1st Edition

Financial Accountability in the European Union Institutions, Policy and Practice

    332 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    332 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book offers comprehensive coverage of various aspects of financial accountability around the EU budget – how it is spent via policies, how institutions engage in checking policy performance (what taxpayers’ money actually delivers), and therein, the issues of monitoring, controlling, auditing, scrutinising and communicating budgetary expenditure.

    Presenting conceptual and theoretical approaches including financial accountability, learning, multi-level governance, implementation and throughput legitimacy, it looks at EU institutions (European Parliament, European Court of Auditors, European Ombudsman, European Public Prosecutor’s Office) and national bodies (supreme audit institutions at the national level), examining their contact with the EU budget. It details the historical development of accountability mechanisms (the ‘statement of assurance’, financial corrections, and parliamentary oversight by the Budgetary Control Committee (CONT)), and examines policy areas such as those of agriculture, social policy and cohesion (including Structural Funds and the Common Agricultural Policy), exploring the challenges of financial accountability in practice. Given the recent introduction of non-budgetary financial instruments and tools only partly financed by the EU budget, it sheds light on new burgeoning areas such as the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) and the European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI) and the challenges they bring for ensuring the accountability of public money.

    This book will be of key interest to scholars and students of audit and evaluation, budgetary spending and financial control and, more broadly, public administration, public policy and EU institutions and politics.

    Introduction: Situating and contextualising financial accountability in the European Union

    Paul Stephenson, María-Luisa Sánchez-Barrueco and Hartmut Aden

    PART I: Institutional Perspectives: Mandates and Powers

    1. Financial Accountability in the Broader Framework of Accountability Studies

    Hartmut Aden

    2. The Strategic Involvement of the European Parliament in Establishing the European Social Fund

    Mechthild Roos

    3. Analysing the Origins of the ‘Statement of Assurance’: The European Court of Auditors after the Maastricht Treaty

    Gilberto Moggia

    4. On the Interplay between Good Administration and Sound Financial Management: The View from Strasbourg

    Nikos Vogiatzis

    5. Comparing the Audit Capacity of Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) in the Context of European Multilevel Governance (MLG)

    Anchrit Wille, Sietse Papenborg, Imogen T. Liu, Anika Heinmaa and Philippine Dauteuil

    PART II: Policy Perspectives: Cohesion Policy and the Structural Funds

    6. The Multiple Accountabilities of EU Cohesion Policy: Wicked problem or north star?

    Laura Polverari

    7. The Accountability of financial Instruments in EU Cohesion Policy: Lessons learnt from the European Court of Auditors

    Claudia Gloazzo

    8. The Evolution of the Internal Control System for the Structural Funds: Between the European Commission and national authorities

    Antonio-Martín Porras-Gómez

    9. Financial Accountability and the Quality of Performance in EU Cohesion Policy: The case of Italy

    Ekaterina Domorenok

    10. The Implementation and Accountability of EU Cohesion Policy in The Netherlands

    Maaike Damen-Koedijk

    PART III: Perspectives from Practice: Financial Accountability Challenges

    11. Communicating Financial Accountability in an Age of Disinformation: The results of a cross-national survey of supreme audit institutions (SAIs)

    María-Luisa Sánchez-Barrueco

    12. Delivering Value for Money? The problematic accountability of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM)

    David Howarth and Aneta Spendzharova

    13. Ensuring the Accountability of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI)

    Giacomo Benedetto

    14. Making Taxpayers’ Contributions to the EU Budget Visible: Towards greater transparency and legitimacy

    Gabriele Cipriani

    15. Suspending EU Funds to Member States that Breach the Rule of Law: A new accountability mechanism?

    Justyna Łacny

    16. Protecting EU Financial Interests through Criminal Law: The shortcomings of the PIF directive and repercussions for the functioning of the EPPO

    Demelsa Benito Sánchez

    17. Securing Impact from Audit: Budgetary scrutiny by the European Parliament and its use of findings by the European Court of Auditors

    Paul Stephenson


    Paul Stephenson is Assistant Professor at the Department of Political Science at Maastricht University, the Netherlands.

    María-Luisa Sánchez-Barrueco is Senior Lecturer in EU Law and Politics in the Transnational Law Department at the University of Deusto, Bilbao, Spain.

    Hartmut Aden is Professor of German and European Public Law, Public Policy and Public Administration at the Berlin School of Economics and Law, Germany.