Montesquieu Instituut: van wetenschap naar samenleving

Financial Management and Audit of EU Structural and Cohesion Funds, Maastricht

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Kevin Bergenhenegouwen

This online course will examine how Financial Management and Audit rules are changing between the 2014-2020 programming period and the 2021-2027 period.

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SKU: 2030209 Categories: EU Policies, Law and Practice, EU Structural Funds Tags: ARACHNE, Cohesion Policy, Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative, emergency Amending Regulation, ESIF, OMNIBUS, Simplified Costs Options, SME

Watch project leader Marco Lopriore explain how Cohesion Policy helps respond to the COVID health crisis in his recent video series.

Live issues for 2014-2020 and changes for 2021-2027

This online course will include discussion of the Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative as it relates to Cohesion Policy. We will look at the new emergency Amending Regulations. We will consider how the remaining €37 billion budget of 2014-2020 can be used for emergency health and economic development measures - supporting the health sector and the supply chain, SMEs, labour markets, research, development and technologies.

The progress of current programmes and projects will be severely impacted in most Member States. What will happen to delayed projects? Payment claims? Output targets and the Performance Framework? We will attempt to draw together experiences from around the EU.

This online course will examine how Financial Management and Audit rules are changing between the 2014-2020 programming period and the 2021-2027 period. There will be a special focus on financial planning, increasing the use of Simplified Costs Options, anti-fraud measures and protecting the audit trail.

  • Using ARACHNE may become a requirement for some projects in the future. Luc Molemans, the European Commission’s ARACHNE Project manager, will explain and illustrate how ARACHNE works and how you can use it.
  • Dermot Byrne, a leading Member State audit practitioner, will highlight how control (including so-called “first-level control”) and audit differ, and look in detail at the audit of accounts, systems and operations for 2014-20 and planned changes for 2021-2027.
  • We look at how to complete the Simplified Cost Options section of the new OP template.
  • We examine the special link between finance and performance in current and future programmes. How will you report programme progress in the new template?
  • We mention the new agreed recommended indicators for measuring co-financed Covid-19 response activities

Who will benefit most?

This online course is intended for:

  • practitioners from national, regional and local authorities and from other public bodies of EU Member States (and associated countries) working with ESI Funds
  • economic and social partners working with the Structural and Investment Funds, such as universities, NGOs, employers’ associations, consultants.

What you will learn in this online course

Participants will work with live issues and practical solutions for challenges in the fields of financial management and audit. They will enjoy quality speakers from Member States and the European Commission, as well as EIPA’s own regional experts and consultants - who have worked with stakeholders from all Member States.

Participants will be encouraged to exchange practical examples, experiences and good practice in managing EU Structural Funds.

Marco Lopriore

EU Funds

Robin Smail

Robin Smail Training & Consultancy

EU Structural Funds

Dermot Byrne


EU Audit and Public Management

Luc Molemans

European Commission

IT project manager

Practical information

Online Course

For this online course we make use of Zoom

Programme Organiser

Ms Nancy Vermeulen

Tel: +31 43 32 96 212


EIPA offers a discount to all civil servants working for one of EIPA’s supporting countries, and civil servants working for an EU institution, body or agency.

Who are the supporting countries?

Civil servants coming from the following EIPA supporting countries are entitled to get the reduced fee: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom.

For all other participants, the regular fee applies.


Prior payment is a condition for participation.

Cancellation policy

For administrative reasons you will be charged €50 for cancellations received after confirmation of your participation.

EIPA reserves the right to cancel its live online activities up to 1 week before the starting date. In that case, registration fees received will be fully reimbursed.

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The programme



Welcome of participants and opening the “online” networking space


Welcome of participants and opening of the conference

Marco Lopriore, Expert, EIPA Maastricht


The new Cohesion Policy 2021-2027 and new Emergency measures

  • The new legal framework of CPR and the emergency MFF
  • Link to the European Semester, National Reform Programmes and economic governance
  • Reference to Financial Management in the new emergency Amending Regulations, 2014-2020

Marco Lopriore


Programme Finance, Financial Management and Control: moving from 2014-2020 to 2021-2027

  • programme structure and finance, priorities and financial allocations
  • financial tables, financial planning, commitments, automatic de-commitment
  • the new OP template
  • pre-financing, payment applications, interim payments

Robin Smail, Visiting Expert EIPA, Consultant, (IE/UK) (and former Detached National Expert, EC)


Virtual coffee break and Tour de table


Programme Finance, Financial Management and Control: moving from 2014-2020 to 2021-2027

  • the accounting year and the calculation of the annual balance
  • financial information flows, reporting, closure
  • financial control, management verifications

Robin Smail


Amending Emergency Regulations

  • Financial Management in the new Emergency Amending Regulations 2020/460 and 2020/558 “Coronavirus Investment Response Initiative”(CRII and CRII+)

Marco Lopriore


Short Break


Simplified Cost Options (part 1)

  • extending SCO in 2021-2027 and financing not linked to costs

Marco Lopriore, Expert, EIPA


Break-out groups: Exercises on SCO - Annex V Appendix 1


Control and Audit of Structural Funds, moving from 2014-2020 to 2021-2027

  • Management and Control Systems (MCS), assurance models
  • risk assessment and risk mitigation, management verifications and audit
  • current audit issues
  • proportionality; simplifying audit work
  • future challenges for the authorities

Dermot Byrne, ERDF Audit Authority, Department of Public Expenditure Reform, Dublin (IE)




End of first day



Eligible expenditure rules, types of funding in 2021-2027

  • principal changes from 2014-2020 to 2021-2027
  • retention of documents, VAT, durability, new scope of support in specific fund rules
  • location of expenditure, visibility rules, transition rules between periods

Marco Lopriore


Audit of accounts, systems and operations: old and new

  • annual Accounts - preparation, audit and acceptance by Commission
  • audits of systems and the key requirements
  • audits of operations, sampling

Dermot Byrne




Audit of accounts, systems and operations: old and new

  • calculating error rates for programmes, implications for the accounts process
  • irregularities and corrections

Dermot Byrne


Virtual coffee break


Break-out groups: common financial problems


Anti-fraud: using the ARACHNE system

  • What is ARACHNE? Objectives and benefits
  • ARACHNE overview - Data sources and dataflow, State of the play in the Member States, basic concepts of Arachne
  • Risk indicators and categories, risk scoring principles
  • experiences, cases, lessons learned

Luc Molemans, Arachne Project Manager, DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, Unit F5 - Information Technologies, European Commission, Brussels (BE)


Simplified Cost Options (part 2)

  • preventing errors when using flat rates; standard scales of unit costs
  • improving result-orientation; audit requirements

Marco Lopriore, Expert, EIPA


Break out room SCO exercise


Short break


Linking programme finance to programme performance: 2021-2027

  • The current and proposed Performance Framework: financial indicators, output and result indicators, the OP template
  • Real-time reporting and the new Reporting template
  • The new Mid-term Review
  • Measuring progress and success, VfM

Robin Smail




Close of the webinar


European Institute of Public Administration (EIPA)

Het Europees instituut voor bestuurskunde (beter bekend als The European Institute of Public Administration - ofwel EIPA) streeft ernaar om de kennis van ambtenaren die zich met de EU bezighouden te vergroten door het ontwikkelen en organiseren van trainingen. Het instituut wil wetenschappelijke kennis en praktische 'know–how' met elkaar verbinden. EIPA bestaat al meer dan 35 jaar.

Het hoofdkantoor van EIPA is gevestigd in Maastricht en heeft dependances in Luxemburg en Barcelona. Gemiddeld nemen 14.000 nationale en Europese ambtenaren per jaar deel aan de trainingen. Daarnaast biedt EIPA ook consultancy, onderzoek en op maat gemaakte programma’s/trainingen aan. Bij EIPA werken circa 120 hoogopgeleide medewerkers.


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