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  • Establishing an exchange, assistance and training programme for the protection of the euro against counterfeiting (The 'Pericles' programme)

Programme funding

EUR 4 million

Official Journal Reference

L 339 of 2001-12-21

Legislative Reference

2001/923/EC of 2001-12-17
To support and supplement the measures undertaken by the Member States and programmes established or to be established in order to protect the euro against counterfeiting.


The Nice European Council called on the Member States to adopt efficient arrangements to prevent counterfeiting of the euro as soon as possible in 2001.
On 12 February 2001 the Ecofin Council agreed on the guidelines for a draft Council regulation laying down the necessary measures to protect the euro against counterfeiting.

On 17 December 2001, the Council adopted the action programme known as the Pericles programme. The programme shall run from 1 January 2002 to 31 December 2005.
The programme shall encompass:
_ Raising awareness of the staff concerned of the Community dimension of the new currency (also as a reserve currency and a currency for international transactions);
_ Acting as a catalyst to encourage closer cooperation between the structures and staff concerned, the development of a climate of mutual trust and satisfactory knowledge, inter alia of methods of action and difficulties, by promoting various appropriate measures such as placements, specialist workshops or the involvement of guest speakers in national training and staff exchanges;
_ Promoting convergence of high-level training activities for trainers in ways which are compatible with national operational strategies;
_ Expanding general knowledge, in particular of relevant Community and international law and instruments.

In addition, the Council adopted a Decision extending the effect of the Decision establishing a training, exchange and assistance programme for the protection of the euro against counterfeiting to the Member States which have not adopted the euro as the single currency (Decision 2001/924/CE).


The content of training and of operational support, based on a multidisciplinary and transnational approach, shall embrace not only security aspects but also the exchange of information, in particular technical and strategic information, and technical and scientific back-up.

The setting-up of exchanges of information at Community level particularly shall involve methodologies of control and analysis for evaluating:
_ The economic and financial impact of counterfeiting;
_ The operation of databases;
_ The use of detection tools with computer back-up;
_ Enquiry and investigation methods;
_ Scientific assistance (in particular scientific databases and technology watch/monitoring of new developments);
_ Operation of early warning systems;
_ Related matters, such as the scope of the obligation to provide information;
_ The protection of personal data;
_ The different aspects of cooperation;
_ The protection of the euro outside the European Union;
_ Research activities;
_ The provision of specific operational expertise.

Such exchanges of information may be reflected in a variety of measures such as the organisation of workshops, meetings and seminars, and a targeted policy of placements and exchanges of staff.

Technical, scientific and operational back-up shall concern in particular:
_ Any measure which establishes teaching resources at Community level (handbook of EU legislation, information bulletins, practical manuals, glossaries and lexicons, databases, especially in the area of scientific assistance or technology watch) or computer support applications (such as software);
_ Studies with a multidisciplinary and transnational dimension;
_ The development of technical support instruments and methods to facilitate detection activities at Community level;
_ Specialist bodies concerned, for instance, with duplication and certification technologies, printers and engravers;
_ Any other body offering specific expertise, including, where appropriate, third countries and in particular accession candidate countries.

Target group for actions and contributions

The measures shall target the following groups:
_ Staff of agencies engaged in detecting and combating counterfeiting (in particular police forces and financial administrations depending on their specific functions at national level);
_ Intelligence personnel;
_ Representatives of the national central banks, the mints and other financial intermediaries;
_ Representatives of the commercial banks;
_ Judicial officers and specialist lawyers in this field;
_ Any other group of specialists concerned (such as chambers of commerce and industry or comparable structures capable of providing access to small and medium-sized enterprises, traders and hauliers).

In addition to the Commission's contribution, the following parties shall be invited to contribute to the attainment of the objectives of the Community action programme using their respective areas of expertise:
_ The national central banks and the ECB, inter alia as regards the Counterfeit Monitoring System (CMS);
_ The National Analysis Centres (NAC) and the Coin National Analysis Centres (CNAC);
_ The European Technical and Scientific Centre (ETSC) and the national mints;
_ Europol and Interpol;
_ The national central anti-counterfeiting offices provided for in Article 12 of the International Convention for the Suppression of Counterfeiting Currency signed at Geneva on 20 April 1929 and other agencies specialising in the prevention, detection and law-enforcement in connection with counterfeiting.


The programme shall be implemented and coordinated by the Commission and the Member States, working closely together. This coordination shall take account of measures undertaken elsewhere, in particular by the European Central Bank (ECB) and Europol.
The Commission shall seek to ensure consistency and complementarity between this Community action programme, geared to the protection of the euro against counterfeiting, and other existing and future programmes and activities.

In the light of the arrangements for distributing euro banknotes and coins, operational requirements, evaluation of the threat and risk analysis, the programme shall be open to the associated accession candidate countries, in accordance with the conditions laid down in the association agreements and the additional protocols concerning participation in Community programmes concluded or to be concluded with those countries.

In addition, the programme shall, if necessary, be open to non-member countries in so far as appropriations are available in the Community budget, under conditions and in accordance with arrangements to be agreed with those countries.

The beneficiaries of each project selected shall submit an annual report to the Commission. On completion of the projects, the Commission shall evaluate the way in which they have been implemented and the impact they have had in order to gauge whether the objectives set at the outset have been achieved.

The Commission shall send to the European Parliament and the Council:
_ By 30 June 2005 a report, which shall be independent of the programme manager, evaluating the relevance, the efficiency and the effectiveness of the programme and a communication on whether this programme should be continued and adapted, accompanied by an appropriate proposal;
_ On completion of the programme and no later than 30 June 2006, a detailed report on the implementation and the results of the programme setting out in particular the added value of the Community's financial assistance.

This Decision shall be effective in those Member States which have adopted the euro as the single currency.
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