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Effectiveness of EC's management of General Budget Support in ACP states

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Monday, 21 February 2011

Effectiveness of EC's management of General Budget Support in ACP states

Budget support is the European Commission’s preferred aid modality. Almost 50 per cent - or about €11 billion during the period 2008-2013 - of the 10th European Development Fund is planned to be disbursed in this manner. In practical terms budget support entails the transfer of large amounts of funds directly to the state budgets of selected partner countries. The delivery of aid through budget support has several potential advantages over the traditional project approach. Larger volumes of aid can be supplied in a more predictable manner. Since the funds support the national development strategies of partner countries, the latter tends to have more ownership. Moreover, this form of aid can be used to encourage improvement of public financial management and help increase accountability. Budget support can also facilitate and strengthen policy dialogue with recipient countries as well as improve coordination between donors. The European Court of Auditors has analysed whether the Commission’s management of general budget support in African, Latin American and Asian countries is effective. The overall conclusion is that the Commission has made considerable efforts to develop and improve its approach to budget support. However, there are still weaknesses in how it sets up and manages its programmes.

Source: European Court of Auditors