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The Sovereignty of Fraud and the Fraud of Sovereignty: OLAF and the Wise Men

Journal of Financial Crime

ISSN: 1359-0790

Article publication date: 1 March 2000



This paper discusses the politicisation of fraud within the European Union and continues the author's scries on fraud, supranational investigative arrangements and cross‐border crime. During 1999, the fight against European Community budget fraud became a controversy of central importance within the European Union. This was not because such fraud is wide‐spread, but because as a criminal offence of an all‐European nature it was the point of least resistance from which to construct a European criminal code and a European FBI. During 1998 the corpus juris was proposed as the proto‐criminal code and the next stage in the fight against fraud. This situated the anti‐fraud strategies debate into the conflict between member states and the Commission's alleged agenda for a European superstate. Moreover, with European parliamentary elections approaching, nationalists and Eurosceptics had an interest in exaggerating the problem of fraud in order to depict central European institutions as wasteful and corrupt as well as a threat to the nation‐state. Although since the introduction of the doctrine of subsidiarity, national sovereignty is a fraud in the European context, fraud is also a sovereign issue.


Tupman, B. (2000), "The Sovereignty of Fraud and the Fraud of Sovereignty: OLAF and the Wise Men", Journal of Financial Crime, Vol. 8 No. 1, pp. 32-45.




Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

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