EU funding programmes invite all European regions to develop their full potential through schemes such as EU funding for education or research. Complementary EU funding programmes, namely Internal Security Fund (ISF) and Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) tackle Europe-wide migration and immigration challenges. To implement EU funding opportunities efficiently and effectively, officials in public authorities dealing with EU funds management need not only to hold sufficient knowledge of EU funds regulations and EU funds policies but also to be aware of the challenges and pitfalls of EU funding implementation in practice.
The European Academy for Taxes, Economics and Law has supported administrative authorities throughout Europe in providing EU funding trainings and workshops for 15 years. We aim to simplify the practical application of these regulations. We facilitate programming, implementation and control of EU funds with our wide-ranging seminar portfolio. Applicants for funding from across Europe can progress and benefit from the Academy's exceptional training opportunities and learn how to complete proposal writing formats and project proposal templates effectively. Increase your expertise by participating in the various events held by the European Academy for Taxes, Economics and Law in this complex and essential field.
EU funding programmes need to be carefully planned and prepared. Results-orientation and simplification are keywords for the current programming period. Those responsible for EU funds management and control mechanisms need to take into account increased demands on Financial Instruments and be aware of simplified, more coherent solutions such as Simplified Cost Options. Furthermore, an update of the current EU funds regulation – e.g. the so-called "Omnibus Regulation" – is under discussion. It is expected to have a significant impact on EU funds policies 2014-2020 and beyond; hence, all EU fund experts should be up-to-date concerning these changes.
EU funds Managing Authorities from EU Structural Funds Programmes (ESIF) such as the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), European Social Fund (ESF), European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD), Cohesion Fund (CF) and European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) are responsible for the correct planning and spending of billions of Euros of the European budget. The strengthened focus on results and performance impacts the work of all stakeholders involved. Thus, EU funds authorities need to specify precisely which changes, results and impacts they expect through their interventions. Not only the programming is results-oriented, but likewise, audits are increasingly concentrated on tangible achievement of objectives.
Our seminars and conferences such as our "Annual Symposium EU Funds" with more than 500 participants and speakers from all over Europe provide in-depth knowledge about the latest EU funds policies and regulations. In our EU funding trainings, we cooperate with high-level experts from national and European institutions such as the European Commission, European Court of Auditors, European Investment Bank and many more. Potential beneficiaries learn about the latest funding opportunities, submitting and writing project proposals, and meeting current financial control requirements. Our speakers are aware of the latest developments and will update you on all EU funds regulations and programmes.
For the successful implementation of EU funding, Project Managers must fulfil all the requirements set by the European Commission. They need to install sound project management, with Project Cycle Management and Logical Framework Approaches being crucial elements.
A strong incentive at the European level is to ensure that EU funds are spent and managed correctly. Many authorities within the management and control systems of European Structural and Investment Funds still face considerable uncertainties and difficulties when it comes to detecting and handling (suspected) fraud cases. But also public officials who manage ISF and AMIF programmes have to ensure sound project implementation. One challenge is the distinction between irregularities and fraud actions. An indispensable instrument in the fight against fraud and corruption is the development of an elaborate anti-fraud strategy and the designation of an anti-fraud coordination service.
In the current programming period, the European Commission has laid a strong focus on auditing State aid in EU funded projects. But applying European Union's complex system of State aid rules and procedures for EU funds is not an easy task. Also, in 2017, the European Commission introduced the new General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER) that includes new regulations and harmonises State aid law with ESIF regulations.
Simplification is a strong focus in the current programming period. One concrete EU funding instrument is the so-called simplified cost options (SCO). These are intended to facilitate access to EU funding, particularly for small businesses and social NGOs with limited resources, and represent an additional means to enable the refocusing of resources towards the achievement of results and objectives. However, EU funds authorities need to be aware: errors within the SCO design can lead to severe financial corrections.
Another set of tools that can prove highly rewarding are EU funding Financial Instruments (FIs). The use of FIs ensures sustainability of financial resources beyond the current EU funding Programming Period. For the implementation of FIs, the new European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI) will become a significant player. When authorities responsible for the implementation of EU funding as well as beneficiaries are familiar with all the requirements, they can enormously profit when using these new financing schemes correctly.
Financial management of EU funding programmes provides an additional challenge in the current programming period. The accounting year is now managed differently, with accounts being not only submitted at the end of the programming period but also annually by the 15th February. Managing, Audit and Certifying Authorities need to cooperate to finalise accounts properly and to avoid risking financial corrections.
Our practical workshops cover how to use EU funding tools more efficiently in EU funds project design, project planning, monitoring and auditing as well as the writing and appraisal of project proposals. In our seminars and further educations participants from across Europe gain first-hand information and practical tips and tricks from our high-level experts on how to overcome pitfalls and to make European funds projects a success.