The process of winding up the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) is almost complete, according to a new review by the European Court of Auditors. Meanwhile, however, revenues generated from its assets have become too low, given the current interest rates, to ensure sustained funding for a specific programme for research in the coal and steel sectors, say the auditors.
Following the expiry of the ECSC on 23 July 2002, all its assets and liabilities were transferred to the EU. The European Commission has been responsible for the winding-up of the remaining loan and borrowing operations, as well as for the management of the other assets of the ECSC in liquidation.
“Seventeen years after the end of the ECSC, its liquidation is imminent,” said Alex Brenninkmeijer, the member of the European Court of Auditors responsible for the review. “It is now time for the Commission to turn the page and to mainstream its support of innovative and sustainable projects in the coal and steel sectors into the EU research framework programme.”