Stolen EU funds in the billions, top official says
2013-09-18 0:00

By Nikolaj Nielsen | EUObserver

The annual theft of EU funds is around €500 million, but a top European Commission official says the figure is likely in the billions.

“We have reasons to believe that the real figure is closer to billions than to millions,” Francoise Le Bail, who heads the commission’s justice directorate-general, told the European Parliament’s civil liberties committee on Wednesday (18 September).

The current €500 million figure arises from statistics sent to Olaf, the EU anti-fraud office, by member states, but Le Bail said national authorities do not have the right tools to make an accurate estimate.

Le Bail, along with Olaf boss Giovanni Kessler, spoke to MEPs to set out their case for tracking down those who steal EU money by setting up a new European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO).

The EU-wide prosecutor would be mandated to investigate fraud of EU finances, although the Lisbon Treaty says the office’s power could be expanded at a later date.

The top prosecutor would be composed of a central office along with deputies or prosecutors from different member states. Most member states would also have an EPPO branch staffed with prosecutors selected by the respective national governments.

Kessler says the office is necessary because national authorities have a dismal track record when it comes to chasing down leads sent to them by Olaf.

“There is a non-uniformity by member states in their capacity and willingness to deal effectively with these kinds of crimes,” he said.

Conviction rates sent to Olaf over the past 13 years vary from less than 5 percent in some member states to over 90 percent in others.

Both Le Bail and Kessler said political will among some member states to stop the theft is either non-existent or primarily focused on a national perspective that fails to look at the transnational nature of the crime.

“Crimes which are committed by authors at the same time by different actors in different member states like corruption, like fraud involving European funds, are likely not to be discovered, not to be even seen or perceived by national authorities which only have a national fragmented perspective,” said Kessler.

[...]

Read the full article at: euobserver.com



Related Articles
EU president muzzles auditors who have refused to sign off the bureaucrats’ accounts for last 18 years
EU lawmakers give Euro Central Bank new powers
"Better defence spending" needed to back up EU ’principles’
New EU Plan Will Make Every Bank Account In Europe Vulnerable To Cyprus-Style Wealth Confiscation


Latest News from our Front Page

ABC Is Hiding Details of Killer Vester Flanagan's Manifesto ...(Must Be Littered With Liberal Propaganda)
2015-08-29 3:45
Killer Vester Flanagan was a big Obama supporter. But, you’d never know it from the liberal media. The media is hiding Flanagan’s political leanings from the American public. ABC has yet to release Flanagan’s manifesto. It must be littered with embarrassing liberal propaganda. The Tatler reported, via Instapundit: Two days ago, ABC News reported that Vester Flanagan, the murderer of two WDBJ employees, sent a 23-page ...
Austria, Libya count dead as number of migrants crossing Mediterranean soars
2015-08-29 1:37
Austria said on Friday 71 refugees including a baby girl were found dead in an abandoned freezer truck, while Libya recovered the bodies of 82 migrants washed ashore after their overcrowded boat sank on its way to Europe and scores more were feared dead. The U.N. refugee agency said the number of refugees and migrants crossing the Mediterranean to reach Europe ...
Financial Times Calls For Abolishing Cash
2015-08-29 1:07
liminating physical currency necessary to give central banks more power The Financial Times has published an anonymous article which calls for the abolition of cash in order to give central banks and governments more power. Entitled The case for retiring another ‘barbarous relic’, the article laments the fact that people are stockpiling cash in anticipation of another economic collapse, a factor which ...
Serbian government bans anti-mass immigration protests, and plans ahead for mass immigration
2015-08-29 1:52
Nebojsa Stefanovic, Serbia’s Interior Minister said protesters who are concerned about “an EU plan” to settle thousands of illegal immigrants into the country, will not be allowed to voice their concerns in a protest march on Monday, 31st of August. “We will not allow the expression of intolerance and hatred to be something that is characteristic of Serbia” said Stefanovic. “The Ministry ...
Germany asks Facebook to remove 'racist' anti-migrant posts
2015-08-28 20:32
Heiko Maas, Germany's justice minister, says social network should remove xenophobic posts in the same way it deals with nudity Germany is calling on Facebook to remove “xenophobic and racist” anti-migrant posts from its website and apps. Heiko Maas, the German justice minister, has written to the company to demand an urgent review of its policy over hate messages. “Photos of certain ...
More News »