In 2022, the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) opened ten investigations against Italy for EU fund fraud. Italy came second in Europe behind Hungary.
The European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) opened 192 investigations into fraud and corruption involving EU funds last year. Hungary topped the table of EU member states with a total of 15 probes. Another six CEE countries made it into the top 10, according to the agency’s annual report published on Tuesday.
In 2022, OLAF recommended the recovery of over €426million to the EU budget. This is down from the €527million recommended the previous year. The agency said it prevented €198million from being misappropriated or unduly spent.
Some 256 cases were concluded, up from 212 the previous year. The agency said it began to investigate the first cases into expenditure fraud connected to the post-pandemic Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF). The RRF has a future investment volume of over €720billion.
Italy with second highest number of EU fund fraud cases
Italy is second in Europe for the highest number of investigations into the management of EU funds completed by the EU Anti-Fraud Office in 2022.
There were 10 anti-fraud investigations against Rome. Nine of those cases ended with recommendations to the competent authorities. That is 90% of cases where something was found that required action.
Hungary may have topped the bill with 15 investigations. However, the same number of cases -nine – came with recommendations. That is 60%, a third lower than Italy.