The European Court of Auditors (ECA) has signed off the 2018 accounts of all 41 EU agencies as reliable and confirmed the positive results reported in previous years. In this year’s annual report, published today, the auditors also gave all agencies a clean bill of health as regards their income and spending – except for the European Asylum Support Office (EASO), due to continuing issues affecting its payments. However, agencies should further improve financial management in different respects, and especially the way they conduct public procurement, to fully comply with the rules and ensure best value for money.
EU agencies carry out specific technical, scientific or managerial tasks that help the EU institutions design and implement policies in areas such as health, safety, security, freedom and justice. They are located in different Member States and employ some 11 400 people – a fifth of all EU staff. Their total 2018 budget amounted to €4.2 billion (a 20% increase on 2017), which is equivalent to about 2.9% of the total EU general budget.
“European agencies are a vital piece of EU architecture and our audit is an annual health check of their financial management,” said Rimantas Šadžius, the ECA Member responsible for the report. “For 2018, we are giving all agencies except one a clean bill of health. In most agencies, however, improvements are still needed and we call for action to address weaknesses in financial management, mainly in the area of public procurement.”