Court of Auditors fiddled with figures: Engwirda

11th January 2011, Comments 0 comments


The European Court of Auditors systematically tampered with the figures in its annual fiscal report. Former Dutch member Maarten Engwirda claims any criticism levelled at European colleagues was usually swept under the carpet.

Mr Engwirda, former MP and MEP with the democrat party D66, served in the Court of Auditors for 15 years. He has since resigned. In an interview published in today’s daily , Mr Engwirda says several countries, including France and Italy, often resorted to fraud and intimidation in the national interest.

The European Commission seemingly distanced itself from introducing a stricter monitoring system. “All these misunderstandings never came out into the open because of the Kremlin-style manner of furnishing information. But it certainly didn’t enhance our reputation one bit,” says Mr Engwirda.

Obstruction The Court of Auditors is basically a watchdog for EU budgets, checking that the money is being well spent. It audits their accounts and implements budgets, providing the European Parliament and Council of Ministers with a statement on the accounts’ reliability.

After 2005, the European Court of Auditors decided to introduce an evaluation system with national auditors appointed to review its performance. Mr Engwirda says this marked the end of obstruction practices by European colleagues. While a member of the Court of Auditors, the D66 politician tried to have the number of members reduced from 27 to six to increase its efficiency.

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