Setting up EU funds for the integration of migrants is a good idea, but they have to be accessible. According to a report, published on 11 December by the EU Court of Auditors (ECA), the implementation of such funds is hampered by bureaucracy and a lack of coordination with other EU funds.
The European Commission and the member states jointly run the European Integration Fund (623 million for 2008-2013) and the European Refugee Fund (830 million for 2007-2013). However, audits of 22 projects completed in Germany, the Czech Republic, Portugal, the United Kingdom and Luxembourg show that "it was not possible for the Commission or member states to assess the contribution" of these funds to integration because the states audited had failed to set proper targets or indicators for their annual programmes.
As a result, the report on the findings, submitted by the Commission in December 2011 after a year-long delay, "did not provide enough information for the funds to be evaluated or steered," concludes the ECA. There were positive results on individual projects but this does not necessarily represent success at a broader level, it adds. Only 66% of the funds were spent in 2007, followed by 77% in 2008.
Migrants' satisfaction and completion of language or civics courses could serve as good indicators of results, suggests the court.
In its responses attached to the report, the Commission...