We audit the EU's finances, a crucial task for improving accountability and transparency, and thereby enhancing citizens’ trust. We examine revenue and spending in every area of the EU’s work, from growth and jobs to environmental policy and climate action.
We improve public accountability in the EU
Our work helps the other EU institutions and the Member States to better manage and supervise the use of EU funds. Our work is particularly important to the European Parliament when deciding whether the EU’s accounts for the previous year are accurate and the funds are properly spent, a process known as “granting discharge”.
We keep EU policy-makers and citizens informed
We produce relevant, authoritative audit reports which make an important contribution to how the EU uses its money and implements its policies. Our reports add value to policy development: they inform policy-makers about areas where the EU needs to do better in future. They are also clear and accessible, because we believe that European citizens should easily be able to understand what has been done with their money and whether it was spent wisely and in line with the rules.
Only the information contained in our publications is in the public domain. To protect the professional relationship between auditor and auditee, we always keep supporting documents and audit evidence confidential.
We issue audit reports and opinions in all official EU languages. On our social media we communicate in English.
We cooperate closely with other supreme audit institutions
Around 80% of the EU’s budget is managed jointly by the Commission and the Member States and the Commission implements certain funds (e.g. the Recovery and Resilience Facility) under direct management with Member States as beneficiaries. Member States cooperate with the Commission in setting up supervisory and internal control systems to ensure that EU funds are spent properly and in accordance with the rules. In addition to the work done by the ECA, many SAIs in the Member States audit the European funds that are managed and spent by their national administrations. We work closely with national audit institutions to make sure that EU spending is scrutinised equally robustly across the EU.
We help to set the standards for auditing public finances
We are committed to being at the forefront of developments in public financial management and audit. In forums like INTOSAI, we play an active role in setting auditing standards.
We make an impact with our work
Our work has a real impact on the way the EU is run. Policy-makers in the other institutions find our reports useful, and external reviewers consistently rate their quality highly. The Commission accepts and implements nearly all of our recommendations. And when we revisit an audit area after our reports have been published, we consistently find that our recommendations have had a positive impact.
We contribute to fighting fraud
Most errors we come across in our work are not intentional, and they show weaknesses in the EU’s strict budget rules. Occasionally, though, we come across something which does not add up. As the EU’s external auditor, the ECA does not have a mandate to investigate cases of suspected fraud against the EU’s financial interests.
When we suspect that we have come across illegal activity, we report it to the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF), the Commission department responsible for investigating suspected cases of fraud and corruption in depth. Anyone can report suspected cases of fraud to OLAF. If you want to bring something to OLAF’s attention,
contact OLAF by clicking here.(opens in new window)