EPPO’s Annual Report for 2022
On 1 March 2023, the EPPO presented its annual report for 2022. It is the first annual report that provides the picture of a full calendar year after the EPPO had started to exercise its competence on 1 June 2021 (for the first annual report covering the period of operations from 1 June to 31 December 2022 → eucrim 1/2022, 15-16). In 13 chapters, the annual report for 2022 provides information, inter alia, on the following issues:
- EPPO’s operational activity, including figures from each participating Member State;
- The activity of EPPO’s organisational entities, such as the College, the Permanent Chambers, the European Delegated Prosecutors, and the Operations and College Support Unit;
- The Case Management System and IT;
- Human resources and staff development;
- Relations of the EPPO with its partners, including relations with non-participating Member States and third countries.
The EPPO reports that it processed 3318 crime reports and opened 865 investigations in 2022. Judges granted the freezing of €359.1 million in EPPO investigations, more than seven times the body’s 2022 budget. Other key figures include the following:
- By the end of 2022, the EPPO had a total of 1117 active investigations for overall estimated damages of €14.1 billion;
- Over 28% of the active investigations had a cross-border dimension;
- The EPPO opened 865 investigations with estimated damages of €9.9 billion;
- Regarding the typologies identified in the active cases, most (679) deal with non-procurement expenditure fraud followed by VAT fraud (427 cases);
- Nearly half of the estimated damages (€6.7 billion) concerns VAT fraud;
- The proportion of reports about suspicions of fraud from private parties is at 58%;
- 114 European Delegated Prosecutors in active employment;
- 217 staff members at the central office in Luxembourg.
When presenting the report, European Chief Prosecutor Laura Kövesi stressed that, in 2022, the EPPO demonstrated its unprecedented capacity to identify and trace volatile financial flows and opaque legal arrangements. She added that the EPPO, however, is far from having reached its full potential. In doing so, the EPPO Regulation should be reviewed as soon as possible on several critical aspects.