On Tuesday 29 September 2020, the European Court of Auditors (ECA) will publish a special report on EU action to fight child poverty.
ABOUT THE AUDIT
This is the first time the ECA has looked into the area of child poverty. The purpose was to assess whether the European Union has made an effective contribution to Member States efforts to tackle child poverty. In particular, the auditors examined the extent to which the Commission's legal instruments and Member States use of EU funds helped reduce child poverty. They visited national authorities in Germany, Italy, Poland and Romania, as well as relevant NGOs active in the field of tackling child poverty.
Based on their findings, the auditors will make a number of recommendations to the European Commission. These should contribute to EU's future initiatives to support Member States during the period 2021-2027, among which is the European Parliament's proposal for a Child Guarantee.
ABOUT THE TOPIC
In 2018, 23 million children in the EU were at risk of poverty or social exclusion. Statistics also show that children are at a greater risk than the rest of the population in the EU. Child poverty is therefore a challenge across many Member States and can have significant impacts on opportunities later in life.
While the fight against child poverty is primarily executed at Member State level, the EU – and in particular the Commission – has an important role to play. It should support and complement the activities of Member States. For this purpose, it has both financial and policy instruments at its disposal, such as the European Pillar of Social Rights, the European Semester process or the use of ESI funds.
The ECA’s special reports set out the results of its audits of EU policies and programmes or management topics related to specific budgetary areas. The ECA selects and designs these audit tasks to be of maximum impact by considering the risks to performance or compliance, the level of income or spending involved, forthcoming developments and political and public interest.