Fraud of European Structural and Investment Funds in the Romanian Context
Keywords:European Union Funds; OLAF; missaplication of funds; structural investment funds
Is Europe a continent marked by wars? This has been the perception of the ‘old continent’ for more
than 1000 years. In any case, it is the desire for peace that has led thinkers from different periods to propose a
political unification of countries. Erasmus did so in 1517 (Plea for Peace), Emmanuel Kant in 1795 (Essay on
Perpetual Peace) and Victor Hugo in 1849 (Speech to the International Peace Congress in Paris). During the
20th century, the idea of a federal union gained ground. However, it was the Second World War (1939-1945)
which, once over, triggered the creation of international structures such as the UN, the Council of Europe and,
of course, the European Communities. Considered the birth certificate of the European Union, its declaration
(inspired by Jean Monnet) paved the way for the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), created in 1951
by six countries: France, West Germany (FRG), Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. On May 9th
1950, Robert Schuman, the French Foreign Minister, proposed the pooling of French and German coal and steel
to “make war not only inconceivable but materially impossible”. Considered the birth certificate of the European
Union, his declaration (inspired by Jean Monnet) paved the way for the European Coal and Steel Community
(ECSC), created in 1951 by six countries: France, West Germany (FRG), Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and
Luxembourg. In this regard, we can discuss an instrument that is so popular and well known, but which, in turn,
has become a temptation to get rich quick for both natural and legal persons, the European Structural and
Investment Funds (ESIF). Originally, the ERDF was essentially economic. It has gradually evolved towards the
promotion of social rights and democracy, towards social inclusion in the broadest sense. The present study
seeks to analyse the history of these funds, the methods of fraud and the institutions responsible for preventing
or, where appropriate, investigating the fraudsters.
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