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This paper describes the characteristics of public investment management (PIM) in seven EU countries as it applies to a single sector—transport infrastructure. The report highlights some of the common challenges that four relatively new EU member states—Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Latvia—face as they plan and execute their transport infrastructure projects. It recognizes the importance that EU-mandated processes and procedures have in shaping national systems in the new member states (NMS), but the report finds that actual practices often fall short of EU goals due to capacity constraints, weak institutional structures, and other factors. The experiences of the NMS are compared with those of more developed economies (namely Spain, the UK, and Ireland) to assess whether the later countries have faced similar challenges in managing public investment, and if so, what measures they have adopted to overcome them.
This comparative analysis serves to draw out several good practice examples that are relevant for all countries. How those practices are applied in each country is a matter for further study, as each country considers its own political culture and administrative tradition. This paper is a first step toward building dialogue among public finance practitioners in Central and Eastern Europe on how to make public investment projects more effective and efficient over the long term.