On Monday 23 May, the European Court of Auditors (ECA) will publish a special report on the use of blacklisting by the European Commission and Member States in order to protect the EU budget from untrustworthy recipients.
FOR THE PRESS
The report and press release will be published on the ECA website eca.europa.eu at 5.00 p.m. CET on Monday 23 May 2022. The ECA member responsible for the report is Helga Berger.
For interviews, statements and media queries, please contact the ECA press office at firstname.lastname@example.org. Ms Berger and the audit team will be available for interviews upon request, including in advance of the publication.
ABOUT THE TOPIC
Blacklisting – or exclusion – is a key tool used by governments and international organisations to prevent public funds from going to untrustworthy contractors and counterparties such as fraudsters or those involved in other illegal acts. Since 2016, the Commission has operated such a system called EDES (early detection and exclusion system).
The EDES is the only exclusion system at EU level. However, it only applies to funds that are directly and indirectly managed by the Commission, and not to the bulk of EU funds managed jointly with the Member States in the agricultural and cohesion sectors, which account for around 75% of all EU spending.
ABOUT THE AUDIT
The auditors assessed whether blacklisting is used effectively to protect EU funds from untrustworthy individuals, businesses or public organisations. The auditors focused primarily on assessing whether the EDES system has been operating effectively in direct and indirect management. As regards shared management, the auditors selected four Member States – Estonia, Italy, Poland and Portugal – to review their arrangements and to identify good practices.
The audit covered issues of protection of financial interests and opportunities arising from the use of digital solutions. The report also needs to be seen also in the context of the upcoming amendment of EU financial rules (“the Financial Regulation").
The ECA’s special reports set out the results of its audits of EU policies and programmes or management topics related to specific budgetary areas. The ECA selects and designs its audit tasks to be of maximum impact by considering the risks to performance or compliance, the level of income or spending involved, forthcoming developments and political and public interest.