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12th European Annual Symposium EU Funds 2017

Berlin, 16.03.2017

First results in the process of ESI Funds 2014-2020 implementation

From the 13th to 15th March 2017, the European Annual Symposium EU Funds took place in Berlin for the 12th time. High-level speakers from European institutions and representatives of public authorities from over 20 European countries were brought together to exchange their knowledge, experience and best practice during the conference organised by the European Academy for Taxes, Economics & Law.

Focal to this year’s event were first practical experiences of managing and implementing ESI Funds Operational Programmes 2014-2020 in terms of efficiency and effectiveness. The keynote speech – in the form of a video message – was delivered by Ms. Iskra Mihaylova, Member of the European Parliament and Chair of the Committee on Regional Development. Ms. Mihaylova underlined the crucial importance of accelerating implementation of the cohesion policy on the ground. “A reinforced, results-oriented and flexible cohesion policy will provide economic growth and opportunities for all European citizens”, she said.

Thereafter, the Chair Louis Vervloet, General Director of the ESF Agency Flanders, initiated a panel discussion featuring the following experts: Mr. Miek van der Wee of the European Commission, Mr. Eugenio Leanza of the European Investment Bank, Mr. Luc T’Joen of the European Court of Auditors, as well as two representatives of implementing authorities, Ms. Merike Niitepõld of the Regional Council of Southwest Finland and Ms. Alexandra Marquardt of the State Chancellery of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. The experts illuminated various aspects of ESIF simplification from different angles and discussed key obstacles, practical problems and needs of the parties participating in the implementation process. They also talked about the future of ESIF after 2020. Many insightful lectures held by speakers from European and national authorities followed the expert panel.

The event also offered great possibilities for networking and exchange of information as well as practical exercise in regard to most challenging topics. The attendees were also able to benefit from the workshop sessions and practice chosen aspects of simplified cost options (SCO’s) and designing financial instruments on the final symposium day.

  1. Welcome note from Christoph Brauner, Managing Director of the European Academy for Taxes, Economics & Law
  2. Keynote speech by Iskra Mihaylova, MEP and Chair of the Committee on Regional Development
  3. Panel discussion „2014-2020 Interim Assessment: Status Quo and Future of European Structural Fonds“
  4. Panel discussion „2014-2020 Interim Assessment: Status Quo and Future of European Structural Fonds“
  5. Lecture: “Ensuring compliance with State aid rules in ESIF programmes and projects” by Miek van der Wee of the European Commission
  6. Lecture: “Simplified Cost Options – Practical Experience with Implementation of SSUC, on the picture Eugenio Leanza from the European Investment Bank
  7. Lecture: “New Cohesion Policy Regulation” by Louis Vervloet
  8. Evening networking: Walk through Central, Historic Berlin
  9. Evening networking: Museum „Story of Berlin“, fallout shelter
  10. Evening networking: Trial salsa training at „Clärchens Ballhaus“

Annual Symposium EU Funds 2018

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