Category Archives: Anti-fraud Offices

The European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) is the core component of the fight against fraud. OLAF is part of the European Commission and conducts fraud investigations in all European Union (EU) countries and within the European institutions themselves. It can also conduct investigations in non-EU countries with which it has agreements.

Advisory Committee for the Coordination of Fraud Prevention

Advisory Committee for the Coordination of Fraud Prevention

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Advisory Committee for the Coordination of Fraud Prevention

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These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Fight against fraud > Anti-fraud offices

Advisory Committee for the Coordination of Fraud Prevention (COCOLAF)

Document or Iniciative

Commission Decision 94/140/EC of 23 February 1994 setting up an advisory committee for the coordination of fraud prevention [See amending acts].

Summary

The sound management of Community finances requires that fraud against the Community budget be effectively opposed. The Member States, in close cooperation with the Commission, are responsible for adopting specific measures to afford effective protection to the Community’s financial and other interests. The Commission also has responsibilities arising from its task of ensuring that the Community budget is properly implemented.

This decision sets up an Advisory Committee for the Coordination of Fraud Prevention (Cocolaf) The Committee is chaired by a representative of the Commission. It consists of two representatives from each Member State, who may be assisted by two representatives of the competent national authorities, as well as representatives from the Commission departments concerned. Working parties may be set up by the Committee in agreement with the Commission.

The Chairman may invite any person with special expertise to take part in the proceedings.

If necessary, the Commission may specify a time by which the Committee must deliver its opinion.

The Committee may be consulted by the Commission on any matter relating to:

  • the prevention and prosecution of fraud and all other illegal activities adversely affecting the Community’s financial interests;
  • cooperation between Member States or between Member States and the Commission to protect the Community’s financial interests;
  • protection of the financial interests of the Union including protection of the euro both note and coins against counterfeiting;
  • the legal protection of the financial interests of the Community, including the police and judicial aspects of the fight against fraud.

The members of the Committee may ask the Commission for the Committee to be consulted on any matter falling within its terms of reference. The Committee is convened by the Commission.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision 94/140/EC 1.3.1994 Official Journal L 61 of 4.3.1994
Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision 2005/223/EC 17.3.2005 Official Journal L71 of 17.3.2005

European Anti-Fraud Office

European Anti-Fraud Office

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about European Anti-Fraud Office

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Fight against fraud > Anti-fraud offices

European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF)

Acts

Commission Decision 1999/352/EC, ECSC, Euratom of 28 April 1999 establishing the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF).

Operating modalities:

Regulation (EC) No 1073/1999 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 May 1999 concerning investigations conducted by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF).

Council Regulation (EURATOM) No 1074/1999 of 25 May 1999 concerning investigations conducted by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF).

Interinstitutional Agreement of 25 May 1999 between the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the Commission of the European Communities concerning internal investigations by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF).

Summary

This Decision establishes the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF), which is part of the European Commission with a special independent status for conducting anti-fraud investigations. Two Regulations and an Interinstitutional Agreement stipulate how it is to operate.

OLAF’s competences

The Commission Decision establishes OLAF and sets out its powers, which are to:

  • carry out external administrative investigations as part of the fight against fraud, corruption and any other illegal activity that adversely affects the Community’s financial interests and for the purpose of combating fraud involving any other act or activity in breach of Community provisions;
  • carry out internal administrative investigations for the purposes of:
    1. combating fraud, corruption and any other illegal activity that adversely affects the Community’s financial interests,
    2. investigating serious situations relating to the discharge of professional duties that may constitute a failure to comply with the obligations of officials and servants of the Communities liable to result in disciplinary or, where appropriate, criminal proceedings, or a failure to comply with the analogous obligations of the members of the institutions, bodies, offices or agencies or their staff who are not subject to the Staff Regulations of Officials of the European Communities and the Conditions of Employment of Other Servants of the European Communities,
  • carry out investigative assignments in other areas at the request of Community institutions and bodies;
  • help strengthen cooperation with the Member States in the field of fraud prevention;
  • develop strategies for the fight against fraud (preparing legislative and regulatory initiatives in the areas of activity of the Office);
  • set in motion any other operational activity in the fight against fraud (developing infrastructure, collecting and analysing information, providing technical support);
  • maintain direct contact with the national law enforcement and judicial authorities;
  • represent the Commission in the field of fraud prevention.

OLAF’s external investigative powers are mainly those that were conferred upon the Commission under Regulations (EC, Euratom) Nos 2988/95 (the European Communities’ financial interests) and 2185/96 (on-the-spot checks and inspections carried out by the Commission in order to protect the European Communities’ financial interests). Furthermore, OLAF works on the basis of Regulation (EC) 515/97 on mutual administrative assistance.

How OLAF goes about its investigations

The two Regulations on investigations by OLAF, one applying to the EC and the other to Euratom, restate the Office’s main functions and define the practical arrangements for carrying out the administrative investigations for which it is responsible.

The checks and verifications OLAF carries out externally (in the Member States and in certain non-member countries with which the Community has cooperation agreements) and internally (inside the institutions and bodies established by or on the basis of the Treaties) do not affect the powers of the Member States in the area of criminal prosecution.

The Director of OLAF launches and directs investigations on his own initiative or at the request of a Member State with an interest in the matter (in the case of external investigations) or of the institution or body concerned (in the case of internal investigations).

As part of its external investigations, OLAF carries out the on-the-spot checks for which the Commission is responsible under Regulations (EC, Euratom) Nos 2988/95 and 2185/96.

For its internal investigations, OLAF has the right of immediate and unannounced access to any information held by the Community institutions, bodies, offices and agencies. It may also ask anyone concerned for oral information, and carry out on-the-spot checks on economic operators.

Where the Office discovers, in the course of an internal investigation, that a member, manager, official or other servant may be personally involved, it informs the institution, body, office or agency to which that person belongs, unless divulging such information is incompatible with the need to maintain complete strict confidentiality for the purposes of the investigation or a possible national investigation.

At the request of OLAF or on their own initiative, the Member States, institutions, bodies, offices and agencies are required to provide the Office with any document or information they hold that relates to an investigation under way.

All information passed on to the Office will be properly protected.

On completion of an investigation, OLAF draws up a report including recommendations as to the action to be taken. The report is sent to the Member States in the case of external investigations and to the institutions, bodies, offices and agencies in the case of internal investigations.

Information may also be sent to the competent authorities in the Member States and to the institutions, bodies, offices and agencies concerned, while an investigation is still under way (the Office is in direct contact with the national law enforcement and judicial authorities).

OLAF’s operational independence is protected by a Supervisory Committee consisting of five independent outsiders appointed by common agreement of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission. Furthermore, if the Director considers that a measure taken by the Commission calls his independence in question, he is entitled to bring an action against it before the Court of Justice.

Any member of the staff of a Community institution, body, office or agency who feels that his interests are adversely affected in the course of an internal investigation may submit a complaint to the Director of OLAF or bring an action before the Court of Justice.

Interinstitutional Agreement between the Parliament, the Council and the Commission

The object of the Interinstitutional Agreement between the European Parliament , the Council and the Commission is to guarantee that internal investigations can be carried out under equivalent conditions in the three institutions and in all the other Community bodies, offices and agencies, including the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Central Bank (ECB).

To bring this about, the three institutions have agreed to adopt an internal decision based on the standard model annexed to the Agreement, and to call on the other institutions, bodies, offices and agencies to accede to the Agreement.

The model decision requires the Secretary-General, departments and all members of staff of the institution, body, office or agency concerned to cooperate fully with OLAF’s agents and to supply all useful information.

Where there is a presumption of fraud, corruption or any other illegal activity detrimental to the Communities’ interests:

  • any member who becomes aware of such evidence must without delay inform his Head of Service or Director-General or, if he considers it useful, his Secretary-General or OLAF directly;
  • the Secretary-General, the Directors-General and the Heads of Service or managers must transmit to OLAF without delay any evidence from which the existence of irregularities may be presumed;
  • members of the institutions, bodies, offices or agencies must inform the President or, where appropriate, OLAF directly.

Where it becomes clear during an internal investigation that a member, manager, official or other servant is involved, the person concerned is informed rapidly. He/she will be called upon to give his/her views on the matters concerning him/her. The invitation may be deferred where necessary for the purposes of the investigation or any subsequent national judicial inquiries.

OLAF delivers an opinion on any request for a waiver of immunity from the police or judicial authorities in a Member State, if the request relates to a manager, official or other servant of an institution, body, office or agency. If a request concerns a member of an institution or body, the Office is informed.

Background

The EC Treaty provides an explicit legal basis for operations by the Community and the Member States to combat fraud and other unlawful activities that are damaging to the Community’s financial interests (Article 280). The entry into force of the Amsterdam Treaty has given the Community much more substantial means for combating fraud and stamping out economic and financial crime.

The Commission’s Task Force for the Coordination of Fraud Prevention was thus replaced by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF), which, in addition to carrying out investigations, is responsible for devising and preparing legislation for the protection of the Community’s financial interests and the fight against fraud. OLAF enjoys greater independence than its predecessor in conducting investigations.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision 1999/352/EC, CECA, Euratom

28.4.1999

OJ L 136 of 31.5.1999

Regulation (EC) No 1073/1999

1.6.1999

OJ L 136 of 31.5.1999

Regulation (Euratom) No 1074/1999

1.6.1999

OJ L 136 of 31.5.1999

Interinstitutional Agreement

1.6.1999

OJ L 136 of 31.5.1999

Related Acts

Proposal for a European Parliament and Council Regulation amending Regulation (EC) No 1073/1999 concerning investigations conducted by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) [COM(2006) 244 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

In substance, the proposal has the following main objectives:

  • Governance, cooperation between the institutions and the Supervisory Committee. The Commission sees a need for political governance regarding priorities related to investigative activities. It proposes regular meetings between the Supervisory Committee and the other European institutions as part of a structured dialogue, without interfering in the investigative activities.
  • Guarantee of the rights of persons implicated. The Commission proposes including in the Regulation a detailed provision on the procedural guarantees to be respected in the conduct of internal and external investigations.
  • Improved monitoring of investigations. Monitoring that ensures the specific procedures are followed should be improved and the possibility of requesting an opinion should be introduced. A review adviser is provided for to fulfil such a role.
  • Improving the information flow. With this proposal, the Commission intends to improve the flow of information between OLAF and European bodies and institutions, between OLAF and the Member States, as well as between OLAF and whistleblowers.
  • Strengthening OLAF’s operational efficiency. The Commission is proposing measures that will allow OLAF to concentrate on its priority actions. For example, the opening and closing of investigations need clarification.
  • Improving the effectiveness of OLAF’s investigations. The Commission proposes to clarify OLAF’s powers of investigation in the context of external investigations involving economic operators receiving Community funds on the basis of contracts, agreements or grant awards (direct expenditure).
  • Term of office of the Director-General. A non-renewable term of office should be introduced for the OLAF Director-General in order to strengthen independence.

Codecision procedure (COD/2006/0084)

Activity reports:

Report of the European Anti-Fraud Office – Eighth Activity Reportfor the period 1 January 2007 to 31 December 2007 [Not published in the Official Journal].
This eighth activity report substantiates the principal trends of previous years. The volume and quality of information received by OLAF has steadily increased in the past years, confirming the public’s confidence in the Office. In the course of 2007, OLAF opened more cases than in 2006. Similarly, the number of cases closed increased as well, as opposed to previous years that have been characterised by a declining number of closed cases. Furthermore, the amount of “own investigations” OLAF carries out has exceeded the amount of investigations in which it merely provides assistance to national authorities. The average duration of cases increased slightly in 2007, due to the complexity of the cases the Office faces nowadays and to the necessity of involving Member States or outside partners in the investigations. OLAF has actively continued its cooperation with Member States, EU bodies in charge of police and judicial cooperation and international partners in the fight against fraud.

Report of the European Anti-Fraud Office – Seventh Activity Reportfor the period 1 January 2006 to 31 December 2006 [Not published in the Official Journal].

This report follows on from the sixth activity report. In it, the Commission assesses the irregularities committed and presents the most important measures taken in 2006 by the Member States and by itself to improve fraud prevention and the fight against fraud. The report also describes in detail the way OLAF decides to open an anti-fraud investigation and explains how cases are managed.

Report of the European Anti-Fraud Office – Sixth Activity Reportfor the period 1 July 2004 to 31 December 2005 [Not published in the Official Journal].

Evaluation report: Commission Report of 2 April 2003 – Evaluation of the activities of the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) [COM(2003) 154 final – Official Journal C 76 of 25.3.2004].

Decisions by the institutions:

Council Decision 1999/394/EC of 25 May 1999 concerning the terms and conditions for internal investigations in relation to the prevention of fraud, corruption and any illegal activity detrimental to the Community’s interests [Official Journal L 149 of 16.6.1999].

As laid down in the Interinstitutional Agreement, this Decision states that the Council is to cooperate with the Office and keep it informed; it also requires the Security Office to assist OLAF’s staff in their work. In return, OLAF is required to inform anyone implicated in one of its investigations.

Commission Decision 1999/396/EC of 2 June 1999 concerning the terms and conditions for internal investigations in relation to the prevention of fraud, corruption and any illegal activity detrimental to the Community’s interests [Official Journal L 149 of 16.6.1999].

As laid down in the Interinstitutional Agreement, this Decision states that the Commission is to cooperate with the Office and keep it informed; it also requires the Security Office to assist OLAF’s staff in their work. In return, OLAF is required to inform anyone implicated in one of its investigations.

Decision of the European Parliament of 18 November 1999 concerning the terms and conditions for internal investigations in relation to the prevention of fraud, corruption and any illegal activity detrimental to the Community’s interests [European Parliament Rules of Procedure, Annex XI – Official Journal L 44 of 15.2.2005].

As laid down in the Interinstitutional Agreement, this Decision states that the European Parliament is to cooperate with the Office and keep it informed. The Decision obliges Parliament’s Security Office to assist OLAF staff in their work. It also obliges OLAF to inform anyone who is implicated in one of its investigations.

Decision 1999/726/EC of the European Central Bank of 7 October 1999 on fraud prevention – [Official Journal L 291 of 12.11.1999].

The Decision seeks to provide adequate protection against fraud and other illegal activities at the European Central Bank (ECB), while maintaining the distribution and balance of responsibilities between the ECB and the European institutions.
Accordingly, the Decision sets up an anti-fraud committee to be responsible for monitoring the independence and functioning of the ECB Directorate for Internal Audit. The anti-fraud committee is also responsible for relations with the Supervisory Committee of OLAF. These relations are governed by the principles established by an ECB decision.

Decision of the Court of Justice of 26 October 1999 concerning the terms and conditions for internal investigations in relation to the prevention of fraud, corruption and any illegal activity detrimental to the Community’s interests [Not published in the Official Journal].

In accordance with the provisions of the Regulations setting up OLAF, this Decision requires the Court to cooperate with the Office and to keep it informed. It also lays down the procedures to be followed by OLAF staff when carrying out internal investigations. In line with the principle of confidentiality, it denies OLAF access to documents held in connection with legal proceedings that are in progress or have been terminated.

Judgment of the Court of Justice of 10 July 2003 setting aside Decision 1999/726/EC of the European Central Bank on fraud prevention and protection of the Communities’ financial interests (Case C-11/00).

The Court of Auditors of the European Union

The Court of Auditors of the European Union

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about The Court of Auditors of the European Union

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Fight against fraud > Anti-fraud offices

The Court of Auditors of the European Union

Document or Iniciative

Rules of Procedure of the Court of Auditors of the European Union [Official Journal L 103 of 23.04.2010].

Summary

These Rules of Procedure, which entered into force on 1 June 2010, lay down the internal workings of the Court, the rules on nominating the President and the decision-making procedure. It is the Court itself that establishes its own Rules of Procedure, subject to the approval of the Council acting by qualified majority.

Role

Article 287 of the Treaty of the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) defines the role and prerogatives of the Court of Auditors.

The Court therefore audits the legality of the revenue and expenditure of the EU and its bodies. The audit completed by the Court is carried out with the aim of both improving financial management, as well as making European citizens aware of how public funds are used.

The audit carried out by the Court shall be:

  • based on records and, if necessary, performed on the spot in the other European institutions;
  • performed on the premises of any body which manages revenue or expenditure on behalf of the EU;
  • performed in the Member States, including on the premises of any natural or legal person in receipt of payments from the European budget.

In its role as auditor, the Court shall cooperate with the national services and the European institutions. Moreover, it is able to request any information required to successfully complete its task from the EU institutions and bodies, organisations in receipt of payments from the European budget or from national audit institutions.

In respect of the European Investment Bank’s activity in managing expenditure and revenue, the Court’s rights of access to information held by the Bank shall be governed by an agreement between the Court, the Bank and the Commission.

The Court of Auditors must notify the relevant authorities of any irregularity. To this end, it shall work closely together with the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF).

Despite its name, the European Court of Auditors has no judicial powers and therefore no power to impose sanctions. After the close of each financial year it shall draw up an annual report to be published in the Official Journal. This report concerns the management of the European budget by the competent institutions. It is a fundamental part of the European Parliament’s decision-making process regarding the granting of the budget discharge to the Commission.

The Court of Auditors also provides the Council and the Parliament with a statement of assurance concerning the reliability of the accounts and attesting that the European budget has been used well. In addition, the Court may also, at any time, submit observations, particularly in the form of special reports, on specific questions and deliver opinions at the request of one of the other European institutions.

Composition of the Court

Articles 285 and 286 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU establish rules regarding the composition of the Court of Auditors.

The College shall be the main decision-making body of the Court. It shall comprise one Member from each Member State of the EU. Members shall be appointed by the Council acting by qualified majority following consultation of the European Parliament, on the basis of proposals from the Member States. Members eligible for appointment by the Member States must belong to an external audit body in their own country or possess a specific qualification for this post. They shall carry out their duties at the Court of Auditors entirely independently. Their term of office is six years and may be renewed.

The Members of the Court shall elect the President of the Court by secret ballot. The candidate who, in the first round of voting, obtains a two-thirds majority of the Members’ votes shall be elected President. If this majority is not reached, the candidate must obtain the majority of votes in the second round of voting. The term of office is three years and may be renewed. The President’s duties shall be to:

  • draw up the agenda;
  • call and chair meetings of the Court;
  • ensure that discussions run smoothly;
  • ensure that the Court’s decisions are implemented;
  • ensure that the departments of the Court operate properly and that its various activities are managed soundly;
  • appoint an agent to represent the Court in litigation;
  • represent the Court in its external relations and in its relations with the other European institutions, etc.

The Court shall appoint the Secretary-General of the Court, who shall be responsible for the Court’s Secretariat, by secret ballot. In addition, chambers and committees shall be set up. The chambers have the task of preparing opinions and reports adopted by the Court. The committees shall deal with matters not covered by the chambers.

The Court shall decide in formal session, by the majority of its Members, on the adoption of the annual report, special reports and opinions. The Court’s meetings shall not be public, unless the Court decides otherwise. The Court may also decide, on a case-by-case basis, to adopt decisions by the written procedure.

Origins of the Court

The Court of Auditors was founded by the Treaty of Brussels, which was signed on 22 July 1975 and entered into force in October 1977. The Treaty of Maastricht (1992) gave the Court the status of a full institution. The seat of the Court is in Luxembourg.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Rules of Procedure of the Court of Auditors of the European Union

1.6.2010

OJ L 103 of 23.4.2010

Anti-fraud offices

Anti-fraud offices

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Anti-fraud offices

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Fight against fraud > Anti-fraud offices

Anti-fraud offices

The European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) is the core component of the fight against fraud. OLAF is part of the European Commission and conducts fraud investigations in all European Union (EU) countries and within the European institutions themselves. It can also conduct investigations in non-EU countries with which it has agreements.

  • European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF)
  • European Technical and Scientific Centre (ETSC)
  • Advisory Committee for the Coordination of Fraud Prevention (COCOLAF)
  • The Court of Auditors of the European Union

European Technical and Scientific Centre

European Technical and Scientific Centre

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about European Technical and Scientific Centre

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Fight against fraud > Anti-fraud offices

European Technical and Scientific Centre (ETSC)

Document or Iniciative

Commission Decision 2005/37/EC of 29 October 2004 establishing the European Technical and Scientific Centre (ETSC) and providing for coordination of technical actions to protect euro coins against counterfeiting.

Summary

This decision establishes the European Technical and Scientific Centre (ETSC) within the European Commission in Brussels, attached to the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF).

Tasks of the centre

The ETSC:

  • analyses and classifies every new type of counterfeit euro coin, in accordance with the regulation on the protection of the euro against counterfeiting;
  • contributes to fulfilling the objectives of the Pericles programme;
  • assists the Coin National Analysis Centres (CNAC) and law-enforcement authorities;
  • collaborates with relevant authorities in the analysis of counterfeit euro coins and the strengthening of protection.

Hosting at the French Mint

For the technical and scientific analysis of counterfeit euro coins, the ETSC uses the personnel and premises that the French Mint has made available, and notably its laboratory. The Commission seconds specialist members of its personnel for this purpose. The other expenses attributable to the work carried out by the ETSC are charged to the general budget of the European Union (EU).

Coordination and information activities

The Commission coordinates the actions of the technical authorities competent for the protection of euro coins, in particular through regular meetings of the Counterfeit Coin Experts Group. Chaired by the Commission, this group allows pooling of the various experiences and expertise of EU countries in relation to counterfeiting of euro coins and coordination of technical actions necessary to protect the euro.

The Economic and Financial Committee, the European Central Bank (ECB), the European Police Office (Europol) and the competent national authorities are regularly kept informed of the centre’s activities and of the situation as regards coin counterfeiting.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision 2005/37/EC

29.10.2004

OJ L 19 of 21.1.2005

Related Acts

Regulation (EU) No 1210/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 December 2010 concerning authentication of euro coins and handling of euro coins unfit for circulation [Official Journal L 339 of 22.12.2010].
This regulation introduces common rules and procedures within the euro area for checking the authenticity of euro coins in circulation and for handling and reimbursing euro coins unfit for circulation.
With a view to coordinating the application of these rules and procedures, the ETSC is responsible for defining, among others, the:

  • technical specifications for the detection tests of coin-processing machines used for verifying the authenticity of euro coins;
  • training practices for the cash handlers’ personnel tasked with checking euro coins;
  • validity period of the summary reports on detection tests;
  • information to be provided on the list published on the Commission website of coin-processing machines that have successfully passed a detection test;
  • guidelines for annual on-the-spot controls by EU countries of cash handlers’ capacity to authenticate euro coins;
  • rules for rectifying a cash handler’s non-compliance with the provisions of the regulation.

Council Decision 2003/861/EC of 8 December 2003 concerning analysis and cooperation with regard to counterfeit euro coins [Official Journal L 325 of 12.12.2003].

This decision, addressed to the EU countries of the euro zone, provides for the establishment by the Commission of the European Technical and Scientific Centre and ensures its functioning.

Council Decision 2003/862/EC of 8 December 2003 extending the effects of Decision 2003/861/EC concerning analysis and cooperation with regard to counterfeit euro coins to those Member States which have not adopted the euro as their single currency [Official Journal L 325 of 12.12.2003].

This decision extends the effects of Decision 2003/861/EC to EU countries that have not adopted the euro as their single currency.