With 900 employees and a college of 28 auditors, one from each Member State, the European Court of Auditors safeguards the EU’s finances. The institution’s work was explained to Prime Minister Joseph Muscat during a first-time visit to its headquarters on the last day of his visit to Luxembourg.
The EU Court of Auditors was established in Luxembourg in 1977 with a role to monitor and safeguard the EU funds that are utilised to benefit EU citizens. It also audits each Member State, including Malta where a ten-day audit was carried out. Malta was the penultimate country in having the shortest period of audit days last year, the greatest number of days being spent in Italy where the audit took 355 days.
Malta’s representative at the Court of Auditors, Leo Brincat, said there was a good relationship with the EU Parliament and the EU Commission. The Court safeguards EU finances and ensures they are well spent because ultimately it is EU citizens who pay daily taxes to finance the EU budget.
He said it is made clear to all that when an audit is carried out this is not so as to carry out any crusade against them but is aimed at making recommendations and finally to conclude by inducing good practice as this may help them to achieve better performances in their own interests.
Brincat is responsible for a specialised report on immigration the conclusions of which will be issued at the beginning of December. He said the report will create a lot of interest not only among the countries visited but among all the Member States prepared to meet all stakeholders who may not only be interested at Parliamentary and European level but also if needs be with NGOs and other agencies that work in immigration.
Prime Minister Muscat wound up his Luxembourg visit with discussions between the Maltese delegation and the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Jean Asselborn, and later with Speaker Fernand Etgen.