Ineffectiveness or misuse of EU funds

Ineffectiveness or misuse of EU funds

Synthesis report of case studies from ERGO Network members in 4 countries

In 2020, in the framework of ERGO Network’s Work Programme “Roma Included in Social Europe” funded by DG EMPL,  ERGO members from Romania (Policy Centre for Roma and Minorities), Bulgaria (Integro Association), Hungary (Butterfly Development) and Slovakia (Roma Advocacy and Research Centre) conducted case studies to support monitoring of funds and to contribute to a better design of funding programmes.

More specifically, the case studies aimed to:

  • provide evidence of ineffectiveness and/or misuse of EU funds to the EC and managing authorities (not fulfilling the enabling conditions – not contributing to diversity, participation, combating discrimination)
  • give recommendations on how to design more effective funding programmes for of Roma inclusion
  • increase awareness of the importance of transparency in funding

The case studies showed that:

  • EU Roma related funds are not always implemented adequately or in the best interest of the Roma communities it intends to target.
  • Often Roma and CSOs are not consulted during the implementation of projects.
  • despite considerable EU funds spent, the precarious situation of Roma where investments took place is deepening.
  • There is a lack of adequate needs assessment of the target groups’ situation to measure the adequacy and efficiency of the proposed actions.
  • There are restrictive conditions for participation of NGOs, which in most cases limited in practice the participation of the Roma community itself as an active party in the implementation of activities.
  • The project implementation guidelines may discriminate against NGOs putting them at a disadvantage compared to other partners -i.e. NGOs cannot receive advance payments due to the impossibility of guaranteeing this payment
  • NGOs may have problems receiving project indirect costs, which may stop the process of effective management of project activities
  • There are unnecessary, bureaucratic requirements for reporting on activities, which further burdens the work of partner civil society organizations.
  • The management of the procedures may pose challenges for the implementation of projects. In Bulgaria, the procedure was conceived as integrated and is applied under two different operational programmes. In the process of implementation, however, the projects were divided into two parts, under 2 different programmes and Managing authorities, which had their own separate requirements, guidelines and procedures, often very different from one another – which made the reporting process very difficult at the expense of the implementation of activities.

The individual case studies can be downloaded at the end of each summary.

You can download the synthesis report here.