The control of the European corona recovery fund, which is intended to guide member states of the European Union more smoothly through the economic aftermath of the corona pandemic, is not watertight. So says the European Court of Auditors (ECA).
According to the Court of Audit, this threatens “a lack of accountability” about the spending of EU citizens’ money. The corona recovery fund was established in 2020. At the time, EUR 750 billion was invested, of which EUR 390 billion in subsidies and EUR 360 billion in loans.
According to the Court of Auditors, EUR 144 billion has been paid to eleven Member States so far. The Netherlands, which was the very last to submit a recovery plan, will receive 4.7 billion euros from the fund.
The difference with other EU programs is that agreements on issues such as compliance with EU rules and fraud are currently not a condition for payment. With this fund, the European Commission has to rely on data from the member states.
Therefore, according to the ECA auditors, there is “an assurance and accountability gap” for recovery fund spending. The Court of Audit asks the European Commission to change this.
ECA President Tony Murphy says citizens will only trust new EU funding methods if they can be confident that the money will be well spent.
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