interviews with EU and national institutions and beneficiaries of actions co-financed by Hercule III grants; and ii) four online surveys with beneficiaries, unsuccessful applicants, participants in events and users of services.
This project was awarded under the Framework Service Contract for the provision of evaluation and impact assessment-related services (TAXUD/2014/AO-06) with the European Commission, DG TAXUD. The full list of CEPS’ Framework Contracts is available here.