The Heads of the Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) of the 27 EU Member States and the European Court of Auditors (ECA) met in Luxembourg on 1-2 December 2008
The ECA hosted the two-day annual meeting of the Contact Committee of the Heads of EU SAIs in Luxembourg. The meeting was chaired by the ECA’s President, Mr. Vítor Caldeira. The Heads of the European Union's 27 SAIs were present, as were the Heads of the Candidate countries' SAIs, representatives of the EUROSAI Training Committee and SIGMA, who attended as observers.
The 2008 Contact Committee meeting took place at a time when Europe and the rest of the world were still in the process of absorbing the global shockwaves originating from the crisis in the financial markets. Against this background, the main thematic focus of the 2008 Contact Committee meeting was discussions on the EU Budget Reform and the revised 2008-2010 Lisbon Strategy; two subjects that are of relevance to the management of the financial crisis affecting the EU and its Member States. Both subjects were elaborated during panel discussions.
Mrs. Dalia Grybauskaité, the then Commissioner for Financial Programming and Budget, delivered a lead presentation on the EU budget reform. The ensuing discussion confirmed that action was needed and showed how important the role of the SAIs is in this respect. Their risk assessment plays a decisive role in a financial environment where the flow of money is stagnating.
Likewise, the revised 2008-2010 Lisbon Strategy was discussed against the background of these developments. There was optimism that the revised Lisbon Strategy might help to curb the adverse effects of the financial crisis.
The second day of the meeting included exchanges of experiences and information on the outcome of cooperation, covering specific areas of the management of EU funds and audit issues as well as the outlook for future activities.