PositionBrief Article

The Council's budgetary experts welcome the implementation by the Commission of initiatives designed to improve its management and accounting procedures, even though "it has still not reached the targets it set itself in the context of its reforms". Though concerned that the Court of Auditors has still not been able to issue a Statement of Assurance, "owing to the unacceptable incidence of errors in transactions underlying payment", the budgetary committee nevertheless notes that the Court has offered a positive assessment of own resources, commitments and administrative expenditure.In its opinion, which will be taken up in conclusions to a forthcoming Council, the budgetary committee emphasises that "the fact that the majority of expenditure was applied in the Member States and managed by national organisations doesn't detract from the Commission's final responsibility regarding the execution of the Budget, incumbent upon it in accordance with Treaty provisions". However, it supports all initiatives designed to improve the co-ordination of controls conducted by the Commission and the Member States, and the Court's own audits. The latter is invited in this context to extend to other sectors the budgetary practice already applied in the context of the CAP, namely of working on observations by paying bodies in the Member States. It might also use the results of controls and audits by relevant national institutions and exploit the information and know-how of the Commission's internal audit service. The budgetary committee suggests that "this method might prove very useful in view of the increased risks inherent in enlargement, stemming from the diversity of political and administrative cultures with which the Commission will be confronted in future in the execution of the Budget".Member States' budgetary experts take note of and regret the persistence of surpluses at the end of budgetary exercises. They insist "the origin of these surpluses lies as much in incorrect estimates of receipts as in spending forecasts", and call on the Commission in collaboration with the Member States to draw up more accurate estimates of financial sources and to adapt spending forecasts to real needs. The Council's budgetary committee recalls the joint declaration from the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission concerning...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT