The European Court of Auditors is best known as the watchdog of the reliability and legality of the EU’s accounts. In its special reports it often undertakes an assessment of specific areas of Union activity, and it has published various reviews of specific aspects of agricultural expenditure over the years.
It can also submit opinions at the request of one of the other institutions of the Union, and it has just released an opinion on the Commission’s legislative proposals for the CAP post-2013 announced in October 2011.
The opinion focuses on whether and to what extent the Commission’s legislative proposals remedy weaknesses already identified by the Court following its audits.… Read the rest
Are we as taxpayers getting good value for money from agri-environment payments under the EU’s rural development (RD) policy? This is an important question, given that agri-environment payments will amount to around €22 billion during the 2007-2013 RD programming period, alone accounting for around 23% of all Pillar 2 spending. It becomes more important given that the Commission is flagging that it wants to direct even more funding towards the provision of environmental public goods in the next programming period.
Breakdown EU Rural Development spending 2007-2013
A European Court of Auditors report published last Monday (September 19) provides a rather critical response to this question.… Read the rest