Court of Auditors | EUNewsletter

EU institutions and bodies

While forming the European Union, its member-states partially gave away their national powers in order to establish a political community with a unified structure. There are currently seven official European institutions, which play different roles for the functioning and activities of the EU.

Court of Auditors

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The European Court of Auditors is the EU Institution established to carry out the audit of EU finances. It was set up in 1975 and is based in Luxembourg. The Court’s job is to check that EU funds, which come from the taxpayers, are properly collected and that they are spent legally, economically and for the intended purpose. Its aim is to ensure that the taxpayers get maximum value for their money, and it has the right to audit any person or organisation handling EU funds. The Court has one member from each EU country, appointed by the Council for a renewable term of six years. The members elect one of their number as President for a renewable term of three years. Vitor Manuel da Silva Caldeira, from Portugal, was elected President in January 2008.The Court’s main role is to check that the EU budget is correctly implemented – in other words, that EU income and expenditure is legal and above board and to ensure sound financial management. So its work helps guarantee that the EU system operates efficiently and openly.The Court promotes accountability and transparency and assists the European Parliament and Council in overseeing the implementation of the EU budget. To do its job effectively, the Court of Auditors must remain completely independent of the other institutions but at the same time stay in constant touch with them. The Court of Auditors gives its opinion on proposals for EU financial legislation and for EU action to fight fraud.