Sunday

24th Jul 2016

Brussels explores creation of 'EU public prosecutor'

  • The Eurojust building in The Hague (Photo: eurojust.europa.eu)

MEPs on the recently established anti-mafia committee and the European Commission have revived talk of creating an EU public prosecutor's office.

Slovenian social democrat MEP Tanja Fajon - among others - proposed the initiative at a meeting of the anti-crime body in the European Parliament in Brussels on Monday (4 June).

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

EU home affairs commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said it would be a "good idea," but added that it needs wider political backing.

A parliament spokesman said that several member states are against it as things stand.

The new EU office was first mooted in a comission study 12 years ago.

It got a legal footing in the Lisbon Treaty, which says a group of nine or more member states can create it inside Eurojust, the EU's joint judicial body in The Hague.

The commission's website says it "would be responsible for investigating, prosecuting and bringing to justice those who damage assets managed by or on behalf of the EU."

The office "would also exercise the functions of prosecutor in the competent courts of the EU countries, in relation to such offences."

Malmstrom told the MEPs on Monday that - apart from the human cost to victims - crime and corruption costs the EU economy €120 billion a year, or 1 percent of total GDP.

"Huge amounts of money are lost every second in the criminal sector ... We need to get this money back to the EU citizen and back to the tax payer, especially in the economic crisis," she said.

She noted that the best way to hurt organised crime is to target criminals' wealth.

The commission in March proposed a law designed to help member states confiscate criminal assets even if the perpetrators are deceased or if they have fled.

Brussels is also working on: a study on EU countries' anti-corruption laws; a proposal for criminal sanctions specifically aimed at money-laundering; new measures against tax havens; and more involvement on cross-border investigations by the EU's joint police body, Europol.

For his part, British liberal Bill Newton Dunn noted that member states tolerate tax havens despite their role in money laundering.

"Most of the tax havens are sponsored by my member state," he said, citing the Isle of Man and the Channel islands in the UK as examples.

"The trick [will be] getting member states to co-operate and say 'We will take action'."

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Belgrade Security ForumMigration, Security and Solidarity within Global Disorder: Academic Event Agenda for 2016
  2. GoogleHow Google Fights Piracy: Creating Value While Fighting Piracy
  3. EJC"My Visit to Israel" - Opinion by MEP Lopez Aguilar, Chair of the EP Working Group on Antisemitism
  4. World VisionChildren Migrating, Out of School and at Work as Hunger Deepens in Southern Africa
  5. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceStand-Up (and Exercise) to Prevent Chronic Diseases
  6. Centre Maurits CoppietersLaunches a Real-time News Hub Specialised in EU Stakeholders
  7. Dialogue PlatformFethullah Gulen Calls for International Probe Into Turkey Coup Allegations
  8. GoogleEU-US Privacy Shield: Restoring Faith in Data Flows and Transatlantic Relations
  9. World VisionWorld Leaders & Youth Advocates Launch Partnership to End Violence Vs. Children
  10. Counter BalanceReport: Institutionalised Corruption in Romania's Third Largest Company
  11. Access NowEuropol Supports Encryption. We Can Relax Now… Right?
  12. GoogleLearn about Google's projects across Europe on Twitter @GoogleBrussels

Latest News

  1. Munich attack might not have been terrorism
  2. A very British (and Corbynite) coup
  3. Poland 'changing for the worse' for Muslims and refugees
  4. EU aims to lift visas on Turks despite purge
  5. ECB in ‘bail-out’ of scandal-tainted VW
  6. EU failed to learn lesson from Brexit, Poland says
  7. UK accord on EU workers 'crucial', France says
  8. EU and US take different lines on Turkey crackdown