Louis Galea calls for strict adherence to EU financial standards

EU member states need to build capacity to adhere to financial standards, Malta's Representative at European Court of Auditors says.

Malta's representative on the European Court of Auditors (ECA), Louis Galea, today said that all EU member states needed to build the capacity to observe the standards set by the European Commission and the Court of Auditors.

"It all boils down to making sure that standards are adhered to and our house is in order," Galea said as he addressed a seminar organized by the National Audit Office.

The ECA audits the EU's finances., including its budget and policies, primarily in areas relating to growth and jobs, added value, public finances, the environment and climate action.

Galea emphasised the importance of having "credible and reliable information" in order for European institutions to evaluate the economic performance of member states.

"Each and every country needs to build capacity to observe standards because even the smallest of hitches would affect a country of Malta's size substantially," he warned.

The former Speaker and minister explained that the EU is embarking on an important but delicate new phase after grappling with the financial crisis.

He said that as from next year, new financial instruments will come into force together with the multiannual financial framework and stressed that if these measures are implemented, by 2020 the bloc "ought to be more transparent and  more democratic."

Yet ,Galea shed doubts on whether these measures will be implemented and explained that he does not believe the EU was ready for such a radical cultural shift.

"We don know whether its going to be more centralized Europe, it is clear that at the moment it is moving in the direction of the intergovernmental model where countries can opt from programmes if they disagree."