Brussels seeks to simplify the bureaucracy surrounding the European funds

June 11, 2015

Funding Scheme: 2015-06-11

Pgm2014 2020: Yes


The European Commission is deploying several measures in order to simplify the procedures for obtaining European funding, characterized by formidable complexity discouraging many potential beneficiaries.


In Paris and Brussels, simplification has become the watchword. It remains to materialize this injunction. After being committed to “better regulation”, the European Commission launched a series of initiatives to cohesion policy. In March, a support platform on the principle of “Peer to Peer”, was launched to facilitate contacts between officials in charge of EU funds in the central and local governments. This week, a new action is taken, with the establishment of an expert group supposed to chase the bureaucracy.

A group of experts scheduled for July

Its creation will take place in July but its president is already known: the Estonian Siim Kallas, who served as vice president and held the Transport portfolio in the Barroso Commission. Its teams should include representatives of civil society, institutions and Member States. While the Commission’s working groups usually focus on certain areas in difficulty, it will look at the situations of all 28 member states.

“I do not want to be told that an SME is not interested”

In order not to discourage project developers face the complexity of the procedures, the EU executive set “five priorities” as the online procedures, streamlining reimbursement or access to finance for SMEs.
The first mission of the expert group will be to ensure that States implement existing simplification measures. Audits may be conducted, as well as surveys of regional authorities.

Avoid the loss of subsidies

The first recommendations could occur by 2016. If the goal is to prepare the next programming procedures, the Commission also wants to avoid the pitfalls experienced during 2007-2013. Some countries such as Romania, Slovakia, Italy or Bulgaria have accumulated delays. When they exceed two years from the original schedule of expenditure, the penalty falls and countries lose the benefit of EU funds.

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