ES fondi News EU funds

A meeting of experts from the European Union (EU) member states and representatives of the European Commission (EC) dedicated to simplification of EU funds is taking place in Riga, from March 13 to 15. The EC representatives inform about the measures already taken and planned reforms in the implementation process, as well as brainstorming for new tools and solutions to simplify processes and procedures. More than 120 representatives from 27 Member States share their experience, shedding light on challenges in the implementation of EU funds in their countries, as well as expressing and developing proposals for optimizing processes.

Opening remarks were given by Minister of Finance Arvils Ašeradens, emphasizing the importance of EU funds in the recovery of the European economy and at the same time pointing out the need to facilitate their implementations: "To use the full potential of EU fund support and successfully achieve the made objectives, simplifying the procedures for program and project management, application, implementation and reporting is critically important. Living in an era of rapid and impressive changes, time has become a very important dimension and an essential resource, especially when it comes to development plans. We cannot afford to devote it to complex administrative processes and bureaucracy. By combining their experience, knowledge, latest technologies and intelligently reducing the administrative burden, EU fund investments will become available to those who need them most, thus maximizing the positive impact of investments on society and the economy."

During the meeting, the participants discuss additional opportunities to simplify the implementation processes, focusing on the achievement of goals and results. The simplified process of introducing EU funds provides for easier submission of documents, for example, a standardized payment for one load will be determined for wages, as well as for various equipment and facilities, line ministries will be able to set a standardized price. The use of various digital tools, as well as the facilitation of controls and communication, is also being actively thought about.

It should be noted that during this event, the Latvian EU fund authorities had an exclusive opportunity to meet bilaterally with representatives of the EC and discuss the latest developments in the implementation of the EU funds, as well as to share their previous experience in the practical application of simplification instruments.

The visit is organised in the framework of the EC DG Regional and Urban (DG REGIO) Policy's International EU Funds Simplification Network. The aim is to involve Member State authorities in the EC-initiated discussion on how to facilitate the implementation of EU-funded projects. As a result, proposals to improve the process are being developed and presented to the European Parliament, and the development of simplified cost methodologies for Member States' managing authorities is being encouraged.

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