The monitoring of EU Framework Programmes' implementation is an essential component of the overall evaluation and monitoring system. It supports the management of the programmes, provides transparency on programme activities and contributes towards the base of information which is used for major evaluations of the Framework Programmes. For Horizon 2020, the Commission has a legal obligation to monitor continually and systematically its implementation, to report annually and to disseminate the results of this monitoring. This legal requirement is set out in Article 31 of the Regulation (EU) No 1291/2013 establishing Horizon 2020.
Monitoring is an integral part of the Commission's Better Regulation agenda. It is a continuous and systematic process of data collection, addressing in particular implementation issues. The Annual Monitoring Report looks at what has happened in the implementation of Horizon 2020 and its Specific Programme, but unlike an evaluation, it does not look at why something has occurred and it does not issue policy recommendations.
Horizon 2020 marks a shift towards the use of indicators that aim to capture results and impacts. The legal basis of Horizon 2020 specifies a list of compulsory Key Performance Indicators to be taken into account in its evaluation and monitoring system. The fact that for the first time these Key Performance Indicators are identified prior to the start of the Framework Programme is a significant development as this provides a solid and coherent basis for the monitoring and evaluation system for Horizon 2020, coupled with the focus on measuring results and impacts of the Programme. In addition, the legal basis indicates a list of 14 cross-cutting issues that serve to monitor on an annual basis the Horizon 2020 programme implementation.
The archive of annual monitoring reports from the period before Horizon 2020 is available on this site: Monitoring Reports before Horizon 2020.