“We should better evaluate the real results in the spending of the EU budget”, said Joachim Zeller MEP, Rapporteur for the budgetary discharges of the European Commission, commenting on the European Court of Auditor’s Annual Report released today. Zeller stressed that the use of the EU budget should better reflect the priorities of the Union.
The Report on the implementation of the EU budget again highlights irregularities in the payments from the EU budget. The error rate for the year 2015 was 3.8%. This is a decrease compared to the previous financial years, but still exceeds the 2% materiality threshold where expenditures are considered to be error-free.
"Of course, we have noticed the positive trend in the development of the error rate. However, our worries are quite different this year”, said Zeller: “Outstanding payments going into billions of Euros and the unacceptable programme delays of the current funding period will pose us with major challenges. We are also far away from an efficient evaluation of the real results of the programmes”, he added.
In his view: “We must take advantage of the current mid-term balance of the Multiannual Financial Framework and the discussion on the budget preparation 2017 to make the European budget more flexible, effective and transparent in its statements."
Joachim Zeller stressed that the EU budget should respond to the EU 2020 Strategy, European Commission priorities and the current political developments such as the refugee crisis or the financial stability of some Member States: “The EU budget is not only overloaded with demands and wishes, it is also increasingly fragmented. Because of the European Fund for Strategic Investments and the immeasurable number of new financial instruments, we run the danger of losing democratic control over our budget. Such instruments are endowed with billions, but are not financed directly from the EU budget and are therefore not subject to proper control by the budgetary authorities”, he stressed.