ECA: EU auditors’ activity in 2021 - checking Europe’s performance is more crucial than ever

Today, the European Court of Auditors (ECA) published its annual activity report for 2021. The report gives an overview of the ECA’s work in 2021, and provides information about the institution’s management, its staff and its finances, describing how the ECA’s 900 employees continued to provide independent, objective reports on key issues for the future of the EU. With Member States currently facing many unexpected challenges, the ECA plays a crucial role by highlighting what aspects of EU actions work well, drawing attention to aspects that could be improved, and recommending substantive changes to allow the EU to reach its full potential. This work allows the EU to build on its previous efforts to improve its financial management, and to ensure that EU spending delivers results.

In 2021, the EU auditors continued to work within the confines of COVID-19-related travel and public health restrictions. Their ability to carry out on-the-spot audits was still significantly restricted. But they adjusted to the new situation, made rapid changes to their working methods, and quickly learned new tools to be able to provide an effective public audit service in the EU.

As a result, the EU auditors reached timely and meaningful conclusions and made specific and relevant recommendations. The ECA issued 55 publications in 2021, including 32 special reports and reviews addressing many of the challenges the EU is facing across its different spending and policy areas. The auditors dealt with issues including the common agricultural policy (CAP) and climate change, the polluter-pays principle, electromobility, the EU’s Frontex border protection agency, EU cooperation with non-EU countries in returning irregular migrants, the exchange of tax information, sustainable finance, money laundering, and disinformation. They also issued two COVID-19-related reports: a review of the EU’s public health response and an audit of air passenger rights during the pandemic.

Read the Annual Activity Report of The European Court of Auditors in its entirety here.