Use of new provisions on simplification during the early implementation phase of ESIF
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In preparation of the regulatory framework for the 2014-2020 programme period, simplification measures were introduced to reduce administrative costs and burden. Expectations concerning possible reductions have been based among others on an impact study carried out by t33/SWECO in 2012.
The present study reviews whether 21 selected simplification measures generated the expected reductions. While previous studies addressed only single funds, this study, for the first time collected comparable figures on administrative costs and burden for all five ESI Funds.
Given the uncertainty related to assessing changes in administrative costs and burden until the end of the 2014-2020 programme period, the figures presented in this study are merely proxies and need to be treated carefully.
Overall, the efforts to reduce administrative costs and burden are paying off. These simplification measures are expected to reduce administrative costs for ESI Funds by EUR 0.5 to 1.5 billion, i.e. 2 to 5% of administrative costs. Taking the 2007-13 period as a baseline, the implementation of simplification measures is expected to reduce the administrative costs to EUR 23 to 24 billion, i.e. 4% of the ESIF budget.
In addition, simplification measures are expected to reduce the administrative burden for all ESI Funds by EUR 1 to 2 billion, or 9 to 15%. Taking the 2007-13 period as a baseline, simplification is expected to reduce the burden to EUR 11 to 12 billion, i.e. 2% of the ESIF budget.
However, most of the reduction is from only 10 of the 21 simplification measures. The remaining 11 measures deliver a mixed picture.
There is further room for reducing administrative costs and burden, in particular through increasing the uptake of SCOs and reducing gold plating.
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