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#public procurement

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    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 toolkitto 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

     



     

     

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    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

     



     

     

  • 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.

     

  • Upcoming programme for 2019 

    Seminars in different cities:

    It’s another lineup of interesting events across seven different Member States.  Yes indeed!  Following the success of our double trip to Zagreb in 2018, EuropeanFunds.info will be travelling further, taking its courses to the new venues of Ljubljana, Budapest, Bratislava, Rome and Brussels, apart from returning to Zagreb and holding home events in Malta.  Opening up to different cities helps in gaining further insight into the realities of different Member States as we progress in the implementation of the 2014-20 programmes and set our sights on the regulations and programmes of the 2021-27 period.

    14-20 implementation, with an eye on 21-27

    Speaking of this, the 2019 courses will continue to provide updates on implementation aspects for the current programming period, with an added perspective of what’s to come in the future ESI Funds.  Subjects like verifications, procurement, state aid, indicators, annual submissions, auditing, simplification, irregularities, fraud, ESF and the new Omnibus regulation will be enhanced with updates and thoughts on the proposed new Common Provisions Regulations, the new performance framework, the ESF+ and the increased financial flexibility, amongst other.  As usual, we will keep you updated with the facts as they develop.

    Flexible 2,3,5-day options

    Our courses now include two-, three-, and five-day configurations.  The latter also includes the possibility of attending all or parts of the five-day course, giving you the opportunity to attend the entire five days, the first three or the last two.
     
    New Malta-North EU-project expedition

    A new itinerary is being added to the popular Malta and Gozo EU-project expeditions.  The Malta-North expedition will be taking us to another part of the island, visiting new EU-funded infrastructures in a more rural environment.

    Visit our website www.europeanfunds.info for the latest updates on the programmes, dates, agenda and fees.

    We look forward to meeting you in 2019!

    Best regards,

    Ray, Trevor and the EuropeanFunds.info team

     



     

     

  • 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 Optionsand 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 expeditionwill 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

     

  • 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 >

     

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    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 Julyand 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.

     



     

     

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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"}     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.   Upcoming Seminars for 2019*     March 2019 MALTA || March 6-8 || Verifying & Certifying ESIF projects in 2014-2020 (incl sampling) (incl New! One-day EUfundingMalta (NORTH) expedition)   April 2019 ZAGREB, Croatia || April 1-2 || Managing ESF projects in 2014-2020LJUBJANA, Slovenia || April 4-5 || Applying, verifying & auditing SCO   May 2019 MALTA || May 6-10 || Financial Management Toolkit May 6-8: Carrying out administrative and on-the-spot verifications (incl One-day EUfundingGozo expedition)May 9-10: Focus on: Verifying & auditing Public Procurement   BRUSSELS, Belgium || May 23-24 || Introducing ESI Funds 2021-2027: Fewer, clearer, shorter rules. June 2019 MALTA || June 3-7 || ERDF & CF projects ToolkitJune 3-5: Procurement & State Aid in Infrastructural Projects (incl New! One-day EUfundingMalta (SOUTH) expedition)June 6-7: Focus on: Major projects: getting your projects through (incl CBA)ROME, Italy || June 25-26 || Fighting fraud & corruption in EU funded projects July 2019 MALTA || July 15-19 || Indicators ToolkitJuly 15-17: Indicators and the Performance Framework (incl New! One-day EUfundingMalta (NORTH) expedition) July 18-19: Focus on: Indicators in 2021-2027 September 2019 MALTA || September 16-20|| Irregularities ToolkitSeptember 16-18: Irregularities workshop: how to prevent, detect & treat errors (incl One-day EUfundingGozo Expedition)September 19-20: Focus on: Measures to reduce irregular expenditure & the auditing perspective October 2019 MALTA || October 23-25 || Simplification mid-way through implementation: lessons learned (incl New! One-day EUfundingMalta (SOUTH) expedition) November 2019 BRATISLAVA, Slovakia || November 25-26 || Financial Corrections workshop: prevent, detect and correct errors BUDAPEST, Hungary || November 28-29 || Verifying & Certifying ESIF projects in 2014-2020 (incl sampling)   *Dates and destinations are still subject to minor changes For more information about our courses Subscribe to ENews.  

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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
         

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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
   

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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).

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