REPORT on the nomination of Karel Pinxten as a Member of the Court of Auditors

26.10.2017 - (C8‑0328/2017 – 2017/0812(NLE))

Committee on Budgetary Control
Rapporteur: Indrek Tarand

Procedure : 2017/0812(NLE)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected :  
Texts tabled :
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Texts adopted :


on the nomination of Karel Pinxten as a Member of the Court of Auditors

(C8‑0328/2017 – 2017/0812(NLE))


The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Article 286(2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, pursuant to which the Council consulted Parliament (C8‑0328/2017),

–  having regard to Rule 121 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgetary Control (A8-0336/2017),

A.  whereas Parliament’s Committee on Budgetary Control proceeded to evaluate the credentials of the nominee, in particular in view of the requirements laid down in Article 286(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union;

B.  whereas at its meeting of 19 October 2017 the Committee on Budgetary Control heard the Council’s nominee for membership of the Court of Auditors;

1.  Delivers a negative opinion on the Council’s nomination of Karel Pinxten as a Member of the Court of Auditors;

2.  Instructs its President to forward this decision to the Council and, for information, the Court of Auditors, the other institutions of the European Union and the audit institutions of the Member States.



Master’s degree in Economics (M. Phil.) from University of Cambridge (UK) as a British Council scholar.

Doctorandus in Economics, specialising in public finance and monetary economics, from the Catholic University of Leuven.

Candidate degree in Law from Antwerp University.

Professional experience:

From 1977 to 1978, Karel Pinxten worked as a research assistant in public finance at the Centre for Economic Studies at the Catholic University of Leuven.

In 1978, he completed a six-month study trip to Japan as a Laureate of the Prize of the Belgian Foreign Trade Minister.

He was an auditor at the Belgian Court of Auditors from 1980 until he joined the Belgian government in 1994. He was on secondment from the Belgian Court of Auditors between 1984 and 1994.He was Mayor of Overpelt from 1983 until 2006.

Between 1984 and 1985, Mr Pinxten was an adviser in the private office of the Belgian Deputy Prime Minister.

From 1985 to 1989, he was an adviser in the private office of the Belgian Finance Minister.

As an MEP from 1989 to 1991, he sat on the European Parliament’s Committee on Budgets and Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs.

Between 1991 and 1994, Mr Pinxten was an MP in the Belgian Federal Parliament and sat on its Finance Committee.

He was appointed Minister of Defence from 1994 to 1995 and Minister of Agriculture and SMEs from 1995 to 1999.

During his term as an MP in the Belgian Federal Parliament from 1999 to 2006, Mr Pinxten sat on the Finance and Foreign Affairs Committees. In 2004, he was elected Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, remaining in this position until he joined the European Court of Auditors.

Mr Pinxten became a Member of the European Court of Auditors on 1 March 2006, and was appointed to Audit Group Ill “External Actions”.

Following the reorganisation of the Court, Mr Pinxten has been a Member of Chamber Ill “External Actions” since 1June 2010.

Since April 2011, Mr Pinxten has been the Dean of Chamber Ill “External Actions” and a Member of the Administrative Committee.

In 2015, HRH King Philippe of Belgium bestowed the title of Baron on Mr Pinxten.


Karel Pinxten has published on topics relating to budgetary policy, monetary policy and foreign trade.


Experience as a Court Member

When I became a Member of the European Court of Auditors in March 2006, I was assigned to the area of audit of External Action. Since my appointment I have been the reporting member for 13 Special Reports and I was also responsible for contributions to the Court’s Annual Report (DAS chapters) for the years 2006, 2007 and 2011.

I was a Member of the Joint Audit Committee on EUROPOL for the financial year 2009.

Currently, I am responsible for three Special Reports that are in the pipeline:

-  “EU Assistance to Myanmar/Burma”,

-  “Follow up of SR No 17/2014 on the chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear risks (CBRN) Centers of Excellence” and

-  “Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs)”.

In April 2011, my colleagues elected me as Dean of Chamber III (External Action, Security and Justice). Since then the Members of Chamber III re-elected me three times as their Dean. As Dean, I am also a member of the Court’s Administrative Committee since April 2011.

Objectives for a possible future mandate

It is in the interest of the European citizen to have a strong European Court of Auditors that cooperates closely with the European Parliament.

The European taxpayer has the right to know that EU money is spent in a proper and transparent way. This is a prerequisite for the trust and support of the EU citizen for all EU actions. As an independent institution the ECA plays a key role in this process.

In our Annual Report we should endeavour to analyse further the causes of the misspending of EU money and how this could be avoided.

In the area of performance audit one of the important priorities of our work should be migration, which is likely to become a structural phenomenon. In a few decades the population of the African continent will have doubled. This will foster further migration flows to the EU. As a result, the link between development on the African continent and managing migration streams to the EU will be a major challenge in the Court’s work for the coming years.

Above all, I will strive to ensure the Court’s relevance and the quality of its work, as I have tried to do to date in the Court.



Partial renewal of members of the Court of Auditors - BE nominee


10606/2017 – C8-0328/2017 – 2017/0812(NLE)

Date of consultation / request for consent





Committee responsible

       Date announced in plenary







       Date appointed

Indrek Tarand





Date adopted





Result of final vote







Members present for the final vote

Nedzhmi Ali, Jonathan Arnott, Inés Ayala Sender, Luke Ming Flanagan, Ingeborg Gräßle, Cătălin Sorin Ivan, Arndt Kohn, Bogusław Liberadzki, Monica Macovei, Notis Marias, Petri Sarvamaa, Bart Staes, Indrek Tarand, Marco Valli, Tomáš Zdechovský, Joachim Zeller

Substitutes present for the final vote

Richard Ashworth, Karin Kadenbach, Julia Pitera, Patricija Šulin

Substitutes under Rule 200(2) present for the final vote

Jan Huitema, Wajid Khan, Momchil Nekov, Monika Smolková, Lieve Wierinck

Date tabled