European funds: an interesting financing method … but a rigorous process

European money isn’t just for big communities. Smaller contracting authorities are fully eligible for partial funding for their projects, according to Christophe Rouillon, Mayor of Collins and vice president of the Association of France Mayors Responsible for Europe. This city of 8,000 has benefited from this assistance on several occasions, as the elected official explains to us: “ – Support for the renovation of the municipal swimming pool in the amount of 1 million euros; That is 20% of the cost of the operation A wonderful opportunity, even if the process still takes a long time, he tells us: There is a lot of administrative paperwork “.

Assistance is subject to conditions

European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) are used to finance innovative projects that serve employment, research, training and the environment. Its value in France, within the framework of the European program 2014-2022, amounted to 28 billion euros. EFSI includes ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) and ESF (European Social Fund). It is directly administered by the member states of the European Union.

EFSI must face three main challenges: the competitiveness of the economy and employment. Energy, Environmental Transition and Sustainable Resource Management; Territory Equality and Opportunity

In France, FESI must face three main challenges: the competitiveness of the economy and employment. Energy, Environmental Transition and Sustainable Resource Management; Territory Equality and Opportunity.

Public buyers interested in this European aid can learn about the conditions for obtaining it from the so-called “administrative” authorities… responsible for allocating it. In France, these are the regions. They have an internal section dedicated to this task.
The assistance can be paid in the form of an advance and/or in installments during the execution of the contract.

Grants that can be withdrawn

Once the support is granted … there are no possibilities during the implementation of the project if the community Whoever bears it desires to keep all the sums allocated to it. Thus not facing budget problems.

The beneficiary entity must first comply with the regulations regarding the use of FESI. The rules that the management authority can take back in the agreement given to the project leader. Then the organizations, if they qualify as contracting authorities, must respect the right of public order under the supported operation.

Contracting authorities must respect public procurement law within the supported process

Partial or total refund of support may be required in the event of a breach of the award or performance of the public contract, warns Maître Ludovic Midol-Monnet (Fiducial Legal by Lamy). According to the lawyer who specializes in matters relating to European aid, The contracting authorities are not always aware of the severity of the punishment they incur “.

Two-stage control

The beneficiary provides the administrative authority with all the required documents in order to be able to carry out the inspections. A second examination can be carried out by the Interministerial Committee for the Coordination of Controls (CICC), France’s auditing authority for European funds. At each of these levels of control, financial corrections can be pronounced.
The CICC It only gives an opinion. The decision for financial correction rests with the administrative authority. But if the latter does not follow the advice of the CICC, the certification authority should suspend the irregular expenditures noted by the CICC. This suspension turns into an automatic withdrawal of the corresponding amounts if the CICC, in the last application for funds of the current year, does not reconsider its position on the basis of a new proven fact.
‘, explains Ludovic Medul Monet. So it seems that the authority of the administration is de facto bound. However, as counsel points out, In the current state of law, CICC reports cannot be challenged before the administrative judge, only the decisions of the management authority are. Hence, it is this administrative act that the contracting authority may challenge before the judge “.

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