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Today, at a public sitting starting at 1.15. p.m., Member of the European Court of Auditors (ECA) Keit Pentus-Rosimannus will present the ECA report on the implementation of the EU budget and the regularity of the spending to the European Union Affairs Committee, Finance Committee, and State Budget Control Select Committee.

The Chairman of the European Union Affairs Committee Liisa Pakosta stressed the importance of making sure that Estonia continued to use EU funds wisely. However, this could be done more innovatively, for example by setting up innovation procurements whereby the public sector seeks the best solution to a problem. Pakosta also sees value in showing flexibility wherever this is permitted.

The Chairman of the Finance Committee Annely Akkermann remarked that the European Union had been forced to respond to sudden crises over the past few years and spend large sums to resolve these, which also increased the budget risk. She added, referring to the audit, that this had significantly increased the number of misjudgements made in EU spending compared to earlier.

The Chairman of the State Budget Control Select Committee Urmas Reinsalu said that since the high inflation and increase in interest rates, as well as the growing debt and the continuous need to support Ukraine impacted the EU budget and its purchasing power, it was vital to pay particular attention to ensuring that the desired results were achieved.

The European Court of Auditors Annual report for the 2022 financial year shows that the consolidated accounts of the European Union for 2022 present the EU’s financial position fairly and correctly and the results of its operations are legal and regular in all material respects. However, the auditors estimate that the level of error for budget expenditure has risen to 4.2 % on the total expenditure of EUR 196 billion (compared to 3 percent in 2021). The estimated level of error is an estimation of the funds used in contravention of the EU and national regulations.

The auditors estimate two thirds (66%) of the audited expenditure to be of high risk, which is more than in 2021 (63.2%). The rules and eligibility criteria governing this type of expenditure are often complex, which makes errors more likely.

The auditors also reached the conclusion that the EUR 46.9 billion spent as Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) grants is impacted by issues and irregularities discovered in the correctness of national audit systems; however, these were not pervasive in nature.

The joint sitting of the Committees starts at 1:15 p.m. and will be streamed live. Video recording will be available to watch later on the Riigikogu YouTube channel.

Riigikogu Press Service
Merilin Kruuse
+372 631 6592, +372 510 6179
[email protected]
Questions: [email protected]