The financial interests of the European Union
The European Union has its own budget independent from the Member States. The financial interests of the European Union relate to all revenues and expenditures covered by or due to this budget. This is a huge amount of money which attracts the attention of criminals, who seek to obtain money from the EU budget with illicit means. The European Union has aimed to protect these financial interests, in order to prevent a decrease of European Union revenues and avoid misuses of Union funds, which can distort public investments, hinder growth and undermine citizens' trust in Union action. For example, the European Anti-Fraud Office and the European Public Prosecutor’s Office are two investigative bodies that detect, investigate, and protect the EU’s financial interests. Other means that support the fight against fraud, corruption and any other illegal activity affecting the financial interest of the European Union has been through regulation in many different fields.