Econostrum | Economic News in the Mediterranean



European Court of Auditors examines the effectiveness of funds allocated to tourism

Spain - here Valencia - is one of the four countries audited (photo: F.Dubessy)
Spain - here Valencia - is one of the four countries audited (photo: F.Dubessy)
EU. The European Court of Auditors is launching an audit on the European funds earmarked for public investment in the tourism sector from 2014 to 2020, i.e. a sum of €4 billion paid for 10 000 projects by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Cohesion Fund.

"We want to know whether the funds allocated by the EU to the sector have been used efficiently so far", explains Pietro Russo, member of the European Court of Auditors and responsible for this audit. "We will also examine the measures taken by the Commission to limit the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on tourism," he continues.

The survey will cover four Member States (Spain, Hungary, Poland and Romania). It will not only look at the financing of public projects under selected operational programmes over the period 2014-2020, but will also monitor several completed public projects financed between 2007 and 2013 to determine whether they are economically viable.

In 2019, tourism accounted for around 10% of EU Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 12% of all jobs. As a result of the pandemic more than 7 million jobs in the sector are at risk and many businesses are at risk of bankruptcy. "The EU is currently supporting tourism by combating the liquidity shortage in the sector, but also by proposing harmonised criteria and procedures to restore full and secure freedom of movement. Moreover, in seeking to determine how to increase the resilience of the EU tourism industry to economic shocks, the Commission has identified longer-term challenges in relation to the sustainability of SMEs in the sector, their digital use and their competitiveness," points out a statement from the European Court of Auditors published on Wednesday 4 November 2020.

The audit will be published in the third quarter of 2021 and will be used, among other things, to update the European Commission's new strategy for the tourism industry after Covid-19.

Frédéric Dubessy

Thursday, November 5th 2020

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