18 November 2020
The 2019 Annual Report to the Parliament by the National Committee aimed at countering fraud against the European Union budget (COLAF) was presented on 18 November 2020 on the occasion a videoconference attended by Laura Agea, Undersecretary for European Affairs, Sergio Battelli, President of the XIV Commission (European Union Policies) of the Chamber of Deputies, Diana Agosti, Head of the Department for European Policies, Salvatore Tatta, Commander of the Guardia di Finanza (Guardia di Finanza) Unit aimed at countering frauds against the European Union budget, and Fabrizio Cuneo, Commander of the Special Departments of Guardia di Finanza.
The Annual Report thoroughly sets out the situation and priorities identified, the measures taken, the results achieved and the prospects for development within national anti-fraud actions to protect the economic and financial interests of the European Union.
The Report shows how Italy has consolidated its 'leadership' at European level, confirming itself amongst the countries that have adopted a valid national anti-fraud strategy. In 2019, a constantly declining trend was recorded in the number of irregularity/fraud cases detected and reported (595 cases): - 27.62% versus 2018 (822: a decrease of 227 cases) and - 49.1% versus 2017 (1,169: a decrease of 574 cases). The figures are in line with the trend described by the European Commission in its latest Annual Report on the Protection of the EU's Financial Interests.
Furthermore, a considerable number of dossiers (583) concerning older irregularity/fraud cases were closed, in agreement with the European Commission, preventing the application of a financial correction to the national budget amounting to approximately EUR 133 million.
At a national level, amongst the several initiatives promoted by the Committee to more effectively foster prevention and fight against irregularities and fraud phenomena, a European project is being implemented to create a platform of "Business Intelligence" known as the "Integrated Anti-Fraud Platform (PIAF)" which will enable centralising, in a single database, any possible information on European resources beneficiaries and could prove an effective reference point for all national and regional authorities managing EU funds, both prior to the certification of expenditure phase and during ex-postcontrols.