A workshop on “Simplification in Cohesion Policy” was held during the meeting of the Committee on Regional Development on 16 March 2016. The debate addressed among others simplified cost options, e-cohesion,
rules, guidance and audit processes. Experience gained in two Member States was also presented. This document includes a summary of the interventions and subsequent debate as well as the powerpoint presentations. The workshop formed part of a series of expertise on simplification provided for REGI committee by Policy Department B – Structural and Cohesion Policies.

 

Link to watch the video of the event (with multilingual interpretation) – Workshop starts around 15:06:25 

PROGRAMME

15:00
Introduction by Ms Iskra Mihailova, Chair of the Committee on Regional Development

15:05
Simplified Cost Options in Practice Mr. Roland Blomeyer, Director, Blomeyer & Sanz

15:13
E-Cohesion Ms Herta Tödtling-Schönhofer, METIS GmbH

15:21
Is simplification simply a fiction? Rules, guidance and audit processes Prof. John Bachtler, Head, European Policies Research Centre, University of Strathclyde

Perspectives of Member States:

15:29
France: How to reduce the administrative burden on beneficiaries in a constrained environment Ms. Chantal Moreau, Director of European Programmes, Regional Council Auvergne Rhône-Alpes

15:37
Poland: Less procedures, more performance. What should we focus on when thinking of cohesion policy implementation? Mr. Paweł Chorąży, Under Secretary of State and Director in the Ministry of Regional Development

15:45
Debate with the Members of the Committee on Regional Development with the participation of Mr Moray Gilland, Head of the Better Implementation Unit, DG REGIO, European Commission

 

 

Introduction by the Chair

The Chair opened the workshop with a brief overview on simplification in cohesion policy and she highlighted the following points:

– Simplifying cohesion policy has always been a concern for the EP and for REGI Committee, especially regarding the beneficiaries;

– Simplification is an important issue in the overall context of trying to enhance performance of cohesion policy and deliver better results on the ground. Reducing administrative burden on beneficiaries and managing bodies allows them to better use their human resources (i.e. to concentrate on project/programme content rather than on administrative and financial red tape) and it might decrease the risk of error as well;

– The new regulatory framework for the 2014-2020 programming period offers opportunities to reduce the administrative burden on beneficiaries and simplify their access to ESI Funds;

– Despite the changes in the legislative framework aiming to reduce administrative burden, it seems that many programme management authorities consider that cohesion policy has become more bureaucratic, complicated and time-consuming. The topic has received interest in all European Institutions and REGI took several actions already in 2015 to scrutinise the implementation of some of the regulatory options with potential for simplification;

– It is important to highlight that the complexity of cohesion policy implementation is only partially rooted in the legislative framework governing ESI Funds (Regulations, Delegated and Implementing acts and guidance); in fact, to a great extent, rules imposed by other policy areas, such as competition policy (e.g. state aid, public procurement) create additional difficulties;

– In its resolution, initiated by REGI Committee, and adopted on 26 November 2015, the EP reiterated the importance of more simplification in cohesion policy and underlined the fact that: “application, management, reporting and control with respect to the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESI Funds) are still cumbersome for both beneficiaries and managing authorities, in particular those with fewer administrative and financial capacities”;

Link to the full study: http://bit.ly/585-878

Presentation “Simplified Cost Options in Practice – First findings of ongoing study for REGI”:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Presentation “E-Cohesion – First findings of an ongoing study for the Committee on Regional Development”:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Presentation “Is simplification simply a fiction? Rules, guidance and audit processes”:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Presentation “How to reduce administrative burden on beneficiaries in a constrained environment”:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Presentation “Less procedures, more performance – what should we focus on when thinking of cohesion policy implementation”:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: