EPP wants to strengthen OLAF's independence
Tomáš Zdechovský, MEP met on Monday 9 September Ville Itälä, a new director of the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF). They discussed how to improve and speed up the investigation into European Union budget fraud and agreed on a close cooperation in order to improve the communication of OLAF activities towards public.
“The strengthening of the partnership between the OLAF and the European Parliament was the main topic of our meeting. Our goal is ultimately the same: To investigate cases of fraud in the use of EU funds in a fully independent manner and to prevent theft of taxpayers` money. In order to do so, we must connect the work of the OLAF with important EU agencies investigating crime, such as the Europol and Eurojust,” said Tomáš Zdechovský, the EPP Group spokesperson for budgetary control, after the meeting.
The European Parliament has repeatedly expressed full support to the work of the OLAF and stressed the inadmissibility of political influence over the Anti-Fraud Office. Tomáš Zdechovský, MEP on behalf of the EPP Group, therefore supports the future cooperation of the OLAF with the newly established European Public Prosecutor so that international fraud can be prevented and investigated even more efficiently in the future.
“Eighty-six cases of investigation performed by OLAF only in the last year prove that the European Union acts when it comes to controls of EU funds spending. What is missing, however, is a visible presentation of these results to the public. That must be improved. People need to know that there is a functioning independent international control and EU money cannot be misused,” added Tomáš Zdechovský.