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Summary : The EU policy on economic and social cohesion represents one third of the total EU budget in the FP 2007- 2013. The concomitant result of the enlargement on 1 May 2004 is that regional disparities have doubled. The purpose of the study is to evaluate cost-effectiveness of actions in different Member States, by analysing their value-for-money aspect, sustainability and long-term benefits and taking into account their control mechanisms and audit effectiveness. The study concludes, amongst others, that it is more efficient if audit focuses on compliance rather than on performance, and that the current programming period has witnessed a substantial increase in the audit effort. Furthermore, the benefits of audit in terms of identifying and preventing irregularities have been recognized with the need of stronger cooperation and coordination between different audit levels in future. A case study has also confirmed the need for the regulatory framework to be more stable in order to avoid irregularities.

Authors : Blomeyer & Sanz

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