The European Commission’s annual management and performance report (AMPE) for the EU Budget has been approved by the College of Commissioners.
The priority for the 2018 budget was to build on the economic recovery, in particular by giving a further boost to investment. Since then, investment has picked up significantly thanks to more than €408 billion οf investment triggered by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) in collaboration with the European Investment Bank (EIB).
The EFSI attracts private funding in areas such as transport, energy, health care, small and medium-sized enterprises as well as information and communication technologies, amplifying greatly the impact of the EU budget.
“The EU’s system to detect and correct errors and combat fraud are mature and robust,” said Günther H. Oettinger, the Commissioner for Budget and Human Resources, adding that this has been recognised by the European Court of Auditors. “We will remain vigilant and will continue to ensure that the EU budget is adequately protected in future years. This is particularly important in the context of an increasingly challenging political environment. Reporting consistently and effectively increases the accountability of EU spending, and not only for the purposes of sheer legal compliance. It helps to engage with citizens and with other stakeholders, while at the same time restoring their confidence and trust in the EU.”
The EFSI’s has some extra time after receiving an extension from mid-2018 until the end of 2020 with a new investment target of €500 billion. The hope is that this plan will help create an estimated 1.4 million new jobs by 2020, while the EU’s gross domestic product will be boosted by an estimated 1.3%.
Due to the fund’s actions, 11 million more households with high-speed internet access, more than 4 million households use energy from renewable sources, and 30 million Europeans benefit from better health care due to the fund’s actions.
In addition, cohesion policy funds have contributed to an additional 1.3 million jobs in the EU over the last 10 years and have enabled 8.9 million people to acquire new skills.
As far as climate change is concerned, in 2018, expenditures have been integrated into all EU programmes and a total of 20.7% of the budget has been spent on climate change actions.
Strategic investments have also boosted economic growth and competitiveness by financing key transport, energy, and telecommunications infrastructure. These investments focus on areas where the EU enables a greater impact than public spending at a national level. The Connecting Europe Facility plays an important role in developing such infrastructures, which also prepare the ground for a less carbon-intensive EU energy network.
In 2018, this facility made available €1.4 billion in EU grants to be combined with financing from the EFSI and other sources.
The EU budget is also delivering, thanks to space programmes such as Galileo, Copernicus, and EGNOS. In 2018, four additional new Galileo satellites have been launched t better monitor the oceans, land, and atmosphere around the Earth.
The Commission also approved an annual report on internal audits carried out in 2018, which provides an overview of the audits carried out throughout the Commission by the independent Internal Audit Service. It also sets out the recommendations that have been made, all of which have been accepted, and the actions of the agencies to address the identified risks.