“Economic operator” means any natural or legal person, including a public entity, or a group of such persons, who offers to supply products, execute works or provide services or supply immovable property. Practitioners may use this general definition provided by the Financial regulation or the ESI related one, provided by the CPR Regulation, which states economic operator is any natural or legal person or other entity taking part in the implementation of assistance from the ESI Funds, with the exception of a Member State exercising its prerogatives as a public authority;
Source: Art. 2 (24) of the Financial Regulation 2018/1046
Source: Art. 2 (37) of the CPR Regulation 1303/2013
EDES abbreviation stands for Early Detection and Exclusion System.
The EDES is the system established by the Commission to reinforce the protection of the Union's financial interests and to ensure sound financial management. The purpose of the EDES is the protection of the Union's financial interests against unreliable persons and entities applying for EU funds or having concluded legal commitments with the Commission.
In particular, the EDES ensures:
Source: EDES Database dedicated webpage on the European Commission’s website
Source: Art. 142 of the Financial Regulation 2018/1046
“Embezzlement” (diversion of assets) is a crime. Its aim is to secretly take money that belongs to an organization or business someone works for.
Embezzlement is regarded as crime all over the world. According to Article 17 of the United Nations Convention against Corruption, each State Party shall adopt such legislative and other measures as may be necessary to establish as criminal offences, when committed intentionally, the embezzlement, misappropriation or other diversion by a public official for his or her benefit or for the benefit of another person or entity, of any property, public or private funds or securities or any other thing of value entrusted to the public official by virtue of his or her position
Parties of the Convention are almost all countries in the world, including all EU Member States and the European Union itself.
See also (various languages): Art 17 of the United Nations Convention against Corruption
EPPO abbreviation stands for the European Public Prosecutor’s office.
The EPPO is responsible for investigating, prosecuting and bringing to judgment the perpetrators of, and accomplices to, criminal offences affecting the financial interests of the Union which are provided for in Directive (EU) 2017/1371 and determined by the EPPO Regulation. In that respect the EPPO shall undertake investigations and carry out acts of prosecution and exercise the functions of prosecutor in the competent courts of the Member States, until the case has been finally disposed of.
The European Public Prosecutor’s Office will operate as a single office across all participating EU countries and will combine European and national law enforcement efforts in a unified, seamless and efficient approach. The European Public Prosecutor’s Office will be built on two levels: the central and the national level. The central level will consist of the European Chief Prosecutor, its two Deputies, 22 European Prosecutors (one per participating EU country), two of whom as Deputies for the European Chief Prosecutor and the Administrative Director. The decentralised level will consist of European Delegated Prosecutors who will be located in the participating EU countries. The central level will supervise the investigations and prosecutions carried out at the national level. As a rule, it will be the European Delegated Prosecutors who will carry out the investigation and prosecution in their EU country.
List of Participating Member States (click to expand)
Source: Art. 4 of EPPO Regulation 2017/1939
Source: EPPO’s dedicated webpage on the Commission’s website
In the general context, errors in EU spending are unintentional breaches of the national and EU legislation which result in ineligible expenditure. Most often as a result of the error an irregularity occurs. The term “error” is widely used in connection with the functions of the audit authorities of EU funds.
A technical error is an unintentional error, often committed by the competent authority itself.
A systemic error corresponds to a systemic irregularity as defined under Article 2 (38) of the CPR Regulation 1303/2013. They are in general associated with ineffective control procedures within (part of) the MCS. This means that all the situations in the population susceptible of containing an error of the same type as the one detected in the sample should be identified, thus allowing the delimitation of the total effect of the systemic error in the population37. According to Article 143 (1) of Regulation (EU) N° 1303/2013, "In the case of a systemic irregularity, the Member State shall extend its enquiries to cover all operations potentially affected".
An anomalous error is an error of exceptional nature that is demonstrably not representative of the population. A statistical sample is representative for the population and therefore anomalous errors should only be reported in extremely rare, well-motivated circumstances.
A random error. The errors which the Audit Authority does not consider as systemic or anomalous are classified as random errors. This concept presumes the probability that such random errors found in the audited sample are also present in the non-audited population, since the sample is representative.
On the basis of the results of the audits of operations for the purpose of the audit opinion and control report referred to in Article 127(5)(a) of Regulation (EU) No 1303/2013, the audit authority shall calculate a total error rate, which shall be the sum of the projected random errors and, if applicable, systemic errors and uncorrected anomalous errors, divided by the population.
Known error. A particular type of error that should not be confused with systemic errors exists when an error found in one operation/payment claim in the sample leads the auditor to detect one or more errors outside that sample in the same operation. Such error can be classified as a "known error".
Source: Art. 28 (14) Commission Delegated Regulation 480/2014
Source: Art. 2 (38), Art. 127 (5) of CPR Regulation 1303/2013
Source: Guidance for Member States on the Annual Control Report and Audit Opinion to be reported by audit authorities and on the treatment of errors detected by audit authorities in view of establishing and reporting reliable total residual error rates
Source: Guidance for Member States on Audit Strategy, EGESIF_14-0011-02 final27/08/2015
ESF abbreviations stands for European Social Fund. The aim of ESF in Programming period 2014-2020 was to promote employment and social inclusion – helping people get a job (or a better job), integrating disadvantaged people into society and ensuring fairer life opportunities for all. For the Programming period 2021-2027 the European Social Fund + (ESF+) would be the EU’s main instrument for investing in people with the aim of building a more social and inclusive Europe
Following the coronavirus pandemic, the initial proposal of ESF+ was amended to tackle the economic and social damage in the Member States, amending the original ESF+ proposal.
According to the European Council conclusions the total ESF+ budget for the period 2021-2027 is €87.9 billion in 2018 prices. Of this total, €87.3 billion are allocated to the ESF+ shared management strand and €676 million for the Employment and Social Innovation strand.
See also: European Commission’s webpage on ESF+
Establishedfraud is a term generally used in the field of irregularity reporting. The term aims to describe a fraud case which was finalized with the establishment of a fraudulent behaviour.
Under the general obligation, Member States shall notify the Commission of irregularities that exceed EUR 10 000 in contribution from the Funds and shall keep it informed of significant progress in related administrative and legal proceedings. This obligation imposed by the European Legislator is known as reporting of irregularities and includes three types of irregularities:
Regulations in the field of Irregularity reporting:
See also: Handbook on “Reporting of irregularities in shared management” 2017 by OLAF
The new EU Anti-Fraud Programme 2021-2027 shall finance protective actions related to the fight with fraud, corruption and other irregularities affecting the EU budget. The programme will provide targeted training and the exchange of information and best practice between anti-fraud enforcers across Europe. It will also provide support for investigative activities through the purchase of technical equipment used in detecting and investigating fraud, as well as facilitate access to secure information systems.
The Objectives of the programme will be:
In addition to activities previously funded under the Hercule III Programme, the new EU Anti-Fraud Programme will provide support for operational and investigative activities, including through the provision of secure IT systems, and facilitate irregularity reporting by Member States and risk management at national level. The Programme will be managed and implemented by the European Anti-Fraud Office, OLAF.
Source: Press Release on European Commission’s website
Source: Legislative train schedule on European Parliament’s website
Source: Legislative observatory by the European Parliament’s website
The aim of the Hercule III Programme is to protect the financial interests of the European Union by fighting fraud, corruption and any other illegal activities. The Programme provides support to national and regional administrations, as well as research and educational institutes and other non-profit making entities which “promote the strengthening of action at Union level to protect the financial interests of the Union”. The financial support mostly consists of grants awarded to competent authorities in the Member States to strengthen their operational and technical capacity to carry out investigations into activities detrimental to the financial interests of the Union. The financial support issued for the purchase of technical equipment, such as detection, investigation and forensic tools, or the purchase and installation of integrated systems for number plate recognition. The Programme also finances trainings and conferences as well as comparative research and scientific publications.
See also: Hercule webpage on the European Commission’s website
PERICLES 2020 PROGRAMME
The Pericles 2020 programme funds staff exchanges, seminars, trainings and studies for law enforcement and judicial authorities, banks and others involved in combating euro-counterfeiting. Actions can take place in the euro area, in EU countries outside the euro area and in third countries.
The aim of the Programme is to prevent and combat counterfeiting and related fraud, thus enhancing the competitiveness of the Union's economy and securing the sustainability of public finances. The specific objective of the Programme is to protect euro banknotes and coins against counterfeiting and related fraud, by supporting and supplementing the measures undertaken by the Member States and assisting the competent national and Union authorities in their efforts to develop among themselves and with the Commission a close and regular cooperation and an exchange of best practice, where appropriate including third countries and international organisations.
Source: Pericles webpage on the European Commission’s website
Source: Council Regulation (EU) No 331/2014