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2018 || Upcoming Courses in Malta

 

Another year is coming to a close.  And what another successful year it has been! Over 250 participants from 12 member states, for 9 unique events, shared knowledge and lasting friendships.  

We promise an even better 2018.

Our courses will now be rated at Level 5 of the European Qualifications Framework, so participants may now obtain a Certificate of Award, not simply a certificate of participation.  All the better for your CVs and an added assurance of our commitment towards higher standards and reliability.

The course programme has evolved further this year.  Apart from offering more courses, there will be more five-day events, to deliver deeper insight into the most intriguing subjects relating to irregularities, financial management and ESF.  The three-day courses will be offering updated and richer content on public procurement, management verifications, applications for payment, errors, indicators, fraud prevention and detection, application of financial corrections, state aid and simplified cost options options.

So 2018 is about getting stronger, just like our ongoing commitment to sharing knowledge and experience with a smile.

We wish you the warmest wishes, from all of us at EuropeanFunds.info.

Ray, Trevor & Justine

 



 

 

Upcoming EU-Funds seminars in Malta

 

Four workshops have been held so far this year and, once more, we are very pleased to hear encouraging feedback. The line-up of courses for the second half of 2017 is out, as you may already know from our Seminars & Courses page.

Check out our new five-day toolkits to be held in July and December.  These are longer seminars for better programme and project management.

We are also introducing a new seminar on monitoring and evaluation of ESIF projects, to be held in September.  This will complement the highly popular workshops on financial corrections to procurement errors and the most common errors in EU funded projects, in October and November.

The engaging EUFundingMalta & EUfundingGozo project expeditions will be accompanying each seminar.

We hope to meet you and colleagues at one of these events shortly.  Our smiles will go hand in hand with our commitment to deliver a unique experience.

In the meantime, we wish you good health and a pleasant summer.
Ray, Trevor & Justine
P.s. Should you have any query on the above, please do not hesitate to send us an This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We will follow up at the earnest.

 



 

 

2017 || Upcoming Courses in Malta

 

We’re so glad to be writing to you at the beginning of a new year. A year which will usher all Member States into the thick of the implementation of the 2014-20 Cohesion Policy, putting its innovations to test. Probably it will be the time when we truly observe the first effects if the intervention logic of programming, the simplification measures, the new public procurement regulations, the new system of annual submissions, e-Cohesion and so many other novelties so eagerly proclaimed at the beginning of this period. It will be a critical year in the performance framework, as the project we select and implement now will bear heavily on the OPs’ indicators for the Performance Reserve in 2018.

At EuropeanFunds.info we are full of energy and enthusiasm to share a new programme of training that blends popular subjects from the past years with new seminars aimed at giving you the best and most relevant topics. It all kicks off in March with Verifications 2014-20: Are they all about performance checks?, which includes the seriously informative yet entertaining one-day EUfundingMalta expedition that has been so successful last year.

 

NEW! *5-day* seminars & EU projects expeditions to Gozo

 

April brings along a new seminar and a new expedition. Fighting Fraud in EU-funded projects speaks about real cases that have beleaguered projects in the past, leading to the EU-wide drive to reduce fraud drastically. The EUfundingGOZO expedition will then top it off, taking us to Gozo to discuss prevention, detection and reporting in the context of the projects implemented in Gozo throughout the 2004-06 and 2007-13 programming periods.

And you’ve asked for it! May and June will roll out the first seminar fully dedicated to ESF 2014-20 and another one on State Aid and Public Procurement in infrastructural projects. These will be intense but simply hand-on, as you want them to be. Speaking of practical, hands-on matters – check out our new five-day irregularities toolkit to be held in July. A longer seminar, with a deeper coverage of prevention and detection strategies, for better programme and project management.

More will be coming your way in the second half of the year. In the meantime, we’ll keep working on more improvements to give the best product you and your countries deserve.

Wishing you a year of success and good health.

Ray, Trevor & Justine

 



 

 

Upcoming || Seminar on Financial Corrections

Public Procurement Workshop - Applying Financial Corrections 

26-28 October 2016, Hilton Malta Hotel

Price: EUR 1,499 (incl VAT)


Register by 5th October and pay EUR 1,349 (incl VAT)

 

Would you like to know more? Click here.

 

 

Course Highlights

i. Discussing the main tools and techniques available for the prevention and detection of errors 

ii. Overviewing the financial corrections in the 2014-20 regulatory package 

iii. Introducing the main guidance tool for the application of financial corrections

iv. Examining and discussing different practical cases related to errors in the planning, tendering, selection and contracting stages of any procurement procedure

v. Reviewing reports from various Member States on the application of financial corrections to errors

vi. Analysing the withdrawals and recoveries procedures to treat errors

vii. Discussing how the new Public Procurement Directives addresses the common errors of the past 


Upcoming || Seminar on the Most Common Errors

The Most Common Errors - 'Simpler' ways to keep them low

28-30 September 2016, Hilton Malta Hotel

Price: EUR 1,499 (incl VAT)


Register by 7th September and pay EUR 1,349 (incl VAT)

 

For more information click here.

 

 

Course Highlights

i. Gain insights on the common errors and irregularities

ii. Overview of the Management verifications of ESIF in the context of the principles and priorities promoted for the 2014-20 financial period

iii. Learning how the performance framework and reserve will work

iv. Learning how the performance framework and reserve will work

v. Exploring the different requirements attached to the simplified cost options

vi. Analysing the features of the new directives for Public Procurement

vii. Learn how to treat errors by applying financial corrections



Business Enhance ERDF Grant Schemes Initiative launched

PRESS RELEASE BY PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARIAT FOR EU PRESIDENCY 2017 AND EU FUNDS

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. now for an obligation-free meeting!

 

The Startup Investment Grant Scheme and SME Growth Grant Scheme

Business Enhance ERDF Grant Schemes Initiative – valued at over €51M - aimed at supporting Enterprises, maximising their investment and growth potential, to create further employment opportunities and render them more competitive.

The Ministry for European Affairs and Implementation of the Electoral Manifesto, through the Parliamentary Secretariat for the EU Presidency 2017 and EU Funds is launching the Business Enhance ERDF Grant Schemes Initiative.

The private sector is the backbone of Malta’s economic development. Government is committed at securing investment and growth opportunities for local enterprises, whilst providing more space and flexibility for them to flourish. The development of a more business friendly environment contributes towards ensuring that the Maltese Economy is built on solid and competitive businesses, which in turn, will make the country more resilient to market challenges.

In sustaining this commitment to locally based enterprises, the Business Enhance ERDF Grant Schemes Initiative - with a budget of €51 million from the European Regional Development Fund 2014 -2020 - of which €40.8 million are being made available from European Union funds and €10.2 million from national funds – is an initiative that seeks to support enterprises through a number of aid schemes in the form of non-repayable grants.

These Grant Schemes address a number of priorities under Operational Programme I Cohesion Policy 2014 – 2020 - ‘Fostering a competitive and sustainable economy to meet our challenges’ - and fall under three main priority axis mainly: Investing in research, technological development and innovation (PA1), Consolidating Investment within the ICT sector (PA2) and Enhancing Malta’s competitiveness through investment in SMEs (PA3)

The Business Enhance ERDF Grant Schemes initiative will assist enterprises across the board to maximise their investment and growth potential, to create further employment opportunities and render them more competitive.

This initiative foresees a total of €20 million aimed at assisting enterprises in investing in research, technological development and innovation; €26 million in support to enterprises undertaking investment projects aimed at rendering them more competitive and €5million for investment in e-Commerce.

The first two schemes being launched under this initiative are the SME Growth Grant Scheme with an allocation of €8 million and the Start-up Investment Grant Scheme with an allocation of €7 million. Around 90 enterprises are expected to benefit from these two schemes.

The SME Growth Grant Scheme shall seek to assist SMEs to respond to market demands by part-financing eligible expenditure on productive investment required in the implementation of their growth strategies related to the extension of the capacity of an existing establishment, or the setting up of a new establishment. The first call under this scheme has a budget of €1.6 million. Under this scheme enterprises may receive assistance up to a maximum grant value of €500,000 with an aid intensity on eligible expenditure of 35% for micro and small enterprises and 25% for medium enterprises.

As part of the normal dynamics of a healthy economy, only 50% of businesses survive five years after their inception. In this context, the initiative aims also to address start-ups. By their very nature, through their novelty start-ups offer just as many challenges and risks as they do rewards and opportunities. This together with the potential welfare gains to the economy that can accrue from nurturing an environment that supports start-ups, further instigates the need for tangible assistance to start-ups at an early stage. The Start-up Investment Grant Scheme is aimed at providing assistance to micro and small enterprises established for less than three years in their productive investment by part-financing 50% of eligible expenditure with a maximum grant value of €300,000. The first call has a budget allocation of €1.4 million.

The Grant Schemes under this initiative will be administered and managed by the Measures and Support Division within the Ministry for European Affairs and Implementation of the Electoral Manifesto.

During the past months the Division embarked on a number of initiatives with a view to ensure that the Grant Schemes under this initiative are designed in line with the Government’s commitment to reduce bureaucracy to minimise administrative burdens. This mainly through the development of an online application form which includes the facility of uploading supporting documentation required with the application, whilst ensuring that applicants are not requested to provide documentation and information that the Division already has access to, such as annual accounts submitted at the Registry of Companies.

Applications for project proposals under the first two schemes will be received as from Wednesday 13 July 2016 up to noon of Friday 30 September 2016.

 

New set of workshops and seminars launched

The line-up of courses for the second half of 2016 is out, as you may already know from our Seminars and Courses section.  We are introducing a new workshop on financial corrections in public procurement, with loads of cases from day-to-day experiences and across different countries.  On popular demand we are also repeating the workshops on Simplified Cost Options and the methods to keep errors low, together with a workshop on Cohesion Policy 2014-20 with major focus on the roles of the MA, IB, CA and AA.

The One-day EUfundingMalta expedition will be back again, more engaging and informative as ever. Check out which courses include this expedition from this link.

We hope to meet you and colleagues at one of these events shortly.  Our smiles will go hand in hand with our commitment to deliver a unique experience.

In the meantime, we wish you good health and a pleasant summer.

EuropeanFunds.info team

 

June 1-3 || Verifications 2014-20 – are they all about performance checks?

Public Procurement

Article 13 checks have become a household term over the past eight years, keeping faith to their 2000-06 predecessor, Article 4. Management verifications have traditionally been dominated by 100% administrative verifications and sample physical on-the-spot checks, leading to long hours of document checking and unwelcome financial corrections. Yet, this was not enough. According to the Court of Auditors, 7 out of every 10 errors it detected in ESF programmes could have been detected by Managing Authorities before certification but were not (Court of Auditors' Annual Report 2012). Managers of programmes focused more on absorbing the money (outputs) than on achieving results and impact on the ground. Something had to change. In fact, the design of the Cohesion Policy 2014-2020 and its Operational Programmes are now strongly in favour of results.

What are the effects on the first-level of control? Will verifiers be replaced by evaluators? Where does financial management and control feature in this new drive? And sound financial management?

Verifications 2014-20 – are they all about performance checks? is being held on 19-20 May 2016. It elicits discussions on these and other questions, to better understand the role of all the authorities in their monitoring and audit of performance for the 2014-20 Programmes. Together with our experts and guest speakers, participants analyse the implications of the Performance Framework, the stronger use of simplified cost options and financial instruments, the management declaration and annual summary, e-Cohesion, the sampling methods, the possible knowledge gaps in the MAs, IBs, CAs and AAs and the recommendations the Court of Auditors and the European Commission. Certainly, management verifications will never be the same.

One-day EUfundingMalta expedition included!

Yes, this is a new addition to our courses for 2016. We know that it’s not only about talk but it’s also about visuals. So we thought of giving an even more tangible feel of what EU-funding means to Malta by coupling the theme of the course with visits to hallmark projects implemented in Malta since accession to the EU in 2004.

Register now >

May 19-20 || Mastering Closure 2007-13 & the Annual Submissions 2014-20

Public Procurement

The eligibility period of the 2007-13 OPs is now over for most of the Member States and there's no time left for beneficiaries to spend.  It's now up to the Authorities to start preparing the closure documents to seek the maximum reimbursement from the Commission.  There are lots of challenges and pitfalls ahead.  The Final Implementation Report, the Statement of Expenditure, the Statement on Withdrawals and Recoveries, the Application for Payment, the Closure Declaration and the Final Control Report, not to mention all the fieldwork, administrative and on-the-spot verifications, audits and evaluations that need to be done.  A tall order indeed, which needs to be completed by March 2017.  But there are some tricks which can still be used by the deadline.     

At the same time, and starting from this year, the designated bodies have the new annual submission of documents to fulfil for the 2014-20 Programmes. Whilst the first tranches of initial pre-financing have been received for the approved OPs, the annual pre-financing and the last 10% balance on interim payments are conditional on the quality and content of the required documents.  It can be easily considered an annual "mini-closure" exercise, which requires substantial attention and detail from all concerned.

So what is left to be done in the run-up to the submission deadline of the 2007-13 Programmes? What solutions are still available? And what is this annual clearance exercise under the 2014-20 Programmes?  What is expected of Member States and how does it work?

Mastering Closure 2007-13 & the Annual Submissions 2014-20 is being held on 19-20 May 2016. The first part of this course aims to explore the possible options to maximise absorption of funds, the efficiency and effectiveness of management verifications and the problems in measuring outputs, results and impacts under the 2007-13 Programmes, all based on instructions and recommendations provided by the European Commission.  The second part deals with the conditions for the reimbursement of funds to Member States in the 2014-20 programming period, including the designation procedure, initial, annual, interim and final payments, the Management Declaration and the preparation of the Accounts, the Annual Summary, the audit opinion, the control report, and also the Performance Reserve.

Register now >

May 3-4 || Using Simplified Cost Options for better Results

Public Procurement

Over a trillion reasons to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak! Citizens want value for money, effectiveness, results, change that makes the difference. Governments, businesses, voluntary organisations want easier, more accessible funds. Simplicity.

The call for more straightforward and effective regulations and policies has accompanied the 2014-20 Programmes from the outset. Incessant pressures from sluggish economic growth, high unemployment rates, a larger EU, high error rates and much more have led European leaders to stop the buck and truly focus on what matters most – results that make the difference in people’s lives. And this has to be done in the most effective manner possible, without getting lost in the trees.

Simplified Cost Options are not completely new to Cohesion Policy programmes. They were promoted vehemently in the 2007-13 programming period, especially during the financial crisis. Yet, their potential is still relatively unexplored by most regions. In the 2014-20 period, the role of SCOs is being taken to a higher level, where the European Parliament and the European Court of Auditors are considering them as highly effective solutions to excessive paperwork, delays in decision-making, complex monitoring and verification of processes. But they still come with strings attached and cobwebs to clear.

Shifting to SCOs brings along a culture shock that shakes older systems based on real costs to move towards a different, more flexible and, perhaps, less rigid system. It redefines the roles of all stakeholders in the field, who need to be trained well to trust the new systems and apply them correctly.

The course Using Simplified Cost Options for better Results is being held on 3-4 May 2016. It explains all the simplified cost options available, with practical examples which clearly define the differences between SCOs and the classical view of real-cost reimbursement. We explore the pros and cons of each option and discuss how they truly contribute towards better results from our operational programmes. Register now >

 

Seminar on the dangers to the EU budget || One-day EUfundingMalta expedition included!

Public Procurement

Ask the average European citizen what a 4.4% error rate means to him. Probably a blank stare will be the reply. Tell him this means €6bn of taxpayers’ money annually is fraught with some sort of irregularity and he’ll bolt!

According to the Annual Report for 2014 by the European Court of Auditors, the error rate in EU expenditure stood at 4.4%, just below the 4.5% reported in 2013 but still higher than the 3.7% of 2010. It’s like asking a sprinter what one tenth of a second means when it denies her from gold. Error rates are relatively small yet frustratingly sticky numbers that keep haunting the Commission and Member States year on year. The European Court of Auditors is calling for a "wholly new approach" to the management of EU investment and spending. Major changes are required by all those responsible for the way EU funds are managed.

So what is the European Commission doing now to reduce errors in EU spending? And the Member States? What are the most common errors that need to be avoided and how can you mitigate against them? Simplified cost options and the performance framework have been hailed as possible solutions. How are they doing so far in the 2014-20 programmes?

Errors, irregularities, fraud and corruption: the dangers to the EU budget, is being held on the 20-22 April 2016. The course studies the main procedures adopted in discovering errors, the main types of errors in EU-funded projects, the principles, criteria and indicative scales to be applied when determining financial corrections, fraud and corruption indicators, and how the error rates for the 2014-20 Programmes may go down.

One-day EUfundingMalta expedition included!

Yes, this is a new addition to our courses for 2016. We know that it’s not only about talk but it’s also about visuals. So we thought of giving an even more tangible feel of what EU-funding means to Malta by coupling the theme of the course with visits to hallmark projects implemented in Malta since accession to the EU in 2004. An opportunity to see our successes…and discuss some of our mistakes too!

 Register now >

 

The New Public Procurement Directives in Practice

Public Procurement
The new EU rules on public procurement and concession contracts aim to ensure more value for money, accessibility and innovative solutions, and less red-tape in public buying. Almost a fifth of the EU’s GDP is spent by public entities in procuring works, supplies and services, thus contributing massively to the creation of jobs and economic growth across the Union.

But, we can safely bet that the thought of public procurement sends more than one shiver down our spines! And there’s good reason for that. Year after year, the most common errors reported by the European Court of Auditors concern purchases without proper application of public purchasing rules. Yet, there’s solace at the bottom of it – you’re not alone!

Just as the new Directives are being transposed in the Member States, we aim to translate the new text to practical, day-to-day language and, above all, hands-on interpretations. We will discuss the most practical elements of procurement in EU-funded projects, to grasp the basics and learn how to interpret situations and apply the most reasonable solutions. The common pitfalls and errors will also be discussed, together with the fraud indicators, and the possible mitigation measures to be installed in the management and control systems to safeguard against them.

The New Public Procurement Directives in Practice is a 2-day course being held in Malta on 5-6 April. Officers working at the Managing Authorities, First Level of Control Bodies, Intermediate Bodies, Certifying Authorities, Audit Authorities, Central or Regional Ministries, Joint Technical Secretariats, Non-Governmental Entities, and officers responsible for tendering, awarding and implementation of public contracts and concession contracts are invited to come and discuss the new opportunities offered by the new directives! Register now >

 

EXTRA SESSION || Closure of the 2007-13 Programmes - Driving it safely home!


closure

The September course Closure of the 2007-13 Programmes - Driving it safely home!' is now fully booked. But you have another chance! The course will be repeated on 20 and 21 October, just in time before making those critical decisions on transferring funds between axes, introducing retrospective projects and phasing of non-major projects, amongst all the rest.

Just to remind you, this course aims to tap into the procedures set for the Closure of the Programming Period 2007-13, giving an overview of the three main documentary requirements – the final report, the final statement of expenditure and the closure declaration. It gives a deeper insight into the implications of the three on the operations of the authorities involved, the possible options to maximise absorption of funds, the efficiency and effectiveness of management verifications and the problems in measuring outputs, results and impact indicators.

This course is targeted to Managing Authorities, Intermediate Bodies, Certifying Authorities, Audit Authorities, First level of Control Bodies, Central or Regional Ministries, and Authorities involved in Closure. Read more >


Register now >

 

The Most Common Errors - 'Simpler' ways to keep them low

CommonErrors

Simplify for better results, less errors.  The plea that has shaped 2014-20, the solution to the millions of euros lost to the main culprits reported by ECA: public procurement and ineligible expenses.

But what is simplification? How does more of it lead to less of the traditional errors?  And yes: simplification for whom? The beneficiaries or the authorities managing the Funds?

The course The Most Common Errors - 'Simpler' ways to keep them low is a 2-day course being held on 13-14 October 2015. It shows you how the newest regulations, directives, results-oriented and simplification measures combine to reduce error in the EU-funded Programmes.  At the same time, we will discuss how the relatively novel features of the Performance Framework and simplified cost options will impact on the system – the change in culture they provoke, the sudden change in mindset towards performance, the slow confidence-building process needed to gain beneficiaries’ trust in the new methods of control.

Simplification may be the solution.  Bur it’s a tricky road to zero-error!

This course is targeted to Managing Authorities, Intermediate Bodies, Certifying Authorities, Audit Authorities, First level of Control Bodies, Central or Regional Ministries, Finance officers and Auditors. Read more >

Register by 4 September and pay 10% less. 

 


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Closure of the 2007-13 Programmes - Driving it safely home!


closureAfter the success of last April, the course Closure of the 2007-13 Programmes - Driving it safely home!' is back!

The 'course strives to give possible solutions to problematic situations at Closure, based on the instructions and recommendations provided by the European Commission, the past experience of the speakers and the continuous interaction between participants.

This course aims to tap into the procedures set for the Closure of the Programming Period 2007-13, giving an overview of the three main documentary requirements – the final report, the final statement of expenditure and the closure declaration. It gives a deeper insight into the implications of the three on the operations of the authorities involved, the possible options to maximise absorption of funds, the efficiency and effectiveness of management verifications and the problems in measuring outputs, results and impact indicators.

This course is targeted to Managing Authorities, Intermediate Bodies, Certifying Authorities, Audit Authorities, First level of Control Bodies, Central or Regional Ministries, and Authorities involved in Closure. Read more >

Register by 7 August and pay 10% less.

 

Simplifying CBAs for the non-technical user: A two-day Practical Workshop

cba

One euro spent on an investment project is one euro less on another. It’s all about maximising value for money at the least possible cost to the Union’s resources. This is what Cost-Benefit Analyses strive to achieve. But what if we don’t understand the implications of the mathematical symbols, acronyms and jargon that pepper these CBAs, as they are emailed to us ahead of the next project appraisal meeting?

There’s definitely no better person to explain the European Commission’s Guide to Cost-benefit Analysis of Investment Projects (2014) than the author himself? DAVIDE SARTORI leads this two-day hands-on workshop in the application of CBAs to EU-funded operations, with the sole intention of making them more user-friendly and, above all, useful as you select and manage your projects.

Simplifying CBAs for the non-technical user: A two-day Practical Workshop is a 2-day course being held in Malta on 23-24 July. Non-specialist Public officers/managers in Member States and pre-accession countries who are involved in the management and control of EU funds and who would need to read and interpret CBAs, Managing Authorities, First Level of Control Bodies, Intermediate Bodies, Certifying Authorities, Audit Authorities, Central or Regional Ministries are invited to attend this two-day hands-on workshop! Register now >

 


 

Errors, irregularities, fraud and corruption: the dangers to the EU budget


errorsAccording to the Annual Report for 2013 by the European Court of Auditors, the error rate in EU expenditure stood at 4.7%, just below

the 4.8% reported in 2012 but still higher than the 3.7% of 2010. The error rate for ERDF and CF stood the highest, at 6.9%, actually increasing on the previous year.

OLAF reported that during the 2007-2013 Cohesion Policy programming period more than EUR800 million were linked to irregularities reported as fraudulent. 88% of which were funded through the ERDF and the CF.

The European Parliament has been clear in its demands of late: we need more results from EU money, with less errors.

The European Commission came up with a number of solutions, including the Management Declaration, Simplified Cost Options, awarding performance, capacity building, centralization of checks and better supervision of delegated checks.

Would these solutions manage to bring the error rate down? Will the Member States still end up carrying out more verifications and audits? This course tries to answer these questions. It also delves into the main procedures adopted in discovering errors, the main types of errors in EU-funded projects, the principles, criteria and indicative scales to be applied when determining financial corrections, and analyzing the fraud and corruption indicators.

Errors, irregularities, fraud and corruption: the dangers to the EU budget is a 2-day course being held in Malta on 02-03 July. Officers working at the Managing Authorities, First Level of Control Bodies, Intermediate Bodies, Certifying Authorities, Audit Authorities, Central or Regional Ministries and non-governmental entities are invited to come and discuss the dangers to the EU budget! Register now >

 

Public Procurement in 2015 – New rules, new opportunities?

The new EU rules on public procurement have a clear set of objectives:Public Procurement

"ensuring value for money, more innovative solutions, less red-tape and easier admission for smaller enterprises".

Sounds great. But, is this what all Contracting Authorities want to hear? When it comes to EU-funding it's the 'how' that counts! More specifically, how the new rules fit within the promises of simplification?

The push towards negotiations is very innovative in itself, time-limits have been shortened and Contracting Authorities can now negotiate the time-limits with those economic operators requesting to participate in a tender procedure. These are all steps in the right direction. But do such rules offer opportunities to reduce the risks of error?

Based on years of experience, this course aims to discuss the most practical elements of procurement in EU-funded projects, to grasp the basics and the novelties of the new rules and learn how to interpret situations and apply the most reasonable solutions.

Public Procurement in 2015 - New rules, new opportunities? is a 2-day course being held in Malta on 11-12 June. Officers working at the Managing Authorities, First Level of Control Bodies, Intermediate Bodies, Certifying Authorities, Audit Authorities, Central or Regional Ministries, Joint Technical Secretariats, Non-Governmental Entities, and officers responsible for tendering, awarding and implementation of public contracts and concession contracts are invited to come and discuss the new opportunities offered by the new directives! Register now >

 

Management Verifications - Renewed focus on results

Spot the difference!

2007-13
EC No. 1828/2006, Art. 13 (2)

“Verifications shall include the following procedures:
(a) administrative verifications in respect of each application for reimbursement by beneficiaries;
(b) on-the-spot verifications of operations.”
2014-20
EU No. 1303/2013, Art. 125 (5)

“Verifications shall include the following procedures:
(a) administrative verifications in respect of each application for reimbursement by beneficiaries;
(b) on-the-spot verifications of operations”

 

You can’t find it, right?  The EU Auditors say the one on the left wrongly supported the “use-the-money-or-lose-it”, output-based approach by Member States.  The one on the right should now focus on results.  

But how, when everything looks the same?  In what ways should the verifications change and how are stakeholders expected to trust this sudden shift in perspective?

Management Verifications - Renewed focus on results is a 2-day course being held in Malta on 7-8 May. Officers managing ERDF, ESF, Cohesion Fund, EMFF and ETC programmes are invited to come and discuss these and other doubts.  You will then see the differences between old and new! Register now >

 

Cohesion Policy 2014-20 - What makes it so different?

Just a few quick figures before you go on...Sustainable

The Cohesion Policy is investing €351.8 billion between 2014 and 2020.  
This means that today you just received €0.27 cents in Cohesion investment.
2.4m persons found employment through ESF 2007-13. 26.6m are still unemployed today.
198,000 SMEs received investment aid in 2007-13. Only 1% of the 20 million SMEs across the EU.
506 million people live in the EU.  Only 30 can attend this course.   

Build your department's knowledge and expertise before the busier second half of the year, through the intensive two-day course Cohesion Policy 2014-20 - What makes it so different? on the challenges and novelties of the 2014-20 Cohesion Policy being held on 21-22 May 2015.  You will get the most in the shortest time possible. Register now >

 


The WHAT’S WHAT SERIES ON EUROPEAN FUNDS

The new European Structural and Investment Funds offer over €1bn in public funds to government and non-governmental organisations to invest in projects that promote growth and employment.  “Certainly a great opportunity.  But the management of EU-funded projects is a tough mountain to climb!”  

The What’s What Series on European Funds is a programme of four training sessions that will dispel perceptions and give you the right mindset to approach EU-funding, particularly ERDF, ESF and the Cohesion Fund.  Whether you are a professional working for a private enterprise or an officer in a public organisation, these sessions will help you understand the application processes, public procurement procedures, project performance and financial management and financial control and audit.  

The Hon. Dr Ian Borg MP, Parliamentary Secretary for EU Funds and 2017 Presidency, will be opening the Series on 7th April.

Ray Bartolo and Trevor Fenech, two former Senior Managers within the Planning and Priorities Coordination Division (PPCD) and Neville Cutajar, an auditor, will address the four sessions, all with interesting experiences and tips to share.   

The Series happens as Malta’s 2014-2020 Operational Programmes and the new Calls for Proposals unfold.  A timely opportunity not to be missed. Register now >

 

 


 

All set for the first courses of 2015!

EuropeanFunds.info has been working around the clock to prepare the new programme of courses for 2015.  Now that most of the 2014-20 Programmes have been approved, it is time to start delivering on the ground, approving the projects that will determine their success.  At the same time, all the remaining amounts under the 2007-13 OPs need to be disbursed by the end of this year and MAs and IBs need to start thinking about Programme Closure.  

 

Our Programme focuses on these two elements.  

 

Closure of the 2007-13 Programmes – driving it safely home!, on the other hand, explains the process for the closure of programmes.  This two-day course will take place on the 23rd and 24th April 2015, in Malta, exploring the regulatory requirements of Closure and going beyond.  It strives to give possible solutions to problematic situations at closure, based on the instructions and recommendations provided by the European Commission, the past experience of the speakers and the continuous interaction between participants.  This course is intended for experienced officers and managers.  Read more >>

 

Cohesion Policy 2014-20 – What makes it so different? is a two-day course in Malta between 21st and 22nd May 2015, taking you through the main priorities and novelties of the 2014-20 Programming period, including the intervention logic, the results-oriented approach, simplified cost options, financial instruments and the new European Fund for Strategic Investments.  This is an intensive course which addresses the needs of the beginner but also those experienced officers and managers who have not been involved in the 2014-20 programming processes.  Read more >>

 

Expect more courses in the coming days…

 


 

Our Services

We make EU funding practical and accessible for public, private and non-profit organisations by offering specialised training and assistance, with a difference. It's based on experience.

EU Funds Training

EU Funds Training

how training can be surprisingly
simple, practical and
exciting.

Advisory

Advisory


Make ends meet: Let’s translate
your ideas into the language
of European funding.

Project Management

Project Management

Think about what matters
most in your project.
Then leave the rest to us.

EU Funds Training

Seminars & Courses

Practical and comprehensive courses on EU Funds management and control based on first-hand experience, research and insight. They will expose the important features of the course theme, through practical, real-world examples, in a set-up that facilitates the free exchange of ideas.   {marcoparallaxbground height="300" image="IPH_0148.jpg"}             February 2018   February 14-16 || Fighting fraud & corruption in EU funded projects One-day EUfundingMalta expedition included! This course explores the realities of fraud and corruption in EU-funded projects and looks at the new solutions available in the hands of Member States to fight fraudulent activities.   March 2018   March 21-23 || Verifying & Certifying ESIF projects in 2014-2020 One-day EUfundingMalta expedition included! Straight-to-the-point facts and methods to improve the verification and certification of ESI-funded projects, based on the latest reports and guidelines.   April 2018   5-day seminar April 16-20 || ESF toolkit: Focus on SCO, Financial Instruments & the quality of public administration One-day EUfundingMalta expedition included! This five-day seminar reaches out to all practitioners involved in the European Social Fund, to discuss all the technical matters that make ESF the catalyst for education, employment and social inclusion in the EU.    May 2018   May 16-18 || Indicators & the performance framework: result-based management for 2014-2020? One-day EUfundingGozo expedition included! The workshop which speaks about anything meaningful to the efficient and effective delivery, monitoring and evaluation of ESI-funded programmes and projects.   June 2018   June 18-20 || State aid & procurement in infrastructural projects One-day EUfundingGozo expedition included! A three-day informative seminar which puts light on the complex subjects of state-aid and public procurement surrounding infrastructural projects. This training course is ideal for project implementers and verifiers.   July 2018   5-day seminar July 16-20 || Financial Management toolkit: carrying out administrative and on-the-spot verifications One-day EUfundingGozo expedition included! A five-day series of workshops and intensive sessions addressing the main features of financial management and control of ESI Funds, carefully built on the right blend of theory and practice.   September 2018   September 12-14 || Simplified Cost Options: improving programme implementation and reimbursements One-day EUfundingGozo expedition included! This course explains all the SCOc available, with practical examples which clearly define the differences between SCOs and the classical view of real-cost reimbursement. We explore each option and discuss how they truly contribute towards better results.   October 2018   October 10-12|| The Most Common Errors: Simpler ways to keep them low One-day EUfundingMalta expedition included! This seminar sheds light on how the newest Regulations, Directives and simplification measures coincide to lower the error rates in EU-funded programmes. This is ideal for practitioners in MAs, IBs, CAs and AAs and project managers.   November 2018   November 7-9 || Financial Corrections Workshop: Procurement, Financial Instruments & other errors One-day EUfundingMalta expedition included! A set of workshops designed to instil confidence in the personal interpretation of errors and the application of knowledge and experience to determine fair financial corrections.     December 2018   5-day seminar December 3-7 || Irregularities toolkit: how to prevent, detect & treat errors One-day EUfundingMalta expedition included! This 5-day toolkit deals with anything you need to know on irregularities; from prevention to detection, all the way to treatment of irregularities. It is ideal for EU-funding practitioners across all stakeholders.     For more information about our courses Subscribe to ENews.  

Seminars & Courses

Advisory & Project Management

Project Applications & Studies

At EuropeanFunds.info we understand that EU-funded initiatives are not the most forthright instruments around.  But we also understand the accountability that needs to go along with the use of the European taxpayers’ money.  And that’s what we strive to attain – aligning your brilliant ideas with the basic principles of public spending.     


Business Enhance ERDF Grant Schemes   The Business Enhance Grant Schemes provide non-refundable grants which are financed through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).  These are available to private enterprises, namely SMEs.  Under the current Programming Period for 2014-2020, these schemes are being managed and issued by the Measures and Support Division which falls under the remit of the Ministry for European Affairs.  To date six grant schemes have been published which include:  •    SME Consultancy Services Grant Scheme•    E-Commerce Grant Scheme•    SME Diversification and Innovation Grant Scheme•    SME Internationalisation Grant Scheme•    SME Growth Grant Scheme•    Start-up Investment Grant Scheme  For further information on each scheme please click on the relevant schemes listed above.   Our Services At EuropeanFunds.info, we are able to guide you through the whole Grant Scheme application process.  This entails determining your eligibility for the schemes as we will not advise you to apply should you not be eligible for such funding.  Guidance as to which scheme best suits your enterprise will also be provided.  Together with the filling in of the application form/s, all Grant Scheme application forms include an obligatory business plan which related costs may be recovered through the SME Consultancy Services Grant Scheme.   Our directors and advisors have worked in the EU Funding area and previously within the Ministry managing the Grant Schemes for over ten years which benefits our clients as we will provide guidance based on our experience within this field. For further details on the schemes and application process you may contact us on justine@europeanfunds.info to set an obligation-free meeting.
   

Project Applications   EuropeanFunds.info offers full assistance in writing your project proposals, undertaking feasibility studies, filling your application forms, submitting your proposals, negotiating with stakeholders, all the way to signing your hard-earned grant.   We lead you all the way with expert advice built on eight years of experience in the Managing Authority, dealing with all the relevant Authorities involved in the management and control system of European Funds – the European Commission, Certifying Authority, Intermediate Bodies, Audit Authority, Treasury, Department of Contracts, public entities, private and voluntary organisations, local government, unions and civil society.   Contact Us
   

Studies   The European citizen is ready to invest aggressively in our growth and quality of life.  It is only with strong investments in social infrastructure, employment and education that the Union can achieve its long-term objectives linked to the Europe 2020 strategy.  Europe wants to listen to your idea, to make it happen, to make the little change that will make a difference in the lives of its citizens.  But, the public needs data and information.  Project proponents need to present the background details leading to the identification of the need and to clearly explain how the project adds value and in what manner it is consistent with the specific and general objectives of the national and EU strategies.    Equipping your proposal with strong evidence So, in plain terms, intuition and a strong faith in your project are not enough! EuropeanFunds.info can help.  We take you that step further by collecting the data you need, analysing it, and giving you the hard evidence that will support your proposal for European funds.  We carry out feasibility studies and cost-benefit analyses in all sectors, drawing upon its vast experience in the evaluation of project proposals when engaged in the managing authority, but also on the strong network of business partners.  We understand how public authorities analyse proposals and we know what buttons to push.  So trust that we will do just that.   Measuring performance And do you want to measure the effectiveness of your project mid-way or at the end of it? EuropeanFunds.info performs evaluation studies at all stages of the project lifecycle, giving you and the funding bodies the means to gauge the project’s performance.     Contact Us
         

Project Applications & Studies

Project Management Services

 


Project Management Successful EU-funded projects bring together bright ideas, smart management and exceptional results with the utmost attention to accountability and transparency.  Whoever has managed projects in the past knows that funds are subject to tight scrutiny by the Commission, national authorities and auditors.  And rightly so.  The European Court of Auditors, year after year, reports shortcomings in public procurement and financial expenditure, often leading to the recovery of funds from Beneficiaries.  Neither the Commission nor Member States want to waste invaluable financial resources in non-compliant activities.    We believe in your ideas! So the instructions are clear.  Your project ideas are very welcome, but sound financial and performance management are essential for long-term success.  We’ve been on the other side of the fence, so we know what quality is expected of project management and administration.  At EuropeanFunds.info we understand your frustrations in dealing with the necessary administrative work which comes along with EU-funded projects.  Your ideas and technical capabilities should not get entangled in undesirable paperwork and financial corrections.  And we also know that your day, like ours, is only 24 hours long.  So we will let you concentrate on the deliverables that matter and leave the rest to us.   You look after what really counts; we take care of the distractions.     Contact Us
   

Project Management Services

About Us

The European Union wants results.  EuropeanFunds.info is just about them.

We provide training and other optimal solutions on the back of experience gained in the management of the 2004-2006, 2007-2013 and 2014-2020 EU funded programmes at the Managing Authority of Malta. Our experts were directly involved in operational programme development, final programme closure reporting and (pretty much) anything in between!

2014-2020 is about performance.  Indeed, we are here to share our knowledge on EU funding and help you perform.

Our Team

Ray Bartolo

Ray Bartolo is Director and Lead Consultant at EuropeanFunds.info.

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Trevor Fenech

Trevor Fenech is Director and Lead Consultant at EuropeanFunds.info.

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Justine Schinas

Justine Schinas is a Senior Advisor and Speaker at EuropeanFunds.info.

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About Malta

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Whether on business or vacation, Malta offers a rich concentration of natural beauty, cultural legacy, vibrant entertainment, friendly faces and top-end facilities.   The country stretches just over 300km2, covering the three main inhabited islands, with the largest – Malta – lying to the south of the smaller islands of Gozo and Comino.  The population is 418,000 and the official languages are Maltese and English.  The capital city is Valletta.

The wealth of historical sites (including nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites), cultural activities, its warm climate, recreational areas, beaches, and architectural diversity, make Malta a popular tourist destination.  It also offers a stable political, economic and industrial environment, hosting thousands of local and international companies in different sectors, mainly tourism, financial services, IT, manufacturing and retail.  EU membership and the adoption of the euro currency have enhanced Malta’s accessibility and attractiveness as an international business hub in the centre of the Mediterranean region.

For more information about Malta, visit www.visitmalta.com.

Malta and European Funds

Malta joined the European Union on 1st May 2004.  Since 2000, the Government of Malta has been actively participating in EU-funded programmes under shared management with the European Commission.  Malta has received in excess of €1bn from the EU under the various initiatives undertaken so far, both pre- and post-accession, including Pre-Accession Funds and the Transition Facility (inc. TAIEX), the Structural Funds Programme 2004-06 (ERDF, ESF, EAGGF, FIFG) and the Cohesion Fund 2004-06, Cohesion Policy 2007-13 (ERDF, CF, ESF), the Rural Development and Agriculture funds (EAGF/EAFRD), The European Fisheries Fund (EFF), Framework Programme on Solidarity and management of Migration funds 2007-2013 and the Lifelong Learning and Youth-in-Action Programmes,

Another €882m are allocated to Malta under the 2014-2020 Multi-annual Financial Framework (Cohesion Policy, Common Agricultural Policy and European Maritime and Fisheries Fund. Source: ec.europa.eu).

Contact Us

Use the contact form below to send us email

You can also contact us at:

Address: ef.Info Ltd.
Level 2, Palazzo Ca' Brugnera,
Valley Road, BKR 9024, Birkirkara,
Malta, Europe.

Contact Nos:

+356 99457484, +356 99203328