On Thursday 23 April 2020, the European Court of Auditors (ECA) will publish a special report on the effects of EU investments in cultural sites.
ABOUT THE AUDIT
The ECA assessed the effectiveness and sustainability of EU investments in cultural sites. To do so, the auditors looked at the main EU fund available for those investments purpose (ERDF) and examined the suitability of the EU cultural framework, its coordination with funding arrangements and the implementation of ERDF funding. They reviewed the work of the European Commission and assessed 27 projects from seven Member States:
- Germany (e.g. Sprengel Museum Hannover)
- France (e.g. Musée du Louvre Lens)
- Croatia (e.g. Kneževa palače Zadar)
- Italy (e.g. Casa dell’ Efebo Pompei)
- Portugal (e.g. Coimbra University)
- Poland (e.g. NOSPR Katowice)
- Romania (e.g. Palatul Patriarhiei Bucuresti).
Overall the report is expected to conclude that the EU framework lacks focus on the cultural dimension and needs more coordination to ensure the effectiveness and sustainability of its investments in cultural sites. The auditors will make a number of recommendations to ensure sound financial management and, in particular, heritage preservation when the EU is investing in cultural sites.
ABOUT THE TOPIC
Culture is mainly a national competence. The EU can however encourage cooperation between Member States and support or supplement their actions. The framework for cooperation on culture is set by the European Commission in the form of the European Agenda for Culture.
Culture related infrastructural investments can only be EU-funded under the European Structural and Investment Funds, among which ERDF is the main source for such EU funding. Following the mainstreaming principle, various other EU funds are also available through other EU policies.
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.