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The EU’s committee for coordinating fraud prevention

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The EU’s committee for coordinating fraud prevention

 

SUMMARY OF:

Decision 94/140/EC setting up an advisory committee for the coordination of fraud prevention in the EU

WHAT IS THE AIM OF THE DECISION?

It establishes the Advisory Committee for the Coordination of Fraud Prevention (Cocolaf), which aims to build cooperation between EU countries and the European Commission to prevent and ensure the prosecution of fraud*.

KEY POINTS

  • A representative of the Commission chairs Cocolaf, which consists of 2 representatives from each EU country who may be assisted by 2 representatives of the competent national authorities.
  • To more effectively organise close and regular cooperation between EU countries’ competent authorities to counter fraud, in accordance with Article 325 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, the Commission may consult Cocolaf on any matter relating to:
    • the prevention and prosecution of fraud and all other illegal activities that may adversely affect the EU’s financial interests;
    • cooperation between EU countries or between EU countries and the Commission to protect the EU’s financial interests.
  • Cocolaf supports the work of the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF), which investigates corruption and misconduct within the EU institutions, as well as fraud against the EU’s budget. Cocolaf also complements the Hercule III programme, which funds projects that, among other things, increase anti-fraud cooperation between EU countries, the Commission and OLAF.
  • Cocolaf, in agreement with the Commission, may set up working parties that tackle specific issues. In this respect, the following 4 sub-groups have been created:
    • Fraud Prevention Group: stimulates cooperation among the relevant national authorities of EU countries and the Commission by exchanging experiences and best practices in the field of fraud prevention (e.g.
      • experience with fraud risk assessments,
      • exchange on fraudulent practices detected,
      • experience with the development and implementation of national or sectoral anti-fraud strategies or policies or measures, etc.).
    • Reporting and Analysis of Fraudulent and Other Irregularities Group: focuses on introducing and discussing statistical analysis of reported cases and considers other issues relevant to the preparation of the Article 325 report.
    • AFCOS (Anti-Fraud Coordination Service) Group: exchanges experience and best practices in investigative cooperation between OLAF and national authorities, in line with the regulation governing OLAF’s investigations (Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 883/2013).
    • OLAF Anti-Fraud Communicators’ Network (OAFCN): brings together spokespersons and public relations officers from relevant national authorities and OLAF to share media strategies and promote communication on preventing and deterring fraud.
  • The Commission arranges meetings and provides secretariat services for Cocolaf.

BACKGROUND

Article 325 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union requires EU countries to counter fraud at EU level in the same manner as they would counter fraud affecting their own financial interests. Meanwhile, the Commission is responsible for the proper implementation of the EU budget. For these reasons, it was decided to establish a committee covering the whole area of fraud against the EU budget.

* KEY TERMS

Fraud: wrongful deception intended to result in financial or criminal gain.

MAIN DOCUMENT

Commission Decision 94/140/EC of 23 February 1994 setting up an advisory committee for the coordination of fraud prevention (OJ L 61, 4.3.1994, pp. 27–28)

Successive amendments to Decision 94/140/EC have been incorporated in to the original document. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.

last update 25.07.2016

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