Student reflections on the EUFINACCO Workshop in Bilbao
1 March, 2018
On the 31st January and 1st February, I had the opportunity to assist the III EUFINACCO Workshop hosted by the Deusto Faculty of Law and organized by the SAPIA Jean Monnet Module held by Maria Luisa Sánchez Barrueco. This event was a great contribution to my academic formation as an International Relations and Law student. Indeed, during this event, I could listen to numerous experts and professionals of the EUFINACCO Network offering several conclusions on the subject that marked the title of the Workshop: the Financial accountability in the European Union institutions, policy and practice.
The event was opened by the Vice-dean of the Faculty of Law, Marta Enciso, who offered the stage to the first speaker, Hartmut Aden. Hartmut together with Gilberto Moggia, EU official at the European Court of Auditors, offered the first insight by explaining what accountability and the Court of Auditors are, as well as their importance in this research project. I must say that this introduction was key to the development of the Workshop, especially, for those of us who had absolutely no knowledge on the subject.
The following day, the Workshop was started by Gabriele Cipriani, also Official at the EU Court of Auditors, who explained the challenges of visibility of the EU Revenue and some possible solutions for integration through visibility. After this, Justyna Lacny (Polish Academy of Sciences), Andreea Hancu (Universitat de Valencia), Claudia Gloazzo (University of Strathclyde) and Maaike Damen-Koedijk (Tilburg University) offered their knowledge from a more practical perspective as they described the financial corrections, the EU Development fund or the financial instruments in the Cohesion Policy and the accountability process of the Cohesion Policy from the Dutch system.
Likewise, Giacomo Benedetto (Royal Holloway University of London) completed the accountability of EU Funds explaining the example of the European Fund for Strategic Investments. Finally, Paul Stephenson offered some remarks on the differences between the parliamentary scrutiny and the audit process of the EU Court of Auditors and Maria Luisa commented the many issues regarding accountability in the field of the Common Foreign and Security Policy of the EU.
I think that, if the first day was the outline, the second was full of colour and details. The picture was fabulously completed and exhibited during the two days and it taught the public not only the theoretical framework of accountability, but also its issues and application to the European Institutions. Thus, the most important thing that a student can extract from this experience is the possibility to learn about a European reality almost unknown and the chance to improve their critical thought when analysing the European Union. Even if some of the discussed problems saw no solutions, the formulation of the problem is often more essential than its solution, as Albert Einstein used to say.
by Alex Soroiu, undergraduate student of International Relations and Law, Deusto University