The European Court of Auditors mission is to contribute to improving EU financial management, promote accountability and transparency, and act as the independent guardian of the financial interests of the citizens of the Union. The ECA’s role as the EU’s independent external auditor is to check that EU funds are correctly accounted for, are raised and spent in accordance with the relevant rules and regulations and have achieved value for money.
The EU's independent external auditor
As the EU's independent external auditor, the ECA contributes to improving EU financial management, promotes accountability and transparency, and acts as the independent guardian of the financial interests of the citizens of the Union.
The ECA checks if the budget of the European Union has been implemented correctly, and that EU funds have been raised and spent legally and in accordance with the principles of sound financial management. As Europe faces ever greater challenges and increasing pressure on its public finances, the ECA’s role increases in importance.
The ECA – an EU institution
The ECA is the EU institution for auditing the EU’s finances. It was established in 1977 and became a fully-fledged EU institution in 1993. The ECA is committed to being an efficient organisation at the forefront of developments in public audit and administration.
In democratic societies, complete, accurate and readily available information on budgetary and policy implementation is essential for effective scrutiny and decision-making. Such information helps promote sound financial management and serves as a basis for accountability. Like Member States, the EU needs an external auditor which can act as an independent guardian of the financial interests of its citizens.
The EU’s “financial watchdog”
As Europe faces ever greater challenges and increasing pressure on its public finances, the role of the European Court of Auditors is of increasing importance. The ECA warns of risks, provides assurance and offers guidance to EU policymakers on how to improve the management of public finances and ensure that Europe’s citizens know how their money is being spent. This is the essence of the ECA’s contribution to strengthening the democratic legitimacy and sustainability of the European Union.