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EU auditors: Over a trillion euros are being spent opaquely

For its part, the EC announced that it "takes note" of the report

More than €1 trillion of EU funds are not being properly audited under an “overly complex” system, the European watchdog announced today.

François-Roger Cazala, a member of the European Court of Auditors (ECA), which led the latest EU audit, criticized the system’s “opacity” and “lack of clear accountability”.

The Luxembourg-based ECA audited the EU budget, but pointed out that the number of extra-budgetary and other funding instruments it does not oversee is growing.

Casala stated that the trillion in question includes 500 billion euros under the European Stability Mechanism (ESM).

The ESM was created in 2012 to allow struggling eurozone countries access to markets and facilitate lending at subsidized interest rates.

The auditors said in their report that the number of instruments had “multiplied over the last 15 years” and called on the EU to integrate them.

“This is a matter of democracy,” Casala emphasized, since the European Parliament also has no oversight.

Most of the instruments were “primarily designed to respond as quickly as possible to crises,” the ECJ explained, referring to Russia’s war against Ukraine that began last year, the coronavirus pandemic and the 2008 eurozone debt crisis.

Auditors have asked the European Commission to shed light on the financial maelstrom with its own report next year.

For its part, the EC announced that it “takes note” of the report and insists that the financial landscape “has always been in full compliance with the rules”.

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