EY working with the EU institutions

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European Structural and Investment Funds

European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) have done much to create cohesion among Europe’s regions by helping to close the economic and social gaps between the most- and least-developed countries in the EU. As part of its plan to make better use of ESIFs, the commission aims to focus the investments on eleven selected thematic objectives. An additional point of emphasis is seeing that the recipient authorities absorb the funds in a comprehensive and effective way.

EY has worked on cohesion policy since the first programming period and is well-equipped to help the commission and Member States with these aims. We provide technical assistance to help recipients absorb, manage and control funds, including identifying a pipeline of eligible projects.

We evaluate operational programs in a range of Member States. Our knowledge in areas of policy focus for the commission, including competitiveness, job creation, energy, infrastructure and skills, equips us to advise on the planning and implementation of programs and to carry out specific feasibility or research studies.

Our people are organized in cross-border networks, so they can share their on-the-ground knowledge of what has worked in other Member States. Meanwhile, our Brussels-based EU account team can identify the people from our global network who can best support our clients.

Our services include:

  • Policy planning

    The commission and managing authorities count on reliable information to build their strategies, policies and programs. We support the policy planning process in conducting preparatory (thematic) studies and in drafting evidence-based policies, programs and strategies with a sound intervention logic.

  • Assistance with establishing program delivery systems

    Within our technical assistance projects, we help the managing, certifying, audit and coordinating authorities with management and control system design and implementation, process analysis and improvement, and the simplification of procedures. We also help address important challenges such as administrative burden reduction, the definition of a methodology for simplified cost options and result-oriented management.

  • Capacity building, transfer of knowhow

    Efficient management of the European Structural and Investment Funds calls for a mix of competencies. The current program period introduced changes in the regulations and new delivery mechanisms, implying that new competencies are needed. We provide capacity-building services that address those needs, covering the competencies required for the ESIF program management cycle. In our activities, we use tailored training and knowledge transfer modes, such as thematic seminars, technical meetings, continuous coaching, distance learning, on-the-job training and group training.

  • Support in selecting successful projects and building robust pipelines

    The effectiveness of ESIF programs depends on successful projects. We help managing authorities communicate with beneficiaries, generate and screen project ideas, draft and manage calls for proposals, and appraise project applications. Furthermore, we aid beneficiaries by providing support for project design, feasibility and CBA studies, and project implementation, including financial management.

  • Program monitoring and evaluation

    Monitoring and evaluating outcomes are essential to improving the effectiveness and efficiency of the program. We assist program managers in defining indicators, collecting and analyzing monitoring data, conducting financial monitoring and expenditure forecasting, and proposing corrective actions. Furthermore, we support the design of innovative monitoring tools and aid the Monitoring Committees. We also review the relevance, coherence, effectiveness, efficiency and added value of the programs by performing ex-ante, ongoing and ex-post evaluations, as well as impact assessments, and provide management with practical recommendations.

  • Financial control and auditing

    Financial control is an important issue in managing assisting programs with the certification of expenses, spot checks, first- and second-level control, and risk management. We have an excellent understanding of the EU requirements and can also advise on procedures and protocols.

  • Setup, implementation and management of financial instruments

    In the current program period, the scope for the use of financial instruments has broadened and can be applied on a wide range of themes. We have excellent knowledge on the delivery modes and mechanisms of financial instruments and their legal feasibility. Our services cover the entire life cycle of the financial instrument, including ex-ante assessment, market gap analysis, feasibility studies, fund structuring, selection of the intermediary, monitoring and administration.