19 Apr 2023

Social tracking methodology for the EU budget

Iain Begg / Francesco Corti / Alessandro Liscai / Tamás Kiss-Gálfalvi / Tommaso Grossi / Laura Rayner

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The existing systems for monitoring spending from the EU budget have evolved considerably, especially in the course of the 2014-20 programming period and with the changes subsequently consolidated in the current 2021-27 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF). The main thrust of these innovations was to require more of a performance orientation and to make ex post evaluations mandatory across the policy cycle.

The objective of this study is to examine how well the expenditure from the EU budget for social policies is monitored and tracked. Effective tracking to enable programme progress to be assessed is important for the policy process, and to be able to detect, qualify and quantify any deviation from the initial plans and targets. In short, the adoption of performance budgeting implies a shift in the focus of budgeting, from managing (i.e. ‘how much have we spent?’), to the achievement of policy objectives (i.e. ‘what have we accomplished with our money?’)

This study was prepared for the European Parliament’s Committee on Budgets.