Bodies
Court of Auditors 
0 On DEsite
1 General
2 Pillar structure
3 Bodies
  • European Parliament
  • Council
  • The Commission
  • The Court of Justice
  • Court of Auditors 
  • Economic and Social Committee
  • Committee of the Regions
  • Central Bank
  • Coreper
  • Miscellaneous
  • 4 Decision-making
    5 Lobby groups
    6 Case histories
    7 Information and publications
    Court of Auditors

    Basis

    The Court of Auditors was established on the basis of Articles 246-248 EC.

    Composition

    The Court of Auditors has its foundation in art. 246 EU. Each Member State delegates a national to take his or her seat in the Court of Auditors. These nationals are selected among persons who are or were involved in external auditing entities in their own countries or who are especially qualified for this post. The members of the Court of Auditors are appointed with a qualified majority by the Council for a period of six years. The members choose one of their own as a president for three years. After their term of office, the members and the presindent are eligible for reappointment or re-election, respectively.

    The members of the Court of Auditors shall, in the general interest of the Community, be completely independent in the performance of their duties. They shall neither seek nor take instructions from any government or from any other body. They shall refrain from any action incompatible with their duties.

    The Court of Auditors is located in Luxembourg.

    Duties

    The Court of Auditors examines whether all revenue has been received and all expenditure incurred in a lawful and regular manner and whether the financial management has been sound (Art. 248 paragraph 2). The Court of Auditors draws up an annual report for the European Parliament and the Council after the close of each financial year. It also provides the European Parliament and the Council with a statement of assurance as to the reliability of the accounts and the legality and regularity of the underlying transactions (Art. 248 paragraph 1).

    The Court of Auditors assists the European Parliament and the Council in exercising their powers of control over the implementation of the budget (Art. 248 paragraph 4). At the recommendation of the Council, the European Parliament discharges the Commission in respect of the implementation of the general budget (Art. 276). To this end, the Parliament examines the financial report and the statement of assurance of the Court of Auditors. Thus, the reports of the Court of Auditors are an important element in the decision of the Parliament whether or not to discharge the Commission. Although a refusal to discharge officially has no legal consequences, it is an important political signal that can be considered a masked vote of no confidence on the policy pursued by the Commission.

    The Court of Auditors can also institute boards to approve certain categories of reports or advisory reports. Finally, the Court of Auditors and the national auditing entities are expected to cooperate. The president of the Court of Auditors, therefore, may appoint a committee that keeps in touch with the presidents of the national auditing entities.

    Internal decision-making

    The Court of Auditors adopts its annual reports, special reports, or opinions by a majority of votes of its members.

    Publications

    The site of the European Court of Auditors contains, among other things, the Annual Report (since 1996). The text of the annual report is also published in the Official Journal, C Series. In addition to the annual report, the Court of Auditors publishes reports on the annual accounts of the agencies, special reports, and opinions. Part of these reports and opinions are available at the site and in the Official Journal, C Series.

    Up-to-date information on the activities and the policies of the Court of Auditors can be found via the Press releases.