Hungary received the most penalties for fraud with EU funds between 2016 and 2020, according to an annual report by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF), published by Euronews. mentioned.
According to the report, the correction rate affects 2.2% of payments to the Union’s structural and agricultural funds, which is more than seven times the EU average (0.29%) and even the index of Bulgaria is the second-worst performer (0.69%). than three times. But last year’s figure was even worse, at nearly four percent. In two thirds of the cases investigated by the Hungarian authorities, charges were brought, which improved cooperation with EU bodies.
Phil Itala, director of OLAF, told Euronews that the figure is already high compared to other EU member states, but that the situation has improved compared to 2016. Last year, “only” 2 million euros were recommended.
In Sweden, Latvia, Finland and Cyprus, the proportion of financial recommendations was zero per cent, meaning that the auditors did not decide on any corrective action at all.
Summing up the past five years, the Hungarian authorities have taken into account the recommendations of the European Anti-Fraud Office to an almost average extent,
No action was taken in sixteen cases, of which nine were investigated, of which six were prosecuted. The prosecution rate of 67% is high at the EU level.
The number of investigations initiated each year has deteriorated. Eight investigations were launched, four of which ended with a recommendation to the Hungarian authorities. A total of five studies were reported in the past year and action has been suggested in two cases.
OLAF has not provided details on every case this year either, as they can only be disclosed by individual member states, so we don’t know exactly what’s behind the very high index of 2.2%. Last year’s highly embarrassing figure of nearly 4% was explained by the parliamentary group Fidesz-KDNP in the case of the construction of the four-meter metro.