Visit the new FARNET 2014-2020 website

Under what conditions can a Member State allow FLAGs to exceed the 10% limit set for running costs?

Article 44.5 of the EFF Regulation states that running costs for groups may not exceed, as a general rule, 10% of the total budget allocated to a fisheries area but that "by way of derogation, Member States may decide to exceed this threshold on a case by case basis, in particular when the groups cannot be established on the basis of existing experienced organisations."

However, conditions justifying when FLAGs may exceed the 10% threshold must be indicated in the Operational Programme (if necessary following an appropriate OP modification), according to point 6 of Annex I of the EFF implementing regulation (EC) No 498/2007. The Member State will also be expected to set a maximum threshold for running costs (e.g. 25%).

Examples of conditions under which Member States may feel it is necessary to allow FLAGs to exceed the 10% limit for running costs include:
• Where a FLAG has not been established on the basis of an existing structure (c.f. Article 44.5) and thus running costs cannot be shared with other programmes such as Leader.
• Where a FLAG has been allocated a relatively small budget, making the 10% for running costs insufficient for managing the FLAG.
• Where a FLAG is expected to continue into the next period and the Member State has only foreseen running costs until the end of 2013. The funding gap between the current programming period and the 2014-20 period needs to be avoided to ensure that local capacity is not lost.  An increase in the 10% threshold would allow them to pay running costs to FLAGs beyond 2013.

It should be noted that the 10% threshold refers only to running costs. Animation costs such as capacity-building activities and other activities designed to help potential beneficiaries to develop operations are not considered running costs and are therefore not subject to the same threshold.