The European Parliament has approved the candidacies of seven new members of the European Court of Auditors and the re-appointment of three more. All the nominees can now be formally appointed by the Council of Ministers.
One of the approved candidates was Eoin O'Shea of Ireland, replacing Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, who has recently become Ireland's new European Commissioner.
The European Court of Auditors has one member from each EU Member State. On 6 May 2010, nine members reach the end of their term of office. In mid-March the Budgetary Control Committee held formal hearings of the seven new candidates and three current members seeking renewed mandates, before recommending that the full Parliament approve all ten.
Parliament's vote was not legally binding but the candidates had declared they would resign should they not receive the support of MEPs.
The ten candidates were approved, by secret ballot, as follows:
• Milan Martin Cvikl, Slovenia, 549 votes in favour, 19 against and 53 abstentions
• Rasa Budbergytė, Lithuania, 545 votes in favour, 21 against and 56 abstentions
• Kersti Kaljulaid, Estonia (renewal) , 561 votes in favour, 13 against and 50 abstentions
• Igors Ludboržs, Latvia (renewal) , 557 votes in favour, 8 against and 57 abstentions
• Szabolcs Fazakas, Hungary, 348 votes in favour, 213 against and 60 abstentions
• Ladislav Balko, Slovakia, 556 votes in favour, 11 against and 52 abstentions
• Louis Galea, Malta, 553 votes in favour, 17 against and 52 abstentions
• Augustyn Bronisław Kubik, Poland, 568 votes in favour, 8 against and 48 abstentions
• Jan Kinšt, the Czech republic (renewal) , 558 votes in favour, 8 against and 48 abstentions
• Eoin O'Shea, Ireland, 573 votes in favour, 6 against and 51 abstentions
The Council of Ministers is expected to appoint Eoin O'Shea through written procedure on 30 March. He will then serve for the remaining two years of Máire Geoghegan-Quinn's mandate. The other nine candidates are to be appointed, also by the Council, on 19 April, for a period of six years, starting when the current mandates end.
As the Court of Auditors' role is to check that EU funds are correctly spent and accounted for, it works closely with the Budgetary Control Committee, which also scrutinises EU spending and assesses whether the EU institutions should be granted discharges for their budget management.
25 March 2010