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Kalle Haviala and Ilkka Pasanen of Netum are excited about helping to develop a system that affects the lives of many Finns.

Case: The EURA 2021 system

The EURA system, set up for the management of projects financed using regional and structural funds from the EU, channels billions of euros to companies and organisations.  Few system development projects have this level of social significance. EURA has a direct impact on Finnish business life and regional development, which is why the system is being developed in close cooperation with Netum and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment.

Technical implementation of EURA 2021, the digital management system of the EU’s regional and structural funds, requires comprehensive experience of the public administration’s ICT systems, including their constraints and regulations. Netum was in charge of implementing the EURA 2014 system in the 2014–2020 programming period. Following competitive tendering, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment chose the company to work on the latest version, which is based on the previous one. The new project owner, Kalle Haviala of Netum, is excited about the opportunity to work on such an important system.

"It's great to be involved in making a system that will affect the lives of so many people. It’s also great that the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment has trusted us with the task of renewing the system. This will also help us, as a company and experts, to develop and grow.”

According to a representative of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, Netum's can be trusted to handle the project independently and professionally. The representative points out that the Ministry’s experts will be responsible for the system and process specifications, but are not technical experts.

"The opportunity to be in direct contact with Netum's technical experts is of paramount importance and reduces the risk of ‘Chinese whispers’. When technical implementation experts can listen to and interpret our specialists’ needs and convert them into technological solutions, work will proceed without problems."

Agile methods provide more control when aiming at a moving target

The system project is challenging because development work must begin before all the system requirements are known. Many framework conditions concerning the management and operation of the future programme period for the final EURA 2021 system will not be known until just before the implementation stage. However, at that point the system should almost be ready for use. The party in charge of technical implementation must be familiar with the operation and needs of both the system and public administration, and adapt to changes in system requirements and timetables.

Agile methods, where the final goal tends not to be precisely defined, are well suited to a system project like EURA. They also enable Netum's experts to focus on the work in hand, as precise objectives can be defined for short work cycles.

"We use agile methods to focus on creating added value for the customer. We start working on demos and proofs of concept, which the customer can use for sprint demos, giving us an indication of whether we're heading in the right direction," says Haviala.

Good user experience putting EU funding to efficient use

EURA is a statutory service, required by the EU, which is used to manage and monitor EU funding from regional and structural funds in Finland during the programming period. The system allocates authorisations, manages projects and the related payments, and monitors and audits projects. The objective is to create a smooth cash flow to prevent delays in project implementation due to late funding. Up-to-date reporting and transparency of information are also important.

EU funding through structural funds totalled almost EUR 1.3 billion for the period 2014–2020. Together with the national counterpart (50%), some EUR 2.6 billion of public funding has been available. These funds are managed via the EURA 2014 system.

“Companies and organisations apply for EU funding through the system, and EURA must be able to demonstrate that the applicants are eligible to receive it. The funding targets and methods have obviously been clearly specified and regulated,” explains project manager Ilkka Pasanen of Netum, who was involved in developing the EURA system during the three previous EU programming periods.

In terms of the end user or company or organisation applying for funding, the system is successful when the application process is as straightforward as possible. Good user experience also reduces administrative work by public authorities, e.g. in ELY centres and regional councils. User-friendliness is developed in each programming period. In the development of the new EURA system, end users can test demo versions to provide early user feedback.

EURA 2021 system moving to the cloud

Up-to-date digital services are needed for each EU programming period to meet its specific needs. It is typical, for example, for forms of aid and the activities for which funds are allocated to change from one programming period to the next. Like earlier versions, the new EURA system now being developed must meet the regulations and requirements of the new period.

During the 7-year programming period, technologies will become obsolete while new ones bring fresh opportunities. However, the overall lifecycle of the EURA system is long, because the data it processes must be stored. The new EURA 2021 system will be implemented on cloud computing. Combining techniques from different periods also places requirements on Netum's experts.

"We must make skilful use of existing components for the EURA 2021 project, while creating new ones. This will require comprehensive and deep understanding of the latest technologies and an overview of their life cycles. The system will be in operation until the 2030s. For example, we must master the latest cloud technologies: how to build scalable and secure digital services for the customer," Pasanen says.

System development for peace and against inequality

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment is proud that the EURA system is at the forefront of digital leaps. It is almost the only public service that is exclusively used electronically, and its management processes have been implemented digitally. Netum takes deserved pride in its work.
  Kalle Haviala and Ilkka Pasanen are delighted that the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment chose Netum again to implement the EURA system.

Kalle Haviala and Ilkka Pasanen are delighted that the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment chose Netum again to implement the EURA system.


“We are helping to maintain peace in Europe. The idea of a union that collects money from its Member States and distributes it to the periphery goes all the way back to Winston Churchill. After all, it’s all about reducing inequality within the EU," sums up Kalle Haviala.