EU pressed to improve accounts record
The European Union is being urged by Westminster to step up action against fraudulent activity and irregularities in its accounts.
The watchdog European Scrutiny Committee drew attention to the sixth successive year in which the European Court of Auditors has refused to give a positive statement of assurance on the legality and regularity of transactions underlying EU expenditure.
British MPs are concerned about 1999 – the year immediately before the crisis of confidence which lead the Santer Commission to resign in 2000 and a wide ranging reform programmed instigated by its successors.
The Commons committee said the ECA report shows continued weaknesses in financial management and sometimes in associated policies.
According to the committee, the report provides ‘evidence of the continuing need for improvements in financial management by the member states and by the commission’.
The MPs also called for an increase in efforts to combat transnational fraud in the collection of revenues – largely concerning VAT.