Embezzlement of Public Funds in former Communist Countries
In many parts of the world, the cases of embezzlement of public funds are countless and are encouraged by impunity for the perpetrators. Of course, Europe is not insulated from these criminal practices. According to OECD analysis -35 Member countries- 57% of concluded foreign bribery cases between 1999 and 2014 involved public procurement. In the European Union, the former communist countries have often been implicated in the misuse of European funds. The Transparency International's Global Barometer remains one of the best sources of expertise to assess the scale of this phenomenon. Countries such as Bulgaria, Romania or Hungary are year after year poorly rated in this ranking. And quite logically these 3 countries saw the biggest concentrations of fraud in the EU in 2015.In this regard it has to be noted that US$ 989 million of European Union funds were given out to fraudulent claimants last year, including social funds and agricultural funds. And this sum is evidently widely underestimated. In 2015, the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) concluded 199 investigations into the misuse of EU funds: Bulgaria and Romania where the top two countries with the most fraud investigations. In fact, part of the problem for numerous countries of the former Eastern bloc public space is well-known: the existence of powerful organized criminal groups and the limited enthusiasm in investigations by local authorities.