"The future of Europe": NIK President Marian Banaś at the conference in Paris

The exchange of experiences and good practices used in the pandemic dominated the first day of the conference. The Supreme Audit Institutions quickly responded to the COVID-19 crisis. First of all, they assessed their governments’ measures, covering issues as diverse as public health, socio‑economic responses and sustainability of public finances. This work, often from home, has contributed to improved transparency of the mechanisms put in place to combat the health-related and socio‑economic consequences of the pandemic.

International conference in Paris about the future of Europe; view on stage and audience

These issues as well as the issue of potential sanctions imposed by SAIs were discussed by: Director of the Swiss Federal Audit Office Michel Huissoud, General Prosecutor of Cour des Comptes Catherine Hirsch, Auditor General of the Republic of Latvia Roland Irklis. Then the floor was taken by: President of the Portuguese Court of Auditors Jose Tavares, President of the Netherlands Court of Audit Arno Visser, President of the Austrian Court of Audit and Secretary General of the International Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) Margit Kraker and First President of the French Court of Audit (Cour des Comptes) Pierre Moscovici. Representatives of the SAIs from the following countries also actively participated in the conference: Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Montenegro, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Spain, Ireland, Kosovo, Lithuania, Malta, Germany, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Sweden, Turkey, Hungary, Italy and the United Kingdom.

The second day of the conference gathered representatives of the private and public sectors, domestic and international institutions, researchers and citizens who all discussed the future of Europe following the health crisis. NIK President Marian Banaś talked with First President of the French Court of Audit (Cour des Comptes) Pierre Moscovici, American economist, winner of the Nobel Prize in economics Joseph Stiglitz and President of the European Court of Auditors Klaus-Heiner Lehne. Then the Polish SAI Head exchanged views with European Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms Elisa Ferreira, European Commissioner for Economy Paolo Gentiloni, OECD Chief Economist Laurence Boone and Professor from the Institute of Political Studies in Paris (Sciences Po) specialising in environmental and migration governance François Gemenne.

International conference in Paris about the future of Europe; view on stage and audience

The SAI Heads resolved that the exchange of information on audit results, strategic priorities and long-term audit programmes should be streamlined. They decided that certain activities need to be continued, e.g. regular meetings should be held and working groups associating specialists in a given area should be set up. The cooperation is also to comprise the exchange of employees and training programmes.

The conference participants underlined that the crisis has highlighted growing importance of cooperation between the European States, which will require cooperative audits to improve the functioning of international programmes in a broad range of fields. The SAI Heads also stressed the need for digital modernisation and dissemination of audit results, societies’ involvement in audits, use of artificial intelligence in audit processes, use of the Mass Data Storage System and development of the Flash Audit methodology.

Condemning the unwarranted military attacks by the Russian armed forces against Ukraine, the Heads of the Supreme Audit Institutions emphasise their support for the Ukrainian people. The invasion of Ukraine, launched by the Russian armed forces in disregard of international law, is a brutal act of aggression, contrary to the fundamental principles of relations between states enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations.

NIK President Marian Banaś with other participants of the international conference in Paris about the future of Europe

Firmly convinced that the use of force to change borders has no place in the twenty-first century, the participating SAIs condemn the Russian military attacks in the strongest terms and express their solidarity with Ukraine and the Ukrainian people. They call for suspending cooperation with the SAIs of the Russian Federation and Belarus and for supporting the Ukrainian Chamber of Accounts, in line with the communications and decisions of EUROSAI and the EU SAIs Contact Committee.

The conference participants asserted that given the impact of this multidimensional crisis and threats to the European and global security, it is crucial that SAIs continue to monitor and assess the effectiveness of public policies and make their voice heard in the public debate. The SAI Heads emphasised that the war is going to have crucial impact on our economies and its consequences will be painful for the public finance. That is why, the role of SAIs and the independent state audit in the circumstances of the double threat – the war and the pandemic -  is non-negotiable for legal, economic and reliable public spending.

Article informations

Date of creation:
17 March 2022 16:02
Date of publication:
17 March 2022 16:02
Published by:
Marta Połczyńska
Date of last change:
17 March 2022 16:12
Last modified by:
Marta Połczyńska
international conference in Paris about the future of Europe; view on stage

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