As the EU's independent external auditor, the European Court of Auditors (ECA) looks after the interests of EU taxpayers. It does not have legal powers, but works to improve the European Commission's management of the EU budget and reports on EU finances.
Also publishes opinions on preparatory legislation that will impact EU financial management, as well as position papers, reviews and ad hoc publications on EU public finance issues.
To be effective, the Court must be independent of the institutions and bodies it audits. To this end, it is free to decide on:
The Court's audit work focuses mainly on the European Commission – the main body responsible for implementing the EU budget. But it also works closely with national authorities, because the Commission manages most EU funds (around 80%) jointly with them.
Court members are appointed by the Council, after consulting the Parliament, for renewable 6-year terms. They choose one of their number as President for a 3-year term (also renewable).
It carries out 3 types of audit:
The Court is divided into audit groups called 'chambers'. They prepare reports & opinions for the Court members to adopt, thus making them official.
The Court offers traineeships.
The Court organises an academic award for research into public sector auditing every 2 years and you can apply.
12, rue Alcide De Gasperi
Type of visit: Information session
Minimum size of group: 50 people maximum
Advance booking requirement: 2 months
Minimum age of visitors: 14 years old