How the EU budget is spent: Fight against fraud: Pericles 2020, Hercule III and AFIS
Member States share an obligation with the EU to protect the Union’s financial interests and to counter fraud, corruption and any other illegal activities affecting them under Article 325 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), on which the EU anti-fraud programme is based.
Written by Rafał Mańko,
Member States share an obligation with the EU to protect the Union’s financial interests and to counter fraud, corruption and any other illegal activities affecting them under Article 325 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), on which the EU anti-fraud programme is based. According to a 2016 Eurobarometer survey, 75 % of EU citizens would like the EU to intervene more in the fight against tax fraud, making it one of the areas with the strongest support for greater EU involvement. At the same time, two thirds of EU citizens evaluate the current EU activity in the fight against fraud as insufficient. This Briefing focuses on two EU programmes within the remit of the fight against fraud: Pericles 2020 and Hercule III, as well as the anti-fraud information system (AFIS) platform (a further two crucial programmes in this area, Customs 2020 and Fiscalis 2020, are the subject of a separate briefing in this series).
Pericles 2020 is a multiannual programme to promote action on the protection and safeguarding of the euro against counterfeiting and related fraud. Pericles 2020’s added value is that it actively encourages an increase in transnational cooperation to protect the euro inside and outside the Union and with the Union’s trading partners. Pericles 2020 also has an international dimension, to address the situation in those Member States or third countries that have the highest rates of euro counterfeiting. The general objective of Pericles 2020, defined in Article 3 of Regulation 331/2014, is to prevent and combat counterfeiting and related fraud, thus enhancing the competitiveness of the Union’s economy and securing the sustainability of public finances. The specific objective of the programme is to protect euro banknotes and coins against counterfeiting and related fraud by supporting and supplementing the measures undertaken by the Member States and assisting the competent national and Union authorities in their efforts to develop close and regular cooperation and an exchange of best practice, where appropriate including third countries and international organisations. In 2018, the Pericles 2020 programme funded a number of actions, for a total of €993 388.74, including providing training and specialised anti-counterfeiting equipment.
The Hercule III programme aims at supporting the combat against irregularities, fraud and corruption that affect the EU budget. The general objective is to protect the financial interests of the Union, enhancing the competitiveness of the Union’s economy and ensuring the protection of taxpayers’ money. More specifically, the programme seeks to prevent and combat fraud, corruption and any other illegal activities affecting the financial interests of the Union. The latest available detailed information on spending under the Hercule III programme is for 2017. In that year, the programme financed, inter alia, grants concerning cigarettes and investigation support, and the procurement of IT databases and tools, tobacco analysis, technical equipment, and grants for anti-fraud, forensics and legal training.
The EU anti-fraud information system (AFIS) is simply a collection of applications that facilitate the exchange of anti-fraud information between OLAF and competent administrations in the framework of the Mutual Assistance Regulation (515/97). These applications include: AFIS Mailing (structured & unstructured communications); Customs Information System (CIS); FIDE System; Mutual Information System with the Russian Federation (MIS); virtual-OCU supporting Joint Surveillance Operations, and WCO-CigInfo system for the exchange of data relating to cigarette seizures between the Member States and the World Customs Organization (via OLAF). The AFIS platform also provides the irregularity management system (IMS) – a secure electronic tool for the reporting, management and analysis of irregularities, including fraud, that affect the financial interests of the EU. Competent national authorities use the IMS to report irregularities relating to EU funds in agriculture, structural and cohesion policy, fisheries, asylum-related funds, and the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived, as well as in pre-accession assistance.
On 30 May 2018, the European Commission published a proposal for a regulation establishing an EU anti-fraud programme under the new 2021-2027 multiannual financial framework (MFF). The proposal entails grouping the Hercule III programme with the anti-fraud information system (AFIS) and irregularity management system (IMS) operational activities (the latter is currently financed through AFIS). Under the proposed new programme, the operational provisions of AFIS and IMS would remain under their respective legal instruments, with only the financing provisions of AFIS transferred to the new EU anti-fraud programme regulation. This new financing arrangement for AFIS would cover all actions currently financed under AFIS, including IMS. IMS would become a stand-alone action to be financed under the new regulation, thereby uncoupling it from AFIS, as is currently the case.
Read the complete briefing on ‘How the EU budget is spent: Fight against fraud: Pericles 2020, Hercule III and AFIS‘ on the Think Tank pages of the European Parliament.
The central task of the Members Research Service is to ensure that all Members of the European Parliament are provided with analysis of, and research on, policy issues relating to the European Union, in order to assist them in their parliamentary work.
Combating corruption in the European Union
2024 European elections: National rules
Plant reproductive material [EU Legislation in Progress]
Relations ahead of the 24th EU-China summit
EU-New Zealand free trade agreement – One step closer to ratification [International Agreements in Progress][Policy Podcast]
What if the EU was energy independent? [Science and Technology Podcast]
BEFIT – Business in Europe: Framework for income taxation [EU Legislation in Progress]
Continuation of the Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area [EU Legislation in Progress]
CO2 emissions of new cars and vans
Youth participation in European elections
Circularity requirements for vehicle design and management of end-of-life vehicles [EU Legislation in Progress]
Strictly Necessary Cookies
Strictly Necessary Cookie should be enabled at all times so that we can save your preferences for cookie settings.
If you disable this cookie, we will not be able to save your preferences. This means that every time you visit this website you will need to enable or disable cookies again.
The present website is hosted by WordPress.com, a service by Automattic. Automattic is a global company with thousands of servers located in several separate data centres around the world. While Automattic takes care of the security of the platform, we, the European Parliamentary Research Service, own the content of the blog. For more detailed information about the compliance of Automattic products and services with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), please see their dedicated page.
We do not collect any personal data that could identify an individual user. The users that are registered in WordPress.com should consult wordpress.com terms of service. We do collect anonymised aggregate data for statistical purposes. The data collected for this purposes include: number of visits/visitors per page, the country of the user, and aggregate numbers of incoming and outgoing clicks.
We determine unique page counts by using a “hashed” version of the visitor’s IP address. The visitor’s full IP address is deleted from our logs after a little over a month. That timeframe is how long the data is needed in order to allow us to calculate your stats on a monthly basis and no longer.
We collect your email address only if you proactively requested to be notified about the updates on the blog. You can always contact us to remove your email address from our records or unsubscribe from the notification service.
We can also see your name and email address if you made a comment to one of our posts. We do not make the email address visible on the comment. Nevertheless, on request, we can delete your comments.
We collect cookies only to facilitate your browsing experience, such as enabling you to share our posts via social media or comment on the post. The majority of cookies will be used only if you are a registered WordPress.com user. In this case, you are bound to WordPress.com terms of service.
Some pages embed content from third parties. In this case, you will need to actively consent to their terms in order to see the content.