Brussels, 25th June 2010
EU adopts new measures to simplify management of funds to help regions tackle the crisis
The EU has on 24 June 2010 adopted new measures aimed at simplifying management rules for the structural and cohesion funds. The changes should help to facilitate access to the funds and accelerate flows of investment at a time when public budgets are under pressure. As part of the measures to counter the economic crisis, additional advance payments totalling €775 million will be paid out to some member countries to tackle immediate cash flow problems.
Johannes Hahn, EU Commissioner for Regional Policy stated that: "The crisis has dented business confidence, increased the number of people out of work, and is putting a massive strain on public finances. These measures should help to tackle liquidity problems, as well as reduce red-tape to make it easier to access funds. Speeding up project implementation on the ground will give a helping hand to national and regional economies in these times of crisis."
László Andor, EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, responsible for the European Social Fund (ESF), added that: "The crisis has demonstrated the relevance and value of the ESF. The measures most resorted to in recent months have been active labour market policies to get people into work. Training and up skilling offered to people looking for work is bearing fruit and simplification will mean Member States can help those hit hardest by the downturn even more effectively."
Through cohesion policy's three funds - the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the European Social Fund (ESF) and the Cohesion Fund – the 455 cohesion policy programmes are investing a total of € 347 billion between 2007 and 2013 in all EU regions.
One major impact of the crisis is that Member States and regions are finding it difficult to provide the additional funding required 'to match' European investments. In response, the changes announced are intended to overcome this challenge to accelerate implementation of the programmes and simplify day-to-day management.
Key new measures include:
These modifications complement the large number of other initiatives which have been taken since the beginning of the crisis under the European Economic Recovery Plan:
Notes for editors
The Commission brought forward its proposal in July 2009 which was then discussed by the European Parliament and adopted by the Member States in the Council on 3 June 2010. The modifications enter into force on 25 June 2010.