European Auditors Warn of High Fraud Risk Related to EU Recovery Fund

The European Court of Auditors (ECA) is on high alert about the risk of fraud and abuse associated with the €750 billion EU Pandemic Recovery Fund, DPA informs.

The faster the money flows, the higher the risks. This is inevitable,” the president of the court, Klaus-Heiner Lehne, told DPA. It is crucial to have an effective inspection system, the German expert added.

The huge pandemic recovery fund, which will be paid off as loans and grants, should help the 27 EU Member States boost their economies hit hard by the pandemic.

The European Commission expects the financial mechanism to start working in July.

The Fund comes in package with the long-term EU budget by 2027. Together, they are worth around €1.8 trillion.

According to Lehne, since the size of the budget is almost doubled, and the need for monitoring is greater. In 2022, the ECA, which inspects how wisely and fairly EU funds are spent, will have to add 40 new posts to its staff of around 900, its President said.

“I can assure you, however, that we will be able to follow him closely,” Lehne said. “It’s our duty and we will do it,” he stressed.

“I can assure you, however, that we will be able to follow everything closely,” Lehne said. “It’s our duty and we will do it,” he stressed.

Previous ECA revelations show that billions of euros of EU funds are distributed through the wrong channels every year. However, most of these incidents are due to errors rather than fraud, according to European auditors.