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Brussels/Bucharest, 1 June 2006

Operational anti-fraud coordination underway for EU-accession

Preparing for EU-accession: The fight against fraud on European Union funds is in the focus of a two-day meeting in Bucharest, organised by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF). Anti-fraud experts and investigators from the ten EU Member States that joined the Union in 2004 will share their operational experience with their colleagues from Romania and Bulgaria.

“The last enlargement has shown how efficiently new and well co-ordinated administrative structures for the fight against EU fraud can work”, OLAF Director-General Franz-Hermann Brüner told the participants. “We have to build on this experience”, he added.

The event in Bucharest is a meeting of the Anti-Fraud Coordinating Structures (AFCOS) which have been established since 2002 in all EU-accession countries. These central contact points for the co-ordination of all legislative, administrative and operational aspects of the protection of the EU’s financial interests have been promoted by OLAF with whom they coordinate in the fight against fraud on EU funds. The AFCOS meet about once a year in various locations. On this occasion Bucharest was chosen as the venue in order to focus on the accession of both Romania and Bulgaria. The agenda is focused on the fight against fraud both in terms of investigations and on anti-fraud training.

Croatia and Turkey will also be represented as they themselves consider the establishment of their own AFCOS in their preparations for future EU-membership.

In general the AFCOS have been established within the Ministries of Finance or Interior and on occasions within the national Prime Minister’s Services. The meeting will also be attended by some representatives of Ministries who work closely with the AFCOS such as state audit offices and customs.
Alessandro Butticé
Spokesman of the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF)
Tel : +32 (0)2 296.5425
Fax : +32 (0)2 299.8101

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