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C 374 E/108 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 28.12.

2000

(2000/C 374 E/124) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0560/00
by Christopher Huhne (ELDR) to the Commission

(29 February 2000)

Subject: EU fraud

Will the Commission give an estimate of identifiable fraud against the EU budget in each year of the last
five available years and also express this as a proportion of the total budget? Would the Commission
please give the comparable figures for each of the Member States’ own budgets so as to enable a
comparison to be made and as an exercise in best practice and benchmarking?

Answer given by Ms Schreyer on behalf of the Commission

(17 April 2000)

The Commission would refer the Honourable Member to its last two annual reports on the Protection of
the financial interests of the Communities  Fight against fraud for 1997 and 1998 (1).

These reports analyse the cases notified by Member States involving irregularities and fraud against
traditional own resources and the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF) 
Guarantee section and structural operations.

The 1998 report shows that on the basis of the cases of irregularities and fraud notified by the Member
States and the investigations carried out by the Commission with the help of the Member States, the
budgetary impact was 3,8 % for own resources, 1 % for the EAGGF  Guarantee section and 0,18 % for
structural operations in 1998.

It was also found that one fifth of the cases notified by the Member States in 1998 could constitute
criminal offences (fraud).

On the basis of the data concerning investigations conducted by UCLAF (now OLAF, the European Anti-
fraud Office), the budgetary impact of cases relating to expenditure managed directly by the Commission
for which there is no system of notification by the Member States is put at 0,10 % for 1998.

The Commission feels that fraud against national budgets, for which it has no figures, is something
essentially different, thus making any comparison very rash (in the main these are administrative budgets
whereas 95 % of the Community budget is ‘grants’).

(1) COM(98) 276 final and COM(1999) 590 final.

(2000/C 374 E/125) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0565/00
by Christopher Huhne (ELDR) to the Commission

(29 February 2000)

Subject: Confidential documents

Will the Commission confirm that any of its employees found to have given early sight of a reasoned
opinion or other quasi-legal document to an interested party prior to publication would be instantly
dismissed? Has this happened in the past?
28.12.2000 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 374 E/109

Answer given by Mr Kinnock on behalf of the Commission

(28 March 2000)

According to Article 17 of the Staff Regulation and the Commission’s decision on public access to
Commission documents, officials are bound by an obligation of discretion in relation to information which
comes to their attention whilst carrying out their duties. However, this obligation of discretion does not
forbid access being given to internal documents on the express condition that access be granted in
accordance with the procedures and under the rules in the Commission Decision (1). Access will be denied
if the document is covered by one of the exceptions expressly provided in the Code of Conduct.

Failure to respect the obligations set down in the Staff Regulations may give rise to disciplinary
proceedings. Decisions about whether there has been an infringement and, if so, what sanction would be
appropriate are made in those proceedings. The removal from post of an official or other servant is the
most severe sanction foreseen in Article 86 of the Staff Regulations. It is therefore only applied in cases
where it is proportionate to the professional fault in question.

In the last five years no official or other servant has been removed from office for giving access to a
confidential document as described above to an affected party prior to publication.

(1) OJ L 46, 18.2.1994. Commission Decision (94/90/ECSC/EC/Euratom) of 8 February 1994 on public access to
Commission documents.

(2000/C 374 E/126) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0567/00
by Christopher Huhne (ELDR) to the Commission

(29 February 2000)

Subject: EU budgetary contribution

Will the Commission publish details of the net contribution to the EU budget of each Member State for
each of the last available five years (a) on the basis of UK rebate budgetary balances (after reallocation of
Customs duty revenue) and (b) on a gross basis before reallocation of Customs revenue? Will it say which
basis it prefers, and why?

Answer given by Mrs Schreyer on behalf of the Commission

(11 April 2000)

The Honourable Member will find the answers to his questions in the documents called ‘Allocation of
1998 EU operating expenditure by Member States’ for the period 1992-1998. Table 6 of the statistical
annex answers question a) and the arithmetic difference between Table 3f and 4f answers question b). This
report is also available on the web at:
http://europa.eu.int/comm/dg19/pdf/agenda2000/statdepenses98.pdf.

The Commission believes that there is no optimal way to measure net contributions. The Commission has
consistently argued in this sense. For a thorough discussion, the Honourable Member is referred to the
Commission report on own resources of October 1998 and in particular to Annex 3 and related
references. This report is also available on the web at:
http://europa.eu.int/comm/dg19/en/agenda2000/ownresources/index.htm.