15 Nov 2019
Auditors sign off 2018 accounts of all EU research Joint Undertakings
On 14 November 2019, the European Court of Auditors (ECA) gave a clean bill of health for all the EU’s Joint Undertakings, issuing clean opinions on their financial transactions and confirming the positive results reported in previous years.
Joint Undertakings (JUs) are the EU’s public-private partnerships with industry, research groups and Member States, established to carry out specific projects and policies in the field of research and innovation. Seven JUs are currently implementing specific actions under Horizon 2020, while the ‘Fusion for Energy’ (F4E) JU was established to take part in the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) project. In 2018, the EU, as public partner, contributed €2.2 billion to the JUs’ 2018 budget, about 1.5% of the total EU budget. The private partners provide in-kind contributions to operational activities and cash contributions towards administrative costs.
“Joint Undertakings can improve the link between research and societal growth, and bring innovation closer to the market”, said Ildikó Gáll-Pelcz, the Member of the European Court of Auditors responsible for the audit. “Our audit for 2018 confirms that their financial management is healthy, but we make various observations to indicate areas for improvement as regards in-kind contributions, internal control, grant management and staff turnover.”
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