Newsletter – December 2021

The final quarter of 2021 has been a period of finalizing and adopting the necessary legal tools (Regulations, Directives, and Decisions) concerning the implementation of the financial choices included in the Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027 of the Union. At the same time a series of significant audits regarding two main EU policy fields, Cohesion Policy and Migration Policy, have been completed. Therefore, the relevant reports are presented in the current Newsletter of the Jean Monnet Chair “Budgetary Governance of the EU and Audit”. At first, ECA’s Special Report No 26/2021 on the regularity of expenditure under EU cohesion policy is examined. According to the report this is a policy area with a high risk of irregular spending, therefore establishing an accurate and credible level of error in cohesion expenditure is a key parameter for the Commission to disclose and monitor whether the expenditure in this policy area is legitimate, as well as for the adoption of the necessary corrective measures. Furthermore, as demonstrated in ECA’s Special Report 24/2021, the performance of the EU in its Cohesion Policy has not been without obstacles, during the 2014-2020 programming period. The establishment of a clear “performance framework” for the Member States’ operational programs, with milestones and target prices to be achieved through investments in the European Structural and Investment Funds, has been seen as a significant element of progress, with, however, limited results. As for EU Migration Policy, ECA’s Special Report 19/2021 has focused on the efforts against migrant smuggling by Europol. The main finding has been that Europol’s contribution is valuable, especially through the newly established European Anti-Trafficking Center (EMSC), but the use of data sources and the corresponding results are insufficient, something that also reflects deficiencies in the competent corresponding national schemes of the EU member states. In addition to that, the ECA’s findings, in its Special Report 17/2021, demonstrated that the EU cooperation with third countries on the readmission of migrants has produced limited results, as the cooperation with the countries of origin of migrants has failed to establish an effective repatriation system. Finally, with regard to the Chairs’ activities, the approval of the proposal by the European Commission for the implementation of a Jean Monnet Module on the Protection of EU financial interests and combating fraud, for the period 2022-2024, has intensified the relevant procedures, in terms of compiling relevant bibliographic material, and preparing the relevant educational tools that will be used. The Chair, as a partner in the ACFE Anti-Fraud Education Partnership, participated in anti-fraud awareness and anti-fraud actions, as part of Fraud Awareness Week 2021 (November 14-20, 2021) organized by the Association of Certified Fraud (ACFE), by disseminating relevant materials in the form of educational tools, edited by the Chairholder, Professor Dimitrios Skiadas.

Read more: Newsletter December 2021