From 2000-2006 Denmark missed out on 1.2 billion kroner worth of EU grant funds due to the Danish authorities taking too long to process applications, according to the government auditors, Statsrevisorerne.
Statsrevisorerne described the authorities' work as being “not quite satisfactory” in a 21-page report (here in Danish) documenting the results of its investigation into the issue.
“Denmark has not fully utilised the financial framework for grants from EU funds,” Statsrevisorerne wrote in its report.
“Denmark has missed out on EU grants – and thus opportunities for growth, employment support and environmental improvements.”
Well below EU average
The report shows that Denmark failed to utilise 11.5 percent of its EU grant capacity, compared to the just 1.6 percent not used by the rest of EU15, the members of the EU prior to the accession of ten candidate countries in 2004.
It is the business authorities, Erhvervsstyrelsen, and the nature authorities, Naturerhvervstyrelsen, that are charged with ensuring that the EU grants are fully taken advantage of.
Statsrevisorerne wrote in its report that one reason for the problem is delays in the authorities’ implementation of the programs, while another reason was that Denmark must also contribute part of the funding when obtaining EU grants, so politicians have not prioritised them.
It looks better from 2007-2013, but Denmark was still under the EU average of two out of four EU funds and Statsrevisorerne has listed a number of recommendations so Denmark can avoid not fully utilising EU grant funds in the period 2014-2020.