The report produced jointly by Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Latvia and Slovakia under the cooperative audit on the implementation of measures taken to lift people living below the poverty line found that these five countries approached the challenges in tackling poverty with different results. The joint report is published by the five audit offices on their websites, including the State Audit Office of the Republic of Latvia website.
As independent audit bodies, supreme audit institutions are responsible for making sure that society and all stakeholders get information on the success of government policies. With the accession to the EU, each country agreed to implement common European policies, the successful implementation of which directly depends on the contributions of Member States. The wider basis of comparison among approaches used in individual countries offers valuable information on their practical application, makes it possible to share good practices and facilitates the presentation of emerging challenges.
The international cooperative audit found that the implementation of national strategies and the coordination and cooperation among the impacted institutions achieved different results in the participating five countries:
- Strategies have basically been developed in all countries, nonetheless implementation was not successful in three of the five countries.
- In three countries, the number of people exposed to poverty decreased more than set in the objective.
- Deficiencies were found in the area of cooperation and coordination among the impacted institutions in two countries, and in the monitoring and evaluating activities - in three countries.
The achievement of the strategic objectives was different in each country in terms of effectiveness. The reasons in some cases were the incorrect definition of objectives, and the deficiencies in the monitoring and evaluating systems and in the development of multi-level strategic documents. In some cases, strategies were implemented efficiently, as the objectives set in the strategic documents for 2020 were achieved before the deadline. Findings indicate that the proportion of people exposed to poverty or social exclusion decreased and shifted from one vulnerable group to another.
Increase of poverty alleviation activities and growing employment contributed to the efficiency of measures taken to alleviate poverty. The further alleviation of poverty may be achieved via measures and aids aimed at preserving jobs and the reduction in the burdens of employers.
The joint and cooperative international audit of the implementation of measures to alleviate people living under the poverty line was initiated in the framework of the Europe 2020 Strategy Audit Network. The audit offices of Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Latvia and Slovakia responded to the initiative and carried out independent audits in parallel on the given subject.