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Editorial Guest Editorial eucrim 2/2018
Almost a year has passed since the entry into force of Regulation (EU) 2017/1939 implementing enhanced cooperation on the establishment of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO). Activities aimed at setting up this new important European body are in full swing.
The creation of a strong, efficient, and independent EPPO, which will be able to rapidly carry out its investigative functions, represents a priority for the European Commission and, in particular, for the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF), which I have the honour of directing since August 2018.
Setting up the EPPO is a complex task, which requires the contribution of many actors. The Commission has already put a number of steps in place, and many more are being prepared. The Commission is however not alone in this process: Member States participating in the EPPO are called on to ensure that the EPPO operates smoothly and effectively in their legal and judicial ... Read more
EPPO Institutionalization during the Bulgarian Council Presidency
– Main Steps and Challenges Ahead
The article follows up the efforts undertaken by the EU Commission together with the Council of the European Union to set up the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO). Preparing the EPPO to become operational by 2020 was a top political priority during the Bulgarian Council Presidency, given the paramount importance of the proper protection of the EU’s financial interests against fraud and misuse of EU money. In the first part, information is provided on how the Presidency drove forward the initial steps to structure the EPPO and enhance its coordination with other EU partner agencies.
In the second part, the article gives an overview of EPPO’s powers that make it a unique EU organism equipped with the necessary tools to effectively investigate crimes against EU funds. This overview is followed by an analysis on the challenges that lay ahead particularly for the integration of the European Delegated Prosecutors into this ... Read more
The EPPO’s Hybrid Structure and Legal Framework
Issues of Implementation – a Perspective from Germany
This article addresses several issues concerning additional measures required for a proper imple-mentation of the EPPO Regulation from the point of view of a Member State with a federal struc-ture. These issues include matters involving Member States’ personnel working for the EPPO, clarification of the relevant national legal framework (in particular as regards the conduct of in-vestigations), and the future cooperation between the EPPO and the national authorities of the (participating) Member States. The article concludes that the hybrid structure and current legal framework of the EPPO will create new challenges for the authorities of the Member States and may certainly stimulate further (academic) debate on the approach chosen by the EU legislator.Read more
The current institutional set-up to fight EU fraud is considered unsatisfactory. With the creation of the EPPO, the definition of the offences it will investigate and prosecute, and the OLAF Regulation under revision, the EU has carved out a new institutional set-up. The objective, both from an administrative (OLAF) and criminal law perspective (EPPO), is to successfully investigate fraud and corruption affecting the EU’s financial interests. In addition to institutional and legal implementing steps, it is also important to consider what needs to be put in place in order to ensure the future quality of investigations, especially from the training perspective. This article presents some observations from the operational field with regard to what is arguably one of the major tools for enhancing the quality of PIF investigations: interviewing suspects.Read more
After giving an overview of the current and envisaged role of Eurojust, this article outlines the future relationship between Eurojust and the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO). Here, the author identifies three levels of possible links between the two bodies: the institutional level, the operational level, and the administrative level for the sharing of services. They have a common denominator: the need to establish an intense reciprocal cooperation scheme, despite the diversity of the functions of the two bodies. If this strong cooperation is implemented in practice, it can become the driving force around which the entire European judicial area can be redesigned, in such a way that Eurojust will still continue to play a central role as regards judicial coordination and cooperation in criminal matters. Therefore, a non-antagonistic relationship with the European Public Prosecutor should be aimed for and pursued.Read more
Spain has been especially supportive of the creation of the EPPO after its mention in the Treaty of Lisbon − and even before that. Notwithstanding, Spain negotiated the implementation of the EPPO knowing that this would necessitate – partly fundamental − structural changes of its national system of criminal procedure. This system is currently characterised by giving an investigative judge the leading role in criminal investigations; prosecutors are actually one of several parties in the criminal proceedings. In contrast, the EPPO Regulation is based on the more conventional system common all around Europe, consisting in giving the said leading role to prosecutors. After outlining the main structure of the Spanish system of criminal investigation, the article deals with the major challenges that Spain has to meet in order to align its national system to the model imposed by the Regulation regarding cases in which the European Public Prosecutor will assume ... Read more