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Overall error rate for EU spending below 4% for third year in a row: Court of Auditors' annual report

The overwhelming majority of payments made from the EU budget last year were free from quantifiable error. In its annual report, the Court of Auditors confirmed that, in 2011, the overall quantified error rate for EU spending remained stable, at below 4%. With regard to the EU's account keeping, it has been given a clean bill of health by the Court of Auditors for the fifth year in a row.

"Over the past few years, the Commission has delivered on its promise to ensure high quality management and control of EU funds. Our work is by no means finished, but now it is time for our partners to step up their game too," said Algirdas Šemeta, Commissioner for Taxation, Customs, Audit and Anti-fraud. "Member States can do this through two simple steps. First, they can endorse the simpler rules proposed by the Commission for the new programming period. Simpler rules are easier to respect and easier to control, and could help to drastically reduce the number of mistakes in EU spending. Secondly, I repeat my call for Member States to take their responsibilities more seriously when it comes to their role in protecting EU taxpayers' money. A little more effort by Member States to control projects properly and retrieve misused funds could go a long way, particularly in this time of economic difficulty."

More information

Press release

Annual report of the European Court of Auditors: Frequently Asked Questions (PDF, EN)

Annual Report on the implementation of the budget (PDF, EN)

Annual Report information note (PDF, EN)

Statement by Commissioner Šemeta on European Court of Auditors annual report