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Managing the Recovery and Resilience Funds. Lessons Learned and the Way Forward.

Managing the Recovery and Resilience Funds. Lessons Learned and the Way Forward.

Short summary of the seminar organized by FORUM Institut für Management

Date: 16 – 17 May 202
Location:  Heidelberg

The seminar brought together representative of public authorities in Member States as well as representatives from the European Commission, the European Court of Auditors and the European Investment Bank to discuss the development of the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) and best practices for managing the funds. The discussion was focused on the following topics:
      

  • Revision plans
  • Do no significant harm
  • RRF mandates
  • Data on beneficial ownership
  • Synergies and complementarities between RRF and Cohesion Policy
  • Audit and control in the RRF

We began the seminar by asking participants about their experiences with the RRF, which they often described as “challenging,” “confusing,” “changing,” and “complicated”. Many pointed out that it is difficult to keep up with the numerous guidelines and constantly changing documents, and that flexibility seems to be lost with each audit.  The main question that resonated throughout the event was, “What is the key to simplifying the RRF?”
   
It is important to emphasize that these are not critiques but expressions of a need for improvement of the RRF system. Designed as a temporary measure to aid in pandemic recovery, the RRF's rapid implementation necessitates many controls.
   
The performance-based nature of the RRF has indeed prompted a cultural shift within public administrations. It is noteworthy that the RRF regulation lacks a clear definition of “performance.” While it is more performance-oriented compared to the Cohesion Fund (CF), assessing its exact degree is challenging due to frequent revisions of initial plans aimed at easing the achievement of objectives. A comprehensive assessment of its performance nature may only be possible upon project completion.
    
Other issues raised during the seminar included the achievement of milestones and targets, the lack of sufficient coordination, anti-fraud strategies and prevention, and the need for training around fraud awareness. Experts also noted the difficulty in detecting high-level fraud within the RRF framework, emphasizing the need for collaboration with the European Public Prosecutor's Office (EPPO). The RRF requires teamwork, and its legitimacy needs to be built. Its future, however, is yet an open question.
  
If you are interested to know more about the seminar, you may download the slides by simply clicking on 'Download' on the upper right side of this webpage.
 
For more information on upcoming seminars on the topic, please contact Dr. Viola Prifti at v.prifti@forum-institut.de
 

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Documentation

Managing the Recovery and Resilience Funds

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Speakers

 Daniel von Dungen,
 Policy Officer, European Commission, Directorate General for Economic &
 Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN)



 
 Myles Hourican,
 Coordinator for the European Court of Audit - Wide Task Force on the RRF




 Mirela Music,
 Policy Officer - European Commission - DG ECFIN



 
 Cristina Costa-Salavedra,
 Policy Officer - European Commission - DG ECFIN





 Carlos N. Lafargue Fernando,
 Decentralised Mandates and Technical Assistance Division Decentralised
 Financial Instruments Unit, Legal Department, European Investment Bank



 Ivana Sujica,
 Head of Department for Audit of Recovery and Resilience Facility,
 Service for Support to Audit Processes, Sector for Management of
 Horizontal Processes Agency for Audit of European Union Programmes


 Katerina Papakonstantinou,
 Project Manager, GRNET S.A., National Infrastructures for Research and
 Technology, Athens, Greece

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