2010, biggest recipient of EU funds Spain

The annual financial report is out: what the EU budget helped to achieve in 2010

The European Commission is released its yearly financial report on 30 September. The report presents detailed information on what the EU money was spent on and how was it managed. “As 90% of the EU budget is dedicated to projects in the 27 Member-States or in partner countries abroad, it is essential that EU taxpayers are provided with the fullest possible information”, says the Commissioner responsible for Financial Programming and Budget Janusz Lewandowski. Apart from traditional comparative tables and diagrams the booklet contains numerous examples on how the EU budget helped to create jobs, enhance nuclear safety or curtail illegal immigration. In 2010, the implementation rate of the EU budget reached 97%.

In the period from 2007 to 2010, over €25bn were invested in the framework of the Competitiveness and Innovation programme (CIP) and 338 310 jobs were created.

Through the 7th framework programme for research and technological development, more than 2,000 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and SME associations invested in research and development in 2010. Over 293,000 education grants were awarded to students or teachers.

Moreover, €69 million was invested in nuclear safety, geological disposal of radioactive waste and radiation protection – which represents three times the amount invested in the previous year.

In the framework of the cohesion policy, through the European Territorial Cooperation, 5,800 new businesses have been created and 115,000 jobs created or secured in 2010. 6,234 million workers benefited directly from European funding through the European Social Fund (ESF).

One of the striking examples for European infrastructure policy was the High-speed underwater cable under the Kelvin Project – a new direct international telecommunications connection for the United Kingdom and Ireland to North America, a joint UK–Ireland project completed in March 2010.

€300 million were dedicated to external border control, free movement of people inside the EU and the effective management of migration issues. In this framework, around 1,800 designated border crossing points have been monitored by the EU and 20 joint operations have been carried out lasting all together 6 471 days.

In 2010 the Commission stuck to its ‘zero-post-increase’ policy. Moreover, the Commission over-fulfilled its targets for recruiting staff from the 10 Member States which joined the EU in 2004. Between 1 May 2004 and the end of 2010, 4004 officials and temporary agents from the Member States which joined the European Union in 2004 and 2007 have been recruited.

In 2010, the four biggest recipients of EU funds were Spain (€13.2 billion), France (€13.1 billion), Germany (€11.8 billion) and Poland (€11.8 billion) while compared to their respective GNI, Lithuania (5.9%), Estonia (5.8%) and Luxemburg (5.2%) were the biggest beneficiaries of EU funds. “However, says Commissioner Lewandowski, comparing Member States’ contributions to the amounts of funds received to assess the benefits of membership of the EU is both simplistic and misleading; this leaves out other advantages such as contracts awarded to private companies in the framework of cohesion policy, infrastructure benefitting the good functioning of the Internal Market, progress made thanks to the pooling of efforts in research and innovation, trade agreements negotiated on behalf of the 27 Member States, consumer protection and many other benefits”.

Financial report::


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