European Union

The European Union is effectively the fourth tier of government in the Netherlands alongside the local authorities, provincial councils and central government. Moreover, its role is becoming increasingly important. Virtually all policy areas are affected in some way by EU policy.

European laws must be either implemented in full (in the case of Regulations) or transposed into Dutch law (in the case of Directives). The Netherlands receives annual European grants and also makes annual financial contributions to the European budget. 

The Netherlands Court of Audit regularly audits how the money that the Netherlands receives from and pays to the European Union is spent. We examine whether European grants are spent in accordance with the rules, and whether they are effective. For instance, we audited how the EU responded to the financial crisis and how this panned out in the Netherlands. We also assess whether the Dutch government provides a proper account of the way in which EU grants are spent.

Our EU-themed web pages highlight three main themes. Each theme centres on a number of questions. Click on a question to view the answer. Our EU landing page also lists all our audits involving the EU.

Questions on…

Financial flows to and from the EU:

EU policy:

Institutional aspects:

Latest update January 29, 2021.

Information on this website is derived from public sources. Hyperlinks to the relevant sources have been placed on the relevant pages. The Court of Audit updates the web pages and checks the hyperlinks four times a year. The date of the latest update is shown on the landing page, Frequently used sources are:

  • The Netherlands Court of Audit’s website for references to its audits.
  • The European Court of Auditors’ website for references to its audits.
  • The websites of other supreme audit institutions in the EU for references to their audits.
  • The websites of the European Commission, the European Council and the European Parliament for information on and references to specific EU policies.
  • The House of Representatives’ website for relevant parliamentary documents.

Information and publications have also been retrieved from the websites of the Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis (CPB), the Council of State, the European Central Bank (ECB), the Single Resolution Board (SRB) and the European Stability Mechanism (ESM).