EU Court of Auditors Calls for European Commission to Simplify Further EU Financial Regulation

March 2017

The European Court of Auditors (ECA) has issued an opinion calling for the European Commission (Commission) to simplify further its proposal to revise the European Union (EU) Financial Regulation (Regulation).

The Regulation sets out the principles and procedures governing the EU budget and the control of the EU funds. The Commission has proposed an ‘ambitious revision’ of the Regulation as part of its Mid-term Financial Review that is intended to simplify the Regulation. The Commission requested an opinion from the ECA on the proposal.

The ECA believes that the Commission’s proposal makes progress but does not go far enough.

The ECA has reservations on three issues concerning the Commission’s proposal:

  • The Commission proposal to aggregate many existing reports into an ‘integrated financial reporting package’ would duplicate disclosures and run to thousands of pages, and the ECA suggests an alternative proposal to simplify reporting and provide additional value to stakeholders
  • The Commission proposal for detailed changes to budgetary management arrangements does not question whether the existing mechanisms are still appropriate, and the ECA believes that there is scope for significant simplification and additional flexibility in the existing arrangements
  • The proposal does not cover Commission governance, but in line with international practice, the Commission should address the issues of integrated reporting, estimation of the level of error for irregular spending, and the composition and remit of its audit committee.

The ECA opinion includes an Annex that provides a side-by-side comparison of the Commission’s proposal and the ECA’s suggestions.

The English-language version of the ECA Opinion is available on this link.

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