EU accounts qualified - again
The European Court of Auditors (ECA) has found substantial errors in the European Union's 2011 accounts, resulting in a qualification.
In its annual report on the implementation of the EU budget, released this week, the ECA said £89bn in spending was affected by "material error" at an estimated error rate of almost 4%, continuing a humuliating tradition for the union's finances.
This figure has remained relatively unchanged since 2010, when it was 3.7%.
The EU spent around £103bn in 2011, 80% of which went on agricultural and cohesion policies.
The ECA said it saw "too many cases of EU money not hitting the target or being used sub-optimally".
The report found the biggest issues were in outlays in fisheries, rural development and health policy, while the majority of errors arose from the "misapplication or misunderstanding" of EU rules.
The sequence of qualifications goes back for nearly two decades, with one exception in 2008, when the EU succeeded in getting its accounts past the ECA for the first time in fourteen years.