Exchange of experience between AFCOS Directorate within the Ministry of Interior and AFCOS Cyprus and the competent national authorities in the field of management and control of ESI funds in Cyprus

Five AFCOS representatives visited the city of Nicosia, Cyprus for the purpose of exchanging experience and good practices in the field of combating fraud affecting the EU financial interests in the period 17.09 – 21.09.2019.

The Republic of Cyprus has proven its sound management of European and national funds in the implementation of public policies that enable the development of infrastructure, transport, networks and economic growth. After years of managing the European Structural and Investment Funds, Cyprus has acquired the experience, skills and competencies to pass on to other European countries. Learning from the partners and their experience is of great benefit to our experts in their work with regard to counteracting irregularities and fraud in the implementation of projects funded by the ESIF.

The delegation from the AFCOS Directorate visited the Ministry of Finance in the Republic of Cyprus and met with representatives of the AFCOS Cyprus, the Customs Office, the Economic Police, the Certifying Authority and managing authorities in the field of ESIF and Agriculture. The main focus of the training was the management and control of ESIF funds and the practice of preventing, identifying and combating irregularities and fraud. The topics covered were related to the European Union legislation for the 2014-2020 Programming period and future changes in the 2021-2027 Programming period. The participants in the training were introduced to the work of the management, implementation and control bodies of the operational programs covered by the program of the ESIF. The second day of the Study visit was focused on public procurement issues, which is the riskiest area in Member States in the field of irregularities and fraud. The experience of the AFCOS Cyprus and the AFCOS Directorate in Bulgaria was presented within the third day, as well as the practice of administrative and criminal investigation of fraud affecting the EU financial interests.

The visit was carried out under the project Supporting the effective implementation of the work of the AFCOS Directorate in its work on the European Structural and Investment Funds, grant contract № BG05SFOP001-4.005-0008-С01/15.04.2019 funded by the Operational Programme Good governance 2014-2020.

The visit contributes to enriching the experience of the Bulgarian and Cypriot officials in the fight against fraud affecting the EU’s financial interests and serves as a base for a fruitful bilateral cooperation.