Government Grant Management (National, ESF), Administrative and Rregulatory Tasks
One major task of this directorate-general is the processing of grant procedures. Grants are funds used by the state to actively support certain societal objectives. Based on ministerial requirements Directorate-General ZMV issues approval decisions, supervises and advises grant recipients, especially with respect to financing issues, and examines the proofs of proper use.
In the field of national grants, it grants support measures on behalf of nine federal ministries with a volume of 967 million euros (2012). This concerns among others the following areas:
The directorate-general cooperates with other authorities at federal, Land and local levels as well as with a number of grant recipients. The BVA portfolio also covers support measures under the European Social Fund (ESF). The ESF was created with the objective to reduce differences in prosperity and living standards between EU Member States and regions and thereby promote economic and social cohesion. The BVA implemented 20 ESF support programmes on behalf of three federal ministries with a total budget of two billion euros in the 2007-2013 period.
Furthermore, Directorate-General ZMV assumes a great diversity of different tasks. These over 45 services include the following:
A new task is processing statements of support for the so-called European Citizens' Initiative. Since 1 April 2012 EU citizens can influence the work of the European Union through a common initiative. This instrument was laid down in the Treaty of Lisbon to decisively strengthen the participation of EU citizens in EU policy processes, thus bringing the community closer to its citizens.
The Information Agency for Persons Working abroad and Emigrants publishes a broad range of brochures in the field of emigration. It provides emigrants and Germans working abroad to a certain extent with information on foreign law.
The Federal President congratulates citizens at special anniversaries. The BVA prepares these letters – in cooperation with cities, towns, and municipalities – and organizes godparenthoods for families with many children. Furthermore, the BVA is involved in awarding distinctions presented by the Federal President to long-established associations.
On behalf of the Federal Foreign Office, the BVA certifies signatures on German public documents which are to be used abroad (in currently 20 countries). Furthermore, it issues apostilles on documents from federal authorities and federal courts for use in countries to become parties to the Hague Convention to confirm the authenticity of signatures and seals.
Another task is to ensure the legitimate use of the national emblem, the eagle. The national emblem and the official flag of the Federal Republic of Germany may only be used by federal authorities or for official purposes. Any other use by businesses, associations or citizens requires the previous permission of the Federal Office of Administration.
In total, the ZMV staff carry out more than 45 different tasks with an annual budget of over one billion euros.
Christoph Hübenthal (Head)