Simplification in Structural and Cohesion Funds 2014-2020 and 2021-2027 – From Basic to Advanced Simplified Cost Options (SCO)

Project number: 2030207

Rezidence Dlouhá 17 - to be confirmed, Prague (CZ)

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Date & pricing

10/11/2020 - 11/11/2020
Register before: 16/10/2020

€ 1.100,00 per attendee

€ 990,00 for EIPA members*

Simplification in Structural and Cohesion Funds 2014-2020 and 2021-2027 – From Basic to Advanced Simplified Cost Options (SCO)

From:  990,00

Simplification in Structural and Cohesion Funds 2014-2020 and 2021-2027 – from basic to advanced Simplified Cost Options (SCO).

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

About this course

Many Member States took up Simplified cost options (SCO) in their ESI Operational Programmes during the current 2014-2020 programming period but more can be done in 2021-2027. What are the challenges for uptake and how can you plan SCO in the next programming period 2021-2027?

This 2-day EIPA seminar looks at simplifying ESI procedures and reducing the administration burden for programmes and projects through the use of SCOs in order to enhance the delivery and produce long lasting results. We will focus on the details of the current Regulations, the changes brought by the OMNIBUS Regulation and the proposed CPR regulation for 2021-2027. The seminar will help you get all the details of proper use of flat-rates, unit costs and lump sums and to address the questions of carrying out verifications in SCO. Participants will also be carrying out exercises on SCO and learn how to make them compliant with state aid rules and how to mitigate the impact of public procurement. Finally, we review the use of synergies between EU funds such as Horizon 2020 through the Seal of Excellence for ERDF and ESF.

A member of the High Level Group on simplification will share the contribution of the expert group in using SCO. A senior EC official will share the latest development at EU level and describe the advanced options of SCO, when they should be used and how to agree them with the EC.

EIPA experts will build on the work carried out by the EC Simplification Thematic Network and two delivered recently seminar-workshops under contract to DG EMPL on the new SCO generation. Furthermore, the seminar will illustrate best practices in different Member States such as Czech Republic, Belgium and Italy.

Who is this course for?

  • officials from EU institutions for instance from EC or from the ECA
  • Managing Authorities, Certifying and Audit Authorities
  • Intermediate bodies and other stakeholders implementing the ESI funds
  • private sector service providers, funders and professional advisers in EU Member States,
  • officials from pre-accession countries in charge of Chapter 22
  • academics and project promoters

Course methodology:

The seminar will be led by highly experienced EIPA experts/consultants, Marco Lopriore, Luca Santin and Louis Vervloet who have been working with the ESI funds for several programming periods. There will be 2 keynote interventions – from the European Commission and from a Czech Ministry.

We aim to make the seminar as interactive as possible. Participants will have ample opportunity to exchange views informally on the seminar topics. Workshops will be used to help participants get to grips with practical tools and methodologies.

Participants are invited to send us their problems, issues and questions before the seminar, if they wish. We will do our best to address the problems / answer the questions during the seminar! You wil also receive a copy of the EU simplification handbook for 2021-27 and you can stay in touch with us for further questions.

What our previous participants said

“Thank you a lot for the exercises; they always help to understand the problem”

What you will learn in this course

Participants will learn:

  • How to develop good methodologies for flat-rates, lump-sums and standard scales of unit costs both in all funds (ESF+, ERDF, CF, EMFF) ?
  • Which SCO option is suited for which type of ESI operations?
  • Which steps to consider when negotiating advanced options with the EC?
  • How to carry proper management verifications when using SCO?
  • How can we prevent irregularities in SCO?
  • How do we take revenue generation, state aid and public procurement into account?

By the end of the course, you will:

Participants will have a clear picture where ESI simplifications need to be used more widely in future programmes and projects for 2021-2027. Participants will be better placed to guide project promoters to implement SCO correctly in their projects.

Luca Santin

Luca Santin

EU Structural Funds

Louis Vervloet

Louis Vervloet

ESF Flanders
ESI Funds Simplification

Practical information

Course venue – to be confirmed
Rezidence Dlouhá 17
Dlouhá 17
110 00 Praha 1

Programme Organiser
Ms Nancy Vermeulen
Tel: +31 43 32 96 212

The fee includes documentation and refreshments. Lunches, a reception or dinner are included if mentioned in the programme. Accommodation and travel costs are at the expense of the participants or their administration.

EIPA offers a 10% 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.

Lunches, the reception or dinner will be served at a restaurant in town. Special dietary requirements (e.g. vegetarian, diabetic) can be indicated once you receive the confirmation of the seminar.

Confirmation of registration will be forwarded to participants on receipt of the completed online registration form.

Prior payment is a condition for participation.

Cancellation policy
For administrative reasons you will be charged €150 for cancellations received within 15 days before the activity begins. There is no charge for qualified substitute participants. EIPA reserves the right to cancel the activity up to 2 weeks before the starting date. In that case, registration fees received will be fully reimbursed. EIPA accepts no responsibility for any costs incurred (travel, accommodation, etc.).

I have a question

Course > I have a Question

The programme

08.45 Registration of participants
09.00 Welcome of participants and opening of the conference
Marco Lopriore, Expert, European Institute of Public Administration, Maastricht (NL)
09.15 Using the simplified cost options (SCO) : the OMNIBUS and moving from 2014-2020 to 2021-2027
Overview of rules on standard scales of unit costs, flat rates and lump-sums

  • How the OMNIBUS Regulation changed SCO in post 2020
  • Draft proposals for 2021-2027 and the template in Annex V
  • Exercise on using flat-rates

Marco Lopriore

10.45 Coffee break
11.00 What can we learn from EU practices on ESI Simplification

  • Experiences of simplification from EU Member states
  • Lessons learned 2014-2020 on using SCOs
  • Risks and experiences and considerations for MA/IB
  • Recommendations from the transnational group

Luca Santin, Thematic expert, Transnational platform on simplification

12.30 Exercise on using unit costs
Marco Lopriore
13.00 Lunch break
14.15 Workshop on best use of SCO in ESI funds

  • Problems and solutions to using SCO in various areas (developing proper methodologies, choosing among SCO options, targeting ESF or ERDF/CF, audit and control)

Luca Santin

15.45 Coffee break
16.00 SCO practice in the Research and Education area

  • Applying flat rates for indirect costs in Czech Republic
  • Calculating and using standard scale of unit costs  for education
  • Insight into Czech methodologies and combination of SCO

 Ing. Helena Viktorie Barbořáková, Managing Authority, Operational Programme – Research, Development and Education, Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, Czech Republic

17.30 End of first day
19.30 Dinner at Mincovna restaurant, Staroměstské nám. 1/7 on main square of the old town
09.00 Using SCO in Flanders Region (part 1)

  • Lessons learned 2014-2020
  • Management and control systems and simplification
  • Approach to result-oriented programming and to project delivery
  • Flat rates and the 3 P model
  • Benefits and risks

Louis Vervloet, Director, European Social Fund Agency of the Flemish Region, Member of the High Level group on simplification

10.30 Coffee break
10.45 Exercises on SCO

  • calculating staff hourly rates
  • using the 1720 hours and the pro-rata rule in defining hourly rates
  • corrections and adaptations of standard  scales of unit costs
  • mandatory element in 2021-2027
  • which SCO suits you best: flat-rate, units or lumpsum?

Marco Lopriore

12.30 Lunch break
13.45 Exercises on SCO: irregularities

  • examining different cases of irregularities
  • verifications in SCO

Marco Lopriore

14.15 Using SCO in Flanders Region (part 2)
Practical examples of lump-sums, flat rates and standard scales of unit costs

  • Applying Art 14.1 and delegated acts
  • Lessons from the management verifications of SCO
  • Flat rates for simplification of employers costs
  • Preparing SCO in 2021-2017 Operational Programmes

Louis Vervloet

15.30 Coffee break


Exercises on SCO: State Aid/Public Procurement

  • using flat-rates and unit costs compliant to GBER Regulation and public procurement
  • synergies with other EU funds; Seal of Excellence with ERDF and ESF
  • taking revenue generation in account

Marco Lopriore

16.25 Conclusion & Seminar Feedback
Marco Lopriore
16.30 Close of seminar