The European Parliament takes the first step to strengthen the anti-fraud architecture in the EU

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BRUSSELS, 12 May. (EUROPE PRESS) –

The Committee on Budgetary Control of the European Parliament has asked to strengthen the anti-fraud architecture within the EU since the recovery plan represents an additional challenge for budgetary protection and has positively assessed the activation of the Fund Conditionality Mechanism against Hungary.

With 24 votes in favour, one against and 4 abstentions, the Budgetary Control Committee has endorsed this week the text presented by the Hungarian MEP of the European Liberals (Renew Europe), Katalin Cseh, in which the challenges for the protection of the Community budget and has asked the Member States to strengthen their cooperation in the fight against economic fraud in the EU. This endorsement must still be endorsed by the plenary session of the European Parliament to be effective.

In addition, MEPs have positively valued the activation of the Rule of Law Funds Conditionality Mechanism against Hungary and have indicated that the Commission should consider its application against all Member States that do not respect the rule of law “without discrimination”.

Among the challenges referred to by the Budget Control Commission are the allocation of the Recovery Plan funds, which they point out may be an opportunity for fraudsters. They have also mentioned that many Member States do not have specific legislation to fight organized crime or that the EU’s anti-fraud agencies do not have enough staff and financial resources.

MEPs have warned that five Member States – Poland and Hungary, which are the main beneficiaries of EU funds, as well as Sweden, Denmark and Ireland – are not part of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO). and have urged that they join “without delay”. In addition, they have advocated promoting closer cooperation between the authorities of the Member States and the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF).

In 2020, there were 1,056 cases of fraud in the EU, valued at 374 million euros. Most of these irregularities concerned the falsification of documents in connection with rural development and agricultural aid.

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