The Balkans and Turkey are considered one of the most sensitive regions in Europe with respect to euro counterfeiting. Given their strategic geographical position, all countries in this region are potential production sites as well as transit areas for counterfeit euros. The European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF), which plays in important role in the protection of the single European currency, together with the Central Bank of Montenegro organised the “11th Euro South East Conference”: a regional meeting of anti-counterfeiting experts from Judicial, Police, Customs and Central Banks.
The conference was hosted in Budva (Montenegro) from 19 to 23 May 2014 with the main objective to strengthen regional cooperation in the South East of Europe. Additional goals of the action were maintaining and reinforcing the multidisciplinary professional network of anti-counterfeiting experts in the region and raising awareness on the latest developments in the fight against counterfeiting.
The event brought together 75 counterfeiting experts from 24 countries, including staff from the European Central Bank (ECB), the European Police Office (Europol) and OLAF.
The training was financed under the Pericles programme for the protection of the euro. Actions in South-Eastern Europe are identified as a priority in the Pericles strategy as the region represents a threat for the protection of the euro.
The importance of assistance in the fight against euro counterfeiting in the region was recently highlighted by several successful operations against counterfeiters. In 2013 more than seven illegal print shops have been dismantled in this area.
The European Commision is not only responsible for legislative initiatives, monitoring and advice in legislation to protect euro banknotes and coins, but it also manages the implemention of the Pericles programme. This programme provides training and technical assistance for competent national authorities to enable them to further improve the protection of euro banknotes and coins against counterfeiting. On 11 March 2014 “Pericles 2020” was adopted; the new Pericles programme will allow OLAF to continue supporting training in the area of euro protection also in the period 2014-2020.
Furthermore, under EU rules (Regulation EC 1338/2001), the Commission is responsible for the European Technical & Scientific Centre (ETSC). The ETSC analyses and classifies new stamped counterfeit euro coins. It is established in OLAF and uses the technical equipment and installations of the Monnaie de Paris. The Commission also collaborates closely with the European Central Bank (ECB), Europol, Interpol and the competent national authorities.
- Publication date
- 17 June 2014
- European Anti-Fraud Office
- News type
- OLAF news article