On Thursday 22 October 2020, the European Court of Auditors (ECA) will publish its annual audit report on the European Union's 41 agencies located in different Member States. For the first time, the ECA has also looked at the future of EU agencies and how they are effectively contributing to EU's policies to the benefit of all citizens.
Each year, the ECA examines the accounts of all agencies set up by the EU, the revenue they receive and the payments they make. The report for the 2019 financial year will provide the auditors' opinion on two questions: whether the agencies' accounts are reliable and whether money has been received or paid in compliance with the rules. In addition to that, in 2019 the ECA also carried out the first overall assessment of the conditions put in place by the EU to ensure that the agencies are effectively delivering its policies to the benefit of all citizens.
The auditors will issue the results of the financial audits in one comprehensive report, but also provide specific findings and recommendations for each agency. A separate special report will look at the agencies' overall performance in serving the relevant EU policy and European cooperation. The auditors will show examples of lack of flexibility in the set-up, functioning, and possible winding-up of agencies, as well as cases of poor governance and cooperation arrangements, especially when the scope of the policy is wide and subject to change in a complex global context.
The ECA will hold a virtual press briefing – under embargo - for the accredited press on Wednesday 21 October; for details, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
EU agencies carry out specific technical, scientific or managerial tasks that help the EU institutions design and implement policies in areas such as health, safety, security, freedom and justice. The number of agencies, located in different Member States, has increased over the years and, in 2020, stands at 43, including the two newly created European Public Prosecutor Office and European Labour Authority (not yet covered in the reports).