Brussels, 19 December 2011
In order to continue its work in this field, the European Commission today adopted two proposals for the Hercule III and Pericles 2020 programmes. With a budget of 110 million euro and 7.7 million euro respectively, these programmes will run for seven years from January 2014.
Algirdas Šemeta, Commissioner for Taxation, Customs, Anti-fraud and Audit, said: "Fraud against the EU budget is not a victimless crime. It concerns all European citizens because it is everybody’s money. As the EU is in the midst of a global financial crisis, it is particularly important that we protect our revenues and make sure our citizens benefit as much as possible from EU funds."
The Hercule III programme is dedicated to fighting fraud, corruption and any other illegal activities affecting the financial interests of the EU. It focuses in particular on cooperation between the Commission, via the European Anti-fraud Office (OLAF), competent authorities in the Member States, and other European institutions and bodies.
The programme aims at ensuring equivalent protection in the Member States and in all EU institutions, bodies and agencies. Actions provided under the Hercule III programme include: technical and operational support for law enforcement authorities in the Member States in their fight against illegal cross-border activities, and professional training activities.
The previous Hercule programme produced important results such as 70 technical assistance projects that financed the purchase of sophisticated technical equipment for law enforcement agencies combating fraud, as well as anti-fraud training for over 5 300 law enforcement staff.
The Pericles 2020 programme is an exchange, assistance and training programme to strengthen the protection of euro banknotes and coins in Europe and worldwide.
Projects financed under the Pericles programme include, among others, a seminar on the “Community Strategy for the protection of the euro in the Mediterranean area", a training course on money counterfeiting in Latin America and a number of staff exchanges between authorities within and outside the EU.
The draft Regulations will be discussed by the Council and the European Parliament, with a view to adoption by the end of 2012, so that the new programme can start on 1 January 2014.
Negotiations on the Multiannual Financial Framework for the whole EU budget will continue in parallel (see MEMO/11/468)
For more information on Hercule III and Pericles 2014-2020
For the legislative text,