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EU audit: 20th anniversary must act as a wakeup call for the commission

5 November 2014

EU audit: 20th anniversary must act as a wakeup call for the commission

This morning the European Court of Auditors delivered its verdict on the EU’s accounts for 2013, once again refusing to give them an unqualified statement of assurance. European Conservatives and Reformists Group Budgetary Control Coordinator Ryszard Czarnecki says this matter continues to erode public trust in the EU, and has called on the new European Commission to get a grip.

This morning the European Court of Auditors delivered its verdict on the EU’s accounts for 2013, once again refusing to give them an unqualified statement of assurance. European Conservatives and Reformists Group Budgetary Control Coordinator Ryszard Czarnecki says this matter continues to erode public trust in the EU, and has called on the new European Commission to get a grip.

Today’s report marks 20 years where the auditors have warned that sections of the budget are materially affected by error, with an error rate of 4.7 Percent.

The major failing once again comes because the vast majority of the EU budget is spent by national agencies and departments meaning that the auditors are unable to account for it. Systems of national self-certification have been put in place in some EU countries, but blanket coverage is needed for the auditors to not qualify their assessment with these caveats.

Speaking today, Mr Czarnecki said:

“European Governments are largely to blame for these failures, but the Commission is responsible for the budget and needs to get a grip. President Juncker has said he wants the commission to be more political. He must realise that whatever excuses the commission makes for this annual failure, people are frustrated that the auditors have not been able to give the accounts a clean bill of health for 20 years.

“This matter needs a serious effort from the new commission, and especially Commissioner Georgieva. The parliament has on several occasions endorsed ECR proposals for a dedicated Budgetary Control Commissioner who is mandated with tackling this one serious issue. It is unfortunate that President Juncker did not heed this call.

“Restoring faith in the execution of the budget should be a major priority of the new commission.”

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