OLAF and Europol strengthen cooperation in combating financial crime
OLAF and Europol strengthen
cooperation in combating financial crime
Source: OLAF/04/9, Brussels, April 7, 2004.
Tomorrow, 8th April 2004 at 9 o'clock, OLAF - The European
Anti-fraud Office - and Europol - the European Police Office - shall sign an
administrative arrangement putting in place the modalities for their practical
Mr Jürgen Storbeck, Europol's Director and Mr Franz-Hermann
Brüner, Director General of OLAF shall tomorrow, in Brussels, sign an
administrative arrangement regarding co-operation between Europol and OLAF in
order to fight fraud, corruption or any other criminal offence or illegal
activity in the framework of international organised crime affecting the
European Community's financial interests.
In order to step up the fight against fraud, corruption and
any other illegal activity affecting the financial interests of the European
Community, the European Anti-Fraud Office established by Commission Decision
1999/352/EC, ECSC, Euratom exercises the powers of investigation conferred on
the Commission by the Community rules and Regulations and agreements in force in
The Office provides the Member States with assistance from
the Commission in organising close and regular cooperation between their
competent authorities in order to coordinate their activities for the purpose of
protecting the European Community's financial interests against fraud. The
Office contributes to the design and development of methods of fighting fraud
and any other illegal activity affecting the financial interests of the European
The Treaty of the European Union mentions (art. 29 and 30)
Europol as an important instrument of the Union's efforts to prevent and fight
against organised crime in order to achieve the objective of providing its
citizens with a high level of safety within an area of freedom, security and
justice. Europol aims to improve the effectiveness and co operation between the
competent authorities of the Member States in preventing and combating serious
international organised crime. The mission of Europol is to make a significant
contribution to the European Union's law enforcement action against organised
crime, with an emphasis on targeting criminal organisations.
Based in The Hague, The Netherlands, Europol started limited
operations on 3 January 1994 in the form of the Europol Drugs Unit (EDU)
fighting against drugs. The Europol Convention was ratified by all Member States
and came into force on 1 October 1998. Following a number of legal acts related
to the Convention, Europol commenced its full activities on 1 July 1999.
As of 1 January 2002 the mandate of Europol was extended to
deal with all serious forms of international crime as listed in the Annex to the
Europol Convention, amongst which fraud and corruption.
At this occasion, it was agreed that referring to fraud among
the serious forms of crime referred to in the annex to the Europol Convention
must take account of OLAF's powers as regards tax evasion and customs fraud and
lead to the negotiation of an agreement between Europol and the Commission.
A cooperation agreement concluded between the Commission and
Europol on 18.2.2003 (See IP/03/241 of 18/02/2003) makes provision for the
direct conclusion of arrangements between Europol and OLAF in fields in which
OLAF enjoys independence.
Based on the above mentioned provisions, the administrative
arrangement foresees the practical modalities for co-operation between Europol
and OLAF with focus on developing exchange of technical and strategic
information as well as in the field of threat assessment and risk analysis
within the areas of common interest excluding the exchange of personal data.
Dr. Evangelos Stergioulis, Head of Public Relations,
EUROPOL: Tel: +31 (0)70 3025 176, Fax: +31 (0)70 3180 874, Email:
Dr. Alessandro Butticé, Head of Communication, PR and
Spokesman Unit, OLAF, Tel: +32 (0)2 296 5425, Fax: +32 (0)2 299 8101, Email: