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EU Budget: results & people behind results

The BFOR initiative is about continuous improvement, not revolution.

For the Commission, the BFOR is an opportunity to substantiate its strong commitment to putting performance at the core of the EU budget and a challenge to improving each step of the budgetary process – preparation, negotiation, implementation, monitoring and reporting – while engaging stakeholders in a meaningful dialogue on these issues.

The BFOR strategy did not start from scratch. It was based on the solid foundations of the EU Budget performance framework introduced with the MFF 2014-2020, building on the administrative performance framework inside the Commission (strategic planning and programming (SPP) cycle).

The BFOR is aimed to generate continuous improvement of the performance framework for the EU Budget: we produce information on the qualitative aspects of EU budget implementation; we aliment a frank and continuous discussion with actors involved in the EU Budget with EU citizens; we promote a performance-centric culture.

The BFOR initiative is all-inclusive, addressing all aspects related to the EU Budget: political, inter-institutional, regulatory, and technical.

Activities are centred on four pillars:

Where does the money go?

EU Budget value added

We must make sure that each Euro invested from the EU Budget must add value and have a positive impact on people's daily lives.

The ultimate goal of the European Commission is to invest the funds available in a result-oriented manner so that they make a notable positive impact on the ground.

The EU Budget must be aligned with European priorities and at the same time must be apt to efficiently tackle new challenges continually.

How do we spend it?

An EU Budget fit for purpose

We must make sure that each Euro spent from EU money maximises the use of EU funds. Simple, accessible funding continues is a core objective.

Simplification of the rules helps channel productive energy into the success of projects and programmes. Financial instruments and investment funds such as the European Fund for Strategic Investments attract additional funding from other public and private sources, ensure higher financial leverage from EU money, and thus more accessible funding.

How do we assess performance?

Rebalancing compliance and performance

We must ensure better results by rigorous application of our control framework and performance-based budgeting.

The European Union needs to change its spending culture. Prompted by economic prosperity only a decade ago, the main concern of budget stakeholders was to absorb European funds according to the rules.

Today, national budgets face unprecedednted fiscal pressures. This has highlighted the importance of the EU Budget as an investment instrument that can deliver tangible results on the ground. European innovation projects, cross-border infrastructure, and employment programmes for graduates are just a few examples.

For success, the EU Budget should focus on results as much as on absorption, rebalancing spending compliance with performance.

How do we communicate?

Transparency and accountability

The EU needs to increase the transparency and accountability in its spending not only for legal reasons, but also in order to strengthen the trust of European citizens in European institutions.

European citizens contributing to the EU Budget have the right to know what the EU Budget's results are. At the same time the European Commission must take over responsibility for the funds spend through a systematic scrutiny of all aspects of EU expenses and results.