The fight against this type of fraud (cigarette smuggling) is a shared responsibility. It requires urgent and streamlined action at all levels, i.e. from the Commission, the Member States and the neighbouring countries. I would therefore like to thank the Bulgarian Customs Agency and the Center for the Study of Democracy for having taken the initiative to organise this conference. It is very timely and I am convinced that it will contribute to strengthening our cooperation and building strong relationships to jointly tackle the problem of cigarette smuggling.Mr. Kristian Vangrieken, Head of Unit, European Commission, Taxation and Customs Union Directorate General, International coordination - Enlargement & neighbouring countries during the international conference Countering Cigarette Smuggling in the Balkans, 2 and 3 June 2011.
The crisis has put focus on the instability of the public sector. It is estimated that 120 billion euro are lost each year to corruption in the EU member states. If we talk about public procurement that indicator is 20-25% of the contracts signed. Cross-border cooperation is needed to fight crimes at EU and national level. The EU Anti Corruption package is a step forward.Maria ÅseniusMs. Maria Åsenius, Head of Cabinet Commissioner Malmström, DG Home Affairs at the Regional Workshop: EU Anti Corruption Report, Sofia, 10-11 December 2012., Sofia
I am glad that the workshop was a success and that the officers from Romania and Bulgaria found it useful in developing their skills to fight corruption and organised crime. Work such as this in an international arena continues to grow in importance and we consider it vital for successful operations, particularly in the area of corruption.Trevor Pearce, Director General, Serious and Organised Crime Agency (SOCA), UK, commenting on the international workshop "The experience of European police anti-corruption units: Austria, Belgium and the UK", organised by CSD (letter of 2 April 2013)
"I would like to congratulate the organisers of this event for their laborious effort that allowed them to gather here leading figures of the European legal practice to speak and discuss on such an important and modern-day issue as the risks and impacts that fraud and corruption create on public procurement all over our continent. … It is widely acknowledged that corruption has the natural power to continuously change its characteristics. Over the last few decades, its presence has increased in public administration becoming a source of serious and systematic loss to public budgets. And it is also true that few activities create greater temptations or offer more opportunities for bribery and extortion than public sector procurement."Mr. Nikolas Kanellopoulos, Secretary General of the Ministry of Justice, Transparency and Human Rights in Greece at the International Seminar: EU Financial Interests under Threat: New Approaches in Assessing the Risks from Public Procurement and EU Funds Fraud, 31 October – 1 November 2013