The European Commission welcomes the European Court of Auditors' annual report on the management of the EU budget presented on 5 November 2014.
The report states that in 2013 the overall error rate for expenditure of all policy areas was 4.7%, compared to 4.8% in 2012. The findings of the Court are particularly significant with 2013 being the last year of the 2007-2013 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), with the volume of payments and the relevant reporting requirements substantially higher. With regard to the EU's account keeping, this is the seventh year in a row that the Commission has been given a clean bill of health by the Court of Auditors.
The report also highlights important management and control shortcomings at the level of Member States, who have the primary responsibility for the management of 80% of the EU budget. The Commission has actively supported national authorities in improving their management and control system. If nevertheless errors occur, the Commission has the duty to protect the EU budget by using corrective measures. Over the last 5 years (2009-2013), the average amount of financial corrections and recoveries was EUR 2.9 billion per year (on average, 2.2% of all payments).
New provisions have been put in place to further reduce the risk of errors under the current MFF 2014-2020. The corrective measures are tougher, the indicators for performance are improved, and the rules for beneficiaries are simpler. The result should be an even better delivery of the EU budget for its citizens.
Speech before the European Parliament Committee on Budgetary Control by Vice-President Kristalina Georgieva, EU Commissioner for Budget
Protection of the EU budget to end 2013 (PDF, EN)
2013 EU audit in brief: Introducing the 2013 annual reports of the European Court of Auditors (PDF, 1 MB, available in 23 languages)
Annual Report concerning the financial year 2013 [PDF, 5 MB, EN]