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Protecting the EU’s Financial Interest in the New Recovery and Resilience Facility – The Role of the European Anti-Fraud Office
The Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) is a key initiative providing up to €723.8 billion in support of Europe’s economic and social recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. In light of the unprecedented scale and delivery mechanism of the Facility, the question arises as to how the European Union’s financial interests in the RRF will be protected against fraud and corruption? To answer this question, this article provides an analysis of the legal safeguards in the EU’s Regulation establishing the Recovery and Resilience Facility for the protection of the EU’s financial interests. It also gives a practitioner’s view of the role of the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) in the Commission’s assessment of the national recovery and resilience plans and describes the part OLAF will have during the upcoming implementation phase of the Facility. Ultimately, it is argued that the combined efforts of all actors will be needed to ensure that the … Read more
Editorial Guest editorial eucrim 3-2021
Dear Readers, This eucrim issue comes at a critical juncture in the protection of the EU taxpayers’ money and the work of the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF). Like everyone, we at OLAF soon hope to see the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel and gradually return to a “new normal” lifestyle. For OLAF, these times mark an important turning point, namely confirmation that the EU has made substantial progress in modernising the EU framework to fight fraud against its financial interests. I especially welcome the start of operations of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO), which brings Regulation… Read more
Protecting the EU’s Financial Interests through Criminal Law: the Implementation of the “PIF Directive”
This article provides a summary of a recent Commission report on the implementation of Directive (EU) 2017/1371 on the fight against fraud to the Union’s financial interests by means of criminal law (the “PIF Directive”). This Directive, which is part of the Commission’s overall anti-fraud strategy, harmonises the definitions, sanctions, jurisdiction rules, and limitation periods related to fraud and other offences affecting the EU’s financial interests. A proper transposition of the PIF Directive by the Member States is necessary to enable the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (the “EPPO”) to conduct effective investigations and prosecutions. The Commission’s report contains a general and a specific article-by-article assessment of the transposition of the Directive. It concludes that, although all Member States have transposed the Directive, further action is needed to address outstanding compliance issues. These notably relate to the transposition of the definitions of criminal offences and the liability of – and sanctions … Read more
Strengthening of International Cooperation in Criminal Matters: Extradition and Mutual Legal Assistance
Report of the Council of Europe Online Conference – 5 May 2021
On 5 May 2021, the Council of Europe’s Committee of Experts on the Operation of European Conventions on Co-operation in Criminal Matters (PC-OC) hosted an online conference under the auspices of the German Presidency of the Council of Europe (CoE). It had the aim of strengthen-ing international cooperation in criminal matters. Erik Verbert, president of PC-OC, delivered the welcome address, which was followed by opening speeches from Jan Kleijssen, director of the CoE’s Directorate of the Information Society and Action against Crime, and Dr. Margaretha Sudhof, State Secretary of the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection. During the morning session, the conference consisted of insightful expert interventions on current is-sues in mutual legal assistance (MLA). The afternoon session was devoted to extradition and split into three workshops held in parallel. Member States and representatives from third countries engaged in productive discussions and a valuable exchange of views.Read more
Recalibrating Data Retention in the EU
The Jurisprudence of the Court of Justice of the EU on Data Retention – Is this the End or is this the Beginning?
Data retention has been subject of extensive and fierce discussions amongst practitioners, policy makers, civil society and academia in the EU and its Member States for many years – often coined as a clash between liberty and security. Through its jurisprudence, the Court of Justice of the EU (‘CJEU’) attempts to find a balance between the fundamental rights and freedoms at stake. This article provides a legal analysis of the jurisprudence of the CJEU on data retention, from the Decision in Digital Rights Ireland/Seitlinger to the most recent Decisions in the Cases Privacy Int., Quadrature du Net and H.K. v. Prokuratuur. It observes that while the CJEU has reconfirmed its previous jurisprudence on data retention, it widely opens the door to a variety of exceptions. The analysis covers the implications of the most recent jurisprudence of the CJEU from a legal and practical angle and seeks to establish whether, on … Read more
Directive 2010/64/EU on translation and interpretation services in criminal proceedings: A new quality seal or a missed opportunity?
On its implementation in Germany, Poland and Spain
About ten years ago, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union adopted Directive 2010/64/EU on the right to interpretation and translation in criminal proceedings. The Directive initially inspired high hopes, mainly because it explicitly addressed the issue of quality in interpretation and translation services. Its implementation in the EU Member States, however, has tended to be disheartening. Some even fear that current standards may be inferior to those that prevailed before the Directive was implemented. This article analyses the implementation of the Directive in Germany, Poland, and Spain and – taking the changes made to the relevant national legislation in 2013 (Germany and Poland) and 2015 (Spain) as a starting point – sheds light on early tendencies in the judicial interpretation of domestic law. It concludes that to this day, neither Germany nor Poland nor Spain has fully complied with the Directive’s quality standards for interpretation services. … Read more