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Making Better Use of the EU Budget through Financial Instruments – a Reality Check

Marcel Bode

In times of shrinking public budgets, alternative forms of public support other than non-repayable grants have come under the spotlight. This is particularly true for Cohesion Policy, where the use of financial instruments has grown steadily over the last two programming periods, both in terms of the absolute numbers of instruments and resources, with a further increment in terms of value, and of the percentage of the total budget available for the current 2014-2020 period. While there are distinct advantages to repayable instruments as compared with grants, a number of shortcomings can be observed in how FIs have been implemented so far. This paper illustrates changes in the legal provisions between the 2007-2013 programming period and the 2014-2020 one, which might not be the main focus for practitioners, but are still extremely important for effective implementation.

Marcel Bode works as an auditor at the European Court of Auditors in Luxembourg. This text expresses the personal opinion of the author and not that of the Court of Auditors.


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