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, R&D and Innovation, IT, Internal Affairs & Security. The event language for all events will be English. Click here for an overview of our German events.
EU member states have to make sure, that the billions of Euro, that will be granted by the European Commission result in successful projects. For the next programming period 2014-2020 new standard in project management, accouning and auditing will be demanded by the European Commission. So, national, regional and local agencies and authorities as well as final beneficiaries have to update their knowledge regarding the new regulation on EU funded projects. This European Summer Seminar offers the unique opportunity to catch up on these topics.
The European Union (EU) and its Member States are the world’s biggest donors, providing more than half of all development aid 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.
This seminar addresses Project Managers of EU funded projects. In three days, participants acquire a very structured and high-level expertise of Project Management including an extensive set of instruments such as the Logical Framework Approach, a financial Cost-Benefit-Analysis (CBA), a Value Analysis (VA), Results-Based Management (RBM). Also, the new intervention logic of the 2014-2020 programming period is explained in detail.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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: For instance, Horizon 2020 will allocate 5.6 billion EUR to research and innovation in “secure, clean and efficient energy”.
Most public institutions have already taken the decision whether they do or do not want to include social media tools into their communication mix. Some organisations decided to build up in-house competence, whereas others chose to source out this area and work with external experts.
In early 2014, a comprehensive reform of EU public procurement law will be adopted. The current directives 2004/18/EC on procurement in public works, supply and service contracts, as well as 2004/17/EC on procurement in the water, energy, transport and postal services sectors will be updated. Additionally, the new proposed directive 2011/0437 on the award of concession contracts will give an orientation previously only provided by CJEU case law.
The end of the current programming period is approaching and authorities have to begin to plan the closure of the current Operational Programmes according to the new Commission’s guidelines.
EU Member States are nowadays entirely engaged in preparing the Operational Programmes for 2014-2020. In order to start with the implementation of European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) 2014-2020, the Operational Programmes must be approved by the European Commission and the Member States must set up their new Management and Control Systems (MCS).
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.
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 proper handling of the rules for the eligibility of expenditure in EU funded projects has proven to be very challenging and remains difficult in the new period 2014-2020. Disregarding the rules for eligibility of expenditure causes many irregularities.
Technical Assistance (TA) for European Structural Funds has been in use for several years now. However, there are many changes that will apply to Technical Assistance in the new Programming Period 2014-2020.
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.
European research locations are constantly competing for talent with higher education institutes (HEI) in other areas of the world offering excellent conditions for researchers and lecturers.
In the new Programming Period 2014-2020 Article 13 of Commission Regulation (EC) No 1828/2006 that stipulates certain procedures and requirements for verification will be repealed. Managing Authorities and Intermediate Bodies will have to meet new standards regarding the implementation of administrative and on-the-spot verifications.
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.
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.
The new programming period is about to begin and the last one has to be brought to a successful conclusion. This symposium offers the national bodies in the Member States of the European Union the possibility to exchange first-hand experiences concerning the implementation and utilisation of the structures and instruments of the new programming period with their European peers and in dialogue with the European Commission and the European Court of Auditors.
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.
Public procurement for research equipment, scientific materials and research services is most challenging for all stakeholders in Higher Education and Research Institutions as well as in University Hospitals.
In times of austerity, audits of public procurements have gained in importance. However, practitioners from public administrations often find auditing public procurement processes to be one of the most challenging and complex fields to audit. Misspent public money in low quality services and goods can endanger both the financial and operational integrity of an organisation.
The current Programming Period 2014-2020 holds lots of opportunities to fund innovative ideas and projects. The architecture of European Funds and direct grants continues to offer a wide range of funding opportunities in the Member States. However, funding is often not used as effectively as possible or it may be denied due to lack of knowledge or poor planning. Although the numerous programmes and initiatives have different features, the development and implementation of projects in practice follow common rules.
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.
The European Union (EU) and its Member States are 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.
State aid officials administering national and European funding in all member states still face difficulties when applying the European Union’s complex system of State aid rules and procedures, which aim to prevent public authorities from using public money to support industries or offering unfair incentives.
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).
A strong focus on results will be reinforced by the European Commission according to the draft regulations for EU funds for 2014-2020. Thus, EU funds authorities are asked to stipulate more precisely what changes and results are expected by the interventions of EU funds from the very beginning of the implementation of the new operational programmes (OPs).
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 correct handling of irregularities in EU funded projects is still a very difficult issue for all bodies involved in the management and control systems of EU funds. As the number of irregularities reported remains very high, the European Commission stresses that Member States need to continue their efforts in order to minimise the rate of irregularities. Thus, the topic of irregularities has to remain a priority for Member States as well.