The ex-ante evaluation was carried out to improve the quality and design of the 2014-2020 Operational Program and to assess whether the targets set could be achieved. It was carried out by an independent expert-evaluator, in close co-operation with the Contracting Authority (Special Management Service) and other contractors working parallel to the planning of the next programming period (for example the contractor of the ex-ante evaluation of the Partnership Agreement, a.). Ex-ante evaluation also contributed to better targeted support for maritime and fisheries policy and supported a common learning process with regard to the monitoring and evaluation of relevant interventions.
The role of the evaluator was to carry out the ex-ante evaluation and had to be involved in the three main stages of the 2014-2020 programming process, which were:
(a) SWOT analysis and identification of the needs of the sector,
(b) identification and prioritization of objectives and intervention logic; and
(c) the definition of the required support mechanisms for the implementation of the program.
The ex-ante evaluator was also responsible for the Strategic Environmental Assessment of the Program, including its results and the mandatory consultation process for the approval of the study.
The European Commission has taken into account the ex-ante evaluation reports and the strategic environmental impact study as well as the description of the monitoring process and the recommendations for improving them during the negotiation phase with the Country for the approval of the 2014- 2020.