European Public Prosecutor’s Office Netherlands and Malta Join EPPO
On 1 and 7 August 2018, the Commission gave its approval for the Netherlands and Malta to join the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO).
As a result, 22 EU Member States are now part of the enhanced cooperation scheme establishing the EPPO and making the new supranational body operational by the end of 2020. The EPPO is designed to more effectively and swiftly investigate, prosecute, and bring to judgment serious crimes affecting the EU’s financial interests, e.g., subvention fraud, corruption, money laundering, and cross-border VAT fraud.
The new office will be competent to combat fraud involving EU funds of over €10,000 and involving complex cross-border VAT fraud cases with damages over €10 million. According to the agreed on structure, the EPPO is coined mainly by a decentralised organisation with European Delegated Prosecutors, who are embedded in the national criminal justice systems of the participating EU countries and responsible for handling the fraud cases. The EPPO is to closely cooperate with the national law enforcement and judicial authorities as well as with other EU bodies, especially OLAF, Eurojust, and Europol.
Following the recent participation of the Netherlands and Malta, only Denmark, Hungary, Ireland, Poland, Sweden, and the United Kingdom do not yet support the EPPO.