Public Expenditure Control in Europe

Public Expenditure Control in Europe

Coordinating Audit Functions in the European Union

Edited by Milagros Garciá Crespo

This book presents a comprehensive analysis of public expenditure control in Europe and the coordination strategies available. It provides a detailed scrutiny of the various audit systems in the EU and the difficulties in building consistency or harmony between them. The book demonstrates how successful strategies should aim to strengthen the collaboration between different layers of government at the EU, national and regional levels.

Chapter 7: A policy to fight financial fraud in the European Union

Alfredo José de Sousa

Subjects: economics and finance, public finance


7. A policy to fight financial fraud in the European Union Alfredo José de Sousa THE ORIGINS AND FOUNDATIONS OF ANTI-FRAUD POLICY The Resolution of the European Parliament (2002/2211-INI) on the Commission’s report on the protection of the Communities’ financial interests and the fight against fraud,1 stated that in 2001 there was a total of €1275 million in cases of fraud and financial irregularities, broken down as follows: ● ● Revenues: – Own resources: €532.5 million (in 2000: 1143); Expenditure: – EAGGF-Guarantee: €429 million (in 2000: 576); – Structural actions: €249 million (in 2000: 139); – Direct expenditure: €64.2 million (in 2000: 170). This is a substantial reduction in comparison with 2000, where the total amount was calculated to be €2028 million. The downward trend in terms of fraud was also highlighted in the fourth reportontheactivitiesof theEuropeanAnti-FraudOffice(OLAF)published in June 2003, which stated that ‘the estimated financial impact calculated after the conclusion of surveys in all sectors was €850 million’.2 By contrast, the European Parliament, in its Resolution on the Commission’s report on the assessment of OLAF’s activities (COM, 2003, 154) of 4 December 2003, estimated a total amount of €2 billion in financial irregularities and fraud in 2002. These statistics give a clear idea of the importance of the fight that needs to be waged against the violation of financial interests in the European Union. This is particularly significant when we consider that fraud and the associated corruption often have a cross-frontier nature and are promoted by criminal organizations. 151 152...

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