The European Commission has proposed to make €181m available to support European Union member states’ efforts to fight fraud, corruption and other irregularities affecting the EU budget.

According to a Commission press release, the new EU Anti-Fraud Programme will finance targeted training and the exchange of information and best practice between anti-fraud enforcers across Europe. It will also provide support for investigative activities through the purchase of technical equipment used in detecting and investigating fraud, as well as facilitate access to secure information systems.

“The new EU Anti-Fraud Programme will make a tangible contribution to boosting the fight against fraud and corruption to the detriment of the EU budget,” said Günther H. Oettinger, European Commissioner for Budget and Human Resources. “Reinforcing cooperation between Member States enforcers and providing them with state of the art investigative tools can make all the difference in identifying fraudsters, stopping smugglers, or preventing corruption in procurement procedures.”

The new Programme, which will replace the Hercule III Programme, will also support the joint investigative efforts of EU member states’ customs authorities. Brussels said it will bring significant added-value by complementing and supporting national efforts to counter fraud and corruption.

According to the Commission, a swift agreement on the overall long-term EU budget and its sectoral proposals is essential to ensure that EU funds start delivering results on the ground as soon as possible.

An agreement on the next long-term budget in 2019 would provide for a seamless transition between the current long-term budget (2014-2020) and the new one and would ensure predictability and continuity of funding to the benefit of all.