Estonia is interested in closer cooperation with European Court of Auditors

30.11.2005 | 12:53

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Stenbock House, Tallinn, 30 November 2005 — Today, at the meeting with the President of the Court of Audtiors Hubert Weber, Prime Minister Andrus Ansip expressed his opinion that the auditing institution of the Community could communicate more actively with small countries and develop a separate policy toward them.

According to Prime Minister Andrus Ansip, the problem shared by several European Union member states is their small size. “The European Court of Auditors exercises supervision over the use of the Community budget funds by applying the principle of random sample. Since Estonia has very few transactions with subsidies in the European Union sense, the chance of being audited is also very small,” said Ansip.

According to the head of the Government, it would actually be very beneficial for Estonia if the Court of Auditors and the national units responsible for auditing engaged in much closer cooperation than to date. “Such cooperation would definitely be highly beneficial for our State Audit Office and the internal auditors of our ministries, whose capacity and experience in conducting audits would increase. The European Court of Auditors could consider the development of a separate policy toward small countries, which would ensure that they are included in the sample. It is important for Estonia that the European Union subsidies are used efficiently and for their intended purpose,” said Andrus Ansip.

When giving an overview of the report of the Court of Auditors for 2004, Hubert Weber highlighted Estonia as one of the efficient users of the European Union funds. According to Weber, in the coming years, Estonia will receive from the European Union budget considerably more money, which in turn will result in the establishment of new institutions both for the allocation, use and auditing of the funds.

According to the President of the Court of Auditors, all prerequisites and regulations have been provided on the level of the central government in Estonia for the efficient use of the European Union funds and the system runs smoothly. However, Hubert Weber saw development opportunities for local governments whose administrative capacity in managing the European Union projects left something to be desired at times.

The European Court of Auditors, established in 1975, has 25 members to date, and a total of 750 employees. The tasks of the Court of Auditors are to monitor the conformity of the accounting of the European institutions with requirements and reality, evaluate the correctness and legality of the Community expenditure and income, assess the financial management of the European Union and to express its opinion upon the development of new procedures and audit systems.

An Austrian citizen, Hubert Weber was elected as the President of the Court of Auditors in spring 2005.

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