Study on the application of flat rates for revenue generating projects in the fields of ICT, RDI and energy efficiency

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Available languages : English
Period : 2014-2020
Date : 30/04/2015

Study to determine flat-rate revenue percentages for the sectors or subsectors within the fields of (i) ICT, (ii) research, development and innovation and (iii) energy efficiency to apply to net revenue generating operations co-financed by the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESI Funds) in 2014-2020

In order to assure the efficient use of Cohesion Policy resources, net revenues generated by the financed project have to be deducted from the eligible expenditures after completion of a project, either by discounting the net revenues over the expected live-time of a project or by a flat rate that are defined by the regulatory set-up.

In this context the Commission is empowered to adopt delegated acts establishing flat rates for sectors or subsectors and specifically for the sectors 'Research, Development and Innovation (RDI)',' Information and Communication Technologies (ICT)' and 'energy efficiency'. In order to fulfil this obligation and to simplify the management of revenue generating projects in these sectors, the Commission has entrusted an external consultant to investigate all accessible sources of information both at EU and at Member State level to collect relevant historical data, which provide a reliable basis and reasonable assurance to establish flat rates for the concerned sectors or subsectors.

The results of the study show that large variations in financial profitability both across and within countries and limitations of available data do not allow the Commission to establish reliable flat rates for the sectors ICT and energy efficiency, but to decide on a flat rate for the RDI sector. It needs to be recalled that inadequate flat-rates may contribute to significant over-financing of operations which would harm the EU budget. Moreover, an over-financing of certain operations may also lead to market distortions within the Single Market. 

The results of the study have been discussed with the Commission services in occasion of the Third Steering Committee meeting, held in Brussels on February the 16th, and presented to the Member States during the Experts Group meeting held on March the 13th.