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 Full text 
Wednesday, 30 January 2019 - Brussels Revised edition

Annual report 2017 on the protection of the European Union’s financial interests- fight against fraud (debate)

  Nedzhmi Ali, on behalf of the ALDE Group. – Madam President, we are satisfied with the fact that in 2017 the total number of irregularities reported to the Commission were 21% fewer than in 2016. Their value of approximately EUR 2.58 billion was a 13% decrease from the previous year.

However, not all Member States have adopted national anti—fraud strategies and there is still a gap between the Member States in the reporting process. Member States have to establish a uniform system for collection of comparable data on irregularities in cases of fraud in order to standardise the reporting process and ensure the quality and comparability of the data.

We welcome the establishment of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office, for which purpose, for the first time, the European Union budget 2019 includes appropriations of EUR 4.9 billion.

We also welcome the Commission’s proposal for a regulation on the protection of the Union’s budget in the case of generalised deficiencies as regards the rule of law in the Member States. We expect objective and systematic assessment based on a set of indicators and independent report. The report includes also some aspects related to public procurement such as digitalisation and prevention at the early stages of the tender procedure as well as import procedures, expenditure problems identified and measures required, investigative journalism, as well as transnational fraud.

Finally, we welcome the Commission’s proposal to empower OLAF to investigate value added tax matters and call on the Commission to establish a certain level of transparency of OLAF reports and recommendations.

Last updated: 17 May 2019Legal notice