29 August 2019 | Policy input

Achieving high-quality audit in European research

Propositions on simplification and alignment of funders’ practices

Enora Bennetot Pruvot, Veronika Kupriyanova

This briefing outlines EUA’s proposals to national and EU funders on how to make the EU reporting and control environment more efficient and effective. This is a matter of strategic importance to improve the added value of European investment in education, research and innovation. 


European universities manage a variety of projects, from EU funding programmes such as Horizon 2020, Erasmus+ and the European Structural and Investment Funds, as well as nationally and globally funded projects. Simplification of processes connected to participation in funding programmes is therefore of high interest to universities.

One of the keys to simplification of EU funding programmes is to improve the EU control environment based on the principles of efficiency, effectiveness and value for money. This means EU control must yield greater assurance for EU funders about beneficiaries’ compliance with EU funding rules, while costing less money and effort to all parties. Doing so requires stronger collaboration with national funding organisations and greater reliance on their controlling practices. As largest funders of higher education and research in Europe, national bodies are best placed to understand the diversity of their beneficiaries and ensure that they have adequate systems in place.

While acknowledging the challenges connected to achieving greater alignment of funding practices, EUA’s proposals are aimed to generate management efficiencies for both funders and beneficiaries, build trust, reduce errors and thus release resources for research and innovation.

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