Billions in EU Funds Misspent in 2007, EU Auditor Says | Europe| News and current affairs from around the continent | DW | 20.11.2008
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Billions in EU Funds Misspent in 2007, EU Auditor Says

The European Union is wasting billions of euros due to sloppy bookkeeping and the sending of funds down the wrong channels, a senior European auditor said.

Euros flying in the wind

Poor book-keeping is leading to the loss of billions for the EU

From 42 billion euros ($53 billion) in structural subsidies provided last year by Brussels, at least 11 percent should not have been paid out, European Accounting Office chief Vitor Caldeira said Thursday, Nov. 20.

Caldeira also highlighted serious inconsistencies in the EU's spending policies for agriculture, natural resources, research, energy, transport, education, foreign aid and aid to poor EU regions.

These programs account for 80 percent of EU spending by respective national governments and EU agencies.

Caldeira said the programs were riddled with irregularities and errors.

Despite this, however, his office gave its overall tick of approval to the bloc's book-keeping, which it said had improved on previous years.

It was the first time Caldeira's office had signed of on the EU's books since current auditing methods were introduced 13 years ago.

The top EU auditor laid out his findings in an official European Accounting Office report on the EU's 2007 finances.

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