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15 Apr 2016

European Court of Auditors publishes Special Report on EIT

On 14 April 2016, the European Court of Auditors published a Special Report based on its performance audit of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT). The auditors examined whether the EIT was an effective tool to foster innovation in the EU. While the main reasons for setting up the Institute were well-founded, they concluded that a number of important changes are needed.

"If the EIT wants to become the ground-breaking innovative institute it was originally conceived to be, significant legislative and operational adjustments are required to better foster the EU's innovation potential", said Alex Brenninkmeijer, the Member of the European Court of Auditors responsible for the report.

The auditors identified several weaknesses in key EIT concepts and processes.

  • The funding model includes KIC activities, not funded by the EIT. This is unnecessarily complicated and brings little to no added value.
  • The practical arrangements between the EIT and the KICs are poorly suited to innovation, in particular the way grants are paid.
  • The financial sustainability of the KICs is doubtful. Businesses are not involved enough, and KICs' declared income not coming from the EIT has not been substantial.
  • The performance indicators and the monitoring and reporting do not provide an informative picture of results and impacts.

To support the goals of the EIT, the European Court of Auditors has put forward a number of recommendations. Some of the changes will require revisions of the EIT’s legal basis to be adopted by the European Parliament and Member States (Council). The EIT announces that it will also continue to work closely with the European Commission to implement the auditors’ recommendations.

To read the report click here

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