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For the programming period 2021-2027, DG HOME of the European Commission aims to simplify the funding rules of its funding instruments in the area of Home Affairs, namely the Asylum and Migration Fund (AMF), Instrument for financial support for border management and visa (BMVI) and the Internal Security Fund. The intention is to define simplified cost options (SCOs) at EU level that Member States as well as the Commission can apply directly under the different management modes of the Home Affairs Funds. To this end, DG HOME commissioned a study tasked with identifying, testing, and developing methods to establish SCOs.

The study is a joint effort, implemented by ICF (lead partner) and PPMI. It has three parts:

  1. Development of SCO for each Member State for 10 areas of activity
  2. Presentation of feasibility studies to develop SCOs for Joint Investigation Teams and training for law enforcement officials
  3. Proposal of five other areas for potential SCOs.

The main method used in the study is statistical analysis of historical (administrative) data collected from Responsible Authorities in Member States, first and foremost data on cost and outputs of projects funding similar activities in the period 2014-2020. This method also encompasses analysis of relevant proxy data (statistics, market survey data, research data of studies and evaluations conducted in areas relevant for this study, etc.) and application of pertinent extrapolation techniques. Our research design also encompasses extensive desk research and stakeholder consultation activities (in the form of interviews and group discussions) carried out to inform and guide the data collection process, and to test and validate the study outcomes.

Simplified cost options are an innovative way of reimbursing grants and repayable assistance in EU funds. Instead of reimbursing ‘real costs’, SCOs allow reimbursing expenditure according to predefined methods based on outputs and results of supported activities, or input required to maintain the process.


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