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Fight against fraud

The fight against fraud and corruption is part of the general effort to combat organised crime, but also concerns the more specific issue of countering all illegal activities adversely affecting the financial interests of the Union. It is mainly based on Article 325 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), which concerns activities affecting the Union's financial interests and requires the Council and the European Parliament to adopt measures under the ordinary legislative procedure after consulting the Court of Auditors.

Since June 1999, the body tasked with combating fraud has been the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF), which replaces the fraud prevention task force (UCLAF) set up in 1988.

On the basis of Chapters 4 and 5 of the TFEU, which deal with police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters, Eurojust and Europol are also given competences to support Member States in the fight against fraud and corruption.

At the Nice Intergovernmental Conference (February 2000), in order to strengthen Community action in this area, the Commission proposed incorporating into the Treaties a legal basis for establishing a system of rules on criminal-law proceedings for transnational fraud and appointing a European public prosecutor to coordinate investigations and prosecute offences involving the Union's financial interests. This proposal was followed by a Green Paper (December 2001) on criminal-law protection of the Community's financial interests, suggesting the appointment of a European prosecutor. Article 86 of the TFEU provides for the establishment of a European Public Prosecutor�s Office from Eurojust.

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