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Press release20 February 2024European Anti-Fraud Office4 min read

OLAF trains Ukrainian anti-fraud authorities


Press release No 04/2024
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The European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) is currently holding a three-day training event in Brussels for Ukraine’s anti-fraud and anti-corruption authorities. The training comes at a key moment for the EU and Ukraine, as it will help protect the 50 billion euro aid that the EU is about to disburse under the Ukraine Facility.

OLAF’s seminar runs from 19 to 21 February. Participants were welcomed on Monday morning by Johannes Hahn, European Commissioner for Budget and Administration, and by Ville Itälä, Director-General of OLAF.

Commissioner Johannes Hahn said: "I was involved in establishing the Ukraine Facility and I am proud that we reached a political agreement recently. The EU will invest 50 billion euro to meet present and future challenges of Ukraine. However, that money will only make a difference if it is spent where it is needed, and we all have a role to make sure that this happens. Investing in the fight against fraud is an investment in the future. I have seen the commitment of Ukrainian authorities first hand over the years. This training will support the efforts made on the ground".

Director-General Ville Itälä said: "OLAF has been working with the Ukrainian authorities for many years now, since well before Russia’s war. OLAF is an anti-fraud body, so we are not on the military front. But we are fighting on the anti-corruption and anti-fraud front. We want to make sure that the cooperation with the Ukrainian authorities is as smooth and efficient as possible so that we can protect EU funds together; and we want to support national capacities, because the role of the Ukrainian authorities will be key in the future. We need each other to effectively protect the 50 billion of the Ukraine Facility".

The aim of the training is to keep strengthening OLAF’s cooperation with the Ukrainian authorities and to provide capacity building, for example on the use of open source research for investigations and interviewing techniques. The programme includes practical, hands-on sessions with case studies and interactive workshops.

There are 40 participants from the relevant national authorities: the State Audit Service, the Economic Security Bureau of Ukraine, the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine, the Specialised Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office, the Prosecutor-General’s Office, the State Customs Service, the Ministry of Finance, and the Secretariat of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine.


OLAF has a long-standing cooperation with the Ukrainian authorities both on the expenditure side of the EU budget (protection of EU funds) and on the revenue side (customs cooperation). OLAF has been supporting Ukraine’s anti-fraud authorities to help strengthen and improve the country’s structures to deal with fraud and corruption and to protect current and future EU funding. OLAF also plays an important role in helping EU Member States prevent evasion of EU sanctions against Russia and Belarus.

OLAF’s training event implements the action plan of the Commission Anti-Fraud Strategy. Action no. 25 of the latest action plan – adopted in July 2023 – is to support Ukraine by providing capacity building to protect EU funding from fraud and corruption. OLAF is the leading service for this action, as well as for the European Commission’s anti-fraud policy and strategy more broadly.

The event is financed from the Union Anti-Fraud Programme (UAFP). The UAFP is a line of EU funding that is managed by OLAF on behalf of the European Commission to support national authorities in the EU and in associated countries in their fight against fraud. The EU and Ukraine expect to finalise the process of Ukraine’s association to the UAFP as soon as possible.

Ville Itälä Director-General of OLAF and Commissioner Johannes Hahn speaking at the roundtable with an EU flag in the background
European Commissioner for Budget and Administration Johannes Hahn (right) and OLAF Director-General Ville Itälä
Group photo of the training participants

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:

Kirill GELMI
European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF)
Phone: +32(0)2 29-88146  
Email: olaf-mediaatec [dot] europa [dot] eu (olaf-media[at]ec[dot]europa[dot]eu)
Twitter: @EUAntiFraud
LinkedIn: European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF)

Theresa ZAHRA
Deputy Spokesperson
European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF)
Phone: +32 (0)2 29-57270   
Email: olaf-mediaatec [dot] europa [dot] eu (olaf-media[at]ec[dot]europa[dot]eu)
Twitter: @EUAntiFraud
LinkedIn: European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF)

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Publication date
20 February 2024
European Anti-Fraud Office
News type
  • OLAF press release