PRESS RELEASE No 2/2022
The European Anti-fraud Office (OLAF) and the Office of the Prosecutor General of Hungary have signed a cooperation arrangement, which commits both to closer cooperation in order to protect EU funds from potential fraud in the country.
The Administrative Cooperation Arrangement will make it easier for each party to work together to investigate fraudulent behaviour, provide operational assistance and share best practice.
In practice, the arrangement will allow for greater sharing of information between OLAF and the Hungarian Prosecutor General’s Office on specific investigations. It also clears the way for a more joined up approach to operational actives, such as coordinating investigative steps and synchronising activities. The arrangement also allows for more shared training opportunities and technical assistance.
OLAF Director-General Ville Itälä said: “This is an important and welcome agreement which builds on our relationship with the Office of the Prosecutor General. Hungary does not participate in the European Public Prosecutor’s Office – meaning that good cooperation between OLAF and the Hungarian authorities becomes more important than ever to protect EU funds from fraudsters. At OLAF we know that we achieve our best results when working in cooperation with partners.’’
Hungarian Prosecutor General Péter Polt said: “Cooperation between OLAF and the Prosecution Service of Hungary has been excellent so far. The arrangement is a formalisation of this, as the commitments contained in it have so far been fulfilled by the parties on the basis of common interests and objectives. Our cooperation with OLAF also helps us fulfil the working arrangement we have with the European Public Prosecutor's Office. As is well known, Hungary is not a member of the European Public Prosecutor's Office, but the Prosecution Service of Hungary is the only Prosecution Service among non-participating countries which has concluded a working arrangement with the EPPO for the purpose of joint operation.”
OLAF’s administrative cooperation arrangements do not create or modify any rights or obligations under national or European Union law. Their scope is to define the practical modalities on how to implement existing rules in good cooperation, to encourage operational exchanges and make it easier to share useful experience.
OLAF mission, mandate and competences:
OLAF’s mission is to detect, investigate and stop fraud with EU funds.
OLAF fulfils its mission by:
• carrying out independent investigations into fraud and corruption involving EU funds, so as to ensure that all EU taxpayers’ money reaches projects that can create jobs and growth in Europe;
• contributing to strengthening citizens’ trust in the EU Institutions by investigating serious misconduct by EU staff and members of the EU Institutions;
• developing a sound EU anti-fraud policy.
In its independent investigative function, OLAF can investigate matters relating to fraud, corruption and other offences affecting the EU financial interests concerning:
• all EU expenditure: the main spending categories are Structural Funds, agricultural policy and rural development funds, direct expenditure and external aid;
• some areas of EU revenue, mainly customs duties;
• suspicions of serious misconduct by EU staff and members of the EU institutions.
Once OLAF has completed its investigation, it is for the competent EU and national authorities to examine and decide on the follow-up of OLAF’s recommendations. All persons concerned are presumed to be innocent until proven guilty in a competent national or EU court of law.
For further details:
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- Publication date
- 11 February 2022
- European Anti-Fraud Office
- News type
- OLAF press release