Wednesday

18th Jan 2017

Member states 'endorse' EU-wide public prosecutor

  • The EU wants its own public prosecutor to tackle fraud (Photo: euukrainecoop)

A majority of member states are said to back a proposal for a European public prosecutor after they failed to meet a deadline to submit counter arguments.

Member state national parliaments had until Monday (28 October) midnight to submit any complaints or concerns on setting up a EU-wide prosecutor tasked to tackle fraud committed against the EU budget.

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.

“A clear majority of member states have not issued reasoned opinions and can thus be counted among the probable participants to the European public prosecutor's office,” Mina Andreeva, European commission justice spokesperson, said in an email on Tuesday.

A minimum of nine member states is needed to launch the office.

Monday’s missed deadline means 17 have now demonstrated tacit support with only 11 member states opposed.

Parliaments in Cyprus, Czech Republic, France, Hungary, Ireland, Malta, the Netherlands, Romania, Slovenia, Sweden, and the UK, issued the complaints.

Both the UK and Ireland, along with Denmark, already said they would not participate when they opted out of the idea during talks on the EU's Lisbon Treaty.

Andreeva said with the member state positions clarified, EU lawmakers would now push forward with the proposal, first announced in July, with an aim to have it launched in 2015.

The prosecutor would have the power to conduct, prosecute, and bring to justice its own EU-wide investigations in co-ordination with member state authorities against people suspected of defrauding the EU.

Its initial role to tackle EU fraud could later be expanded to other areas.

The commission claims the office is needed to tackle wide-spread fraud on the EU budget which they estimate hovers around €500 million in annual losses.

A top EU official in September told the European Parliament that the real figure is in the billions, however.

A majority of deputies at the Strasbourg plenary last week voted in favour of a report by Italian centre-right MEP Salvatore Iacolino.

Iacolino’s report covered a wide number of crime fighting issues, including setting up the office, although the Greens voiced reservations of its law-enforcement centric focus.

Estonia joins US in passing Magnitsky law

Estonia has voted to ban entry to foreigners deemed guilty of human rights abuses in a law targeting Russia and inspired by the Magnitsky case.

Children's rights at risk in EU hotspots

Lack of lawyers and other staff has caused logjams on asylum claims, which particularly hurt children, the EU Fundamental Rights Agency told MEPs.

News in Brief

  1. Europe has no vision, says Italian minister
  2. Juncker has 'slight doubts' to his group's convention idea
  3. EU parliament spat changes nothing, says Juncker
  4. German elections likely on 24 September
  5. Maltese PM announces plan for Brexit summit
  6. EU needs more Turkey-style migrant deals, Malta PM says
  7. Dutch minister: Don't underestimate risk of hacking
  8. European court rules against Russia adoption ban on US

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Caritas EuropaEU States to Join Pope Francis’s Appeal to Care for Migrant Children
  2. UNICEFNumber of Unaccompanied Children Arriving by sea to Italy Doubles in 2016
  3. Nordic Council of Ministers"Nordic Matters" Help Forge Closer Bonds Between the UK and the Nordic Region
  4. Computers, Privacy & Data ProtectionThe age of Intelligent Machines: join the Conference on 25-27 January 2017
  5. Martens CentreNo Better way to Lift Your Monday Blues Than to Gloss Over our Political Cartoons
  6. Dialogue PlatformThe Gulen Movement: An Islamic Response to Terror as a Global Challenge
  7. European Free AllianceMinority Rights and Autonomy are a European Normality
  8. Swedish EnterprisesHow to Create EU Competitiveness Post-Brexit? Seminar on January 24th
  9. European Jewish CongressSchulz to be Awarded the European Medal for Tolerance for his Stand Against Populism
  10. Nordic Council of Ministers"Adventures in Moominland" Kick Off Nordic Matters Festival in London
  11. PLATO15 Fully-Funded PhDs Across Europe on the Post-Crisis Legitimacy of the EU - Apply Now!
  12. Dialogue PlatformInterview: Fethullah Gulen Condemns Assassination of Russian Ambassador to Turkey