The Netherlands Court of Audit began a project in 2012 to monitor the measures being taken by the European Union (EU) to address the economic and financial crisis. The aim of the project is to inform the Dutch parliament at relevant moments of developments in the economic and financial crisis. This website presents what the project has considered so far. It also provides a first impression of our provisional results. It is a work in progress that will be built upon in the coming period.

The main points of the project are shown in figure 1 below.

EU economic priorities, budgetary discipline, financial stability instruments, supervision EU financial sector

EU economic priorities, budgetary discipline, financial stability instruments, supervision EU financial sector

The project analyses the instruments the EU has applied to help countries in financial problems. Three policy ambitions are of particular importance:

  • strengthening budgetary discipline within the EU to prevent comparable problems in the future;
  • achieving the EU's economic priorities;
  • strengthening supervision of the European financial sector.

We understand ‘EU’ to mean not only the 28 member states but also the European institutions such as the Council of Ministers, in which the member states are represented, the European Commission, the European Parliament, the European Court of Justice and the European Court of Auditors. The European Commission plays a key role in combating the economic and financial crisis and is involved in most of the activities being undertaken.

The project in greater detail

The EU makes policy to reinforce a solid framework for economic and fiscal coordination and surveillance and to assist member states that are in financial difficulties. A rough outline of the policy was shown in figure 1 on the previous page. The policy is shown in greater detail in figure 2 below. Our project considers all the aspects shown.

  • EU economic priorities,
  • budgetary discipline,
  • financial stability instruments



Figure 2 is a simplified image of the activities currently being undertaken by the EU, albeit not necessarily by the 'EU' as a whole. A distinction is made between:

  • The EU 28 as a community of 28 member states (with the associated treaties and EU institutions);
  • The Eurogroup, consisting of the 19 member states that use the euro as their currency (the Euro 19).

All EU law applies to the agreements made by the EU 28. All EU institutions (Council, European Commission, European Parliament, European Court of Justice, European Court of Auditors) are involved. Separate intergovernmental agreements have been concluded for the agreements made by the Euro 18, plus other member states where applicable. The role of the EU institutions is laid down in these agreements.

Figure 2 shows that other actors inside and outside the EU are also involved in the crisis measures: the International Monetary Fund (IMF) plays an important role in granting financial assistance to the member states. The European Central Bank (ECB) also holds a key position in tackling the crisis as it is responsible for price stability in the euro area.


Quality of the information in the web file

The Netherlands Court of Audit exercises the greatest possible care managing the contents of this web file. The information presented is derived from authoritative public sources and has not been independently verified by the Court of Audit as to its completeness or reliability. Users cannot derive any rights from the information in this web file.