Press Release OLAF/06/2003, 20 february 2003

OLAF - the European Anti-fraud Office continues its work of reinforcing the fight against fraud in the candidate countries. The protection of the financial interests of the European Union is the responsibility of the European Commission. This responsibility is shared with the Member States and with the candidate countries. They have all responded to a request from OLAF to have an Anti-Fraud Co-ordinating Service (AFCOS) up and running prior to accession

In recent weeks Mr Franz-Hermann Brüner, Director-General of the European Anti-fraud Office (OLAF) has visited Romania and Poland to further reinforce the existing

During his visit to Romania, which took place on 6-7 February 2003 Mr Brüner met with the Romanian President, Mr Ion Iliescu, and with the head of the national AFCOS to discuss modalities for future co-operation. On 11 February 2003 he was in Warsaw where he participated in the official opening of the new Bureau for International Treasury Relations (ITR) within the Polish Ministry of Finance in Warsaw. The ITR Bureau is the AFCOS structure in Poland.

By putting the AFCOS offices in place, the candidate countries have demonstrated in concrete terms their commitment to fighting fraud. Once these structures are fully operational, the candidate countries should be capable of fighting against irregularities and fraud against the financial interests of the European Union with the same rigidity and effectiveness as

In the coming months the AFCOS structures in the candidate countries and OLAF will further work together to increase effectiveness and their co-operation with other relevant law enforcement authorities, through training actions and seminars for the staff and by co-operating

To put the work of OLAF in the Candidate countries in context, according to the most recently available figure the Office has 156 cases either under evaluation or in the investigative phase concerning the candidate countries. The main areas of investigation are in respect of EU aid to these countries (70 cases), customs cases (29 cases) and cigarette

As is the case in the Member States fraud and corruption occur across the whole range of activities in which the Community Institutions operate. Fraud follows money-flows and is most prevalent where systems of control

The number of cases opened by OLAF varies between the different Candidates Countries. This is due to a number of factors, which include the total amount of fraud committed, the relative size of the country but also the effectiveness of national fraud detection and control mechanisms. On the basis of the number of OLAF investigations it would neither be useful, fair or accurate to single out one country as being more fraudulent or corrupt than others.

Mr Alessandro Butticé
Spokesman of the European Anti-fraud Office (OLAF)
Tel : +32 (0)2 296.5425
Fax : +32 (0)2 299.8101

Print versionDecrease textIncrease text
Events calendar
Last update: 20/04/2015