On 29 June 2011, the European Commission published its proposal for the Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020 followed by 57 sector-specific legislative proposals which now, together with the revision of the general rules in the so called Financial Regulation (currently under negotiation) present a unique simplification exercise in the history of the European Union.
Over 120 changes referred to in the Communication are designed to simplify the rules governing EU funding for Small and Medium Enterprises, towns and regions, students, scientists and others. They include: reduction of the number of programmes, increases in coherence and clarity of rules, clearer priority objectives and indicators, more coherent cost eligibility rules, simplified forms of grants and a decisive move towards a faster delivery of payments. These all are direct measures to ensure that the European citizens get easier in and faster out of the application procedures for EU funding, with money in their hands in order to boost the European economy and create jobs.
The Commission intends to forcefully defend its proposals for simplification measures throughout the legislative process, resist any dilution and declares its resolve to ring the alarm bell should the need arise. It plans regularly monitor the progress through a dedicated Simplification Scoreboard whichwill be regularly presented to the Council and the European Parliament and its final edition - concerning the legal acts as they are finally adopted by the co-legislators - will be made available to the public. The Commission will also take steps to assess the impact of the simplification measures in the daily life of European citizens following the adoption of the simplification legislation.
The Commission calls upon the European Parliament and Council to deliver robust simplification in the context of the MFF and counts on their support as well as that of the Member States to succeed in its efforts. The objective of simplification must remain a central principle, and the right balance between the policy objectives, the means of delivery and the cost of administration and control must be assured so that the administrative burden on the beneficiaries of EU funds is finally reduced.
The full Communication "A simplification agenda for the 2014-2020 MFF":