The Council wants to simplify life for both beneficiaries and administrators of EU funds. On 28 June 2017, the Council mandated its presidency to start talks with the European Parliament on a Commission proposal to make EU financial rules simpler and more focused on results. The so-called draft omnibus regulation will amend the financial regulation governing the implementation of the EU budget as well as 15 sectorial legislative acts, including in the field of agriculture and cohesion policy.
"The Council's negotiating stance is a strong plea to make things easier. It would enable the Commission to pay funds quicker and with less bureaucratic controls of eligible costs. At the same time we want to ensure that EU funds continue to be managed prudently."
Prof. Edward Scicluna, Maltese Minister for Finance and President of the Council
Focus on results
In its negotiating stance the Council backed the possibility of basing EU payments on results rather than on the reimbursement of costs incurred. This would save beneficiaries and authorities much time and costs in the implementation of EU funds and reduce the risk of error.
The new rules would also allow for easier use of lump sums and simplified cost options. This would for instance mean that researchers could spend more time in the laboratory and less in documenting their travel expenses.
Cut red tape
In an effort to reduce the number of controls, the Council also supported the idea of allowing the Commission to rely as far as possible on existing audits, assessments or authorisations. This would cut red tape and enable both the beneficiaries and the Commission to spend more time on other tasks rather than doing paper work.
The draft omnibus regulation merges the EU financial regulation and its rules of application in one single rule book.
The omnibus regulation was proposed by the Commission in September 2016 as part of the mid-term review of the EU's multi-annual financial framework 2014-2020.
Trilogue discussions between the Council's presidency and representatives of the Parliament and the Commission will start in the coming weeks.