The new program replaces the Hercule III Programme, which in recent years has already had a positive impact on the fight against EU budget fraud at national and local level. Funds from the EU Anti-Fraud Program will finance direct projects, as well as training and expert conferences that favor the exchange of information and transnational cooperation.
The program will also support joint investigative efforts by Member States' customs authorities, as such joint operations are essential in dismantling criminal networks operating across borders. This program is expected to provide significant added value and to complement and support national efforts in the fight against fraud and corruption. The financial allocation for the execution of the Program during the period 2021-2027 will be 181 million euros.
The EU helps Member States to fight fraud by:
- continuing to protect the EU’s financial interests through financial support (previously offered by the Hercule III programme), in particular technical support, operational support for investigations, specialised training and research activities;
- organising mutual administrative assistance and cooperation in customs and agricultural matters, notably via the Anti-Fraud Information System (AFIS);
- operating the Irregularity Management System (IMS) so Member States can report irregularities.
Bringing together these previously separate strands will: (i) help the UAFP to benefit from closer cooperation; (ii) promote budgetary flexibility; and (iii) simplify management. The UAFP is open to applications from EU Member States and from countries associated to the EU.