Implications for Political and Judicial Accountability
Edited by Miroslava Scholten and Michiel Luchtman
Chapter 12: The European Court of Auditors: the guardian of EU finances
In recent years there has been an increasing development of direct enforcement powers shifting from the national to the EU level. Accountability issues arise as the control over this enforcement appears to remain separate between national and European supervisory authorities. As the guardian of EU finances, the European Court of Auditors (ECA) audits the reliability of the accounts, the regularity and legality of the underlying transactions and the sound financial management of the European Enforcement Authorities (EEAs). In this chapter the ECA is analysed as an accountability forum in holding EEAs to account discussing its two distinct features: the auditor of the EU Budget and an information tool for the political branch. In relation to the first function the audit task and the encountered accountability issues are discussed. In relation to the latter function the extent to which the ECA can strengthen political accountability is analysed.
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