An Introduction to the European Court of Auditors

Pages: 4 (1201 words) Published: November 1, 2009
The European Court of Auditors

The European Court of Auditors is the fifth institution of the European Union (EU). It was established in 1975 in Luxembourg to audit the accounts of EU institutions. This report will cover 3 aspects which are history, organization and president. Then it will give some criticism about the declaration of assurance and the size of the court.

The Court of Auditors was created by the 1975 Budgetary Treaty and was formerly established on 1977-10-18. At that time the Court was not a formal institution and it did not have a defined legal status until the Treaty of Maastricht when it was made the fifth institution, the first new institution since the founding of the Community. By becoming an institution it gained some new powers, such as the ability to bring actions before the European Court of Justice. However its audit power related only to the European Community pillar of the EU, but under the Treaty of Amsterdam it gained the full power to audit finances of the whole of the EU. Despite its name, the Court has no judicial functions. It is rather a professional external investigatory audit agency. The primary role of the court is to externally check if the budget of the European Union has been implemented correctly, in that EU funds have been spent legally and with sound management. In doing so, the court checks the paperwork of all persons handling any income or expenditure of the Union and carries out spot checks. The court is bound to report any problems in the Court's reports for the attention of other states and institutions, these reports include its general annual report as well as specific and special reports on certain bodies and issues. The Court's decision is the basis for the European Commission decisions, for example: when the Court found problems in the management of EU funds in the regions of England, the Commission suspended funds to those regions and prepared to fine those who did not come...

Bibliography: European navigator,, Composition of the European Court of Auditors
European Union Institutions and other bodies,, The European court of Auditors
european navigator,, European Court of Auditors
BBC,, EU may force region to repay cash
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