Our 2015 activity report covers a year in which the European Union once again faced major challenges and saw significant developments in its governance, policies and financial management, including the establishment of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) and the Single Resolution Mechanism for banks in the euro area. These and other developments resulted in new audit responsibilities for our institution. In 2015, we continued to audit the activities of the EU institutions and other bodies, as well as all EU funds received by the Member States, non-EU countries, international organisations and other parties.
In line with our treaty obligations, we produced annual reports on the EU budget and the European Development Funds (EDFs), as well as specific annual reports on the accounts of over 50 EU agencies and other bodies. We also produced 25 special reports on a range of topics, the results of which you will find summarised in this document. We highlight two of them: one is on the emissions trading scheme, which illustrates how our work goes beyond purely financial issues; the other — in a new series of special reports on financial and economic governance — is on financial assistance to countries in difficulties. In addition, we issued eight opinions during the year on new or revised EU legislation with significant financial impact, including an opinion on the regulation establishing the EFSI.
For our work to make a difference, it is also essential that we communicate the insights we gain to our stakeholders at EU and national level. During the year we further enhanced our cooperation with the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union — our key partners in ensuring EU accountability. We presented the results of our audits to an increasing number of their specialised committees and took their concerns into account when planning our future audit work. Moreover, our Members undertook high-level visits to Member States in order to strengthen partnerships with national authorities, parliaments and audit institutions. In 2015, we organised two notable conferences: one in Brussels on EU energy security; and the other in Luxembourg on the future of development aid in the context of the adoption of the new UN sustainable development goals.
We also prepared a significant internal reform to make our institution better able to respond to a constantly evolving European Union. This report highlights some of the important changes we have made in how we manage our relations with stakeholders, our audits and our resources. It also sets out key information about our staff management, finances and performance over the past year, as well as the results of our internal and external audits during the year and the most recent annual discharge procedure.
The work we carried out in 2015 was designed to help us fulfil our mission to improve the financial management of the EU, promote accountability and transparency, and protect the financial interests of EU citizens.
ECA 2015 activity report - interactive online version: