Environment and nature protection are decisive factors in modern society. As environmental problems do not stop at national borderlines, intensive international cooperation is needed in order to prevent and reduce pollution. Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) as independent organizations have a special function in covering these topics.
With the aim to contribute to a supranational approach on environmental issues, the Heads of the SAIs of the Republic of Hungary, Republic of Slovenia and the Republic of Austria decided to carry out a coordinated audits on how to treat the frequently identical problems of environment and nature protection in the region located along the joint borders of the three countries. All SAIs already had experience with successful bilateral audit cooperation; this trilateral audit denotes a further step in cooperation and exchange of know-how between the SAIs of the Republic of Hungary, Republic of Slovenia and the Republic of Austria.
The environmental audits carried out by the three SAIs covered the topics water, soil and nature protection. The audited area comprised the border region of the three countries with emphasis on the region of Raab/Rába and Mur/Mura border river basin and protected areas. The audits covered the period 2000-2005 with focus on the trends and recent developments.
The main objectives were to address:
• the quality of rivers, groundwater, soil and natural habitats,
• the situation of sewage disposal,
• the effectiveness of the measures taken by the authorities to foster environment and nature protection, and of the application of funds,
• deficiencies and need for further measures.
In the audits special emphasis was given to the transboundary cooperation of the competent authorities of the three countries in the field of environment protection.
The audits were carried out in the spirit of tight cooperation of the three SAIs. Beyond the in-depth reconciliation of the audit highlights with one another, each of the three SAIs carried out the audit under its own authority and as part of its annual national audit program. Audit results were published in separate national reports and condensed to the joint report, compiled by the three SAIs.
Report in german: intosai-cooperativeaudits.org/catalog/report/umweltschutz-im-dreilndereck-ungarn-sterreich-und-slowenien