According to the report, the total number of cases of fraud and irregularities detected and reported saw a slight increase in 2022 compared to the previous year. The report emphasises the need for closer coordination and increased digitalisation in the fight against fraud.
Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for Budget and Administration, highlighted the importance of adapting to new challenges and the role of digitalization in the fight against fraud. The report recorded a total of 12,455 cases of fraud and irregularities reported by competent EU and national authorities in 2022, with irregular amounts related to these cases amounting to €1.77 billion.
The report acknowledges progress in improving the coherence of anti-fraud legislation across the EU, with 24 Member States having a strategy in place or finalizing one to enhance the protection of the EU’s financial interests. The European Commission’s proposed amendment to the Financial Regulation aims to strengthen transparency in the use of EU funds and enhance digitalization in the fight against fraud and fraud risk management.
Despite progress, the report suggests that the detection and reporting of suspected fraud and irregularities can be further improved, with notable differences between Member States. The report also emphasizes the ongoing implementation of national recovery and resilience plans and system audits focusing on the protection of the EU’s financial interests to identify areas of strength and weaknesses.
The full 34th Annual Report on the protection of the EU’s financial interests is available on OLAF’s website. The EU and Member States share responsibility for protecting the EU’s financial interests and combating fraud, with the Commission overseeing both areas and verifying compliance.
Under the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, the Commission is mandated to produce the PIF Report annually, providing details on measures taken at European and national levels to counter fraud affecting the EU budget. The report is based on information reported by Member States, enabling the assessment of areas most at risk and targeting action at EU and national levels accordingly.
OLAF, the European Anti-Fraud Office, plays a crucial role in detecting, investigating, and stopping fraud with EU funds. It conducts independent investigations into fraud and corruption involving EU funds and aims to ensure that EU taxpayers’ money reaches projects that contribute to job creation and growth in Europe.