The access to EU funds will be faster and simpler after the 1 January 2013

The European Commission informed that following the recent entry into force of the new Financial Regulation, has adopted its new detailed Rules of application. As of 1 January 2013 thanks to simplified procedures, the delivery of EU funds to businesses, NGOs, researchers, students, municipalities and other recipients will be improved.

The detailed Rules of application of the new Financial Regulation which recently entered into force, will improve, according to the European Commission, the delivery of EU funds to businesses, NGOs, researchers, students, municipalities and other recipients from 1 of January 2013. The Commission also highlights that this Regulation increases transparency and introduces higher accountability for anyone dealing with EU finances. Council and Parliament agreed on new rules to simplify access to EU funds in June of 2012.

Among other things, the new Regulation implies that the period between calls for proposals and the conclusion of grant agreements and payment deadlines will be shortened. The emphasis of the grant system will be shifted from reimbursing cost claims to payments for the delivery of results through a greater use of lump sums, flat rates, unit costs. Also, beneficiaries of EU funds will no longer be obliged to open separate interest bearing bank accounts. Furthermore, even if interest is generated, it will not have to be returned to the EU Budget and neither will it be counted as revenue of the project.

The Commission also reported that in the future, various financial instruments, such as loans, equity or guarantees will be used to enhance the effectiveness of EU funds and thus multiply their financial impact. New possibilities are created for a more flexible implementation of public-private partnerships ('PPPs') which reflects the calls of European industry stakeholders who are the partners in such PPPs. In the area of external action, the EU will be able to create EU trust funds pooling its own resources with those of its Member States and other donors in order to better coordinate and deliver external aid and increase its visibility.