Ireland's member on the European Court of Auditors has expressed concern at the rising rate of errors in the receipt and spending by member states of European Union funds.
Speaking on the publication of the court's annual report for 2012, Kevin Cardiff said: "There is concern that the rate is slowly rising and that it could be a trend."
Every year the court assesses the level of irregularities in the disbursement of the EU's multi-billion euro annual budget.
For 2012, the EU's auditors estimate an error rate of 4.8%, up from 3.9% in 2011.
Mr Cardiff stressed, however, that the error rate was not as high as it had been in the mid-2000s. In 2006, the rate was 7.3%.
The Court of Auditors carries out random sampling of expenditure in each member state and draws an overall error picture.
The annual report is not a measure of fraud, inefficiency or waste, rather it is an estimate of the money that should not have been paid out because it was not used in accordance with the legislation concerned.
If there are cases of fraud in the receipt of EU funds, the court hands these cases over to the EU's anti-fraud arm Olaf.
Most errors occur in the areas of rural development, the environment, fisheries and health.
In most cases, according to the report for 2012, the fault lies with the member states for not applying the rules properly or not preventing mistakes.
Mr Cardiff said errors could have been spotted and dealt with by member states in around half of the cases.
In other cases, according to the court, the European Commission is at fault where money is being disbursed directly, for example to research grants and operational programmes.
Mr Cardiff said that one reason for the rise in errors could be due to the fact that the seven-year budget cycle is nearing its end and as such more funds are disbursed, leading to an increase in errors.