Organismo Europeu de Luta Antifraude

Communicating against fraud in a virtual environment

Communicating against fraud in a virtual environment

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10/02/2021

On 10 February 2021, anti-fraud communicators from across the European Union took to their computers and smart phones for the 30th annual meeting of the OAFCN, the OLAF Anti-Fraud Communicators’ Network. This year’s edition differed from previous ones under at least one important aspect: for the first time, the meeting took place virtually due the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

The virtual setting came with the advantage of allowing for a broader participation. Around 70 communication professionals gathered from OLAF, from national authorities dealing with anti-fraud and customs across the European Union and from fellow EU bodies such as the European Public Prosecutor’s Office, Eurojust and the European Investment Bank.

The aim of the meeting: sharing best practices and media strategies on how to expose and deter fraud. Exchanges were rich and dense on topics covering the necessary adaptation to the virtual environment that imposed itself at the beginning of last year – creating both challenges and opportunities for new initiatives – and future projects for communication against fraud.

“The OAFCN forum is key if we want to raise awareness of fraud issues. We are stronger together,” OLAF Director-General Ville Itälä said. “The sudden change 2020 brought into our lives also affects the way we need to communicate about the threat of fraud and our work to prevent and counter it. This goes for both fraud against the EU budget – money that belongs to the EU taxpayers – and fraud in the form of counterfeit or substandard goods smuggled into our borders” he added.

The objective of the OAFCN is to prevent and deter fraud through a permanent dialogue, reinforced cooperation, and joint communication initiatives bringing together communicators from all European bodies dealing with anti-fraud issues. For more information, please see our dedicated webpage.