On 11 July the European Parliament held a workshop in Brussels entitled "Mid-term revision of the Financial Regulation: Improvement of Direct Management and Outlook on the Commission Proposal".

This event was focused on the issue of the revision of the EU Financial Regulation and it was also an occasion to review the improvement made in the last period and to have a meeting with the stakeholders after the result of the consultation carried out in the first months of 2016.

As reported by Mr Olivier Waelbroek, Director Central Financial Service, Directorate General for Budget, European Commission, the Commission's priorities are the revision of the current regulations, the simplification of rules and of the financial architecture, the improvement of the flexibility in the management of the EUbudget, the creation of links and synergies in the use of EU funds and the definition of a clear framework of responsibilities. The Commission's work is focused on seven main areas:

  1. Simplification for recipients of EU funds;
  2. Harmonisation of reporting requirements;
  3. Allowing the application of only one set of rules to hybrid actions or in the case of combination of measures or instrument;
  4. More effective use of financial instruments;
  5. More flexible budget management;
  6. Focus on results and streamlining of reporting;
  7. Simpler and leaner EU administration.

The meeting was attended by influential figures from both the European institutions and research centers, Universities, enterprises and European networks. Muriel Attané and Wolfgang Suttner (European Association of Research and Technology Organisation - EARTO) supported the proposal of keeping forms of financing based on real costs, even if they do not exclude the greater use of flat rates and unit amounts (provided that the choice is left to the beneficiary). The speakers underlined the importance of a deeper integration between the use of grants and financial instruments.

Thomas Estermann (European University Association - EUA) proposed to create a unique set of rules and emphasized the importance that the Commission would allow the beneficiary to use the usual national management and accounting practices in order to simplify their obligations. It is also a priority to simplify and reduce administrative burden to obtain the grant.

The presentations of Hüseyin Firat (Firalis – biotechnology company) and Ludwig Kronthaler (Max-Planck-Gesellschaft - MPG) have emphasized the need of a further simplification of rules and the possibility of using flat-rate financing or financing based on results.

The next step for the will take place next autumn, when the European Commission’s proposal will be adopted. This will be followed (from the middle of 2017) by the negotiations in the European Parliament e and European Council. The new Financial Regulation is expected to enter into force on January 2018.


Presentation of Olivier Waelbrock - European Commission

Presentation of Lazaros S. Lazarou - European Court of Audiitors

Presentation of Wolfgang Suttner - EARTO

Presentation of Thomas Estermann - EUA

Presentation of Huseyin Firat - FIRALIS

Presentation of Ludwig Kronthaler - MPG




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