Report Conference on OLAF and the EPPO and Annual Meeting of the European Criminal Law Associations
On 15 June 2018, Utrecht University, under the auspices of RENFORCE and with financial support from the HERCULE III Programme, organized the conference “OLAF and the EPPO in the new institutional setting for the protection of the financial interests of the EU.” The conference welcomed participants from over twenty Member States and aimed to provide the participants with a better understanding of the administrative and criminal responses to EU fraud. It brought together academics, practitioners, and policymakers to discuss several aspects of the protection of the EU budget in light of the establishment of the EPPO, the main focus being on the relations between OLAF and the EPPO as well as their relations with other law enforcement partners.
The first part of the conference dealt with the relationship between OLAF and national authorities. This included presentations on the evaluation of the OLAF Regulation (Irene Sacristán-Sánchez, Head of Unit, OLAF), on OLAF’s current investigative powers (John Vervaele, Utrecht University), and on specific needs and practical obstacles in OLAF investigations (Cvetelina CholakovaHead of Unit, OLAF). Additional presentations dealt with the information exchange between OLAF and other enforcement authorities (Michiel Luchtman, Utrecht University) and with the admissibility of OLAF reports as evidence (Katalin Ligetiand Angelo Marletta, University of Luxembourg).
The second part of the conference focused on the establishment of the EPPO and its impact on existing actors in the field. The presentations looked at the adopted text of the EPPO Regulation at the expense of a true vertical cooperation scheme (András Csúri, Utrecht University), how to ensure good relations between EPPO delegated prosecutors and national authorities (Hans-Holger Herrnfeld, Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection, Germany), and procedural safeguards and judicial control in EPPO investigations (Juliette Lelieur, University of Strasbourg). In addition, the presentations also addressed the mission and tasks of IBOAs (Lothar Kuhl, Head of Unit, DG REGIO), Eurojust’s future role in the new landscape (Natalie Bergmann, Head of Institutional Affairs, Eurojust), and the EPPO’s cooperation with third countries and non-participating EU Member States (Nicholas Franssen, Ministry of Justice and Security in the Netherlands).
The conference was preceded by the Annual Meeting of the Associations on European Criminal Law and the Protection of the EU’s financial interests on 14 June 2018, which was also organized under the auspices of RENFORCE and co-financed by the HERCULE III Programme.