AuthorEuropean Anti-Fraud Office (European Commission)
th Annual Report on the Protection of the European Union’s financial interests — Fight against fraud 
. Introduction
This is the Commiss ion’s 30th ann ual report o n the protec tion of the EU ’s f‌inancial in-
terests an d the f‌ight agai nst fraud (PIF Re port). The f‌i rst repor t was adopte d in January
1990. Wit h the entry into force of the Treaty of M aastricht on 1 Januar y 1993, a specif‌i c
treaty ar ticle expre ssly provided for th e f‌ight against fr aud af‌fectin g the f‌inanc ial inter-
ests of, at the time, t he Communities.
Since 1 May 1999, follo wing the entr y into force of the Treaty of Amsterda m, the annual
reportin g to the European Parlia ment and the Council on me asures taken to count er fraud
and other illeg al activit ies af‌fecting t he EU’s f‌inanc ial interest s is covered by a speci f‌ic
provision (initial ly Article 280(5) EC Treaty and now A rticle 325(5) TFEU).
The EU and th e Member States s hare responsi bility for protec ting the E U’s f‌inancial in-
terests an d f‌ighting frau d. Member Stat e authorit ies manage ap proximately 74% of EU
expenditu re and collec t the tradit ional own reso urces. The Co mmission oversee s both
these areas , sets standards a nd verif‌ies compliance. To prot ect the EU’s f‌inancia l interests
ef‌fectively, the C ommission and the Member Stat es have to work closely together.
Since the repo rting year 19 89, the PIF Rep ort assess es this cooperat ion with a view to
improving it . To this end, it:
provides a summ ary of measures taken at EU a nd Member State level to coun ter fraud;
includes an a nalysis of national a nd European bodies’ main achiev ements in det ecting
fraud and irreg ularities relating t o EU expenditure and r evenue. This is based in par ticu-
lar on detec ted irregul arities and fr aud report ed by the Memb er States in compl iance
with sect oral regulations.
The 30th e dition of this report will pro vide an overview of the major achieve ments of the
last 30 years a s well as information on the 2018 init iatives. Sections 1.1, 1. 2 and 1.3 be-
low will outline t he past 30 years of f‌ightin g fraud and protecting t he EU budget.
The repor t is accompanied b y f‌ive Commission St af‌f Working Docu ments (SWD), lis ted in
Annex 3 (1).
.. The first decade ( -): laying the foundation
At the end of 198 8 the unit for the coordina tion of the f‌ight agains t fraud (UCLAF) was set
up to direct an d oversee all the Commission ’s fraud prevention activi ties, with a 45-point
work programme to carr y out its objectives.
During this f‌ir st decade, a nu mber of major legislat ive acts wer e adopted, wh ich sig-
nif‌icantly sh aped the an ti-fraud lan dscape up to 2 017. In 1991, the Council adopt ed
Regulation 595/91 on the reporting of irr egularitie s in the common a gricultural p olicy.
The Treat y of Maastri cht (EUT), w hich entered i nto force at the en d of 1993, place d
the objecti ves and the mea ns for combating fr aud at the highe st legisaltive l evel and
conf‌irmed t he Member State s’ obligation t o treat the Com munity’s f‌ina ncial intere sts in
the same way as t heir own in combat ing fraud, i.e. by u sing ef‌fective , proport ionate and
dissuasive means , thanks to a specif‌ic ar ticle (209A). Tit le 4 EUT provided for closer coop -
eration and th e tools to achieve it.
() (i) Implemen tation of Arti cle  by the Member St ates in ;
(ii) Statist ical evaluation of i rregulariti es reported for ow n resources, nat ural resource s, cohesion polic y and
pre-accession assistance and direct expenditure;
(iii) Follow- up of recommenda tions to the Commi ssion report on t he protection o f the EU’s f‌inancia l
interest s — f‌ight against fra ud, ;
(iv) Early Det ection and Exc lusion System (ED ES) — Panel referre d to in Article   of the Financi al
Regulation; and
(v) Annual over view with infor mation on the res ults of the Hercul e III Programme in  .

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