t33 started with local technical assistance. Working with an innovative ICT company we saw ERDF from a beneficiary’s point of view and how public support could add value. Helping local authorities to prepare proposals for EU programmes enabled us to learn the importance of identifying projects based on local needs. When supporting financial and technical reporting for regional authorities benefitting from European Territorial Cooperation programmes, we saw where excessive burden highlights the need for simplification. Since 2016, we have offered technical assistance at a higher level, to the European Commission. The Monitoring Helpdesk (2016-2022) is a project managing data submitted by Member States that supports informed decision making for DG REGIO Desk Officers. The monitoring reviews ERDF operational programme performance using scorecar ds. This project is based on a profound knowledge of ERDF and statistical software such as R and Stata. We also offer to DG REGIO and the European Investment Bank technical assistance to elaborate and analyse financial instruments data. Since 2020 we have helped authorities prepare European Territorial Cooperation programmes. Our work started with territorial analysis and remote meetings for cross border task forces communicating in Italian, French, German and English. These technical assistance projects including the Italy-Austria cross border programme demonstrate our capacity for setting indicators and elaborating standard costs. In 2021 we started supporting programmes adopting simplified cost options, with standard scales of unit costs, flat rates and lump sums. Supporting ERDF managing authorities in Romania, Spain and Portugal has included advice to identify the best simplified cost options and calculations to base standard costs on robust data analysis.
Unlike most consultancies dealing with EU funds, we prefer to create teams of internal experts that provide technical assistance. For us, technical assistance is a valuable occasion to apply our knowledge, which is based on multiple studies for EU institutions such as the European Commission and the European Investment Bank. In recent years, several EU studies on indicators have prepared the ground for a monitoring helpdesk supporting the ERDF. An EU study on cross border needs has led to technical assistance tools for territorial cooperation programmes. Several studies on administrative simplification for European Structural and Investment funds have enabled us to offer technical assistance for national and regional programmes in several Member States adopting simplified cost options. For us technical assistance is not an industrialised service, but a special occasion to share advanced solutions with frontrunner authorities willing to invest in knowledge.
By providing technical assistance only in specific areas, we are specialists and can mobilise top level EU experts when needed.