EUROSAI. Magazine N24 - 2018

Magazine No. 24 - 2018 57 Information on EU The third panel member, Klaus-Heiner Lehne, President of ECA, shortly outlined the ECA’s understanding of its role as the independent guardian of the interests of the EU citizens in order to explain why and what his institution has done so far on the topic of interaction with citizens. At the same time, he acknowledged the challenges of integrating interaction with citizens into the work of an audit institution. In his view, audit work should reflect the concerns of the ultimate stakeholders - EU citizens, today and in the future. Therefore, citizens are welcome to make proposals. Taking advice is not in contradiction with independence as long as the decision-making process is in the hands of the SAI. He pointed out that, in order to improve interaction with EU citizens, the ECA has introduced several new tools, such as background papers based on information gathered in the preparation of an audit, or surveys on social media, which are collecting the views of citizens on certain topics. Klaus-Heiner Lehne concluded that SAIs are the fortress against populism and fake news because their activity is based on facts and professional judgement. For the ECA a very important task is regaining and stabilising trust in the EU and national institutions. Therefore, SAIs – as any public institution – should always be realistic on what they can deliver. In the end, the discussions on the seminar theme ‘SAIs’ interaction with EU citizens’ lead to the identification of good practices (via oral and video presentations) and encouraging positive examples. Other issues discussed In parts II, III and IV of the meeting several other topics were discussed. This included a discussion on the yearly activities of the Contact Committee. The Contact Committee took note of the work carried out by its working groups, task forces and networks, e.g. by the Europe 2020 Strategy and the Fiscal Policy Audit Networks. Moreover, it approved the update of the Public Procurement Audit Toolkit and thanked the ECA as well as the contributing for the successful publication of the first Audit Compendium (published in April 2018) which was recognised as a useful and valuable tool for CC communication. The next Contact Committee meeting will be held in Poland in June 2019. 2018 EU Contact Committee meeting 2018 EU Contact Committee meeting