The European Commission on Wednesday 2 December called on member states to quickly appoint their deputy prosecutors to allow the European public prosecutor's office, the EU's new weapon against fraud, to start
in the "
first quarter of 2021
", which was initially due to start at the end of 2020 .
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This European public prosecutor's office, which will have the power to search for, prosecute and send to trial before national courts the perpetrators of criminal offenses affecting the financial interests of the Union, was installed at the end of September in Luxembourg.
Its head, the Romanian Laura Codruta Kövesi, and the 22 prosecutors representing the states participating in this enhanced cooperation, were sworn in.
However, his entry into office is subject to the appointment by the participating countries of their delegated prosecutors, who will be responsible in these states for carrying out investigations, as well as the adaptation of national laws to integrate this new judicial authority.
The European public prosecutor's office must be set up in the first quarter of 2021,
" said European Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders before participating in a meeting by videoconference of European ministers.
He indicated that he would "
insist on the urgency in a number of Member States to move forward very quickly so that we are ready to start operations
It is now necessary for the implementing legislation to be adopted everywhere in the member states and above all for the selection procedures of the delegated prosecutors to be completed
", he said.
Currently only two countries have appointed their deputy prosecutors: Germany and Slovakia.
Of the 27 EU countries, five do not participate in this European public prosecutor's office: Hungary, Poland, Ireland, Sweden and Denmark.
This independent authority is responsible for fraud against European funds, VAT fraud of more than ten million euros, corruption.
A crime representing between 30 and 60 billion euros per year, according to Kövesi.