The assessment of common asylum and migration policy problematic in the Czech Republic as well as in the rest of the EU

PRESS RELEASE on Audit No. 15/24 – May 9, 2016

The Supreme Audit Office (SAO) scrutinized national as well as EU funds, which were utilised for implementation of the common asylum and migration policy. Auditors aimed at projects that target the improvements of conditions for the migrants’ registration, the integration of immigrants from non-EU countries, returns of migrants to their countries of origin, and the control of the EU’s external border. In the Czech Republic, these projects were included in the General Programme Solidarity and the Management of Migration Flows, which was administered in the period 2007–2013 by the Ministry of the Interior. Within the frame of the said Program, funds exceeding CZK 727 million were utilised from 2011 to 2015. Auditors selected 49 sub-projects with the total expenses exceeding CZK 90 million and scrutinized whether the projects’ objectives had been achieved and whether the funds had been utilised in compliance with the conditions laid down by the EU. At the Ministry of the Interior, auditors scrutinized the selection of projects and the system of supervision. Auditors concluded that in spite objectives had been mostly achieved, the impact assessment system did not allow to calculate the number of individuals who enjoyed the benefits of the common asylum and migration policy.

The evaluation of programmes, which were included into the asylum and migration policy, was considered unreliable by the auditors because it was impossible to retroactively check the numbers of clients with individual projects. The Ministry of the Interior did not require from the beneficiaries to make evidence of their clients’ birth dates, which is used to monitor foreigners’ residence in the Czech Republic. As a result, the evaluation system refers to the intensity of these services’ usage but not about particular individuals, who used them.

Funds allocated to the programmes aiming at better conditions for asylums and foreigners’ integration in the Czech Republic amounted to CZK 288.6 million. The Ministry only estimated numbers of individual asylums who applied for and benefitted from the programmes as the European Commission had not required these data until the programming period began. According to the Ministry’s estimate, there were more than 74,000 individuals who benefitted from the programmes in the period from 2011 to 2015.

The asylum and migration policy’s goals were mostly achieved, with the exception of measures aiming at assisted voluntary returns. Out of the allocated amounts, only 29 % were implemented in the end due to weaknesses in the Czech legal framework and due to the fact that non-profit organisations lacked interest in such activities.

Auditors scrutinized 49 projects, which were implemented by ten beneficiaries. All the projects’ objectives were achieved. With some of the projects, auditors found ineligible expenditures and the total budgetary discipline’s violation amounted to CZK 639,000. The ineligible expenditures included for instance costs of rented premises, which were unnecessary for the projects’ implementation.

A recent audit carried out by the European Court of Auditors (ECA) found the communication between the Commission and individual EU member states rather problematic. The ECA audit aimed at external dimensions of the immigration from Algeria, Georgia, Libya, Moldavia, Morocco, and Ukraine to the EU. The audit report concluded that it was impossible to quantify the outcomes of individual measurements that had been implemented within the frame of the external immigration dimensions. The ECA stated that among main reasons were too complex goals together with a complicated administration of the field. There are difficulties in communication among individual subjects in the EU as well as between the Commission and EU member states. The ECA pointed out that the EU generally fails to achieve objectives in the field of assisted voluntary returns to the countries of origin. – The same could be said about the situation in the Czech Republic.

Communication Department
Supreme Audit Office

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