The European Union has adopted a directive that provides extremely harsh punishments for the theft of European money, according to hotnews.ro. Directive 1371 on “the fight against fraud targeting the financial interests of the Union by means of criminal law” provides punishments of at least 4 years imprisonment if the damage exceeds EUR 100,000.
The threshold below which an EU Member State can give up criminal action against a natural person who has diverted EU funds is a small one of only EUR 10,000. The directive sets high standards in combating thefts of money paid by European taxpayers: Corruption is a particularly serious threat to the financial interests of the Union.
The directive is mandatory for all EU Member States and must be implemented by July 2019.
The EU decision comes in a context in which it is debated in Romania the setting of a threshold for damages caused by abuse of office.
The Directive requires the Member States to “take all necessary measures to ensure that the offenses referred to in Articles 3 and 4 (misappropriation, diverting, misuse of EU funds, giving and taking of bribes, etc.) are punished with a maximum penalty including imprisonment.”