Simplified Cost Options

Simplified cost options (SCO) are one of the most important simplification measures to reduce administrative costs and burden.

They are effective in reducing the error rate, as was  recognised by the European Court of Auditors in its contribution to the High Level Group on Simplification.

They facilitate access of small beneficiaries to the ESI Funds thanks to the simplification of the management process and allow organisations to focus more on the achievement of the objectives.

A network of ERDF/CF SCO practitioners has been established to help a change in mindset and the increase of the SCO uptake. Representatives from EU Countries have the opportunity to learn from each other, develop and test ideas through informal discussions.
Their documents are published on this page.

SCO Network Meetings

Library

Studies and documents

Workshops

Webinar on designing & implementing SCOs and FNLC in the programming period 2021-2027 – 23 February 2021

  • Speakers: Maria SOUMELA Raluca CHETRARU, Ioana MANTOG (European Commission, DG REGIO); Luca SANTIN (Transnational Network of ERDF/CF SCO practitioners); Alina KVIETKAUSKIENĖ (European Social Fund Agency – Lithuania); Katri TARGAMA (State Shared Service Centre – Estonia).
  • Panellists: Vladislava GLIETZ, Barbara KORCZAK (European Commission, DG REGIO); Michael GROSSE (European Commission, DG EMPL)
  • Complete set of slides PDF EN

Simplified cost options and financing not linked to costs in the 2021-2027 programming period – 15 October 2020 – 18th edition of EURegionsWeek

Important: Before making use of the decisions included in the list, please make sure that they are in force. Should you have doubts with regard to their validity, please contact REGIO 02 unit - REGIO-BETTER-IMPLEMENTATION@ec.europa.eu- and we will provide you with the contact details of the persons responsible for the above decisions in the relevant Commission services. It is the responsibility of managing authorities as well as bodies involved in the management, monitoring, control and / or implementation of ESI Funds to verify whether the EU SCOs to be used in accordance with Article 67(5)(b) of CPR are applicable, satisfy the requirements set out in this Article and meet state aid rules if applied at national level.

This excel file provides an overview of COM decisions on simplified cost options. Please use the reference number displayed in the last column to find the corresponding decision in the listing below
Overview of COM decisions on simplified cost options – excel file'' f"XLS"

1. Decision authorising the use of unit contributions to support ERTMS deployment under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) - transport sector
Type: unit contributions
Description: Unit Contribution supporting deployment of ERTMS on-board and trackside equipment. The contributions will be paid upon achievement of an equipped vehicle, or per KM of equipped track. The amounts are based on a combination of historical data and an expert judgement.
Decision link PDF EN

2. Decision authorising the use of lump sums, unit costs and flat-rate financing for some actions to be carried out by the Directorate General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture in the context of Commission Implementing Decisions C(2018) 5074 and C(2018) 7378
Type: unit costs
Description: Unit costs: for 1) the travel costs for staff and learners, 2) the subsistence costs for staff and learners and 2) for staff costs of the consortium
Decision link PDF EN - Annex PDF EN

3. Decision authorising the use of unit costs for the actions involving virtual access under the Research Infrastructures Part of the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme unit costs
Type: unit costs
Description: Personnel costs, costs of contracts and maintenance, costs of energy power, costs of specific scientific services
Decision link PDF EN

4. Decision authorising the use of unit costs for the Fusion programme co-fund action under the Research and Training Programme of the European Atomic Energy Community 2019-2020
Type: unit costs
Description: 1) Unit costs for the eligible costs of mobility of personnel and 2) unit costs for the eligible access costs to research infrastructures
Decision link PDF EN

5. Decision authorising the use of a single lump sum contribution for the core structural data, frame extension and module data collections under the Integrated Farm Statistics Programme Programme
Type: (single) lump sum contribution
Description: Single lump sum contribution covering all eligible costs of the action for the 2020 core structural data, frame extension and module data collections actions under the Integrated Farm Statistics programme. The amount of the lump sum will be based on the draft budget submitted by the beneficiary.
Decision link PDF EN

6. Commission Decision C(2018) 6766 amending Commission Decision C(2013)7360 authorising the usage of unit costs under action grant agreement signed with Euronews + Corrigendum C(2019) 2027 of 18 March 2019
Type: unit costs
Description: Staff costs, raw material costs, costs of technical resources, transmission costs, indirect costs, specific costs of programs, etc. Method of calculating based on historical data
Decision link de EN fr - Annex de EN fr PDF

7. Decision authorising the use of unit costs for the retrofitting of noisy wagons under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) - Transport sector
Type: unit contributions
Description: Unit contribution for the retrofitting of noisy carriages. The contribution will be paid when the unit of a retrofitted carriage is achieved, differentiated by type of carriage. The amounts were based on an expert judgement.
Decision link PDF EN

8. Commission Decision C(2018) 5960 on authorising the use of reimbursement on the basis of a lump sum for ERC Proof of Concept actions under the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation
Type: lump sum
Description: This lump sum will cover the beneficiaries’ following direct and indirect eligible costs for such actions: personal costs, subcontracting, other direct costs and indirect costs. Indirect costs are included as a flat-rate of 25% to the direct cost categories that qualify for indirect costs under the H2020 rules. The amount of the lump sum for each grant is fixed at 150.000 EUR
Decision link PDF EN - Additional link

9. Decision authorising the use of lump sums, unit costs and flat-rate financing for the volunteering, traineeships, jobs and solidarity projects actions under the European Solidarity Corps
Type: unit costs, lump sum and flat rate
Description: Travel cost, organisational support, inclusion support, personal expenses support, linguistic support
Decision link PDF EN - Annex PDF EN

10. Commission Decision C(2018) 2692 authorising the use of unit costs for the reimbursement of personnel costs of owners of small and medium-sized enterprises and beneficiaries which are natural persons not receiving a salary under the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund
Type: unit costs
Description: Types of expenses covered: direct personnel costs of owners of SMEs, direct personnel costs, other eligible personnel costs.
Decision link de EN fr - Annex de EN fr PDF

11. Commission Decision C(2017) 7149 on authorising the use of reimbursement on the basis of a lump sum for the eligible costs of actions under the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, Topic DT-NMBP-20-2018: A digital ‘plug and produce’ online equipment platform for manufacturing
Type: lump sum
Description: Direct personal costs - Other direct costs - Direct costs of subcontracting - Direct costs of providing financial support to third parties - Indirect costs
Decision link PDF EN

12. Commission Decision C(2017) 7151 on authorising the use of reimbursement on the basis of a lump sum for the eligible costs of actions under the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation and under the Research and Training Programme of the European Atomic Energy Community (2014-2018)
Type: lump sum
Description: Lump sum for direct and indirect costs
Decision link PDF EN

13. Commission Decision C(2017) 6959 authorising the use of unit costs and lump sums for the pilot Joint Action Plan in the framework of the European Social Fund operational technical assistance at the initiative of the Commission
Type: unit costs
Description: Staff costs, accommodation allowance, subsidence allowance, travel allowance, etc.
Decision link de EN fr - Annex de EN fr PDF

14. Commission Decision C(2018) 6863 amending Commission Decision C(2014) 6158 authorising the use of reimbursement on the basis of unit costs for Erasmus+ Programme – international dimension of higher education financed by Heading 4 funds
Type: unit costs
Description: Travel costs support, individual support, organisational support, project management and implementation, etc.
Decision link de EN fr PDF

15. Commission Decision C(2017) 6864 amending Commission Decision C(2013) 8550 authorising the use of lump sums, reimbursement on the basis of unit costs and flat-rate financing under the “Erasmus+” Programme
Type: unit costs
Description: Travel costs support, individual support, organisational support, project management and implementation, etc.
Decision link PDF EN

16. Commission Decision C(2017) 6855 amending Decision C(2013) 8194 authorising the use of reimbursement on the basis of unit costs for Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions under the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme
Type: unit costs
Description: Living allowance, mobility allowance, family allowance, research, training and networking costs, management and indirect costs
Decision link PDF EN

17. Commission Decision C(2017) 5411 authorising the use of reimbursement on the basis of unit costs for the personnel costs of the owners of small and medium-sized enterprises and beneficiaries that are natural persons not receiving a salary under the Programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and small and medium-sized enterprises (COSME) (2014 to 2020)
Type: unit costs
Description: Unit costs for the direct personnel costs of SME owners and beneficiaries that are natural persons not receiving a salary
Decision link PDF EN - Additional link

18. Commission Decision C(2017) 2262 on the financing of the 'Preparatory action on Defence research' and the use of unit costs for the year 2017
Type: unit costs, flat rates
Description: The reimbursement of indirect costs at a flat rate of 25% and for the application of the same unit costs for the SME owners and natural persons not receiving a salary as under the Horizon 2020 programme.
Decision link PDF EN

19. Commission Decision C(2017) 1122 authorising the reimbursement on the basis of unit costs and flat-rates in the framework of twinning projects implemented by Member States through peer-to-peer administrative cooperation and for financing of Technical Assistance and Information Exchange's activities
Type: unit costs, flat rates
Description: Unit costs for the monthly remuneration for non wage labour, daily compensation, travel allowance, subsistence; flat rate for preparation activities, implementation activities, coordination of supervision activities
Decision link PDF EN

20. Commission Decision C(2016) 8298 authorising the use of lump sums and reimbursement on the basis of unit costs for the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) actions under the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme
Type: lump sums, unit costs
Description: Types of funds: student scholarships, institutional costs, travel costs, subsistence costs, etc.
Decision link PDF EN

21. Commission Decision C(2016) 7553 modifying the Commission decision of 7.3.2014 authorising the reimbursement on the basis of unit costs for actions requiring the conduct of the clinical studies under 'Societal Challenge 1: Health, Demographic Change and Wellbeing' of the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme
Type: unit costs
Description: Unit costs per patient or participant; including personnel costs of doctor and other medical personnel, cost of consumables, cost of medical equipment, and indirect costs
Decision link PDF EN

22. Commission Implementing Decision C(2016) 6396 modifying the Commission Implementing Decision C(2015)5272 of 22 July 2015 on the ENI East Regional Action Programme 2015 Part 2 to be financed from the general budget of the Union
Type: unit costs
Description: Staff costs at full costs using a system of unit rates
Decision link PDF EN - Annex PDF EN

23. Commission Decision C(2016) 5753 amending Commission Decision C(2014) 6158 authorising the use of reimbursement on the basis of unit costs for Erasmus+ Programme – international dimension of higher education financed by Heading 4 funds
Type: unit costs
Decision link PDF EN

24. Commission Decision C(2016) 3634 replacing and repealing Commission Decision C(2015) 3174 on the reimbursement of office costs on the basis of a simplified allocation method
Type: unit costs, flat rates
Description: Unit costs for travel and subsistence costs for staff, flat rate for indirect costs
Decision link PDF EN - Additional link

25. Commission Decision C(2016) 3631 amending Commission Decision C(2015)350 authorising the use of reimbursement of the costs of staff on the basis of unit costs for actions implemented under grant and delegation agreements following the models established by the Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development and Directorate-General for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection
Type: unit costs
Description: Staff costs on the basis of unit costs
Decision link PDF EN

26. Commission Decision C(2016) 1502 authorising the reimbursement on the basis of unit costs for the personnel costs of SME owners and beneficiaries that are natural persons not receiving a salary under the Research Programme of the Research Fund for Coal and Steel
Type: unit costs
Description: SME owners and other natural persons who do not receive a salary may declare eligible personnel costs for the work carried out under the action on the basis of a unit cost
Decision link de EN fr - Annex de EN fr PDF

27. Commission Implementing Decision C(2016) 1469 amending Commission Implementing Decision C(2015) 5242 final of 22 July 2015 adopting a Multi-country Action Programme for the year 2015
Type: unit costs
Description: The program includes the action Western Balkans Youth Window under Erasmus+, the grant is a combination of unit costs and portion of eligible costs. The specific rules are outlined in the Erasmus+ Programme Guide
Decision link PDF EN

28. Commission Decision C(2016) 478 on the reimbursement of personnel costs of beneficiaries of the Connecting Europe Facility
Type: unit costs
Description: Reimbursement of eligible direct personnel costs of SME owners that are natural persons not receiving a salary
Decision link PDF EN - Additional link

29. Commission Decision C(2015) 3697 authorising the use of grants in the form of reimbursement of eligible costs declared by beneficiaries on the basis of lump sums for the standardisation activities carried out by the European Committee for Standardisation, and the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardisation and the European Telecommunications Standards Institute and amending Decision C(2014)1892 as regards additional unit costs
Type:Lump sums
Description: Types of payment: direct personnel costs, indirect costs, direct ravel costs; other direct costs
Decision link de EN fr - Annex de EN fr PDF

30. Commission Decision C(2015) 3173 authorising the use of reimbursement on the basis of unit costs and the use of flat-rate financing for activities carried out by the OECD under the Framework Administrative Agreement with the European Union
Type:unit costs, flat rates
Description: "Unit costs for travel allowance, unit costs for conference centre and meeting room rental, staff costs, etc.
Flat rate for support costs
Decision link PDF EN - Additional link

31. Commission Decision C(2015) 761 authorising the use of lump sums for projects of common interest in the fields of the electronic identification and authentication (eID and eSignature) building blocks Digital Service Infrastructures. under the Connecting Europe Facility Programme – Telecommunications sector
Type:Lump sums
Description: Cost of personnel, travel costs, subsistence costs, costs of subcontracting necessary for the operation and maintenance of the service, costs of other goods and services Decision link de EN fr - Annex de EN fr PDF

32. Commission Decision C(2015) 350 authorising the use of reimbursement of the costs of staff on the basis of unit costs for actions implemented under grant and delegation agreements following the models established by DG DEVCO and DG ECHO
Type: unit costs
Description: Staff costs on the basis of unit costs
Decision link PDF EN - Additional link

33. Commission Decision C(2014) 6145 authorising the use of reimbursement on the basis of unit costs for the Civil Society Cooperation actions under the Erasmus+ Programme
Type: unit costs
Description: Personnel costs, meetings and travel costs Decision link
de EN fr - Annex EN PDF

34. Commission Decision C(2014) 6158 authorising the use of reimbursement on the basis of unit costs for Erasmus+ Programme – international dimension of higher education financed by Heading 4 funds
Type: unit costs
Description: Travel costs support, individual support, organisational support, project management and implementation, etc.
Decision link PDF EN - Additional link

35. Commission Decision C(2014) 2207 authorising the use of reimbursement on the basis of unit costs and flat-rate financing for the actions of the Enterprise Europe Network under the COSME Programme
Type: unit costs, flat rates
Description: Unit costs for Direct personnel costs and flat rate for indirect costs
de EN fr- Annex de EN fr PDF

36. Commission Decision C(2014) 2073 authorising the use of reimbursement on the basis of unit costs for actions of technical assistance implemented by the European Investment Bank
Type: unit costs
Description: Cost for the provision of technical assistance, mission costs
Decision link PDF EN - Annex PDF EN

37. Commission Decision C(2014) 1393 authorising the use of reimbursement on the basis of unit costs for actions requiring the conduct of clinical studies under ‘Societal Challenge 1: Health, Demographic Change and Wellbeing’ of the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme
Type: unit costs
Description: Direct costs for clinical studies
Decision link PDF EN

38. Commission Decision C(2013) 8197 authorising the use of reimbursement on the basis of unit costs for the personnel costs of the owners of small and medium-sized enterprises and beneficiaries that are natural persons not receiving a salary under the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation and under the Research and Training Programme of the European Atomic Energy Community (2014-2018)
Type: unit costs
Description: Direct personnel costs for SME owners
Decision link PDF EN - Additional link

39. Commission Decision C(2013) 8196 authorising the use of reimbursement on the basis of unit costs for energy efficiency measures in buildings under the Energy Challenge actions of the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme
Type: unit costs
Description: Equipment and subcontracting costs
Decision link PDF EN

40. Commission Decision C(2013) 8198 authorising the reimbursement on the basis of a lump sum for SME instrument phase 1 actions under the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme
Type: Lump sums
Description: Costs for the development of a feasibility study
Decision link PDF EN

41. Commission Decision C(2013) 8199 authorising the use of reimbursement on the basis of unit costs for actions involving trans-national access under the Research Infrastructures Part of the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme
Type: unit costs
Description: Transnational access costs to research infrastructures
Decision link PDF EN - Additional link

42. Commission Decision C(2013) 8200 authorising the use of reimbursement on the basis of unit costs for ERA-NET Cofund actions under the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme
Type: unit costs
Description: Direct eligible coordination costs of the additional activities, i.e.: personnel costs of staff directly assigned to the coordination of the additional activities, travel costs and related subsistence allowances, costs of subcontracting, depreciation costs for equipment directly used for the coordination of additional activities, costs of goods and services
Decision link PDF EN

43. Commission Decision C(2013) 8550 authorising the use of lump sums, reimbursement on the basis of unit costs and flat-rate financing under the “Erasmus+” Programme
Type: unit costs
Description: Travel costs support, individual support, organisational support, project management and implementation, etc.
Decision link PDF EN

44. Commission Decision C(2013) 8194 authorising the use of reimbursement on the basis of unit costs for Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions under the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme
Type: unit costs
Description: Training, fellowships, research and doctoral programmes
Decision link PDF EN - Additional link

45. Commission Decision C(2013) 7360 authorising the use of unit costs under action grant agreements signed with Euronews
Type: unit costs
Description: Staff costs, raw material costs, cost of technical resources, broadcasting costs, operating costs and indirect costs
Decision link PDF EN

46. Decision by the authorising officer by sub-delegation authorising the use of reimbursement of unit costs under the European Migration Network for 2014-2020
Type: unit costs
Description: Cost of Ad Hoc Query including personnel and expert costs, translation costs
Decision link PDF EN

TAIEX-REGIO PEER 2 PEER

Sharing practices and concrete examples on design, implementation and auditing SCOs will help raise the awareness of stakeholders (audit authority, bodies implementing aid scheme, the managing authority and potential groups of beneficiaries). Member States are encouraged to fully utilise existing REGIO tools, such as Peer2Peer in order to exchange knowledge, experience and practice at EU level between Member States, particularly among practitioners.