How do you think to cut EU funds from
those politicians who use it improperly?
Our goal is clear: don’t let illiberal-populist and corrupt
politicians use EU funds to secure their control and power in any
Member State. We want that the EU funds go directly to individual
citizens and to SME’s in a proper way. For sure, the European
Commission has the right to decide the frames of legal proposal on our
initiative. The solutions could be different: to strengthen OLAF or to
make membership of the European Prosecutors’s Office
compulsory or any other solution. We think the best way is to
strengthen controls - even before moneny is spent - where there is a
risk. We will now have to make it happen together: give a signature for the STOP
FRAUD with EU FUNDS initiative!
Why don’t you initiate rather
that all member states should join the European Prosecutor’s
The European Prosecutors’ Office is an enhanced cooperation
where not all states participate because some refused to participate.
They cited legal or political arguments. Due to the consensual way of
working of the EU, there is only a slight chance to make joining
compulsory. The only popular action to force joining could be a
referendum but it is doubtful whether this could trigger an
What control measures do you envisage?
Although the Commission is free to decide what proposals it make
following a European Citizens’ Initiative, we have some
proposals. There are red flags which point to fraud, for example when
one group of operators wins most of the tenders as beneficiaries or as
contractors, and these cases should be investigated more thoroughly. Ex
ante controls (where the control is precondition of contracting or
payment) could prevent moneys being sent improperly.
Is your proposal equivalent to joining
the European Prosecutors’ Office?
It serves the same purpose. It can be more efficient as it can prevent
or at least stopping in time the fraud as the EPO acts in most cases
only after an OLAF investigation which takes time. Also, the EPO works
with delegated national prosecutors who may be more biased while the
Commission or other EU body is more distant from the country. On the
other hand, it is only the EPO which can prosecute the fraudsters
themselves. Therefore there is a difference.
Could the proposals be valid also for
countries joining the EPO?
Yes, the proposals are generally applicable. We targeted the countries
not joining the EPO because the risk fraudsters face is lower in these
countries. The European Parliament could for example insist on these or
similar measures when approving the budget or the next multiannual
European Citizens' Initiative to stop fraud and abuse of EU