Member States are becoming increasingly effective in fighting fraud affecting the financial interests of the EU, detecting and prosecuting more fraud cases in 2014 than in the previous year (1649 cases overall, 2% more than in 2013). This is a key finding of the Commission's annual report on the protection of the EU’s financial interests (the 'PIF report'). However, the Commission at the same time encourages Member States to put even more effort into ensuring that money from the EU budget is correctly used for projects that contribute to growth and jobs in Europe. Member States manage approximately 80% of the EU budget, in areas such as agriculture, fisheries and regional policy.
The report shows that Member States have taken a series of measures to ensure that EU funds are well-protected from fraud, both on the expenditure and revenue sides, so that the EU budget is well-spent and not deprived of revenue. Positive examples include the adoption by five Member States of national anti-fraud strategies. Furthermore, the increased detection of cases of potential fraud in 2014 shows that joint anti-fraud efforts between Member States and the Commission have already produced good results. Similarly, Joint Customs Operations (JCOs) carried-out by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF), customs authorities of Member States and third countries in 2014 also illustrate good cooperation in the detection of fraud. These JCOs focused on specific areas at risk of fraud on the revenue side of the budget such as counterfeiting, undervaluation of goods or smuggling of goods into the EU.
In addition to data on reported fraud and irregularities, this year's report provides an in-depth analysis of the differences between Member States in applying the definitions related to the reporting of fraud and irregularities. Despite important efforts made, differences in the application of the definitions among Member States still exist. The Commission will continue to encourage greater harmonisation in order to increase the comparability of the reported data.
The report also sets out the state of play of significant initiatives taken by the Commission in 2014 to counter fraud affecting the EU budget. These measures build on the comprehensive anti-fraud programme that the Commission put forward in 2014 (see also press release 11/783).
The PIF report, based on information reported by the Member States, is prepared annually under Article 325 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. It provides an in-depth analysis of the approaches, procedures and tools used by the Member States in their fight against fraud. The report also assesses which areas of activity are most at risk of fraud, thereby enabling both the Commission and Member States to better target anti-fraud actions. While anti-fraud remains primarily a Member-State responsibility, the Commission works closely with Member States to share best practices, ensure coordination and provide guidelines.
For more information
The report is available on the OLAF website.
- Publication date
- 31 July 2015
- European Anti-Fraud Office
- News type
- OLAF news article