Commission calls for easier access to EU funds in times of crisis
On 26 February 2013, the Commission adopted its second "simplification scoreboard" on the current state of simplification of access to EU funds in the current negotiations for the next financial period. This "simplification scoreboard" highlights areas now under negotiation, and which may make current funding rules more complex and burdensome rather than simpler.
Strictly speaking, the Commission wishes to adjust the paperwork to the size of funding: smaller grants call for simpler procedures. Funds should be delivered faster, especially in the case of emergency aid outside the EU.
According to other proposed measures, programmes such as the "LIFE" environment programme should not be funded based on national allocations: after all, criteria such as quality and efficiency are much more important than in which Member States the programme is managed.
The European Commission also wants to allow beneficiaries of cohesion funds to submit data and store all documents in electronic form by the end of 2014 at the latest.
In 2010, the European Commission published its communication on the financial regulation, which includes ways to cut red tape and make EU funds more easily accessible. On 8 February 2012, it proposed over 120 changes to simplify the rules and make access to EU funds easier in the next financial period ("A simplification agenda for the 2014-2020 MFF"). Since then, the European Commission regularly publishes progress reports ("simplification scoreboards") on simplifying the EU rules for the beneficiaries. The first scoreboard was presented on 24 September 2012, and a second scoreboard followed on 26 February 2013. The simplified rules will cover 57 sectorial legislative proposals for the 2014-2020 MFF (cohesion, education, science and research, development aid etc.).