European Court of Auditors to audit EU fraud

The European Court of Auditors is to conduct an audit on how the European Commission manages the risk of fraud in EU spending, in response to concerns that not enough is being done to tackle the issues

The audit will focus on fraud prevention and fraud response and will include contributions from NGOs, academics and prosecutors, as well as Europol and Eurojust. 

In a 2015 Eurobarometer survey of perceptions of fraud and corruption affecting the EU budget, 71% of respondents thought that fraud occurred ‘rather frequently’ and 60% felt that ‘corruption is significant in the EU institutions’. 

The European Court of Auditors said this result represents a significant increase compared with the 2008 flash Eurobarometer, when 54% thought fraud happened rather frequently and 44% felt that corruption occurred in EU institution.

In 2016, the total value of fraud detected within the EU Budget was an estimated €391m (£351m), according to figures drawn from the European Commission, the member states and the candidate countries. However, due to several factors in the way the figures are collected and reported, this estimate may be too low, the European Court of Auditors warns. 

The final audit report is expected to be published in spring 2018.

Report by Pat Sweet

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