Levy, Roger (1999) Myth and Reality in EU Programme Management. EIPASCOPE, 1999 (1). pp. 1-5.
[From the Introduction]. Critiques and attempted reforms of EU programme management are based on the unremarkable assumption that there is something wrong and it needs to be put right. Writing in 1992, Sutherland speculated on whether the EC’s increased legal competences were matched by its managerial capacities, and concluded that "given the pace of recent changes there is an a priori case for suggesting that the EC has a management deficit". Its substance was a shortage of relevant management skills in the Commission and in the coordinating mechanisms beyond. The lack of management capability has also been regularly documented in the annual reports of the European Court of Auditors (ECA), which have been highly critical of the Commission’s own financial management and its seeming inability to make much impression on poor management in the Member States. Others have pointed to a loss of capability, directly attributable to the adverse impact of subsidiarity on the Commission’s powers which has leached away at the direct implementation and control functions of the Commission in favour of the Member States (e.g. Kok3 and ECA annual reports, 1987 and 1989). It is argued that direct beneficiaries have acquired responsibilities previously in the hands of the Commission for managing their own performance and checking whether they are spending EU receipts in accordance with the criteria laid down in the regulations.
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