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June 18, 2021

Gov’t supports creation of European Prosecutor’s Office

The Government announced yesterday in a press release that they support the proposal of the European Commission (EC) regarding the creation of a European Prosecutor’s Office, an institution which should perform criminal investigations and charge in the courts of the member states, those people who commit fraud regarding the EU budget. The decision of the Executive follows a meeting held on Tuesday by Prime Minister Victor Ponta and Giovanni Kessler, Director-General of the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF). According to Agerpres, during the meeting, Kessler brought up for discussion the European Commission’s proposal to set up the European Public Prosecutor’s Office, for which the Romanian Government expressed its full support. The European official was in Bucharest to attend a seminar on measures aimed at fighting fraud and corruption when it comes to structural and European investment funds. The EC proposed on July 2013 to create a European Prosecutor’s Office to perform investigations which should also have the competence to charge in the courts of the member states those accused of crimes affecting the EU budget. According to the Regulations, the European Prosecutor’s Office should benefit from full independence, both from the national governments and the EU institutions, and should be protected from any political pressure. According to the body, after the European Prosecutor’s Office should close a case on minor crimes, the national prosecutor’s offices will not be hindered in continuing their investigations and sending the case to court, in case their national legislation allows it. This March, the MEPs approved the proposal of Regulation of the Council of creating the European Prosecutor’s Office, but chairman of the Chamber of Deputies in Romania, Valeriu Zgonea (PSD) sent a negative response, on account of breaching the subsidiary principle. In order to create the European Prosecutor’s Office, nine member states need to agree with it. Sweden, the UK, the Netherlands, Cyprus, Hungary, Ireland and Slovenia have sent “motivated approvals” by now, from both parliamentary chambers. From France, only the Senate had some objection and the same in the Czech Republic.

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