In times of need, you need to know your friends. How can the EU help Member State authorities and provide added value above and beyond what those authorities can do? A pertinent question in times of a pandemic and an economic crisis which are still ongoing and whose effects will be felt for years to come. EU policy makers, ranging from the European Council to the ECB, have come up with aid programmes, such as the Next Generation EU initiative and Recovery and Resilience Facility, or coordinated EU efforts to develop and distribute vaccine. The EU has excelled before in times of crisis, one of the things it was set up to do in the first place, but not the only thing. The heritage created by cooperation at EU level – from free movement to product safety and consumer protection, was appreciated all the more when, in the wake of the pandemic, borders were closed and the search for medical equipment began.
Despite all these initiatives, or perhaps even thanks to them, the question remains: what do these EU actions lead to, what is their impact and did the EU punch as high as it could, or could all that have been achieved without the EU? Relevant questions, not only for curious and critical public auditors. The issue of European added value touches upon some key principles the EU is built upon, ranging from subsidiarity, economies of scale and the provision of public goods – something which is even more topical in a year when decisions have to be made on the EU's long-term budget for the 2021-2027 period.
We have selected European added value as the theme for this ECA Journal, offering a wide variety of articles on a topic that is probably one of the most multifaceted this Journal has offered so far. With almost 40 articles, aspects such as historical developments, economic considerations, legal possibilities and restrictions, political preferences, social needs, and others, are covered by policy makers, practitioners, researchers and auditors, among others. And many, if not all, will agree that European added value is a sine qua non condition for the EU's future, which makes it all the more important to get valuable feedback on how real European added value is, and on suitable ways forward to achieve it.
This edition's highlights:
8 ECA JOURNAL LONG READ EU added value - a categorical imperative for EU action? By Daniel Tibor, Directorate of the Presidency
24 European added value for the EU budget: going beyond rhetoric By Professor Friedrich Heinemann, ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research and University of Heidelberg
38 Why EU added value is in the fabric of cohesion policy By Elisa Ferreira, Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, European Commission
70 'European added value must be more than just a purely political slogan' Interview with Klaus-Heiner Lehne, President of the European Court of Auditors
94 The future of next generations will benefit from the EU Interview with Pierre Moscovici, First President of the French Cour des comptes
105 Directors' Cut - About European added value and goat cheese By Matthias Beermann, Directorate of the Presidency
110 Why European added value should matter more for EU supreme audit institutions, why it doesn't and what to do about it By Martin Weber, Director of the Presidency
126 The European dimension is key for adding European value Interview with Johan Van Overtveldt, Chair of the European Parliament's Committee on Budgets
135 European added value and the cost of non-Europe - the origins of an idea whose time has come By Anthony Teasdale, Director General of the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS)
142 European added value: what does it mean? By Eulalia Rubio, Jacques Delors Institute
146 European public goods: just a buzzword or a new departure? By Professor George Papaconstantinou, European University Institute (EUI)
150 How does the EU budget add value? Through economies of scale – not savings By Jorge Núñez Ferrer, Associate Senior Research Fellow, Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS)
In addition, this ECA Journal features articles from Rafael Loss of the European Council on Foreign Relations; Gracia Vara Arribas, lawyer and consultant; Peter Becker, German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP); Gert Jan Koopman, Director-General for Budget, European Commission; Jean-Eric Paquet, Director General Research & Innovation, European Commission; Dirk Beckers, Executive Director of the Innovation and Networks Executive Agency; Petr Očko, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade, Czech Republic; Johannes Maier, Office of the Carinthian Regional Government; Peter-André Alt, Pieter Duisenberg, and Sabine Seidler, presidents of national university associations in respectively Germany, the Netherlands and Austria; Milan Dabovic, President of the State Audit Institution of Montenegro; Frank van den Broek and Peter van Roozendaal, Netherlands Court of Audit; Jüri Kurss and Urmet Lee, National Audit Office of Estonia; Sandro Gozi, Member of the European Parliament; Marta Pilati, European Policy Centre; Research Professor Pernille Rieker, Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI); Sven van Mourik, New York University; Elena Montani and Kevin O'Connor, EU Staff for Climate; 2020 ECA Award winner Antoine Dumartinet, German Technical Cooperation Agency GIZ; 2020 ECA Award winner Carolyn Moser, Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International; Mathew Burrows, Atlantic Council and Oliver Gnad, Bureau of Current Affairs; Mihails Kozlovs, ECA Member; Wilfred Aquilina, Lars Michael Luplow; James McQuade, Derek Meijers; Gaston Moonen; and Gabriele Cipriani, and John Speed, retired former ECA directors.
This Journal also contains an interview with François-Roger Cazala, ECA Member since 1 January 2020, and several ECA Reaching Out activities, plus an overview of recent ECA publications.