This section provides technical information for organisations tasked with implementing the ESF and for ESF beneficiaries
The quality of its institutions, both governmental and judicial, is a key determining factor for a country's economic and societal well-being. Administrative capacity is increasingly recognised as a pre-requisite for delivering the EU’s treaty obligations and objectives, such as creating sustainable growth and jobs. The EU supports Member States’ administrations through the European Semester process and the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF).
The Toolbox aims to support, guide and encourage those who want to build public administrations that will create prosperous, fair and resilient societies. It is intended as a reference and resource, not a prescription or a panacea, by signposting readers to existing EU policies and international practices, illustrated by almost 170 inspirational case studies.
Simplified Cost Options (SCOs) and Joint Action Plans (JAPs) are a key tool for achieving result-orientation and simplification in the ESF, a key objective both of the Commission and the Member States for the ESF in the 2014-2020 programming period.
There are many advantages to administrations and beneficiaries in using simplified cost options, including that:
Article 14(1) of the ESF Regulation allows for standard scales of unit costs and lump sums to be set out in a delegated act. These are different from ‘classical’ simplified costs as specified under Article 67 CPR and may be used by the Commission for reimbursement of expenditure to Member States.
Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2015/2195 of 9 July 2015 regarding the definition of standard scales of unit costs and lump sums for reimbursement of expenditure by the Commission to Member States (this Delegated Regulation concerns unit costs for France and Sweden).
Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2016/812 of 18 March 2016 amending Delegated Regulation (EU) 2015/2195 supplementing Regulation (EU) No 1304/2013, regarding the definition of standard scales of unit costs and lump sums for reimbursement of expenditure by the Commission to Member States. (this delegated Regulation concerns unit costs for Belgium (Flanders region) and the Czech Republic)
The Commission will conduct any research, analysis and consultations deemed as necessary for the definition of standard scales of unit costs and lump sums and adoption or amendment of the delegated act. In this context, the Commission may decide to define standard scales of unit costs and lumps sums on the basis of data submitted by Member States. In particular, Member States who have a clear in applying such a system, may submit data and suggestions for consideration by the Commission to allow for the definition of standard scales of unit costs or/and lump sums that take into account their specific needs.
One of the main objectives of the legislative framework for the European Structural and Investment Funds for 2014-20 is to reinforce the focus on results. Within cohesion policy, one of the ways to do this is by using a Joint Action Plan (JAP). A JAP enables Member States to implement parts of one or more programmes using a results-oriented approach towards a predefined goal. Its focus on results is ensured because it has coherent intervention logic and makes use of SCOs. Selected output and result indicators are linked with corresponding unit costs or lump sums, and this makes it possible to make payments based on achievement levels. To use a JAP, the Member State concerned must first agree it with the Commission.
The fi-compass web portal is offering a wide range of resources for Member States, managing authorities, financial institutions, project leaders and all stakeholders. It provides comprehensive information on the use financial instruments under the different ESI funds.