The European Court of Auditors (ECA) is the independent audit institution of the European Union. We are based in Luxembourg and employ around 900 professional and support staff of all EU nationalities. Since our creation in 1977 we have focused attention on the importance of EU financial management and contributed to its improvement.
The ECA’s audit reports and opinions are an essential element of the EU accountability chain. Our output is used to hold to account — notably within the annual discharge procedure — those responsible for managing the EU budget. This is mainly the Commission, but also concerns the other EU institutions and bodies. Member States also play a major role in shared management.
Our principal tasks are:
- financial and compliance audits, principally in the form of the statement of assurance;
- performance audits of topics selected to maximise the impact of our work; and
- opinions on regulations related to budgetary management and other issues of importance.
We aim to manage our resources in a way that ensures an appropriate balance between our various activities, helping achieve robust results and a good coverage across the different areas of the EU budget.
- annual reports on the EU budget and European Development Funds. The annual reports mainly comprise the statement of assurance opinions and results, and are published each year in November;
- specific annual reports setting out the ECA’s financial audit opinions on each of the EU’s various agencies and bodies. 51 published in 2014;
- special reports on selected audit topics, published throughout the year. They are mainly performance audits. 24 published in 2014;
- opinions and other outputs used by the European Parliament and the Council when approving EU laws and other decisions with significant financial management implications. 14 published in 2014;
- landscape reviews on selected areas of EU policy analysing broader challenges and long-term trends. Two published in 2014;
- annual activity report providing information and insight on our activities for the year.
Our work contributes to raising awareness and increasing transparency about EU financial management, providing assurance on the state of that management and making recommendations for further improvement. We do so in the interests of the citizens of the European Union.
Information on our audits of the European Union agencies and other decentralised bodies can be found in the respective 2014 specific annual reports available on our website.