European Court of Auditors Special Report 15/2022: Measures to widen participation in Horizon 2020 were well designed but sustainable change will mostly depend on efforts by national authorities

To tackle the innovation divide, Horizon 2020 introduced specific widening measures to support Member States lagging behind in research and innovation. We assessed whether these measures were fit for purpose.

We conclude that the widening measures were well-designed to address the limited participation of widening countries in R&I framework programmes, but sustainable change requires efforts at national level. The ability of the Policy Support Facility to induce these changes was limited.

The participation in the widening measures was uneven and the funded projects, whilst starting to show promising results, face challenges in terms of complementary funding and sustainability.

We recommend that the Commission strengthen the use of the Policy Support Facility, aim for a more balanced participation in widening measures, facilitate the availability of complementary funding, enhance their capacity to exploit project results and improve monitoring.

ECA special report pursuant to Article 287(4), second subparagraph, TFEU.

Document type
  • Report


Publication Year


The ECA’s special reports set out the results of its audits of EU policies and programmes, or of management-related topics from specific budgetary areas. The ECA selects and designs these audit tasks to be of maximum impact by considering the risks to performance or compliance, the level of income or spending involved, forthcoming developments and political and public interest. This performance audit was carried out by Audit Chamber IV Regulation of markets and competitive economy, headed by ECA Member Mihails Kozlovs. The audit was led by ECA Member Ivana Maletić, supported by Sandra Diering, Head of Private Office and Tea Japunčić, Private Office Attaché; Marion Colonerus, Principal Manager; Juan Antonio Vazquez Rivera, Head of Task; Marco Montorio and Katja Mravlak, Auditors. Thomas Everett provided linguistic support.
Geographical focus
  • H2020
  • Horizon Europe
Scientifc field / Thematic focus
  • General

Entry created by Admin on July 26, 2022
Modified on November 25, 2022