Statement on the European Parliament's vote on the 2008 Budget Discharge
Today, 5 May 2010, European Parliament granted discharge to the Commission for the management of the 2008 budget. The statement of Commissioner Algirdas Šemeta on the European Parliament's vote on the 2008 Budget Discharge.
"I am very pleased that the European Parliament today granted discharge to the Commission for the management of the 2008 budget. On behalf of the Commission, I would like to thank the Parliament for recognising and encouraging the Commission's sustained efforts towards better financial management of the EU budget.
The Court of Auditor's Statement on the 2008 budget was the best ever, reflecting the progress that has been made in the management and control of EU finances in recent years. But there is still a lot more work to be done, and I fully share the European Parliament's wish to see the error rates reduced even further. In this time of economic crisis, it is more important than ever to demonstrate that EU tax-payers' money is accounted for and well spent, and that EU financial support is there for those who really need it.
As Commissioner responsible for budget discharge, one of my top ambitions is to obtain an unqualified statement of assurance from the Court of Auditors during this legislature. In fact, this is a priority for the whole Commission. This is no small ambition, however, and the Commission can not reach this goal alone. It will require commitment from all stakeholders, not least the Member States, who are responsible for implementing almost 80% of the EU budget and whose accountability and responsibility in this respect is reinforced under the Lisbon Treaty. However, I am confident that there is a strong will amongst all actors to meet this goal, and this will drive us forward. I look forward to working closely with the European Parliament, the national authorities, the Court of Auditors and other stakeholders to ensure better financial management and quality of spending in the years ahead, for the benefit of each and every EU citizen."
For the speech of the Commissioner Algirdas Šemeta in the European Parliament click here.