Here you can find all upcoming conferences, seminars and workshops in their chronology. If you wish to view the events according to their topics, please visit these links: EU Funding, Law & Taxes, State Aid, Audit, Energy & Environment, HEI and R&D, Procurement and Development Cooperation. The event language for all events will be English. Click here for an overview of our German events.
Many authorities within the management and control system of EU Funds still face considerable difficulties and uncertainties when it comes to detecting and handling (suspected) fraud cases. They are presented with the challenge of distinguishing these cases from irregularities as well as identifying necessary actions.
At least since the recent Court of Justice of the European Union’s judgement on the regional airport of Leipzig/Halle in Germany further implications for financing infrastructure projects have arisen for all member states and stakeholders. At the core of this is the aspect of economic vs. non-economic purpose of an infrastructure.
The European Union (EU) and its Member States are the world’s biggest donors, providing more than half of all development cooperation funding worldwide. However, in order to cooperate with the EU successfully and to benefit from the external cooperation funds, beneficiaries have to comply with a multitude of accounting regulations for projects financed by the EU.
The European Commission has set out detailed arrangements on the management and control systems to be operated by Member States for the EU Structural Funds in both programming periods (2007-2013 and 2014-2020).
Until the 1st January 2015 the Member States have to establish systems of separate collection for recyclable materials like glass, metal, paper and plastic according to the EU Regulation 2008/98, if they do not want to face the harsh consequences of an infringement process from the European Union.
EU Member States have already made some practical experiences with Financial Engineering Instruments. However, in the last programming period, only 5% of the entire ERDF resources were distributed through Financial Instruments (FI). For the current programming period 2014-2020, the European Commission demands an increased use of this innovative tool.
Advanced hands-on experience, operative know-how and thorough knowledge of procedures and risks are necessary to ensure clear, effective and reliable procurement procedures. While the new EU procurement directives require more flexibility, transparency and fulfilment of high qualitative, environmental, social and innovation standards, many contracting authorities still favour lowest price criterion as the safest and fastest procedure. Yet, many examples prove that the lowest price does not always mean lowest costs and therefore needs to be extended by additional criteria.
The European Union provides various funds and instruments to support stakeholders such as universities, research centres and companies in the fields of research and development and the commercialisation of research results. However, financial accounting and reporting of EU-funded projects are considered very time consuming and complex.
The new programming period has begun and the National Programmes are in the process of their submission and examination by the European Commission. With the new year comes the practical implementation of the rules and regulations for the two remaining Home Affairs Funds: the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) and the Internal Security Fund (ISF).
R&D projects and cooperation, whether with or without European or national funding, need a safe and sound legal contract design. In most cases, the legal framework decides about the success of a project and lays the foundation for a smooth pursuit of research activities.
The ESI Funds 2014-2020 offer the possibility to support an operation comprising a series of works, activities or services of a precise economic or technical nature (for which the total eligible costs exceed 50 million Euro) as well as operations contributing to one thematic objective (where the total eligible costs exceed 75 million Euro) such as transport, water, waste and energy projects.
In recent years, cases of food fraud have shaken the European Union. From the melanin contaminated baby-milk to horse meet in pre-cooked meals. All these scandals have in common, that they pose a great threat to public health, the perception of security in the population and trust in government regulations while they offer huge profit margin for the criminals.
The ESI Funds have been redirected to fulfill special requirements and needs of the European Union until 2020. This means that there are new requirements to meet when applying for ESI funding.
The new EU Directives on Public Procurement implicate a number of modifications and bring in some significant changes, particularly to the range of contracts subject to the EU public procurement regime.
The European Summer Academy “State Aid” provides extensive and case-study based training on almost every aspect related to state aid. During three days in June, experienced and reknowned practitioners in the complex field of European state aid work on real cases and thus explore the legal and practical framework for state aid in Europe.
Nowadays, young people are faced with hard competition for job opportunities. So they make the choice for their Higher Education Institution (HEI) by deciding which environment offers them the best foundation to have good job opportunities after graduation. Universities have recognised this challenge but the circumstances make it hard to fulfill these very complex needs – the same is true for identifying and implementing the tools to fit those needs.
Since the beginning of the economic crisis in 2007-2008, there is a new focus on goals and results and a constant pressure for balancing between resources and outcomes in the public sector. National, European and international public institutions are increasingly urged to assess and increase their performance in order to improve public budget’s efficiency.
The internal logic of research and science as well as efforts of the European Union have developed a global perspective in research, innovation and technology transfer. Almost no university or research institution can survive without cooperating on a multinational level.
In current times of tight public budgets, public administrations must set and achieve their goals in the most effective, efficient and economical way. This new obligation also alters the responsibilities of auditors in the public sector. To ensure that public institutions operate most efficiently and effectively, auditors can no longer focus on their traditional task of financial audits.
The practical introduction of eCohesion systems requires Member States to establish electronic data exchange systems which allow the exchange of all information between Managing, Certifying and Audit Authorities as well as Intermediate Bodies, on the one hand, and beneficiaries, on the other hand, to take place electronically.
With the start of the new programming period 2014-2020 new regulations and rules regarding financial management, control and audit have been introduced. On the basis of the Common Provisions Regulation, Fund-specific rules as well as delegated and implementing acts EU-Member States have created and set up management and control systems for the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESI Funds) 2014-2020.
Revenue generating projects under Art 61 of the Regulation (EC) 1303/2013 are projects that generate net income after their completion. These include investments in infrastructure which generate direct incomes (net revenues) for their utilisation.
For the new Programming Period 2014-2020, the European Commission pays increased attention to communication as well as to results and outcomes in European Investment and Structural Funds (ESI Funds). Managing Authorities or intermediate bodies have to carefully set up communication plans, in order to raise participation and ensure high quality projects as well as to make public investment more visible and transparent.
Fraud and corruption in the public sector heavily harm the economy, lower investment levels and reduce public finances. Anti-fraud and anti-corruption strategies are often not effective enough and damages done to public institutions and their budgets by fraud and corruption can be enormous ranging from financial loss to reduction of organisational performance, reputation, credibility and public confidence.
2015 is a crucial moment for experts dealing with EU Funds. Most Operational Programmes have been published, so that it is time to start new projects and write new project proposals in the current programming period 2014-2020. The Commission emphasises an increased use of financial instruments and aims at simplified and more coherent solutions.
Most public institutions use social media tools in their communication. It is a key part of any communications planning and long-term strategy in today’s media landscape. Some organisations use in-house competence, whereas others choose to source out this area and work with external experts.
EU Funds Project Managers have to deal with several challenging management tasks specific to EU Funds. Their work refers to different aspects and phases of project and programme management which require a high level of expertise.
The European Union (EU) and its Member States remain the world’s biggest donor, providing more than half of all development aid worldwide. However, in order to cooperate successfully with the EU and to benefit from the external cooperation funds, beneficiaries have to follow a multitude of administrative regulations and fulfil all external audit requirements.
Energy projects are at the centre of attention in the current programming period 2014-2020. Projects in the fields of energy efficiency (EE), renewable energies (RE) and CO2 reduction have a special focus due to their importance in reaching the Europe 2020 goals: Cohesion policy funding will allocate an estimated total of 36 billion EUR to investments in energy efficiency, renewable, smart grids and urban mobility. Horizon 2020 will designate approximately 5.4 billion EUR to research and innovation in “secure, clean and efficient energy” and 840 million EUR to energy efficiency alone.
There is a range of fundamental services that are of major importance to citizens and their everyday life which have to be supplied by public authorities. Providing and financing these services – for instance in the social or transport sectors – needs to be in accordance with European State aid regulations and the provisions for Services of General Economic Interest.
EU-funded projects put high demands on project leaders and coordinators. Especially the correct financial accounting of the project constitutes a great challenge. Beneficiaries have to follow strict and complex rules set up by the European Commission.
Modern public institutions are depending on functioning IT in their daily business. Therefore, IT emergencies represent a constant fundamental threat. However, it is not always possible to avoid such threats and emergencies do occur regularly. In case of emergency it is necessary to contain the damage.
The programming period 2014-2020 introduces new rules for the financial management of the European Structural and Investment Funds. National and regional authorities have become new responsibilities and deadlines regarding preparation, examination, acceptance and closure of accounts as well as financial correction.
With the new public procurement directive 2014/24/EU, which has come into effect in 2014, the European Commission has introduced a number of opportunities that allow for more flexibility in the procurement process while upholding the basic requirements of competition, transparency and equal treatment.
For the purpose of simplifying the implementation of European Structural and Investment Funds (ESI Funds) 2014-2020, the European Commission has widened the application of simplified cost options.
As research results become increasingly important for international rankings and external funding, it is crucial to figure out how to compare research. How can research results be compared across different subject areas? Where to find the right counterparts to benchmark the institution’s research performance? Which tools are available to assess research quality?
Whether internal or external, strategic, financial, operational or reputational risks – these can significantly hinder the work of your authority. In the current economic and financial context the lack of an adequate approach to risk management is an enormous and real threat to the work of any public administration, since nowadays work efficiency and effectiveness in the public sector are more important than ever before. For that reason, it is of extreme importance that public authorities do not rely solely on their intuition in dealing with risks, but use professional formalised risk management as an integral and ongoing part of their general management process.
Closure of Operational Programmes 2007-2013 has to be conducted simultaneously to the management of the new programming period 2014-2020. This task involves contributions of Managing, Certifying and Audit Authorities that need to prove effective communication as well as disciplined time management and coordinated performance.
Higher education and research institutions face unique challenges in Internal Audit. Their complexity, individuality and diverse foci and fields of work make for a wide array of issues, which are not covered by common place Internal Audit knowledge covered by Internal Audit in the private sector.
The EU provides multiple sources of financing for broadband projects, in form of various EU funds as well as European Investment Bank instruments. In the new programming period, broadband projects are not only supported via European Structural and Investments Fund (ESIF), including EAFRD and through the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF).
Technical Assistance (TA) for European Structural Funds has been in use for several years now. However, there are many changes that apply to Technical Assistance in the Programming Period 2014-2020.
Thanks to the new EU Cohesion Policy and the new Programming Period 2014-2020 of the European Union, there is more funding available for research, development and innovation than ever before. The EU has set out the goal to enhance investment and to strengthen Europe’s position in R&D&I.
Knowledge, technology and innovations created at universities and other research entities have to make an impact outside of faculties and laboratories. Commercialisation of research is a mean to fulfil this task. Once a research project or innovation carried out by a university, research institution and its researchers is ready to achieve commercial results, it has to be decided how it can best be commercialised. Which is the most promising way to pursue?
The field of food labelling in the European Union and the member states remains very dynamic. Several regulations have to be taken into account to guarantee all declarations on the contents of the food products and their possible benefits (or allergic threats!) are declared according to the applicable laws. Therefore, it is essential for practitioners and food law specialists to get to a running start in the domain of the complex legal and regulatory framework on EU Food Law.