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Protection of the European Community's financial interests

by Dr. Barbara Fleckenstein-Weiland

The losses incurred by the European Community as a result of unlawful activities amount to many hundreds of millions of euros each year. The European Anti-Fraud Office OLAF has been carrying out internal and external controls to protect the financial interests of the EC on the basis of Regulations No 2185/96 and No 1073/99 since 1999 as part of the Commission's Authority. The Office's investigations target all financial sectors. This has since been the case in particular for on-the-spot audits and inspections of private economic operators in the Member States, rights which were previously reserved exclusively for national authorities on the basis of relevant sectoral regulations. The aim of the present paper was to present the relevant national law for OLAF investigations in Austria and to shed light on the consequences for OLAF's controls of Austrian economic operators in accordance with EC law.

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