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Anti-Fraud

18/07/2014

Member States must step up their work to prevent, detect and report fraud affecting EU funds, according to the Commission's annual report on the protection of financial interests (PIF report).

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Commission proposes final step in OLAF reform process

11/06/2014

Today the Commission has proposed measures to further safeguard procedural guarantees in OLAF investigations, in order to complete the already comprehensive reform of the EU's anti-fraud office.

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Zero tolerance for counterfeiting the euro: European Commission proposal clears final hurdle

06/05/2014

The EU's Finance Ministers have today backed measures that will reinforce the protection of the euro and other currencies through criminal law measures. New measures will include tougher sanctions for criminals and improved tools for cross-border investigation. The directive was backed by the European Parliament on 16 April 2014  and is expected to enter into force in June 2014.

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Fighting Fake Euros: Commissioner Šemeta welcomes adoption of "Pericles 2020"

11/03/2014

Algirdas Šemeta, Commissioner responsible for anti-fraud, welcomed Member States' formal adoption today of the Pericles 2020 programme to help protect the euro against counterfeiting.

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Fighting fraud: Annual report underlines need for strong measures to protect EU budget

24/07/2013

Fraud affecting the EU budget increased slightly in 2012 compared to 2011, according to the Commission's annual report on the "Protection of the EU's Financial Interests". On the expenditure side, in total, €315 million in EU funds were affected by fraud, or 0.25% of the expenditure budget. This compares to €295 million the previous year. The reason for this increase lies almost entirely with two cases of fraud in pre-accession funds, involving large sums. On the revenue side of the budget, suspected or confirmed fraud amounted to €77.6 million, representing 0.42% of the total traditional own resources collected for 2012. This compares to €109 million the previous year.

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Taxation and Customs Union

01/07/2014

The six month countdown has begun to a major change in the EU VAT system, which will ease life for many businesses and ensure fairer revenue distribution between Member States.

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Commissioner Šemeta welcomes Council agreement on measures to fight tax avoidance

20/06/2014

Following theECOFIN meeting today, Algirdas Šemeta, EU Commissioner for taxation, customs, anti-fraud, audit and statistics, has released a statement in which he welcomes Council agreement on measures to fight tax avoidance

 

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Statement by Commissioner Šemeta on Taxation Trends in Europe

16/06/2014

"Our recent recommendations to Member States stressed the need to lower labour taxes in order to create jobs in Europe.

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Commission investigates transfer pricing arrangements on corporate taxation of Apple (Ireland) Starbucks (Netherlands) and Fiat Finance and Trade (Luxembourg)

11/06/2014

The European Commission has opened three in-depth investigations to examine whether decisions by tax authorities in Ireland, The Netherlands and Luxembourg with regard to the corporate income tax to be paid by Apple, Starbucks and Fiat Finance and Trade, respectively, comply with the EU rules on state aid. The opening of an in-depth investigation gives interested third parties, as well as the three Member States concerned, an opportunity to submit comments. It does not prejudge the outcome of the investigation.

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Customs: EU and China sign landmark mutual recognition agreement and intensify their customs cooperation

16/05/2014

EU and Chinese trusted traders will enjoy lower costs, simplified procedures and greater predictability in their activities, thanks to a mutual recognition agreement signed today. Under the agreement, the EU and China commit to recognising each other's certified safe traders, thereby allowing these companies to benefit from faster controls and reduced administration for customs clearance. Mutual recognition of trusted traders also allows customs to focus their resources on real risk areas, thereby improving supply chain security on both sides. The EU is the first trading partner to enter into such an agreement with China, having already signed similar deals with the USA (2012) and Japan (2011). EU Commissioner for Taxation and Customs, Algirdas Šemeta, was at the Joint Customs Cooperation Committee (JCCC) meeting in Beijing, for the signing of the agreement. 

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Discharge

08/04/2014

Following the European Parliament's decision to grant discharge for the 2012 EU budget, the Commissioner Algirdas Šemeta on 4 April 2014 made a statement that sets out the successes in EU financial management over the past few years, and where further work needs to be done.

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Commissioner Šemeta welcomes Council's recommendation to grant discharge on 2012 budget

18/02/2014

The EU Council of Economic and Finance Ministers in Brussels today voted in favour of granting discharge to the Commission on the 2012 budget, in a recommendation to the European Parliament. The Council recommendation is an essential part of the budgetary discharge procedure, which is completed with a vote in the European Parliament plenary each Spring. The Commission will follow up carefully on the concrete recommendations on areas where further improvements could be made.

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Commission welcomes EP positive vote on discharge for the 2011 EU budget

17/04/2013

The Commission welcomes the European Parliament's decision to grant discharge to the Commission in respect of the implementation of the 2011 EU budget.

Algirdas Šemeta, Commissioner responsible for Taxation, Customs, Statistics, Audit and Anti-Fraud, said:  "The decision by the European Parliament to grant discharge to the Commission is recognition of our consistent effort over the years to improve the management and control of EU funds. I agree with the Council and Parliament when they call for further simplification of the rules and processes in order to reduce the risk of errors. I agree with them when they call on Member States to take up their full responsibilities, given that they are first in line in managing and controlling about 80% of the whole budget.

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Commission welcomes EP positive vote on discharge for the 2010 budget

10/05/2012

Brussels, 10 May 2012 – The Commission welcomes today's decision by the European Parliament to grant discharge to the Commission in respect of the implementation of the 2010 budget.

Algirdas Šemeta, Commissioner responsible for Taxation and Customs Union, Audit and Anti-Fraud, said: "I greatly appreciate the support that the European Parliament has shown today for our work to ensure that EU funds are correctly controlled and managed. The very constructive dialogue between our two institutions in the run up to today's vote has confirmed a common ambition to ensure that EU taxpayers' money is spent properly, and spent well. Huge improvements have been made over the past 10 years but we can't stop here. The Commission has tabled even stronger measures for EU financial management under the next generation of spending programmes, which will help to reduce errors even further. I count on the co-legislators, Parliament and Council to back these measures, so that we can continue to assure citizens that we are doing everything in our power to protect their money."

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Statement of Commissioner Šemeta on the European Parliament's vote on discharge

10/05/2011

Following the vote of the European Parliament granting discharge to the European Commission for the 2009 budget, Commissioner Algirdas Šemeta, in charge of Audit and Discharge, said:

"I warmly welcome the granting of discharge by the European Parliament to the Commission for the 2009 budget. This is proof that the excellent cooperation we have had with the European Parliament, in particular with the rapporteurs to ensure a common understanding on the issue and the way forward for better financial management of the EU budget, is paying off.

The discussions we had this morning clearly showed the Commission and the Parliament - together with the Council - need to reflect on how the responsibility of the various financial actors can be better defined. The responsibility of EU Member States there is crucial. To this end, the Commission has put forward proposals to revise the EU's Budget Financial Regulation.

In addition, the need to simplify our rules and financial processes is a top priority of our discussions on the Multi-Annual financial Framework post-2013. I am personally convinced that combining simpler rules for managing our EU-funded projects with strong control mechanisms is key for all actors involved, ranging from the beneficiaries to Member States and EU institutions and bodies".

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Audit

Commissioner Šemeta presented EU plan to fight tax evasion and avoidance

06/12/2012

"Around one trillion euros is lost to tax evasion and avoidance every year in the EU. Not only is this is a scandalous loss of much-needed revenue, it is also a threat to fair taxation. While Member States must toughen national measures against tax evasion, unilateral solutions alone won't work.

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Commissioner Šemeta presented EU plan to fight tax evasion and avoidance

06/11/2012

"Around one trillion euros is lost to tax evasion and avoidance every year in the EU. Not only is this is a scandalous loss of much-needed revenue, it is also a threat to fair taxation. While Member States must toughen national measures against tax evasion, unilateral solutions alone won't work.

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Another clean bill of health for EU accounts; auditors find improvements in many payment areas

10/11/2011

Brussels, 10 November 2011 - For the fourth year in a row, the EU's annual accounts have received a clean bill of health from its external auditors. As for EU spending, the overall error rate is once again below 4%. This means that the vast majority (at least 96%) of total payments made in 2010 were free from quantifiable error.

Algirdas Šemeta, Commissioner for Taxation, Customs, Audit and Anti-fraud said: "The Court of Auditors report confirms that we are on the right track, although that doesn't mean that we will relax our efforts to safeguard the EU budget. We are currently preparing the next generation of EU funds. This is a chance to further improve the quality of EU spending and to get more value for money from the EU budget, especially in policies managed together with Member States.  It is also a chance to show to all tax-payers that the Commission is doing everything it can to ensure that their money is properly controlled and spent."

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10th Anniversary of the Internal Audit Service of the European Commission

04/07/2011

Internal Audit Service (IAS) of the European Commission is celebrating 10 years anniversary today.

In the conference, dedicated to the 10 years of activities of this service, Commissioner for Audit Algirdas Šemeta said: "from the standing start in 2001 we now have an independent, internationally respected, multi-national service conforming to the highest standards.  This is a particularly impressive achievement in the light of the substantial changes of the last decade – in particular the Treaty changes extending the geographical and policy scope of the European Union." 

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Commissioner Šemeta participates in the Annual Conference organised by the Internal Audit Service of the European Commission

25/10/2010

The topic of the 2010 IAS conference was 'External Audit, Internal Audit'. The conference gathered some 400 participants. Commissioner Šemeta gave the opening speech pdf - 40 KB [40 KB] .

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