The European Court of Auditors (ECA) has signed off the 2021 accounts of all the EU’s Joint Undertakings (JUs), and confirmed the positive results reported in previous years. The new Horizon Europe research and innovation funding programme sets ambitious goals for the 2021-2027 budget period, and the auditors call for action to get the Horizon 2020 contribution targets over the line, to address remaining weaknesses in internal controls, and to prepare for new challenges, such as human resources planning and management.
Joint Undertakings are partnerships between the European Commission and industry, and in some cases research, intergovernmental organisations or participating states. JUs are financed by cash funds from the EU’s research and innovation programmes (Horizon 2020, Horizon Europe and Digital Europe), and by in-kind contributions and other financial contributions from the other partners.
“These European public-private partnerships foster the translation of scientific knowledge into marketable breakthrough innovations, and can respond to needs currently insufficiently served by industry”, said Ildikó Gáll-Pelcz, the member of the European Court of Auditors responsible for the audit. “That is why they need to prepare well for the challenges ahead.”