A new body intended to fight against fraud and corruption affecting European funds, officially took office on Tuesday 1 June.
The European public prosecutor’s office, a new body intended to fight against fraud and corruption affecting EU funds, officially took office on Tuesday 1 June, announced its head, Laura Kövesi, welcoming “a historic moment».
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«Our success is a question of credibility for our Union“, Declared the former head of the Romanian anti-corruption prosecution, stressing that the establishment of this body had required”over two decades of discussions“And”difficult political negotiations“. One of its missions will be to monitor the use of billions of euros from the recovery plan that are about to be distributed to help EU countries cope with the consequences of the health crisis.
This supranational body, whose central office is based in Luxembourg, is in charge of investigating but also of prosecuting and bringing to justice the perpetrators of offenses affecting the EU budget, an unprecedented power. These offenses overlap with embezzlement of European funds and corruption, cross-border VAT fraud involving at least two Member States and amounts of more than 10 million euros, money laundering. For cross-border VAT fraud alone, the EU assesses the damage at 30 to 60 billion euros per year. For other offenses, the estimates are around 500 million euros per year.
Twenty-two EU countries participate in this enhanced judicial cooperation (Hungary, Poland, Ireland, Sweden and Denmark are not part of it). Didier Reynders, European Commissioner, urged these five countries to join this initiative, stressing that “protecting the European budget required the effort of all Member States“. While Slovenia has still not appointed a deputy prosecutor, Laura Kövesi denounced “a lack of sincere cooperation“From this country, while assuring that”nobody is going to prevent»The European public prosecutor’s office to work.