European funds: Beneficiaries have already received 490 billion crowns
1. 4. 2022
On Friday, April 1, the Council for Eu Funds met at the ministerial level to discuss the current state of drawing from EU funds in the ending programming period 2014-2020 and the state of preparation of the new seven-year plan 2021-2027. The topic of the first calls in the new programming period, especially in the field of education and the environment, was not left out either. The meeting was online.
In the first quarter of last year, a total of CZK 490.3 billion was paid to beneficiaries, which is 74.8% of the total allocation for the ending programming period 2014-2020. The largest part of these funds with regard to the total allocation of the program was reimbursed in the Operational Programme Research, Development and Education - more than 99% of the total allocated amount (CZK 70.4 billion). The second is the Employment programme, in which over 84% of earmarked funds (almost CZK 51.4 billion) were reimbursed to beneficiaries. All programmes managed to meet the n + 3 rule in advance and thus use all the funds earmarked for the given period.
The next item on the agenda was the current state of preparations for the next programming period 2021-2027. In mid-March, the Fair Transformation programme was the last to be submitted to the European Commission (EC) for formal negotiations and approval. The approval of all 9 programmes by the EC is expected in May 2022 at the earliest. Subsequently, it will be possible to announce regular calls, most of which are planned for the second half of this year. The possibilities of using EU funds to address the effects of the refugee crisis on the Czech Republic and the need for sufficient administrative capacity to implement all operational programmes were also discussed.
Due to the delay in start of the programming period, which was caused mainly by the hold-up in the negotiation of cohesion policy legislation at EU level, the need arose to allow early calls for certain areas to be launched before the programmes were formally approved by the European Commission. These are mainly the subsidy support in the field of education and support for the replacement of boilers in the Environment program.
The Council for EU Funds is a supra-ministerial professional and advisory body of the Government of the Czech Republic, which meets regularly to discuss current issues. At the working level, its members are representatives of central state administration bodies, advisory and working bodies of the Czech government, territorial self-governing units, social and economic partners, non-governmental non-profit organizations and entrepreneurs.
The n + 3 rule affects the time eligibility of expenditure. In practice, this means that, for example, the funds allocated to a Member State for 2019 must be actually used within three years at the latest – i.e. by the end of 2022. This rule is crucial for the permissible project implementation time and its financial settlement.