Starting with 2010, Freedom House Romania has implemented 3 projects related to the activity of the European Anti-Fraud Office – OLAF. The three projects, funded by the Hercules Program of the European Commission, aimed at: Smuggling and counterfeiting of tobacco products, Public Procurement, Improving the legal protection of the EU’s financial interests in Romania.
In the 3 conferences of the last project “Improving the legal protection of the EU’s financial interests in Romania” (21-22 June 2018, Bucharest; 27-28 September 2018, Cluj-Napoca; 27-28 February 2019 Bucharest) were trained more than 200 of people.
Beneficiaries included officials from the local and central public administration, including the Ministry of European Funds and the Audit Authority, as well as consulting companies or private entities.
Among the topics addressed we mention: Simplification of European Funds (by Bogdan Rogin , state counsellor at the Romanian Government, in 2018); Legal and administrative measures to combat fraud – Transnational expertise and transfer of good practices (by Maria Ntziouni Doumas, Adviser on Anti-Fraud Policy at OLAF and Marius Vasiliu, Expert on the Audit of EU-funded projects); Problems in attracting and using EU funds – Monitoring and sanctions. Recovery of damage caused to the national budget and the EU budget (by Eugenia Marin , Judge).
OLAF projects have identified and promoted mechanisms to prevent and combat fraud involving European funds, with the final report of the latest edition concluding that European funds must be conditional on respect for the rule of law:
„The budget of the European Union may be affected by situations where a general rule of law deficiency in a Member State affects or is likely to affect the sound financial management and the protection of the European Union’s financial interests. The rule of law is one of the main values on which the Union is founded, as Article 2 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union reminds us, as is the preamble to the Treaty and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. „