European Court of Auditors signs off the EU accounts for 9th year in a row

The European Court of Auditors gave the EU annual accounts a clean bill of health for the 9th year in a row. The Court found that, in particular in cohesion policy and agriculture, the overall estimated level of error for payments has further declined from 4.4% in 2014 to 3.8% in 2015. No errors were found in the examined revenue transactions. Member States manage 80% of the EU budget, and the Commission has developed incentives to encourage each Member State to further improve its management and control systems. The Commission is assisting Member States in this endeavour by sharing good practices, providing guidance and organising training for the national authorities that spend EU funds on the ground. Also, in 2015 the Commission launched the ‘EU budget focussed on results’ initiative to ensure that EU resources are put to good use for the benefit of citizens and that EU-funded projects demonstrate clear benefits and value for money. In the cases where the Commission finds that EU funds were spent incorrectly, it takes measures to claw the money back – the average being roughly €3 billion every year. For the financial year 2015, the Commission estimates that future claw-back measures could bring the remaining amount at risk to a level between 0.8% and 1.3% of payments. A complete press release is available in all EU official languages online, also in DE and FR, and answers on frequently asked questions on the annual report of the European Court of Auditors are available here.