On 17 July 2013 the Commission proposed a Regulation on the establishment of a European Public Prosecutor's Office (EPPO). It is based on Article 86 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union which empowers the Council to establish such an Office in order to combat crimes affecting the financial interests of the Union.
The EPPO would investigate, prosecute and bring to judgment the perpetrators of offences affecting the Union's financial interests. This would be an important qualitative step towards a more effective fight against offences affecting the Union's budget. The proposal is based on the principles of effectiveness, independence and accountability.
Key features of the proposed EPPO
- Independent: The EPPO would be an independent office, subject to democratic oversight and accountable before the European Parliament, Council and national Parliaments.
- Decentralised: The EPPO would be established as a decentralised Union body composed of a European Public Prosecutor and European Delegated Prosecutors located in the Member States and embedded in the national judiciary. The Delegated European Public Prosecutors would carry out investigations and prosecutions using national staff and would generally apply national law. Their actions would be supervised, coordinated and, where necessary, directed by the European Public Prosecutor to ensure a consistent approach throughout the Union.
- Applies national law: The EPPO would rely on a limited body of essential EU wide rules for uniform powers and protection of procedural rights, but would generally apply national law for the execution of its tasks.
- Strong procedural rights: The investigations and prosecutions of the EPPO would respect the Rule of Law and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.
- Cost-efficiency: The entire structure would be based on existing resources and should therefore entail no substantial additional costs.
For more information, please visit OLAF website