OLAF /06/15 Brussels, 6 October 2006

Next week, Sofia will be the venue of the seminar Transparency and Media Relations as a Means of Fighting Fraud and Corruption Affecting the EU Financial Interests, co-organised by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF), the Bulgarian Ministry of the Interior and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) for the members of the OLAF Anti-Fraud Communicators’ Network (OAFCN). From Sunday, 8 October, until Wednesday, 11 October, journalists and their trade representatives will discuss with spokespersons and communication experts from anti-fraud services from all over Europe about their mutual expectations when it comes to covering anti-fraud and anti-corruption investigations.

“This OAFCN seminar is very useful for the promotion of relations between anti-fraud services and journalists that, in the public interest, should be based upon mutual professional respect”, OLAF Director General Franz-Hermann Brüner said. “I would like to thank the Bulgarian authorities and the International Federation of Journalists for the important support that they are giving to this forum that aims at further improving the flow of information about anti-fraud and anti-corruption work”.

This four-day seminar for the members of the OAFCN network is the 6th of its kind and happens to take place in the aftermath of the European Commission’s recommendation for the accession of Bulgaria and Romania to the EU and of the European Court of First Instance’s rejection of a complaint brought by a journalist against an OLAF anti-corruption investigation (see Court’s press release pdf - 98 KB [98 KB] Deutsch (de) français (fr) ). It is the second seminar co-organized by OLAF jointly with the IFJ/EFJ, following the call last year by the OAFCN-members and the IFJ/EFJ for the continuation of the common dialogue and for seminars such as those organized in 2005 to be repeated at least once a year.

The main aim of the seminar is to learn from each other’s best practice and problems in communication as a means of fighting fraud and corruption. Participants will discuss the limitations of the media of the Acceding Countries in the fight against fraud and corruption as well as the complex issue of “Investigative journalism, information, disinformation and lobbying”.

In parallel, OLAF’s Director General Franz-Hermann Brüner will have fringe meetings with several high-ranking representatives of Bulgaria, including the Prime Minister, H.E. Mr. Sergei Stanishev, the Minister of the Interior, H.E. Mr. Rumen Petkov and Prosecutor General Mr. Boris Velchev.

New OLAF Video Stock Shots

In the course of the seminar OLAF will present its new video stock shots on OLAF’s co-operation with the Bulgarian authorities in anti-fraud investigations. The stock shots are available for download from the European Commission’s Audiovisual Service.

The full programme pdf - 111 KB [111 KB] of the seminar is available on the OLAF website.

Alessandro Butticé
Head of Spokesman, Communication and PRUnit
Tel : +32 (0)2 296.54.25
Fax : +32 (0)2 299.81.01
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