European Anti-Fraud Office

Amending the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) Regulation

Amending the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) Regulation

In 1999, the European Commission set up the European Anti-Fraud Office to investigate fraud and any other illegal activity affecting the European Union's (EU) financial interests. OLAF supports EU Member States in preventing and fighting fraud. Its investigative mandate is defined by Regulation No. 883/2013 (the OLAF Regulation).

Why amend the Regulation?     

The need to amend Regulation 883/2013 is twofold:

1. To reflect the establishment of the European Public Prosecutor's Office (EPPO)

In July 2013 the Commission proposed the European Public Prosecutor's Office (EPPO) Regulation that the Council adopted in October 2017. The EPPO will work against EU-fraud by conducting criminal investigations and prosecuting offenders before the national courts of the participating 20 Member States. The EPPO will affect how OLAF operates. As a result, the relationship between the two needs to be regulated.

2. To address shortcomings that affect OLAF investigations

An evaluation of the OLAF Regulation was finalised in the following documents in October 2017:

Although the evaluation concludes that the Regulation has allowed OLAF to deliver concrete results in the protection of the EU budget, it identified some shortcomings that have an impact on the effectiveness and efficiency of investigations.

What is addressed in the amendment to the OLAF Regulation?

In order deliver on the above objectives, the amendment aims to:

  • adapt the OLAF Regulation to the establishment of the EPPO
  • increase the effectiveness of OLAF investigations
  • clarify and simplify certain provisions in the OLAF Regulation

Find out more in the Roadmap for a proposal to amend Regulation 883/2013.

The amended OLAF Regulation should enter into force at the end of 2020, before the EPPO becomes operational.

How was the amendment prepared?

• November 2017 – January 2018: the Commission services consulted stakeholders as outlined in the stakeholder consultation strategy.
• January – May 2018: the Commission services prepared an assessment in line with the Better Regulation principles, to develop the proposal for the amendment of the Regulation.

Adoption of proposal to amend OLAF Regulation

On 23 May 2018, the Commission adopted the proposal to amend the OLAF Regulation. The proposal is accompanied by an analytical document and was announced by a press release.

What happens next?

The proposal enters the ordinary legislative procedure in the European Parliament and the Council.