Sustained improvement in EU finances, announced the President of the European Court of Auditors


The President of the European Court of Auditors Klaus – Heiner Lehne and the Member of the European Court of Auditors Iliana Ivanova visited today the Bulgarian National Audit Office.

Mr. Lehne met with the President of the Bulgarian National Audit Office Tzvetan Tzvetkov. They discussed the effective cooperation between the Bulgarian National Audit Office and the European Court of Auditors. The Vice President of the Bulgarian National Audit Office was also present at the meeting.

Ms. Iliana Ivanova presented to her Bulgarian colleagues the Annual report of the European Court of Auditors for the implementation of the European budget for 2016.

“Our latest annual report shows a sustained improvement in EU finances which is reflected by our qualified positive opinion. Half of the EU spending audited for 2016 was below the 2% threshold for the material level of error.

At a time of change in Europe, our role as auditors is to advise on how best to manage the EU’s finances. Looking out beyond 2020, we see a need for a new and robust definition of value-added in EU spending as well as greater transparency and accountability among the EU bodies.“, said Mr Lehne.

“Bulgaria follows the general European trend for sustained improvement in the financial management of EU funds. In particular, no errors have been found in 9 audited transactions in agriculture. In addition, our Annual report shows a significant increase in the levels of disbursements for financial instruments set up in Bulgaria for cohesion, increasing to 96% by the end of 2015.

I am convinced that the Bulgarian Presidency will contribute significantly to the debate for the next MFF and together with the other EU Member States design an effective and efficient EU framework for the years post-2020.”, said Mrs. Iliana Ivanova.

The cooperation with the European Court of Auditors is based on common goals defined by the new realities – both audit institutions strive to answer the questions whether the institutions apply the principles of good governance and whether their work adds value to the society. The focus is on whether the actions are not only lawful but with real benefits, said Mr. Tzvetkov.

The effective collaboration with the ECA is realized through joint audits and discussion forums on up-to-date topics of national and European importance. The Bulgarian National Audit Office carries out audit on the air quality in the big cities in Bulgaria that is part of coordinated audit with the European Court of Auditors and Supreme Audit Institutions from 17 European countries about the air quality in Europe. A conference about the independence of the Supreme Audit Institutions will be organized in May this year in Sofia. All SAIs from the EU member states and Western Balkan countries are invited to participate, said the President of BNAO.

Later during the day, the Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Emil Hristov met with Mr. Lehne and Mrs. Iliana Ivanova. 

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