Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee, the Committee of the Regions and the Court of Auditors: Commission Anti-Fraud Strategy: enhanced action to protect the EU budget
1. The Commission Anti-Fraud Strategy (CAFS) is an internal EU policy document which binds the European Commission’s services and executive agencies to fight fraud and corruption affecting the EU’s financial interests.
3. The 2019 CAFS updates the 2011 CAFS as part of a wider effort among the EU institutions and Member States to step up the fight against fraud. This update includes three separate legislative files: a new Directive on the fight against fraud to protect the Union’s financial interests (PIF); the Regulation establishing the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) and; a proposal to amend the OLAF regulation.
4. The scope of the 2019 CAFS covers:
i. Fraud - including VAT fraud -, corruption and misappropriation affecting the EU’s financial interests;
ii. Other criminal offences affecting the Union’s financial interests;
iv. Serious breaches of professional obligations by staff or Members of the Unions institutions and bodies.
5. The 2019 CAFS inherits the principles set out in the 2011 CAFS: zero tolerance for fraud; fight against fraud as an integral part of internal control; cost-effectiveness of controls; professional integrity and competence of EU staff; transparency on how EU funds are used; fraud prevention; effective investigations and timely information exchange; swift correction (including recovery of funds) and; cooperation. Furthermore, the 2019 CAFS includes an additional principle: effective internal and external communication on the fight against fraud.
6. The Commission sets out two priority objectives for the 2019 CAFS:
i. Data collection and analysis – to further improve the understanding of fraud patterns, fraudsters’ profiles and systemic vulnerabilities relating to fraud affecting the EU budget;
ii. Coordination, cooperation and processes – to optimise coordination, cooperation and workflows for the fight against fraud, in particular among Commission services and executive agencies.