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EU member states to be made to report EU funding fraud cases to OLAF

EU member states will have to share specific information on fraud cases involving EU funds on their territory with the EU Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF), under a hard-won agreement between the European Parliament, Council and Commission, approved by the Budgetary Control Committee on Monday.

After long years of tripartite discussions, Parliament's negotiators managed to include many of its demands in a draft regulation designed to help OLAF to investigate frauds involving EU funding.

The text now includes - inter alia - clearer definitions of "irregularities" and "fraud". It outlines the right of defence for those being investigated, as well as the rights of witnesses and whistle-blowers. Improving information exchange between OLAF and national authorities should enhance the quality of OLAF investigations. The regulation would introduce new inter-institutional procedures to ensure information sharing and open discussion on how to improve the fight against fraud within the EU.

Parliament's leading negotiator, Ms Ingeborg Grässle (EPP, DE) is pleased with the outcome: "We delivered a result that taxpayers and voters expect from us. We have insisted for many years on these reforms and it is good we finally reached an agreement", she said.

Parliament as a whole still has to adopt the text of the regulation, probably in November. The same goes for the Council.

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