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This contribution aims to shed light on some issues concerning the cross-border cases (already or potentially) falling within the competence of the EPPO. The notion of “cross-border cases” – them being PIF offences or other offences – encompasses at least three scenarios:
i) Cases involving two or more Member States participating in the EPPO, including cases where the criminal activity is carried out in a single country, but the suspect has a habitual residence in, or is a national of, another Member State;
ii) Cases involving two or more Member States, one of which is not part of enhanced cooperation;
iii) Cases involving at least one third country.
In the scenarios under ii) and iii), the controversial topic is how to regulate the relations of the EPPO with the competent authorities of non-participating Member States or third countries. In contrast, the scenario under i) brings to the fore issues concerning the efficient handling ... Read more
The Hybrid Architecture of the EPPO
From the Commission’s Proposal to the Final Act
The Commission’s proposal for the Regulation establishing a European Public Prosecutor's Office (EPPO) had been under negotiation within the Council for more than three years. Remarkably, the Regulation provides for shared competence between the Member States and the EPPO as regards the prosecution of PIF offences, whereas the original proposal provided for an exclusive competence of the Office.
The most striking change during the negotiations, however, relates to the very design of the EPPO. Member States have been advocating a shift towards a College model – allowing them to designate European Prosecutors who will be members of the European body of the Office. This change may result in an EPPO that will be less decentralized than originally foreseen in the Commission’s proposal. The currently envisaged layout can therefore be considered a mix between the decentralized and the College models.
Against this backdrop, the article first analyses the structure ... Read more
The Establishment of the European Public Prosecutor's Office
The Road from Vision to Reality
The establishment of a European prosecution office with the competence to fight crimes against the financial interests of the EU has been the subject of discussion for many years . Twenty years after the Corpus Juris experts recommended setting up a European Public Prosecutor's Office (EPPO) and four years after the Commission tabled its proposal , the Regulation establishing the EPPO received the European Parliament's consent on 5 October 2017 and was finally adopted by the Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) Council on 12 October 2017 under enhanced cooperation with 20 Member States . The Regulation was published in the Official Journal on 31 October 2017 and entered into force on 20 November 2017.
The EPPO will be an independent European prosecution office competent for investigating and prosecuting the crimes.
This article sets out the main elements of the Regulation, outlines the expected advantages of the EPPO, illustrates the next steps ... Read more
The European Public Prosecutor’s Office – More Effective, Equivalent, and Independent Criminal Prosecution against Fraud?
The adoption of the regulation establishing the European Public Prosecutor's Office is a decisive step in the completion of the institutional settings for the protection of the EU’s financial interests. This article looks back at the origins of the project and recalls its underlying rationale. It further critically analyses the legislative procedure, studies the contents of the compromise reached, and provides insight into the requirements for efficient operation of the EPPO in cooperation with its partners. By way of concluding remarks, three perspectives are outlined that require further analysis and closer scrutiny, i.e.:
- Efforts in common training schemes;
- Need for criminal investigation and enforcement support;
- Reflections on the merger of the EPPO and Eurojust
The Directive on the Fight against Fraud to the Union’s Financial Interests by means of Criminal Law (PFI Directive)
Laying down the foundation for a better protection of the Union’s financial interests?
This article gives an account of the negotiations of the Commission proposal for the Directive
on the fight against fraud to the Union's financial interests by means of criminal law ("PIF Directive"). It also outlines the key elements of the finally adopted legal instrument as well as its significance for the European Public Prosecutor’s Office. The article concludes that the comprehensive approach followed by the EU in fighting crime against the Union budget will lead to tangible results and a significantly better protection of the financial interests of the European Union.
The New Frontier of PFI Investigations
The EPPO and its Relationship with OLAF
I. Introduction On 20 November 2017, twenty days after its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union, Regulation 1939/2017 establishing the European Public Prosecutor’s Office – commonly referred to as the EPPO – entered into force. It is the most advanced stage in the creation of a common criminal justice area in the EU, as the EPPO is a true prosecutor’s office for conducting criminal investigations. It is – from the outset – not a coordination office, like Eurojust, and it is not an office for administrative investigations, like OLAF, but indeed a criminal investigation and prosecution office.... Read more