Simplified cost options (SCOs) can bring simplification and may decrease the administrative burden for both beneficiaries and Member State authorities. However, they only constitute a small part of rural development spending during the 2014-2020 period. By basing payments on output, SCOs shift the focus away from invoices but do not increase the focus on results. We found that SCOs can keep the costs of rural development projects under control, but only if set at the right level and based on a fair, equitable and verifiable methodology.
Special report no 11/2018: New options for financing rural development projects: Simpler but not focused on results