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S&Ds: Discharge 2020 was granted to European Court of Auditors, but the image of the institution has been seriously damaged


05 May 2022


Euro & Finance

The Socialists and Democrats are disappointed the plenary voted in favour of granting discharge by a tiny majority to the European Court of Auditors for 2020. This shows that many members of the European Parliament remain unconvinced that the top management of the institution spent its 2020 budget strictly following the ethical standards and the principles of sound financial management expected of the Court. The S&D Group unanimously supported the report of the committee on budgetary control where its author and S&D MEP, Isabel García Muñoz, recommended to postpone the final decision to autumn this year as the behaviour by some members, and especially its president, we saw in 2020 is unacceptable.

Isabel García Muñoz, S&D MEP and EP negotiator on the discharge of ECA for 2020, said:

“The conscience of our group is clear - for us, the European Court of Auditors just does not pass the exam of the 2020 discharge. This does not mean we doubt in the professionalism and the integrity of the auditors who do a great job in the protection of the financial interests of European taxpayers’ money. However, we have unfortunately seen that some behaviour by ECA’s members and particularly its president, former EPP member, has not lived up to the high standards that we expect from the Court. The S&D Group is also surprised that other political groups changed their position with respect to the vote in committee, and hopes that this is not due to the heavy lobbying exerted by the members of the Court until hours before the vote today.

“We are pleased to see the ongoing reforms in the institution following the recommendations included in my report that set out clear rules on financial management, transparency and ethical conduct - they will resolve a lot of problems that were there in 2020 and help rehabilitate the reputation of the institution in the public eye. I hope that from now on, the ECA’s members, and particularly its president, will work and live up to the high standards all Europeans expect from the Court.”