Budgetary control MEPs on Tuesday endorsed two new members of the European Court of Auditors (ECA) and extended mandates for three current ECA members, including ECA president Lehne.

The new members

The new French member of ECA François-Roger Cazala was backed by 20 votes in favour, 3 against and 1 abstention. He is a member and a former Vice-Chair of the College of Auditors of the European Stability Mechanism. Mr Cazala has been a long-standing member of the French Court of Auditors.

Ms Joelle Elvinger, nominated by Luxembourg, was backed by 19 votes in favour and 5 against. She is currently a Member of Luxemburg’s Chamber of deputies and a lawyer. She has held office of the Mayor of Walferdange commune.

Renewals of mandates

Budgetary Control committee voted by 16 votes to 5 and 3 abstentions to renew the mandate of the German ECA member Klaus-Heiner Lehne who is the current president of the Court. A long-standing member of the European Parliament and the former chair of the Committee of Legal affairs, Mr. Lehne has served in Court since 2014.

Positive endorsements were passed also for Alex Brenninkmeijer, nominated by the Netherlands, by 23 votes to 1, as well as Nikolaos Milionis, nominated by Greece, by 23 votes to 1. Both Mr Brenninkmeijer and Mr Millionis have been ECA members since 2014.

Next steps

The appointments need to be still supported by the full house in November II session in Strasbourg – and sealed by the Council.

Background

The ECA has 28 members, one from each EU member state. They are appointed for a renewable term of six years by the Council, after consulting the European Parliament.

To prepare for a hearing in Parliament, each candidate is asked to answer a questionnaire prepared by the Budgetary Control Committee. At the hearing, candidates are invited to make a five-minute opening statement, followed by a question and answer session with committee members. The committee votes on the candidate in a secret ballot. If approved in committee, the nomination is then put to a vote by Parliament as a whole.

The Court, based in Luxembourg, assists the European Parliament in its role of watchdog for the implementation of the EU budget, in particular through the discharge procedure, ensuring the interests of European taxpayers.

In October, the Court published its Annual report which contains the results of financial and compliance audit work on the European Union budget and European Development Funds. The Annual report comprises the annual statement of assurance, covers budgetary management and performance aspects of the EU spending.