DG ECFIN undertakes many varied activities, some internal, such as economic forecasting, others external, such as financial assistance to candidate countries. Evaluations help ensure that these activities are the right ones, that they achieve the intended results, and that they represent value for money.
For many years, external evaluation has been the main tool used by the Commission to assess the extent to which EU initiatives achieve their policy objectives and how their performance can be improved in the future.
In the Commission, all activities aimed at external parties are periodically evaluated on the basis of the duration of the activity, the operational and strategic decision-making needs and the general requirements for evaluation. Following the Commission Reform in 2004 and the introduction of activity-based management, the principle of regular evaluation was extended from external expenditure programmes to all types of activities, including internal ones.
In line with Commission evaluation standards, the Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs set up its evaluation function in 2003 with the aim of ensuring that evaluations commissioned or conducted by the DG provide both high-quality and timely information to the DG’s operational units. The results of these evaluations are used to improve the performance of future activities and to inform policy- and decision-making.
Organisationally, the evaluation function is centralised in Unit R.03 ‘Strategic management and control, interinstitutional relations’, which is in charge of planning and implementing evaluation activities. However, operational units are responsible for conducting ex-ante evaluations and impact assessments for their proposals – known as ‘prospective evaluations’. The evaluation function ensures central coordination and support for prospective evaluations.
Due to the specific nature of DG ECFIN's activities, evaluation exercises mostly cover the following areas:
Commission of the European Communities
Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs
Unit R.03 ‘Strategic management and control, inter-institutional relations’
Mr Dirk Lenaerts
B-1049 Brussels, Belgium
Tel: +32 (0)2 295 98 76; switchboard: +32 (0)2 299 11 11