The Commission welcomed the conclusions of the report, but also acknowledged there is no room for complacency.
Algirdas Šemeta, Commissioner for Taxation, Customs, Anti-Fraud and Audit, said: "In the current economic climate, citizens need particular reassurance that EU funds are being efficiently managed and effectively spent. This is a top priority for the Commission. We can be pleased with the improvements in EU financial management, which are recognised today by the Court of Auditors. But there is always more that can be done, and the Commission will continue its intense efforts to ensure that EU funds are properly accounted for and well spent."
In addition to rigorous management procedures, the European Commission is stepping up efforts on two initiatives – simplification and transparency of payments. A new proposal setting up simpler procedures for EU grants and contracts has been tabled this year and is now with the European Parliament.
The transparency of payments is another way to improve the quality of EU spending. The Commission's own online database is accessible here.
It now provides details of more than 114,000 grants and contracts awarded directly by the European Commission, as well as links to national sites with details of beneficiaries of farm subsidies and regional aid grants.
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