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The European Court of Auditors

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The European Court of Auditors (ECA), which has its headquarters in Luxembourg, has the status of an EU institution. The ECA is a collegiate body which is independent of the other EU institutions (Parliament, Council of Ministers, Commission etc.) The ECA has 28 Members – one per Member State.

The ECA’s major task is to examine the accounts of all revenue and expenditure of the Union and of all bodies, offices or agencies set up by the Union. In doing so, the ECA assists the European Parliament and the Council in exercising their powers of political control over EU budget implementation. The ECA reports to the Commission on any audit findings regarding irregularities and inefficiencies in financial management. Furthermore the ECA provides advice to the Council before new financial management regulations are adopted. The ECA also provides advice on the financial regulations and fighting fraud.

According to the European treaties (Article 287 TFEU), the ECA and the national Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) cooperate in a spirit of trust while maintaining their independence. The intertwining of EU law and national law and of EU and national management of EU funds creates a high potential for cooperative action. The ECA notifies the national audit bodies well in advance of its audit missions. These may then decide whether and to what extent they participate in the audit mission. To help further enhance cooperation, the ECA and the national Supreme Audit Institutions regularly meet to share ideas and information on matters of EU interest.

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