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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 4 March 2014

Final "simplification scoreboard": 120 measures to cut red tape on EU funding

The Commission has adopted its Final Simplification Scoreboard: over 120 measures to simplify the EU funding rules for Europe's businesses, towns, regions, scientists and NGOs.

Together with the adoption of the 2014-2020 multiannual financial framework (MFF) and of the sectoral funding programmes, much has been achieved in terms of making access to EU funds simpler for would-be beneficiaries. However, the EU institutions and Member States must continue to deliver on simplification through the adoption of the necessary implementing and technical measures.

"Starting from this year access to EU funds will be easier without compromising on monitoring the way they are used, says Commissioner for financing programming and budget Janusz Lewandowski. However, simplification is an ongoing business requiring continuous action by the EU institutions and Member States. Some 80% of the EU budget is implemented by Member States, therefore efforts at EU level can only succeed if they are followed up by simplification measures at national, regional and local level. We invite Member States to follow suit by further reducing the administrative burden on beneficiaries".

Nevertheless, more could have been achieved. Simplification efforts have sometimes been hampered by divergent positions of the Member States: these have led to the introduction of numerous derogations and too detailed rules (for instance in funding for agriculture and structural funds) as well as on the execution of the budget in various programmes managed by the Commission

Why we need simpler access to EU funds, what do beneficiaries think about it? (in English/ en français)

Examples of simplification:

  • Simplified procedure to get reimbursement in research: single reimbursement rate for all participants to a project ("one project-one funding rate") and a flat rate for indirect costs;

  • Shorter deadline for payments to beneficiaries (90 days) in cohesion policy;

  • E-cohesion: electronic systems for beneficiaries to submit data, to use existing databases and to store documents in cohesion policy;

  • Shorter duration to keep documents: beneficiaries would need to keep documents related to EU funded projects for maximum three years.


On 29 June 2011, the Commission presented its proposal to make EU funding simpler, more transparent and fairer for the 2014-2020 financial period while on 8 February 2012, the Commission launched the Simplification Agenda for the MFF 2014-2020 (Reference:  IP/12/106). The Commission committed to monitor the legislative process in the European Parliament and the Council through the regular publication of a scoreboard, tracking achievements in simplification.

The Simplification Agenda identified two building blocks of simplification: The review of the Financial Regulation (ReferenceMEMO/12/501 and MEMO/12/795), which entered into force on 1 January 2013 and 57 sector specific legislative proposals on spending programmes. In drawing up its proposals within the new MFF, the Commission assessed the functioning of existing spending programmes and consulted widely citizens and stakeholders in designing the new programmes.

The first simplification scoreboard was issued on 10 September 2012 (Reference: COM(2012)531 final) and the 2nd Simplification Scoreboard on 26 February 2013 (Reference: COM(2013) 98 final).


Commission communication on simplification

Press release on the simplification agenda

Memo on the 1st scoreboard

The 2d simplification scoreboard

Concrete examples of simplification

Contacts :

Patrizio Fiorilli (+32 2 295 81 32)

Wojtek Talko (+32 2 297 85 51)

For the public: Europe Direct by phone 00 800 6 7 8 9 10 11 or by e­mail

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