Law Enforcement by EU Authorities
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Law Enforcement by EU Authorities

Implications for Political and Judicial Accountability

Edited by Miroslava Scholten and Michiel Luchtman

EU law and governance have faced a new development – the proliferation of EU enforcement authorities, which have grown in number over the last 15 years. These entities, either acting alone or together with national enforcement authorities, have been investigating and sanctioning private actors on their compliance with EU law. Law Enforcement by EU Authorities investigates whether the system of control (in terms of both judicial and political accountability) has evolved to support the new system of law enforcement in the EU.
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Chapter 12: The European Court of Auditors: the guardian of EU finances

Alex Brenninkmeijer and Emma van Gelder

Abstract

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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