The European Union (EU) budget is taxpayer’s money that must be used only for implementing the policies which the EU legislature has approved. Fraud involving EU funds has a particularly negative impact on the reputation of the EU institutions and the implementation of EU policies.
On 24 June 2011 the European Commission adopted its new Anti-Fraud Strategy1 (CAFS) with the overall objective of improving the prevention and detection of fraud, and the conditions for investigations of fraud, and achieving adequate reparation and deterrence. This is to be done especially by developing close cooperation and synergy and by promoting the standards set out in the CAFS within the EU agencies and bodies, including joint undertakings. The European Commission (EC) has developed a Common Approach on EU decentralised agencies that requires a set of anti-fraud measures to be put in place in the agencies.
The EEA, according to its mission statement, aims to support sustainable development and to help achieve significant and measurable improvements in Europe’s environment, through the provision of timely, targeted, relevant and reliable information to policymaking agents and the public.
The EEA operates in a complex, multi-level and multi-actor governance setting at EU, national and global levels. This setting also includes research institutes, businesses and NGOs. The specific role of the EEA is to support policymaking at the EU level, and to build capacity in member countries, using the European Environment Information and Observation Network (Eionet) as its unique partner to generate two-ways flows of quality-assured environmental data and information.
The Agency handles a core budget of approximately EUR 41 million each year. It is financed by the Commission for 87% of its revenues and for 13% by contributions from other member countries (EFTA and Turkey).
In addition to the core budget, external assigned revenues are received on hoc basis and managed by the EEA, subject to EEA Management Board approval. They are dedicated to specific projects of EEA interest.