The agreement provides a legal framework for exchange of information and expertise;
The objective is to prevent and combat all forms of serious international and organised crime, cybercrime and terrorism;
The damage done by the pandemic to global economies and societies is an additional motivation for EU institutions to ensure a just recovery, free from fraud and crime.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol) signed today a Working Arrangement establishing a cooperation framework between the two institutions in the area of the fight against serious crime.
The cooperation will involve regular meetings between the parties, the exchange of information and specialised knowledge, and consultation on policy issues and other matters of common interest.
The aim of the cooperation is to contribute to the prevention and fight against all forms of serious international and organised crime, cybercrime and terrorism.
Kris Peeters, Vice-President of the European Investment Bank, said: “The cooperation with Europol reinforces the EIB’s capacity to prevent and combat fraud and corruption globally. This agreement takes even more relevance in the context of the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. While such crisis times require extraordinary measures, zero tolerance of fraud and corruption should remain central for multilateral institutions like the EIB. Resources released to support the recovery must reach their intended beneficiaries and not be diverted by fraud and corruption. Thanks to Europol’s extensive network of law enforcement agencies both within and outside of the EU, we will have more tools to ensure that we as a bank identify and prevent any sources of serious crime. Together the two institutions can make a difference in the international fight against fraud and corruption”.
Catherine De Bolle, Europol’s Executive Director, said: “Cooperation between EU institutions is important for combatting organised crime, and for keeping communities across Member States safe. This Working Arrangement with the European Investment Bank enhances our abilities to fight crime on all fronts, especially our shared priorities in tackling fraud and corruption. As the information hub for European law enforcement, we are glad to be able to connect the EIB with expertise and resources to identify and fight back against serious crime.”
Money laundering, terrorism financing (ML/TF), and other forms of organised crime all pose a serious threat to the integrity of the EU economy and financial system, as well as to the security of its citizens. Furthermore, they can be an obstacle to the realisation of fundamental rights. Depending on their level, pervasiveness and form, they can affect the availability, quality, security and accessibility of goods and services including education, culture, health, transport infrastructure, energy, and housing.
A study of the Court of Auditors estimates the costs of corruption between 179 and 990 billion euros per year for the EU alone. See Fraud and corruption in the EU: top four cases in recent times | by European Court of Auditors | #ECAjournal | Medium- (published 3 August 2019).
At a time when new urgent problems arise from international organised crime, this agreement constitutes a very important step forward and seals the intention of the two institutions to strengthen their cooperation.
Some facts about the EIB Group’s fight against serious crime
The Inspectorate General Investigations Division (IG/IN) is the dedicated office within the EIB Group mandated with conducting all investigations into allegations of fraud, corruption, terrorist financing, money laundering and other forms of prohibited conduct potentially impacting EIB’s operations and activities. IG/IN collaborates closely with national investigation, anti-corruption and prosecution offices.
See more info here and the Fraud Investigation Activity Report 2020 here.
183 incoming allegations
Decreased backlog - more cases closed (195) than opened (183) in 2020
52 recommendations and opinions issued
Support for the development of the EIB Group’s COVID-19 response
Implementation of a new system for following up and reporting on recommendations and opinions
Memorandum of understanding signed between the EIB and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank on cooperating in investigations