On February 1, 2023, the European Commission (EC) published the Analytical Report on the application for the accession of the Republic of Moldova to the European Union. The Analytical Report evaluates the related situation of 33 chapters of EU legislation and completes the first part of the EC Opinion, which was published on June 17, 2022 and evaluated the political criterion and the economic criterion of accession.
The conclusions and recommendations included in the Report represent the basic benchmarks for the actions requested by the EU from the country's authorities in the context of the European agenda.
The Court of Accounts of the Republic of Moldova (CoARM) thoroughly studied the European Commission’s Report and, following the analysis, found a series of important aspects:
- The CoARM's field of activity, external public audit, is an important element for the European agenda of the Republic of Moldova, being included as a separate subchapter in Chapter 32: Financial Control - Section II: External Public Audit. It should be noted that Section II of Chapter 32 is the exclusive field of activity of the CoARM, because there is no other institution in the state that carries out activity in this field, which would know the rigors of legislation and international standards that are the basis of EU requirements.
- Chapter 32: Financial control is included, along with Chapters 23: Justice and fundamental rights, 24: Justice, freedom and security, 5: Public procurement, 18: Statistics, in Cluster 1: FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ACCESSION PROCESS, which involves measures that should be undertaken as a priority by the Republic of Moldova.
- The provisions of the Analytical Report of the EC, included in Chapter 32, II, are fully based on the findings and recommendations of the international Peer Review Report of the Court of Accounts, exercise carried out during 2020-2022 under the auspices of SIGMA - the joint initiative of the European Commission and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
- The analysis of the content of the EC’s Report confirmed the findings of the external evaluations of the Court of Accounts, carried out in the recent years, regarding the quality and professionalism of the CoARM’s activity and the correspondence to the International Standards of INTOSAI, being noted that “...the audit activity follows the international standards of the supreme audit institutions, and manuals are in place for the financial audit and for the compliance and performance audit. The Court has a system of control and quality assurance in accordance with international standards…”.
- The EC’s Report emphasizes the findings of the international "peer review" assessment regarding the limitations of the independence of the Court of Accounts, noting “...some provisions of the legislation undermine key elements of the organizational, functional and financial independence of the Court...”.
- Appreciating the reports of the Court of Accounts and their value for strengthening public management, the European authorities reiterate the importance of implementing the CoARM’s recommendations, referring to the importance of strengthening the parliamentary control function.
Following the analysis of the Analytical Report of the EC, the Court of Accounts identified measures and actions to be taken to implement the recommendations formulated. We are in the process of drafting a set of draft laws, aimed at improving the field of "financial control and external public audit", which will soon be presented to the competent structures (the Public Finance Control Committee of the Parliament, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration) to be promoted for examination and approval.
In this way, the Court of Accounts will contribute to the development and implementation of the Plan 33 to accelerate the accession process and the plan of urgent measures for EU accession negotiations.