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The European Union and Accountability Robert Evans Tuesday 22 October 2013.

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Presentation on theme: "The European Union and Accountability Robert Evans Tuesday 22 October 2013."— Presentation transcript:

1 The European Union and Accountability Robert Evans Tuesday 22 October 2013



4 Major Institutions European Commission European Parliament European Council (Council of Ministers)

5 European Parliament The only directly-elected EU institution. Parliament represents 550 m European Citizens. Has a duty to ensure that all EU bodies & agencies serve the people's interests.

6 766 Members

7 MEPs are consulted on... MEPs ask probing questions... Appointment of key public officials eg EU Commissioners European Ombudsman Members of the Court of Justice Court of Auditors

8 European Commission The Commission reports regularly to the Parliament Annual State of the Union Speech After each summit to discuss the outcome.

9 Santer Commission (1995 – 1999) Allegations of corruption concerning individual Commissioners eg Edith Cresson Administrative failings - incompetence and malpractice ‘Not a single person showing the slightest sense of responsibility’ (Parliament’s Group of Experts)

10 European Parliament Parliament is responsible for budgetary oversight It has to check if European bodies and agencies have spent their budgets wisely.

11 Commissioner Hearings The European Parliament has to approve the Commission en bloc before they take office. Individual Commissioner designates appear before their appropriate Committees. Rocco Buttiglione

12 20 Committees

13 Development Agriculture and Rural Development International Trade Budgets Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Budgetary Control Economic and Monetary Affairs Employment and Social Affairs Industry, Research and Energy Transport and Tourism Regional Development Foreign Affairs Internal Market and Consumer Protection Fisheries Culture and Education Legal Affairs Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Constitutional Affairs Women's Rights and Gender Equality Petitions Foreign Affairs Internal Market and Consumer Protection

14 Economic & Monetary Affairs Committee The Committee is responsible for … EU’s economic and monetary policies of the Union taxation and competition policies European monetary & financial system. Deals with the free movement of capital, payments and with rules on competition & state aid Regulation of financial services (banks, insurance, pension funds, asset management)

15 General Affairs and External Relations Economic and Financial Affairs (ECOFIN) Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) Employment, Social Policy, Health & Consumer Affairs Competitiveness Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Agriculture and Fisheries Environment Education, Youth and Culture Council of Ministers

16 checks... all the Union's revenue has been received all its expenditure incurred in a lawful and regular manner that the EU budget has been managed soundly. European Court of Auditors The Court was established on 22 July 1975 and became an external Community audit body in October 1977.

17 The Court of Auditors... has no judicial functions. It is a professional external investigatory audit agency. The primary role of the court is to externally check if the EU budget has been implemented correctly and that EU funds have been spent legally. On the basis of the Court’s Annual Report to Parliament, it decides whether or not to sign off the European Commission's handling of the budget. The Parliament refused to do this in 1984. 1999 forced the resignation of Santer Commission.

18 OLAF is responsible for conducting administrative anti-fraud investigations by having conferred on it a special independent status. European Anti-Fraud Office

19 Dealing with the direct costs of corruption and evaluation of an EU mechanism to counter corruption Identifying and Reducing Corruption in Public Procurement in the EU 2013

20 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Support for Improvement in Governance and Management

21 Croatia joined the EU on 1 July 2013. SIGMA started working with Croatia in 2001 and will continue to provide support on post-accession issues until 2015. Currently, SIGMA is supporting Croatia in the following areas: Civil service legislation and administrative legal framework (key partner: Ministry of Public Administration) Financial control (key partner: Ministry of Finance) Legislative drafting (key partner: Government Legislation Office) Between 2001 and 2013, SIGMA provided support to Croatia on a large number of key areas for accession.


23 Civil service Financial control and policy making Government Debt Management Operational Risk Support for Improvement in Governance and Management

24 SIGMA is currently supporting Georgia in the areas of civil service and policy making by reviewing and helping to improve a set of eight laws and regulations, including the Constitution the Law on Civil Service the Law on Conflict of Interest the capacities of the Chancellery of the Government, in light of constitutional reforms which redistribute powers between the President, the Parliament and the Government.

25 The European Union and Accountability Robert Evans Tuesday 22 October 2013


27 The European Parliament is a major agenda- setter in the area of European policy and the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee (ECON) plays a key role in the work of the Parliament. It has responsibility for such matters as the economic and monetary policies of the EU, taxation and competition policies, free movement of capital and the regulation of financial services (banks, insurance, pension funds, asset/fund management, accounting, international monetary and financial systems etc.).



30 In Jordan, SIGMA has been working with the Audit Bureau and the Ministry of Finance since 2010 on a comprehensive reform of the system for the financial control of public funds. SIGMA first supported the Audit Bureau on developing a Strategic Development Plan that includes the withdrawal from the pre-audit function that it currently undertakes. SIGMA also advised the Ministry of Finance on strengthening the internal control and internal audit systems to eliminate the need for the fulfillment of this pre-audit function. SIGMA is now helping the Audit Bureau implement the Strategic Development Plan and supporting the Ministry of Finance in setting-up the internal control system within all budget users.

31 SIGMA is conducting a comprehensive review of policy making and coordination in Kosovo* and Montenegro. The analysis of these two countries’ existing policy-making capacities and needs focuses on (1) horizontal planning and coordination at the centre of government, (2) policy capacities in ministries, and (3) the role of the Parliament, and in particular on the capacities for European integration policy. The work is based on a new analytical framework and methodology that SIGMA will also use for its work on


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