Modern and simpler - the new EU financial rules take effect today
The New Financial Regulation that sets out all the rules and procedures for implementing the EU budget enters into force today, 2nd August, following a decision of the European Parliament and the Council.
The rules have been reduced by half, while all financial mechanisms are now integrated in a single rule book allowing for easier access to EU funding, simpler implementation and sharper focus on results. The new architecture makes them more user-friendly for both, those receiving EU funds and those managing the money at EU, national and local level.
More efficient management of budgetary guarantees and financial instruments under a single InvestEU programme, offer a ‘one-stop-shop’ for those seeking financing, and facilitate combination of EU funds and their transfer between management modes.
Other major changes include decreasing the amount of information required to apply for EU funding, extending its validity and establishing a ‘single audit’ approach, which will eliminate duplications of controls and reduce their overall cost.
More targeted controls and audits will allow for better protection of EU funds. Fight against fraud will be strengthened by ensuring that EU funds are not misused by shell companies or intermediaries, established in tax heavens. The conflict of interest rules are now extended to Member States’ authorities implementing EU funds. A voluntary disclosure of stakeholders is foreseen as well.
Finally a new principle of a 'seal of excellence' gives good projects a greater chance of getting alternative funding.
This significant reform addresses the main concerns expressed during EU-wide public consultation and delivers on the Commission’s priority to simplify procedures, cut red tape, increase transparency and shift the focus towards achieving results and adding European value.