Over decades, the piecemeal approach taken to set up the EU’s financial landscape has resulted in a patchwork construction that is overly complex and not fully publicly accountable, according to a new report by the European Court of Auditors (ECA). Its centrepiece is the EU budget, but it includes a growing number of off-budget and hybrid instruments. The number of these newly created instruments has multiplied over the last 15 years, and the auditors recommend that further efforts be made to consolidate them.
“The EU’s current financial landscape has been described by the European Parliament as a galaxy of funds and instruments surrounding the EU budget,” said François-Roger Cazala, the ECA member who led the audit. “While there have been reasons for their creation, we believe that further simplification and accountability are necessary to improve efficiency and transparency”.