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Today, Member of the European Court of Auditors Juhan Parts gives an overview of the 2017 report of the European Court of Auditors to the European Union Affairs Committee, the Finance Committee and the State Budget Control Select Committee at a public sitting. The Court observes the implementation of the budget of the European Union and the lawfulness of the use of the funds.

Chairman of the European Union Affairs Committee Toomas Vitsut said that the committees received an overview of the financial supervision of the Union and the recommendations on how to improve financial management. Vitsut added that particular attention could be paid to impeccable condition of the finances of the European Union, because the United Kingdom was leaving the Union, the European Parliament elections were coming up, and the Union’s budgetary framework for the new period was due to be completed by the autumn.

According to the 2017 report of the European Court of Auditors, the Union’s revenues are lawful and correct as a whole. However, for the second year running, the Court makes a remark about payments. There are problems with payments based on reimbursement of costs in sectors with a higher error rate such as research projects and development aid projects, rural development, market measures, the environment, climate action and fisheries, and the economic, social and territorial cohesion. At the same time, the estimated error rate in payments from the European Union budget has been constantly decreasing, having amounted to 2.4% in 2017.

In the opinion of the Court of Auditors, the use of the funds allocated to the European Structural and Investment Funds remains complicated for Member States. According to the report, the Union budget continues to be under strong pressure because of the large volume of payments in regard to which the European Union has made a commitment for the coming years. In the planning of the new multiannual financial framework of the European Union starting in 2021, reducing the risk of accumulation of outstanding payments should be a priority.

The joint public meeting of the committees begins at 1.30 p.m., and the broadcast can be viewed on the website.

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