The adverse opinion of the European Court of Auditors on 2020 spending

Too many errors and irregularities in EU spending in 2020: this is the decision of the Court of European Auditors in its annual report published on Tuesday. For the second year in a row, the auditor of the institution is a “adverse opinion“On these expenses while the accounts are deemed to be reliable and receivables”legal, regular and free from material error“.

This “adverse opinion“It means that not only have the errors been identified, but that they are the cause”widespread problems“, explains the European Court of Auditors. An error corresponds to an expenditure that should not have been financed by the EU budget.

In 2020, the EU spent €173.3 billion, or 1.1% of the combined gross national income of its member states and the UK. Revenue was €174.3 billion, mostly from member states.

The overall level of irregularities in union expenditure was 2.7% in 2019, as it was in 2019. More than half (59%) of the expenditures audited by the European Court of Auditors were considered high risk, an increase in the proportion from the previous year (53%). However, these expenses are subject to a greater risk of error because they are governed by more complex eligibility rules and criteria. For this type of expenditure, the level of error was therefore 4.0% in 2020.

Among high-risk expenditures, the most frequent errors were expenditures ineligible under European regulations, unqualified costs such as staff costs, non-compliance with public procurement rules, etc.

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