Nedzhmi Ali on the Annual Report for 2017 on the protection of the European Union´s financial interests – fight against fraud

N. Ali - Plenary - ALDE

Nedzhmi Ali MEP (ALDE Group) was shadow rapporteur for this file, which was discussed during the Mini-Plenary session of the European parliament in Brussels on 30.01.2019.

Thank you Mme. Chair, Dear Commissioner Oettinger, colleagues,

We are satisfied with the fact, that in 2017 the total number of irregularities reported to the Commission, were by 21% fewer than in 2016. Their value of approximatively 2.58 billion EUR, had a 13% decrease from the previous year.

However, not all Member States have adopted national anti-fraud strategies and there is still a gap between the Member States in the reporting process. Member States have to establish a uniform system for collection of comparable data on irregularities and cases of fraud in order to standardise the reporting process and ensure the quality and comparability of the data.

We welcome the establishment of the European Public Prosecutor´s Office for which purpose for the first time the EU budget 2019 includes appropriations of 4.9 million EUR.

We also welcome the Commission’s proposal for a regulation on the protection of the Union’s budget in case of generalised deficiencies as regards the rule of law in the Member States. We expect objective and systematic assessments based on a set of indicators and independent reports.

Report includes also some aspects related to public procurement such as digitalisation and prevention at early stages of the tender procedure; as well as import procedures, expenditure, problems identified and measures required, investigative journalism, as well as transnational fraud.

Finally, we welcome the Commission’s proposal to empower OLAF to investigate value added tax matters and call on the Commission to establish a certain level of transparency of OLAF reports and recommendations.

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