Towards simplification and performance orientation in cohesion policy for 2014-2020
Question for oral answer O-000127/2015
to the Commission
Iskra Mihaylova, on behalf of the Committee on Regional Development
The EU institutions have taken significant steps – by including simplification measures in the Common Provisions Regulation and establishing a High Level Group of Independent Experts on Monitoring Simplification for Beneficiaries of the European Structural and Investment (ESI) Funds within the Commission to address the issue of simplification.
Despite these efforts, excessive use of, or strict adherence to, formalities still hinders efficient management of the ESI Funds in the EU, and at the Member State, regional and local levels.
Having regard to the above, will the Commission:
1. take bold steps to avoid creating obstacles and, where such obstacles exist, eliminate them? Initiatives and guidelines relating to simplification, based on best practice and the recommendations of the high-level group, need to be shared with Member States and regions in order to stimulate a reduction in administrative burden and gold-plating, which can occur at the national, regional and local levels during the transposition of EU law, to reduce the frequency of rule changes, to simplify and clarify the language used and to standardise procedures.
2. strive to achieve an optimal balance between accountability and simplification? In this context, Parliament believes that there is a need to publish and implement a roadmap with the aim of achieving a more efficiently run cohesion policy for the 2014-2020 period.
3. aim for the full implementation of e-cohesion in the management of the ESI Funds, and for increased use of different forms of support, such as lump sums and flat-rate financing, which will bring advantages for all beneficiaries?
4. establish and implement, in coordination with the Member States, a light-touch approach to data and information requirements for beneficiaries during the application process and in respect of reporting related to EU funding under shared management, and encourage the sharing of good practices?
5. involve itself in a structured and permanent dialogue with Parliament, the Committee of the Regions and other stakeholders, which is of the utmost importance not only in order to monitor the simplification process, but also to allow the Commission to take on board suggestions made by Parliament with a view to further refining administrative procedures during the 2014-2020 financial period? This will be to the benefit of all players.