The European Commission has introduced new budgetary and spending rules designed to simplify access to EU funds, including development grants and aid.
The introduction of these rules is in line with EU efforts to modernize its financial procedures. Overall, the changes are focused on simplified access to funds and less red tape, sound financial management and improved accountability, and innovation.
The rules are set to take effect Jan. 1, 2013, but the European Parliament and Council of the European Union can raise objections before then.
Among changes proposed related to development and humanitarian funding include a shorter time period between signing and concluding grant agreements. The commission proposes a three-year deadline, except under special circumstances and for multiannual programs.
The commission also proposes that nationals of beneficiary countries should be allowed to participate in tender processes, among other procurement rules.
Further, the commission seeks authorization to create and manage trust funds for emergency, post-emergency and thematic activities. To ensure transparency and security, the commission proposes to chair the governance board of each fund.
Technical rules on budget support, humanitarian aid and financial assistance to post-conflict countries are also covered in the commission’s proposal.
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