Nedzhmi ALI- Rapporteur: Annual report 2015 on the Protection of the EU´s financial interests – Fight against fraud

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Thank you Mr Chair,

Commissioner Thyssen,

Dear colleagues,

First of all I would to congratulate the rapporteur for her comprehensive report and the Commissioner for her statement.

We are still struggling to overcome the effects of the recent financial and economic crisis and some of their consequences are associated with the decline in the confidence of the European citizens towards institutions. This increases dramatically the role of protection of Union’s financial interests as one of the most relevant ways to restore its attractiveness.

In the relevant Annual Report 2015 there are several aspects that are of utmost importance for the achievement of the main goal of protection EU´s financial interests:

Firstly, the total number of Irregularities detected both by the Commission and the Member states is increasing for a second consecutive year. While there could be different reasons for this fact including better control, increased level of spending, or simply a rise of fraudulent activities, we need a better preventive work of the institutions.

Secondly, the anti-fraud measures undertaken by the EU institutions and Member-states, should target both the revenue side and the expenditure side of the budget. The final goal is to secure a better revenue permitting implementation of stronger policies, while keeping the expenditure irregularities under control thus increasing the credibility of the institutions.

Thirdly, from managerial point of view we need a full implementation of “budget focused on results strategy”. In the process of designing and implementing management and control systems should be pursued cost-effectiveness. This means that the control strategies should target predominantly the areaswith higher riskand error rate. Thus the control would support the achievement of results without imposing an excessive administrative burden on beneficiaries.

Finally, I would like to underline again the importance of efforts of both European Commission and Members-states in the protection of EU’s financial interests. All of the fraudulent cases raise the public attention and damage the reputation of the Union. Proper functioning of the preventive and corrective mechanisms and adequate actions taken by the Commission´s services to protect the EU budget are indispensable in achieving major results in the fight against fraud.

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