EU Public Prosecutor to better protect taxpayer’s money
MEPs are set to give the green light to establishing a European Public Prosecutor's Office to step up the fight against fraud and misuse of European funds and protect taxpayers' money.
The European Public Prosecutor's Office (EPPO) will be in charge of investigating, prosecuting and bringing to justice those committing offences against the Union's financial interests.
Currently, only national authorities can investigate and prosecute EU-related fraud, but their jurisdiction ends at their national borders.
Since 2014, MEPs have pushed through several resolutions to establish the EPPO and have stressed the importance of ensuring the independence of its prosecutors.
The EPPO will be set up in enhanced cooperation among 20 member states: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Greece, Italy, Finland, France, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia and Spain. Other member states may choose to join at any time.
The EPPO central office will be based in Luxembourg, but each member state will appoint at least one delegated prosecutor located nationally.
The list of serious crimes that fall under the jurisdiction of the EPPO could be extended in the future to include, for example, terrorism.
Once Parliament has given its consent, the Council will formally adopt the regulation on the EPPO. It will take at least three years before the EPPO can begin its work.
Debate: Wednesday, 4 October
Vote: Thursday, 5 October