The EU’s official auditors have demanded better value for money and a stronger focus on results from the union’s budget. The European Court of Auditors found that a “use it or lose it” attitude had prevailed since 2007.
“From now on, there has to be more careful management and control of EU funds,” its President Vítor Caldeira said. “The European Commission and the member states must pay more attention to how they spend our taxpayers’ money. We need more incentives to improve performance and to deliver value for money as well as better long-term forecasts to ensure there is enough money for Europe’s planned spending.”
He made the comments when presenting the court’s annual report for 2013, which approved the EU accounts but found an estimated 4.7 per cent error rate. The previous rate was 4.8 per cent. Spending errors were most common in regional policy, energy, transport, rural development, fisheries and health spending – areas where the Commission and member states tend to jointly share responsibility for spending. Caldeira (pictured) is a former Portuguese civil servant and has held office since 2008.