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Making life simpler for fourth call projects

By Joint secretariat

Yesterday, Interreg Europe monitoring committee approved 74 projects from the fourth call. They will benefit from a new simplification measure: the costs of phase two related to the monitoring of action plans will be paid through a lump sum.

The lump sum amount has been determined based on the budgets of first and second call projects and a pre-defined work plan. The sum is proportionate to the number of policy instruments and action plans being monitored.

What does this mean for fourth call projects?

In practice, this means that:

  • They have less paperwork and administration: projects no longer have to provide invoices, proof of payment, etc. The payment solely depends on the proof of output delivery according to the quality and quantity agreed;
  • They can focus more on the phase two content;
  • They save first level control costs: to release the payment, the joint secretariat verifies for all partners that the output requirements are met;
  • They keep full flexibility within the partnership: the lump sum is paid by the programme to the lead partner. It is then shared within the partnership reflecting the partners’ specific roles in the project, cost level etc.

The new simplification measure thus improves the project’s cost-effectiveness. It also gives us a useful insight on the use of such options for the development of a potential future programme.

Simplification measures for all Interreg Europe projects

All Interreg Europe projects already benefit from several simplification measures:

  • About 15% of the project costs are reported and paid in a simplified way: a flat rate for administration costs and a lump sum for preparation costs has already been introduced;
  • The layers of rules are kept to a minimum: the programme relies on the rules set in the relevant EU-Regulations and on partners’ internal rules. It avoids, as much as possible, adding any additional layers. For example, expenditure no longer has to be broken down by different components or work packages. They are declared by the same five budget lines foreseen in the EU-Regulation; for travel costs and procurement procedures the rules that are usually applicable to the organisation also apply in the context of the Interreg Europe project;
  • The layers of control are reduced: the first level controller of the lead partner no longer has to check and re-confirm the expenditure of the whole partnership;
  • The application, reporting and control processes are done online inside the iOLF system making them more transparent, faster and IT assisted: many checks are now automatized and noticed immediately at the right level. Reports, control certificates and related signatures are built into the system avoiding time-consuming postal deliveries or scan uploads;
  • The programme provides the relevant tools to help projects widely disseminate their results: project websites are hosted on the programme website for free. This gives them a good visibility and an economy of scale.
  • Interreg Europe regularly reminds project partners that simplification is also what they make it: in their contact with project partners, the programme regularly raises awareness about simplified rules and encourages project partners to fully exploit their potential. For example, for project staff regularly working on a project, it is possible to declare staff costs as a fixed percentage of the salary. No timesheets are needed in this case. So why use any other option for reporting the biggest share of the budget in an Interreg Europe project? 

See here what some of our project partners have to say about their experience of simplification in Interreg Europe.

What are your ideas for further simplification?

Do you have any views and experience with these measures? Which measures do you find most useful? Do you have any other suggestions? We want to know what you think. Write to us at [email protected]

Your input is important to us. It helps us consider more measures for this programming period and allows to prepare for the future.

Want to know more about simplification?

Look at the programme manual for more on the phase two lump sum – see page 122.

For more guidance on running a project, visit our 'Implement a project' page. And have a look at the FAQ section to find answers to the most common questions.

Read more about the fourth call