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Istituto Europeo per lo Sviluppo Socio Economico

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Istituto Europeo per lo Sviluppo Socio Economico


EU Fudned Projects: law and administrative practices in the field of fraud prevention

Overpaid websites for receiving grants, training ghost courses with forged signatures to reach the minimum number of participants and funded unduly by the European Social Fund and holidays abroad passed off as internationalization are just some of the cases of fraud recently discovered by the Italian Guardia di Finanza against the EU budget.

Irregularities and frauds for the 2007-2013 programming settle so far to 121 million of euros. The majority of cases (81%) concern irregularities while fraud amount to 19%. Nearly one in five cases (18%) concerns non-compliance management and irregular documentation, 16% concerns the presentation of false documents, such as the release of false certifications from suppliers and false statements on the eligibility criteria to access the grant. Finally, 15% concerns incomplete or incorrect documentation, such as failure to submit the reporting or accounting of non eligible documents.

In times of budgetary austerity and financial crisis it is important that the European Commission sets out new rules in order to protect the EU’s financial interests and tax payers’ money from fraud.  The protection of the EU’s financial interests under criminal law and by administrative investigations incorporates the participation of the Police, prosecutors and judges in EU Member States who are the major bodies to intervene for the protection of EU finances.  Nevertheless, the levels of protection among EU Member States vary as well as the procedures followed in order to protect EU funding being implemented in national cross-border or transnational European projects.

The conference dealt in particular with projects funded by EU grants and managed by the Member States or the European Commission.
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