OLAF: Four new active investigation cases regarding EU funds management open in Romania, in 2009

Four active investigation cases regarding the EU funds management opened in Romania, in 2009, out of the total number of 152 new cases opened in the European Union (EU), in the same year, reads the European Antifraud Office (OLAF) annual report, published on Wednesday.

Out of the four new investigation cases opened in Romania in 2009, one concerns the agriculture, the second the direct expenses, the third the EU bodies and the fourth the external assistance. According to the OLAF report, the active investigation cases attained 18, in Romania, in end 2009. Most investigations opened last year were in Bulgaria (41), followed by Belgium (18), Germany (11) and Italy (10). No such investigations started last year in Denmark, Finland, Hungary and Slovenia.

As many as 354 active investigation cases opened at the European Union level, late in 2009 regarding the EU funds management, most of them in Bulgaria (68), followed by Belgium (48), Italy (36), Germany and France (with 22, each). The OLAF investigations end with adopting a final report on the case. In 2009, OLAF closed 188 such cases.

Another report the EU Commission presented on Wednesday shows that the irregularities reported in Bulgaria and Romania, in 2009 related to the pre-accession funds posed for 93 percent of the total number of such cases regarding these funds, identified in the EU, last year. In the pre-accession funds category, the number of irregularities reported by the 14 beneficiary countries increased by 35 percent in 2009. Irregularities amount to 117 million euros, the EU Commission’s document says.
The pre-accession funds that irregularities were reported on, in Romania last year, totaled almost 2 million euros.

On the other hand, five EU countries, namely Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia, beside Turkey, reported fraud-suspected cases in the pre-accession funds in 2009. The total number of such cases reached 262, last year, with an financial impact of 57 million euros. It is alleged that 0.3 percent of the total amounts allocated to the EU pre-accession last year, were subject to fraud.

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