Composition of the European Court of Auditors
The Court of Auditors is made up of one Member from each EU Member State. Initially, there were nine Members.
The Members of the Court of Auditors are chosen from among persons who belong or have belonged to external audit bodies in their respective countries or who are especially qualified for this office. Their independence must be beyond doubt.
Their term of office lasts for six years. However, when the first Members of the Court were appointed in 1977, in order to avoid replacing the entire body, four Members chosen by lot were given a reduced mandate of four years. As a result of the modifications made by the Treaty de Nice, the Council, after consultation with the European Parliament, adopts by qualified majority the list of Members drawn up in accordance with the proposals made by each Member State. The term of office is renewable.
The Members of the Court, in the general interest of the Community, are completely independent in the performance of their duties. They must neither seek nor take instructions from any government or any other body, and they must refrain from any action incompatible with their duties. During their term of office, the Members of the Court may not engage in any professional activities. When appointed, they must give a solemn undertaking to respect the obligations arising from their duties, both during and after their term of office.
Apart from normal replacement, the duties of an individual Member end when he/she resigns or is compulsorily retired by a ruling of the Court of Justice. In both cases, the Member concerned is replaced for the remainder of the term in office.
The conditions of employment and particularly the salaries, allowances and pensions of Members of the Court, as well as all payments made instead of remuneration, are determined by the Council.
The provisions of the Protocol on the privileges and immunities of the European Communities applicable to Judges of the Court of Justice also apply to Members of the Court of Auditors.