During 2021, the citizens of the European Union and its Member States will continue their fight against the consequences of the global
In these difficult times, the European Union is providing financial assistance at an unprecedented scale. Apart from the traditional budgetary resources agreed as part of the
2021-2027 Multi-annual Financial framework (MFF), the EU has decided to launch the
‘Next Generation European Union’ (NGEU) initiative, a recovery package of supplementary funds based on debt securities.
Our role as the
European Union's independent external auditor is to check that EU funds are raised and spent in accordance with the relevant rules and regulations, properly accounted for and used efficiently and effectively in the interest of EU citizens. This also applies to the new EU measures taken to protect citizens from the adverse effects of the pandemic. In 2021, one in four audit task to be started will be dealing with the EU’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the implementation of the NGEU initiative.
The 2021+ work programme also marks the beginning of implementing our new
2021-2025 ECA Strategy, which I warmly invite you to consult.
In the coming five years, we intend to focus on three strategic goals:
Improving accountability, transparency and audit arrangements across all types of EU action;
Targeting our audits on the areas and topics where we can add most value, in particular in four strategic areas of EU policies and programmes:
o The Union’s economic competitiveness,
o The resilience to threats to the Union’s security, and respect for the European values of freedom, democracy and the rule of law,
o The climate change, the environment and natural resources and
o The fiscal policies and public finances in the Union.
Providing strong audit assurance in a challenging and changing environment.
You will find below a list of 73 special reports and reviews we intend to publish in 2021 and 2022, structured under the four strategic areas outlined above.
We have adopted our 2021+ work programme while the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect nearly every aspect of our life and work. I would like to assure you that we understand the pressure under which the EU institutions, the national, regional and local administrations in the Member States and beneficiaries of EU aid operate nowadays. Therefore, we will continue to make every effort to limit the administrative burden of our audit work on our auditees. At the same time, the impact of the pandemic on our own operations means that we will need to carry out our work programme cautiously and flexibly.
Despite these challenges, EU citizens, and our institutional stakeholders and partners at both EU and Member-State level, can continue counting on us also in 2021 to provide them with independent, objective reports on key issues for the future of the EU, highlighting what works well and drawing attention to what does not.