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European Court of Auditors

The European Court of Auditors (ECA), based in Luxembourg, started work in 1977. It is the European Union’s (EU) independent external auditor and financial watchdog. It operates according to rules laid down in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (Articles 285-287).

The ECA has around 900 staff of all EU nationalities. It comprises one member from each EU Member State, appointed for 6 years (renewable) by the Council of the European Union after consultation with the European Parliament. ECA members appoint the President, whose mandate is for 3 years (renewable). All members must perform their duties in the general interest of the EU and in complete independence.

The European Court of Auditors:

  • ensures that the EU keeps good accounts and correctly applies its financial rules, and that its policies and programmes achieve their intended objectives and deliver value for money;
  • contributes to improving the EU’s financial management and promotes accountability and transparency;
  • warns of risks, provides assurance, indicates shortcomings and successes and offers guidance to EU policymakers and legislators;
  • presents observations and recommendations to the European Parliament, the Council, national governments and parliaments and the general public.