Tuesday

9th Aug 2022

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.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

“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.

Greek PM embroiled in spyware scandal

Greece has become embroiled in a wiretapping scandal that led to the resignation of its intelligence chief as well as the Greek prime minister's top aide.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBConstruction workers can check wages and working conditions in 36 countries
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Canadian ministers join forces to combat harmful content online
  3. European Centre for Press and Media FreedomEuropean Anti-SLAPP Conference 2022
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers write to EU about new food labelling
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersEmerging journalists from the Nordics and Canada report the facts of the climate crisis
  6. Council of the EUEU: new rules on corporate sustainability reporting

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us