17:39 GMT27 September 2020
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    The EU budget for 2015 has been signed off by the Court of Auditors for the 9th year in a row, but the error rate of 3.8 percent means that billions are being wasted, which MEPs describe as "still unacceptable".

    There has been a running battle between MEPs, the media and the EU over the annual sign-off of the budget. Many news outlets have often reported that the EU Court of Auditors have failed to sign-off the EU budget for nine, ten or even 13 years.. 

    The EU always hits back saying the budget is generally signed off, but admitting an "error" margin of a few percentage points. In its latest announcement, the EU boldly asserts:

    "The European Court of Auditors gave the EU annual accounts a clean bill of health for the 9th year in a row. The Court found that, in particular in cohesion policy and agriculture, the overall estimated level of error for payments has further declined from 4.4 percent in 2014 to 3.8 percent in 2015."

    The Court of Auditors has confirmed that the EU spending is "in line with the rules only when the error rate is less than 2 percent. The Commission is working to move closer to this 2 percent threshold".

    Constituent Confidence

    Ryszard Czarnecki MEP, who is a Vice-President of the Parliament, said: "The estimated level of error for 2015 payments is 3.8 percent which is obviously an improvement but is still above the materiality threshold (2 percent).  

    "Now is the time to redouble our efforts to bring an end to this situation that has fueled skepticism in the EU for over two decades. This annual situation is improving, but it is still unacceptable. We will continue to keep up pressure to finally give our constituents confidence that their money being spent within the EU Member States is being spent without significant errors."

    ​"In the past years the Commission managed to keep the error rate under 5 percent. In other words, out of every 100 euro spent by the EU, at least 95 euro was free from error. While this is not enough to get the Court of Auditors' positive opinion, it does indicate the very high standard of management and control applied to taxpayers' money at EU level," the Court said.


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    finance, money, EU budget, EU bureaucracy, democracy, European Court of Auditors, European Commission, European Parliament, European Council, Ryszard Czarnecki, Europe
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