Workshop on Financial Accountability in the EU

Paul Stephenson (PCE) and Hartmut Aden (Berlin School of Economics and Law) co-organised the second of three workshops on financial accountability at EUFINACCO on 17-19 May. The event brought together 18 researchers and practitioners, including staff of the European Parliament and European Court of Auditors, as well as FASoS colleague Andreea Nastase, to explore EU budgetary accountability from a range of perspectives across eight panels:

Panel 1. Financial accountability: Financial accountability in the broader framework of accountability studies
Panel 2. Current and global perspectives on budgets: Brexit and the EU Budget: A legal analysis; Budgeting in the UN System: Bureaucratic Routines Meet Global Politics
Panel 3. European Parliament I: Better regulation: the function of better budgetary scrutiny in the framework of financial accountability; The European Parliament’s strategic involvement in the set-up of the European Structural Funds during the 1970s
Panel 4. European Parliament II: ‘The contribution of Directorate on Budgetary Affairs of the European Parliament to the Financial Accountability in the EU’; The relationship between the European Court of Auditors, EP and national parliaments
Panel 5. European Commission and Executives: Indexing Accountability Power: Assessing the accountability capacity of two EU watchdogs; Governance of the European Commission: who is responsible?
Panel 6. Crisis, responsibility and legitimacy: Crisis and public image: the link between the European financial crisis and policies of corporate social responsibility; Understanding the legitimacy of lobbying in the EU: the community of practice approach
Panel 7. Consultation and enforcement: The complexity of setting shared enforcement powers between national and EU enforcement authorities (EEAs); Consultations and the European Central Bank as prudential regulator: blessing or curse?
Panel 8. Risk, trust and new mechanisms: European Union Trust Funds and the implications for ECA audit: new risks to accountability in the EU financing of external policies

The EUFINACCO event followed on from the first workshop held at FASoS in May 2016. It brought together members of the growing network of scholars from various academic disciplines (political science, public policy, law, economics, sociology, history and criminology), all working on issues related to financial accountability in the EU.

EUFINACCO has the status of UACES collaborative research network for the period 2015-2018. Its research relates, among other issues, to:
• questions concerning accountability, legitimacy, transparency
• fields of practice such as auditing, taxation, accountancy and budgeting
• stages of the policy process such as implementation and evaluation (ex ante / ex post)
• institutions such as the European Court of Auditors, European Parliament (Budgetary Control), European Commission, Anti-Fraud Office, European Central Bank
• institutional issues of reform, roles, design, leadership, culture, ethics, learning
• new instruments such as the European Stability Mechanism and European Semester
• policy areas, from the CAP and Structural Funds to CFSP and economic governance
• analytical lenses such as multi-level governance and theories of integration

A third event will be held in Bilbao in January 2018. The three co-convenors (with Maria-Luisa Sanchez Barrueco of Deusto University) are looking to develop the EUFINACCO network and brand beyond 2018, and remain open to new members.