On 5 July 2021, European Chief Prosecutor Laura Kövesi and OLAF Director-General Ville Itälä signed a working arrangement that sets out the future operational cooperation between the EPPO and OLAF. The agreement can be considered an important milestone since both offices are mandated to fight EU fraud. OLAF conducts administrative investigations, while the EPPO conducts criminal investigations and prosecutes cases falling under its competence before the national courts of the participating Member States. The EPPO Regulation (Council Regulation (EU) 2017/1939) stipulated the relationship between the two bodies only rudimentarily.

The Working Arrangement aims to establish close cooperation between OLAF and the EPPO in the exercise of their respective investigatory and prosecutorial mandates, in particular through the exchange of information and mutual support. It regulates the modalities on the following issues:

  • Exchange of information, including reciprocal indirect access to each other’s electronic case management system;
  • Mutual reporting and transmission of potential cases to each other;
  • Mutual support in the course of investigations;
  • Conduct of complementary investigations by OLAF;
  • Information exchange on trends;
  • Joint training exercises and staff exchange programmes.

In addition, the Arrangement sets out the structures for institutional/strategic and operational cooperation, which includes the establishment of contact points. The parties agreed to continuously monitor the functioning of the arrangement and to periodically evaluate its application.

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Thomas Wahl

Max Planck Institute for the Study of Crime, Security and Law (MPI CSL)

Public Law Department

Senior Researcher