Protection EU financial interest
European policies, financed in this way, are intended for the realisation of projects of general interest.
Actions and projects funded by the EU budget reflect the priorities set by the EU countries at a given time. These are grouped under broad spending categories (known as ‘headings') and thirty-one different policy areas.
The EU budget finances actions and projects (Structural Funds, Common Agriculture Policy Funds, Pre-Accession Funds, Development Aid etc) in policy domains where all EU countries have agreed to act at Union level. Such decisions are taken for very practical reasons. Joining forces in these areas can yield greater results and costs less.
Evading the duties and levies which supply the Community budget, or using Community financing wrongfully, subsequently results in harm to the European taxpayer.
For this, in accordance with of Article 325 of the consolidated version of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU Treaty) "The Union and the Member States shall counter fraud and any other illegal activities affecting the financial interests of the Union through measures to be taken in accordance with this Article, which shall act as a deterrent and be such as to afford effective protection in the Member States, and in all the Union's institutions, bodies, offices and agencies".
As a beneficiary country of EU pre-accession funds, in accordance with internationally undertaken commitments in the pre-accession period, the Republic of Croatia is responsible for ensuring the legal framework for the protection of EU financial interests as well as the establishment of an effective and efficient system of managing irregularities and frauds in the framework of EU assistance funds
In Republic of Croatia, the protection of EU's financial interests is stipulated in Article 14, paragraph 4 of the Budget Act (Official Gazette 87/2008): "the Republic of Croatia as user of the European Union assistance funds shall ensure the protection of financial interests of the European Union by establishing the system for combating of irregularities and fraud (AFCOS)".
AFCOS is a system through which the coordination of legislative, administrative and operative activities is implemented with the purpose of protecting the financial interests of the European Union and direct cooperation with the European Antifraud Office (OLAF).
In the Republic of Croatia the AFCOS system includes:
a) a network of accredited bodies managing and using EU pre-accession funds (The Irregularity Reporting System);
b) a network of bodies dealing with combating fraud, corruption or some other form of illegal activities in the system (the AFCOS network);
c) the Ministry of Finance - Independent Department for Combating Irregularities and Fraud, carrying out a coordinative role within the system and representing OLAF's contact point.
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