Court of Auditors Special report No 28/2018: The majority of simplification measures brought into Horizon 2020 have made life easier for beneficiaries, but opportunities to improve still exist

1. This is a report by the European Court of Auditors (ECA), which examines the effectiveness of simplification measures that have been brought in to Horizon 2020 and goes on to recommend further areas for improvement.

2. The ECA is an independent institution of the European Union (EU) that predominantly audits finances, but also provides reports for EU policy makers and citizens in particular areas of European policy.

3. The Research and Innovation Framework Programmes function as the EU’s main support mechanism for research and innovation. Horizon 2020 is the current Framework Programme.

4. The Framework Programmes have been criticised for their complexity and the administrative burden that participants have had to contend with. The ECA carried out a survey of beneficiaries of Horizon 2020 grants. The survey asked beneficiaries to provide their perceptions of the impact of the simplification measures on reducing the administrative burden of participation.

Topic  EU Audits 
Department  DBEIS 
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Associated file(s)


  1. ECA Report - 3 MB - pdf
  2. EM on ECA report - 107 KB - pdf

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