European Court of Auditors

Supervising revenues and expenses

The Court of Auditors audits the finances of the European Union (EU) – all revenue and expenses. Its task is to look into all accounting records of all EU institutions, Member States and other subjects which may be the recipients of financial funds from the EU. All financial operations must take place in compliance with European law. The Court of Auditors does not have any executive powers. If it finds that any of the above-mentioned subjects have managed EU finances contrary to the law, it will inform the competent institutions of this fact.
Each year the Court issues the annual report for review by the other institutions. In this report it evaluates in detail the results of the audit of revenues and expenses which could be the basis for action against those bodies which have failed to manage the funds entrusted to them in accordance with the applicable regulation. The Court of Auditors is obliged to answer any queries tabled by other institutions that they may have in relation to the Annual Report.

Independence and supranational character of the Court

The European Court of Auditors was established in 1977, when the EU created its own sources of revenue for its budget. However, it joined the ranks of the European Union institutionalised bodies only at the time of the adoption of the Treaty on the European Union (1992), which revised the primary legislation of the EU (which includes all international Treaties concluded by and between the Member States). The European Court of Auditors is independent of any other bodies of the EU. Its competences and actions strengthen the supranational character of European integration. The Court has its seat in Luxembourg.
The Court of Auditors has 27 members. It is headed by its President – since 2008 this function is held by Vítor Manuel da Silvia Caldeira. The members of the Court – called Auditors – are appointed by the Council of the EU (after consultation with the European Parliament) for a term of six years. The Auditors must be qualified for their function and entirely independent. They are barred from taking up other employment during their term of office.

Last update: 16.8.2011 16:02

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