20 octobre 2021 Pierre Perrin-Monlouis
Danuta Hübner, Commissioner for Regional Policy, and, Mr Fernando Teixeira dos Santos, Portuguese Minister of Finance, today sign a Contract of Confidence which guarantees the quality of the Portuguese authorities’ audit work on Structural Fund programmes for 2000-2006. The signing will take place in the margins of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council in Brussels.
“I appreciate the Portuguese government’s commitment to the process leading to this signature. By signing such a contract, the Commission is expressing its trust in the Portuguese authorities’ audit work. This will reduce the Commission’s own audit work, avoiding duplication of resources,” the Commissioner said ahead of the signing.
This Contract of Confidence guarantees the work carried out by the Portuguese audit authority, the Inspecção-Geral de Finanças, on the control of expenditure declared to the Commission on programmes co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Cohesion Fund (CF) during the programming period 2000-2006.
Notes for editors
The signature is the conclusion of a process that started in May 2005, when the Portuguese audit authority agreed a set of actions with the Commission services to remedy some weaknesses detected in the Portuguese control system. As a result of the successful implementation of these actions, the Commission has been able to conclude that the Portuguese programmes are in general managed in a sound and reliable way.
The Commission has already signed similar contracts with Austria, Wales and Denmark. In February, signings are scheduled with Estonia and Slovenia, followed by further signings later this year. This approach is in line with the Communication on contracts of confidence (SEC(2004)632/2) adopted by the Commission on 18 May 2004.
Simplifying management: The general idea is to simplify the management of Cohesion policy by enabling the Commission to rely on audits done at national level, thereby reducing the need for auditing by the Commission, which can then concentrate on a strategic approach.
EU investment for Portugal: For 2000-2006, Portugal received investment worth € 20.5 billion from the ERDF, and € 3.3 billion from the Cohesion fund. For 2007-2013, Portugal will benefit from EU investment worth € 21.5 billion in the framework of Cohesion policy.
Further information about European Regional Policy available at: http://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/index_en.htm